Thursday, March 19, 2009

Responding to outrage

Sometimes representative government only responds to outrage. But at least it responds.

Even the Democrats are far too bedded down with moneyed elites, as they were with this. The Republicans, of course, are hopelessly and openly in favor of moneyed elites.

If you look around, the people who have been outraged from the beginning about anything beyond taxes have been liberal bloggers.

The truth is that we Americans need a top-to-bottom rework of power in our country. Tim Geithner could be the first to fall.

Oh, by the way, Barack Obama's economic policies so far have been far to centrist and timid. We're beyond time to talk about bold action. It's time we had it.

One key item of bold action is acknowledgement in behavior that the finance "geniuses" who got us here need to find real jobs that have wages, not sweetheart salaries and bonuses.


Wayne G. Sayles said...

I think your perception of Republicans as the "moneyed elite" must be based on a different view of the world than mine. The notion that "big money" automatically equates to "Republican" is a stereotype that has little basis in fact. I wouldn't call Ted Turner exactly poor, nor the Hollywood moguls that shape America's mindset. I'm a lifelong Republican and the rural county where I live has not voted for anything other than a Republican to national office since the Civil War. While there are several things about Republican Party leadership that have me disgruntled at the moment, they are not about money. I am not wealthy, and this county that I live in is economically challenged, to say the least. The reason most of us vote Republican is because that party advocates the right of individuals to control their own lives. We need bold action in America, but that action must come from us, as individuals, not in the form of government handouts and ever more intervention in our lives. We can surely agree that we do need change, but making big government even bigger and layering bureaucracy with more and more administrators to manage the redistribution of America's combined wealth, is not the kind of change I would like to see. The core issue here is whether the U.S. should be a Capitalist country or a Socialist country. Everyone has a right to weigh in on that, but folks around here are not big on Socialism. That does not make them the "moneyed elite."

lovable liberal said...

A couple of comments in response:

The Republican Party is owned by the moneyed elites. Lots of people who don't belong to the top 0.1% of incomes vote Republican and get policies that hurt them economically. (Democratic Presidents have historically been better for the economy - even for the top quintile, though not for the top 1%, probably.) Many of the middle class who vote Republican do so because of social issues.

There's a logic error your comment about Ted Turner. Yep, he's a Democrat, although a centrist one. So what? That doesn't argue against my original statement at all. Scratch a CEO and most of the time you'll find a "free market" Republican.

In fact, my first paragraph acknowledges that Democrats (especially those in Washington) are too close to money. Frankly, I'm more worried about, say, the Wall Street contributions that have pulled the Democratic Party further into deregulation, with the results we see around us now in the capital markets, than I am about Ted Turner.

The Republican Party advocates that we have the freedom to control our own lives to the degree we can afford it. Personally, the "freedom" to go one on one with a large corporation is not one I cherish. I'd rather have a little backup and the real freedom to live my life in a society where the cards are not all stacked against me - and I'm pretty prosperous, just not prosperous enough to go up against a corporation or an overpaid CEO.

Oh, and Republicans are not too keen on the freedom to control one's own body, the freedom to be gay, the freedom to speak freely, or even the rule of law any more.

The socialism charge is historically hysterical - unless you'll agree that we were a socialist country from 1930 to 1980. That damn socialist Eisenhower must have lived in Europe for too long. Even more, what Obama has proposed is to add back 3% (three!) to marginal income tax rates.

Over the past 30 years, our federal taxation has become much more regressive. Payroll taxes, which hit the working poor hardest, have essentially replaced corporate taxes as the second largest source of revenue, and they're now fairly close to income taxes in total receipts. Of course, conservative pundits flush this fact down the memory hole because it's so inconvenient to one of their favorite bullshit lines about how only the rich pay taxes.

You and your neighbors have been sold a bill of goods on the organization of the economy and taxation. The policies you favor are really good for other people. You get a few crumbs. Of course, by being conservative, states like Arkansas (and my birth state of Tennessee) get subsidized by liberal states such as my home, Massachusetts.

The most productive and creative states in America are the liberal, relatively high-tax states. Yeah, we have zoning and other regulation, and sometimes it's annoying and even onerous. But we keep creating economic activity that other states want. We must be doing something right.

lovable liberal said...

Oops, I meant Missouri, not Arkansas - got carried away by the Ozarks!