Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Political thoughts - inequality

Running a country is hard.

Every day I am increasingly convinced that the Republican Party views the bottom 50% of earners in the US as "the problem" rather than as Americans with dreams, stories, and challenges.

The GOP probably feels that the US would be a much nicer place if that 50% simply went away. And they seem to be turning the US economy into a "hunger game", a sieve that dispatches the losers (many, many losers) into a trash heap of invisibility.

But the problem of economic inequality is not an easy one to solve. I wish it was as easy as the Democrats propose. End the Bush tax cuts, get that revenue, reignite essential government services, put more money into the hands of the middle class, and get the country back on track.

And that scenario might work, somewhat, for a little bit. But its benefits would be neither as long-lived nor as powerful as hoped.

There are two main reasons for this. The first is globalization. The second is government pillaging. Each of these represents the excesses of self-seeking both on the right and the left, which have crippled the sustainability of the state.

Money abhors a vacuum, and so a populace as fiscally top-heavy as the United States will never be able to keep its money here. The rationales for big money-makers to make their money in the US and keep it here (or transfer it here) is dwindling, while their opportunities and ease of access to foreign money is only increasing.

See, here's the basic economic/political dilemma of the age: when government is more powerful (the Democrat ideal), corporate abuse can be fought, human rights defended, and the middle and lower classes better served. But as a corollary, businesses flee and take their jobs and tax revenue with them, resulting in increased public debt and unemployment.

When the government is less powerful (the Republican ideal), businesses come back and there may well be more jobs. But they will be lower-paying jobs, with fewer if any benefits, and private debt will soar as people become indentured servants, making never-ending payments on medical and student loans.

So, I am not exactly describing a balanced picture here. But why should I? The Republicans are wrong, even if the Democrats need to work on a more global understanding of the problem.

1 comment:

Paperback Writer said...

Is there any country who has their politics in working order? Maybe we should move there . . .