Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Plea to the Republican masses.


I know there are some folks, with more specific education, smarter and more experienced in these matters than I , who have written a lot about why the working class has been wooed successfully by the Republicans, who are, conversely, completely in the pay of and in support of, the oligarchic masters of the political right.

They’ve managed to sell the working class on this economic ”theory” of trickle down economics, where, supposedly, the rich have all the money, and through some unmentioned, un-examined process, deign to create jobs for those of us unfortunate enough to not be independently wealthy.

This has got to be the most successful sales job since the National Socialists managed to sell the German people on the wholly made up fabrication that they gave a damn about the average German.

I am not an economist, I am not a political scientist, nor am I a politician or an experienced political activist.  I am just an average guy with a degree in Public Administration who has worked for the US Government for thirty eight (almost, as of next month) years.  I’ve worked at being a investigative Aide, a purchasing agent and as an IT specialist, and none of those jobs has endowed me with the kind of experience that should give anybody confidence in my ability as a political commentator.

What I am, is a reformed Republican, and for a lot of you, that should make you sit up and listen, if only for a few minutes.

There was a time when I bought that “trickle down” crap hook, line & sinker.  Cash on the barrelhead, and all that.  It just sounded good.  I also listened to it and bought it before I had any kind of university level classes on economics and and experience on how government finances work.

I had an instructor at the Brookhaven College in Dallas (where I earned a two year degree) who hated Reagan.  Hated the man with a venomous poison that seemed to eat him up inside.  He also had a mantra about government that rankled me to the core.

He used to say that government created nothing nor added to the economy, but only acted in a parasitic manner, lowering its GDP.

Yeah, I know, go figure.  I never managed to see how he held such antithetical views either, but he did.

Later, I went to the University of Texas at Dallas, where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Public Administration.

I learned a few things along the way.

One of which is, Government is NOT a parasite.  It is the ground upon which a successful society and economy stands.  (Which was Obama's point when he said that businesses "didn't build that".)

Look around the world.  Look at the third world, in which one finds numerous dictatorships, both personal and ideological.  What is one overriding characteristic one sees in those governments?

Uncertainty.  Oftentimes, instability as well, as opponents of those dictators try to overthrow them.

So, what does one see in those economies?  Low standards of living, high unemployment and few industries of real note, internationally speaking.

Look at Somalia.

No centralized government, tribal entities only.  Piracy is rampant, because there are NO businesses which are willing to do business in a country where there is no rule of law!  Thus, few jobs and few real ways to make a decent living except for piracy, which is actually a “business” set up by some tribes to bring in money to make themselves more powerful.  Really, it’s kind of traditional in Africa anyway in some cultures, one which goes back centuries.

Contrast that with Europe and the US.

Strong, central governments, a pattern of centralized regulation of business and social interactions which set a strong groundwork of enforced rules which allow business owners to know what to expect of others they may need to do business with.  A strong centralized organization which makes available a physical infrastructure of transportation upon which modern businesses depend to both get their goods to distant markets, and allow their workforce to get to work safely.  A strong judicial system which lays the groundwork for protecting their investments from both piracy, lawlessness and unscrupulous scoundrels who may wish to prey upon the honest business owner.

A diplomatic corp which has as one of its prime goals the opening of foreign markets to local goods and a strong military with the power to protect their interests overseas from foreigners with piratical tendencies, or at least diplomatic agreements and treaties which result in that protection.

Government is NOT parasitic.  It the ground upon which a successful society and economy are built which makes it strong and resilient against economic shocks which would sink a weaker nation into debt and recession from which it may take decades to recover otherwise.  (See Greece, for instance)

A direct example of what happens to countries with political instability worrying the financial markets was here for the world to see last summer, as Obama struggled with a Republican Party which was so set on holding the US economy hostage, that the US’ credit ratings were lowered for virtually the first time, costing us billions of dollars in additional interest payments.

Such is the cost of political instability.  Such is the value of a stable, strong central government!

Now, let’s let that sink in for a moment.  Just think about it.

What strikes you first?

What should strike you first is that the Tea Party Republicans, in direct contravention to their stated concern over the debt, cost us billions of dollars by a confrontational stance which was directly opposed even by their own party leadership.

So, now, why?

Why would any American of middle class or lower economic circumstances support a party which would use the stability of the US credit ratings as a hostage for their own political gain?  Are they really concerned with that debt?

No.  Paul Ryan’s budget would, according to the Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan entity, add multiple trillions of dollars to the public debt, costing future generations billions and billions in additional interest payments added to future generations’ tax burden.

Does he say how he would pay for that additional spending?  No, he does not, but he adds to that debt by lowering taxes for the wealthiest people in the country, and adding to the tax burden of the middle and working classes.

That’s most of the rest of us, by the way.

That probably means you, since I doubt that there are any of the 1% reading my blog.

Am I telling the Republicans which may be reading this to abandon the Republican Party?

No, not permanently.  There is more than enough room for two parties, and indeed, at least two are required for the competition that makes a modern democracy work.

But it cannot work if one is dominated by religious ideologues who refuse to compromise and use legislative slight of hand to stymie and stop the levers of power from operating the way they should.

The Republicans had their run for eight years.  They blew it, with massive tax cuts, two unfunded wars, and an economic recession only exceeded by the Great Depression.  So, what do they do?  Do they try to regroup and recover, examining their policies for unpopular and unworkable things which need getting tossed and/or reworked?

No, they double down and just get crazier.

Their are two things which are making the political scene today poisonous and unworkable.

Money from the rich, unbridled and opaque.

Religion, crazy and unbridled by common sense and contaminated by politics.

YOU, the working class and middle class who have been voting Republican need to start voting for people who will throw the Tea Party bums out, they are doing you no favors.  The Independents are alarmed by them, and are likely to not vote for them at all in the General election.  I mean, come on!  When Republicans are so alarmed by their real prospects in the general election that they have to resort to voter suppression to win, that’s bad.  In more ways than one.

And we need to put people in the Supreme Court who will end this ridiculous charade of corporate money bags being people, and the only way to do that is to elect people who aren’t wedded to the religious and oligarchic moneybags.

The Republican Party needs to lose this election, and it needs to lose in a landslide - again.

YOU, the Republicans’ target population, need to start telling them to get back to governing and to stop pushing crazy, nutbag religion and kowtowing to the oligarchs.

I am not telling you to stop being conservative.  I am telling you to get back to being the Conservatives which made Reagan President.  You know Reagan couldn’t get elected dogcatcher in the Republican Party of today.

And that’s just wrong.

2 comments:

Linda Norby said...

Excellent Robert! If I was still doing a newsletter, I'd ask for your permission to include this...has this been shared with the FB public? If not, can I share it? Linda

Robert Ahrens said...

Please do share it, Linda! Feel free.