What with all the companies cutting back hours and benefits due to POR-care, why doesn’t President Obama give them waivers? He’s handed out thousands already so what is a few more, if it saves some jobs? Just a stroke of the pen and hundreds (thousands?) of jobs are saved. Just too busy golfing to care apparently.
As we watch the American Street vote to repeat the 1930s I think it might be a bit different this time around.
One view that I held in the past but have changed is the long term viability of social democratic governments. In the 1980s it looked to me like you could have a large welfare state if you were willing to accept relatively higher unemployment and much slower growth, as exemplified by the European model.
Thirty years later things look much less sustainable. The corrosive effects and lack of limits predicted by the free market ideologues are playing out as we watch, except in those nations (such as Sweden) who are shifting back towards a more limited state. This points out a key difference from the 1930s which is that states are already large and heavily indebted, there is no slack in the system as there was then. Keynsian economics has been shown to be mostly unimplementable in the real world because governments will not cut back on spending during boom times as Keynes’ theory required. The debt just keeps mounting and it’s becoming clear that even the anemic growth we see is dependent on that borrowed money. What happens when the cost of borrowing goes up and becomes larger than the artificial growth it induces?
Now and then, here and there, we have seen pull backs from this decline (New Zealand, Margaret Thatcher, Reagan) but even those were rather limited and temporary. It is an open question how things will proceed over the next 10 years or so. It doesn’t seem possible that even the USA can continue to borrow 40% of its budget year after year with out end. If something can’t go on forever, it won’t but that doesn’t tell you when or how.
The doom and gloom crowd thinks that way because they look at Argentina and see how a once democratic and prosperous nation end up fascist and broke. The challenge here is to indicate how the doomers are wrong - what will stop our following the same path as Argentina, given the massive personality cult that is operating on behalf of our current President, the policies of his party, and the willingness of voters to vote for continued economic malaise. While I am generally very harsh in my comments on the EUlite I must admit they seem to have a lot more self control with regard to welfare states. None of them have grown their government programs at the rate Obama or even Bush have done so I think it very plausible that the USA could easily go in to decline faster than Europe has so it’s unclear how much of a useful bad example Europe will be over the next decade.
Now “middle class” means “union workers”, generally government union workers and the middle and upper end of the pay scale. The term “The Rich” means “the middle class” as it was traditionally understood.
Once upon a time to be in the middle class meant that one owned a small or medium sized business. True, there were some management and professionals that where sort of in that group, but they were a minority and in general their aspirations and values where aligned with the broader group of business owners. Most certainly, to be middle class meant one got up every work day and worked for a living. This was the real “American dream”: to work for yourself and be left alone.
“The Rich” meant mostly those who lived off of inherited wealth, not withstanding a smaller group of successful, first generation business people and entrepreneurs.
The fact that they call those making over $250k “The Rich” should tip you off. The fact that they can get away with this should scare you to death. They would have been laughed off the dais 15 years ago if they had tried this sort of rhetorical switcheroo.
More to the point, in the real world this “tax the rich” mumbo jumbo amounts to a bad (and wildly cynical) joke. The real “Rich” provide much of the market for tax free government securities; the middle class cannot possibly survive on government securities as a primary source of income. Both the real rich and the Democrats understand this—in fact, the “real rich” as a group tend to be Democrats now.
“Tax the Rich” is just a code. The real target here is the white middle class—the “real” middle class. The GOP and a great many conservative, particularly in the punditry, have fallen for this gambit of a redefinition of the term. They are literally responding to the wrong argument, and doing so unwittingly. They are having the wrong debate. Obtusely, they walk right into the landmine that the Democrats have prepared
If the GOP had any stones they would point this out. They would point out that the whole coalition of the Democrats provide little wealth or add much real value to the GDP. They would point out the lie of all this. To those that vote Dem who do provide some value—say some in the tech sector for example—they need to point out that they will eventually be targets too.
This, of course, will never happen. The middle class will be taxed out of existence.
To state the obvious, this taxation is wholly political and ideological in nature: it is about destroying the middle calls—excuse me, the white middle class—to achieve and absolute grip on power. These taxes will not in any way substantially reduce our debt nor will the Democrats do anything other than increase spending. If there are cuts they oill be on the very things that should not be cut, things that support American leadership.
Everything that Obama and his vipers say is a lie. Everything they utter is 160 degrees from the truth. Democrats are “for the middle class” in the sense the wolves are “for sheep”.
I agree with Nick Nolte and Andrew Marcu that the real enemy isn’t the Democratic Party, but Old Media. If the actions, statements, and policies of the Democratic Party were treated the same way as that of conservatives, the GOP, and the Tea Parties the Democratic Party would be reduced to a regional stump. It’s hardly an accident that President Obama pretended to be a centrist / conservative during his first campaign despite his record, and avoided as much as possible talking about his policies at all in the second. He knew Old Media would cover for him and go after the GOP. Absent that kind of agit-prop cover, he would have lost badly. That’s what any one who still loves this nation and its founding principles should do, work to bring down the ideologues who pretend to be journalists.
P.S. I think it interesting that Obama’s own campaign is claiming they won by going after the people who were the least informed. The trend of the Democratic Party, having to stretch and strain ever more deeply in that way is indicative of how poorly they fair against information.
P.P.S. I have some accumulated examples I need to add —
P3.S Let’s not forget Pat Caddell’s statement that “media bias has reached a new level of corruption”. (Check the link, there are other examples in there).
And let me add this from Instapundit which has some examples of how the Obama Administration treats journalists with brutal disdain yet suffers no consequences. Maybe that should be the GOP model, it seems to work.
Senator Diane Feinstein is threatening subpoena to get access to intelligence documents. But the Obama Administration has demonstrated that it simply does not care about Congressional oversight and the voters have agreed by re-electing Obama without this being even a minor issue. For what possible reason shouldn’t the Obama Administration simply tell Feinstein to piss up a rope?
P.S. Our Secretary of State is on board with this plan.
President Obama’s first election was a major boost for the firearm industry. His second one has kept on giving to that and now has boosted the emergency / survival goods industry. Of course, that’s not all a reaction to the general declinism resulting from the Obama Administration but the heck of a job FEMA has no doubt contributed. I think it quite a reasonable question to ask if abolishing FEMA and telling people “you’re going to be on your own” might well save more lives and restore ravaged areas more quickly. Convince people to not wait and things would happen much more quickly.
But of course, due to Old Media, we can’t actually have a real national discussion on this. While busy not covering the hurricane Sandy aftermath, they would certainly have time to call any public official asking this question someone who hates poor people and wants them to drown. For Old Media, if it’s a government agency run by the Democratic Party it is a priori good and only evil, greedy losers like me point out evidence that it’s not.