Thursday, October 27, 2016

Yes, But What Do We Do About It?

Here's George McGovern´s pollster Pat Caddell speaking at Hillsdale College. Yeah, he's now almost a conservative. His February 2016 poll reported that:

  • 72 percent of Americans think there is a two-track economy, where "most Americans struggle... and where the huge corporations get all the rewards." 
  • 66 percent of American believe the country is in decline.
  • 78 percent of Americans think the two main parties are too beholden to special interests to do meaningful change.
  • 72 percent agree that the problem comes from "corruption and crony capitalism" in Washington D.C.
  • 74 percent think that the biased media is part of the problem.
Well, yes. But what do we do about it? Do we smash the corporations, as bankruptcy attorney Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wants us to do? Or do we renegotiate NAFTA and fine corporations for sending good jobs abroad, as Donald Trump wants us to do?

Or is the problem that government taxes corporations and individuals a total of $6 trillion per year? Could it be that entitlement spending has pounded the heart out of America? Could it be that $1.5 trillion a year in dysfunctional government health-care spending and $1.0 trillion a year in dysfunctional education spending are part of the problem?

Could it be that we have not got a foot out of the Garden of Eden since the dawn of history, where the politician "tempted me and I did eat?"

Let us think about what politics would naturally look like when the politicians had given us all the seed corn to eat and there were no more cheap answers, not even "smash the corporations."

The politicians would be distracting us and dividing us by tribe and by identity. They would be telling workers that the corporations were robbing them blind and giving their jobs away to China and India. They would be telling women that all men were filthy sexual harassers. They would be telling blacks that the police were out to get them. They would be telling gays that haters were out to get them. They would be telling the poor that the rich should be made to pay their fair share. They would be telling the taxpayers that the poor should get out and get a job.

But the people would never believe rubbish like that...

Notice what nobody is saying?

Nobody is saying that maybe all these entitlements were a mistake. Maybe we should gradually scale them down, so that almost everyone funds their own retirement, that almost everyone pays for their own health care, that all the mothers in the neighborhood get together to educate their children, that we relieve the poor with the old ABCDEFG method used by charity workers in the 19th century.

Nobody is saying that we should think about the universal garnishing of workers' wages with payroll taxes and income tax withholding.

Nobody is proposing to lift the huge weight of government wage-and-hour regulation, including the minimum wage, from off the brow of labor.

Nobody is proposing to stop corporate subsidies for their favorite projects.

Nobody is saying that we need a constitutional amendment to stop government dangling free stuff in our faces.

Nobody is saying that we should get government out of the pension business completely and make government bureaucrats fund their own retirement.

Nobody is musing that maybe more government force will not be the answer to the accumulation of a century of government force where business and the economy are concerned.

None of this should be surprising. It is, after all, only a couple hundred years since the eternal advice of Gerald O'Hara that "land is life" has been invalidated by the rise of capitalism and the market economy. Now it doesn't matter who owns the land. The only thing that matters is that everything is available to buy and sell in the marketplace. So the need to aggressive defend your land or conquer other land is no longer important. All you need to do is to offer your services and ideas on the market.

But we humans still instinctively know that it is force, and force only, that rules. Power and possession are the only realities. Smash the invader! Smash the corporations! Smash the cops! Smash the patriarchy! Smash the lesser races! Smash the racists! Smash the ruling class! Smash the politicians! Oh, and smash the media!

Obviously, we are not yet near the End of History, whoever wins the election on November 8, 2016.

No comments:

Post a Comment