Give Me the Soft Kind

Their fiscal anarchism has now led to their threat to destabilize and possibly upend the American and global economy because they refuse to compromise an inch. They control only one part of the government, and yet they hold all of it hostage. I cannot believe they are prepared to allow the US to default rather than give an inch toward responsibility. Except I should believe it by now. Everything I have written about them leads inexorably to this moment. Opposing overwhelming public opinion on the need for a mixed package of tax hikes and spending cuts, drawing the president into a position far to the right of the right of his party, and posturing absurdly as fiscal conservatives, they are in fact anti-tax and anti-government fanatics, and this is their moment of maximal destruction. Andrew Sullivan The Daily Beast

Jobs? It seems to me the Republican jobs program is completely fused to a single agenda item, amplifying the concentration of wealth. End of story. I suppose the degree to go for is accounting.

In the world according to ALEC, [American Legislative Exchange Council] competing firms in free markets are the only real source of social efficiency and wealth. Government contributes nothing but security. Outside of this function, it should be demonized, starved or privatized. Any force in civil society, especially labor, that contests the right of business to grab all social surplus for itself, and to treat people like roadkill and the earth like a sewer, should be crushed. (ALEC Exposed, The Nation)

I’m quite confident none of the Republican candidates for President, including the likely nominee, Governor Rick Perry*, (at once one of our dumbest and most corrupt politicians,) would be able to coherently explain how our economy actually works. My confidence springs from knowing ahead of time that any such explanation would be fatally degraded from the git-go by ideology. (See sociologist Raymond Boudon, The Analysis of Ideology.)
the difict picture
I’m also certain the Republican base nee Tea Party, would not end up enjoying the Randian utopia being planned out as a goal found beyond rolling back the AHCA, privatizing social security, vouchering Medicare, Medicaid, and education, eliminating: regulations, the EPA, and a bunch of other stuff, ending income, capital gains, and business taxes, installing a flat consumption tax. . .and that’s enough to send the economy totally over the edge.

I’m not sure the Republicans understand that they can be tossed out of office. Were these implemented, the various experiments can be reversed. I do get the Galtian move to eventually have to fiercely defend wealth, but voter ID won’t accomplish the task.

Plutocracy 1

Our whole plutonomy thesis is based on the idea that the rich will keep getting richer. This thesis is not without its risks. For example, a policy error leading to asset deflation, would likely damage plutonomy. Furthermore, the rising wealth gap between the rich and poor will probably at some point lead to a political backlash. Whilst the rich are getting a greater share of the wealth, and the poor a lesser share, political enfrachisement remains as was – one person, one vote (in the plutonomies). At some point it is likely that labor will fight back against the rising profit share of the rich and there will be a political backlash against the rising wealth of the rich. This could be felt through higher taxation (on the rich or indirectly though higher corporate taxes/regulation) or through trying to protect indigenous laborers, in a push-back on globalization – either anti-immigration, or protectionism. We don’t see this happening yet, though there are signs of rising political tensions. However we are keeping a close eye on developments. Citigroup analyst note Revisiting Plutonomy: The Rich Getting Richer, March 5, 2006

The average daily insult to my intelligence is not a grievous injury, thanks to Stewart and Colbert.

I’m sure if I ever had the chance, and asked Barack Obama nicely, he’d be able to realistically explain the mechanic of how our economy actually works without blowing up his explanation with nutter propositions and moralist fantasies of the liberal sort. I think to myself: ‘lots of third order chops, so likely able to be reflective, candid, analytic and intelligent.’

Meanwhile, the current numerous spokespersons for the right-leaning fantasy, including the narrow continuum stretched right now between Cain and Romney, always seem to blow up their explanations in their first act of voicing “how it works.” No third order chops; heck Bachmann and Perry are following God’s voice(s) in their head!


One of the odd features of our politics is this: Romney likely has third order capabilities–in other words, he can think about how he thinks about thinking about something–but how would we ever find out for sure?

Here’s the planks of his economic competitiveness policy:

      Lower taxes on businesses to keep America competitive in the global economy
        Slash bureaucratic red tape and place a hard cap on the impact that federal regulations can have on the economy,
      Limit the corrosive influence of union bosses on productive businesses

In total, these suggests Mr. Romney is clueless. The last plank is arch and silly at the same time.


update – ooops. Fail.

Leave a Comment

Filed under current events

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.