I hear daily that we are divided more than ever before and wonder why, or if it is real.
Currently, from the right there is expression of a deep non logical hatred for President Obama. Almost completely it is based on lies and false assertions and is just an emotional state not tied to reality. I am not saying what he has or has not done, but generalities that are not true. Take “he is more liberal than any other President” or ‘making us socialist.” Which things has he done to do that? I can guess only at Healthcare Reform. Now, not agreeing with a program is valid, I am talking about the guttural hatred. However, healthcare reform was a Republican origination plan, it was instituted by a Republican Governor in a state and that was where it started. Filibustering and posturing made it even more of a Republican plan. Yet, those on the right call it socialist and worse than ever. How can it be? It is mostly using the current insurance companies. Look back to the Bush years when the Republican’s instituted the senior pharmacy plan that allowed little or no Democratic debate. They just did it with NO WAY TO PAY FOR IT. That little puppy put the cost on the government alone. That was far more “socialist” than healthcare reform.
The “remedy” that the right seems to propose as the cure to the divide is to elect RMoney and other Republicans. Were we divided when Bush was President? Yes, maybe to a lesser degree, but still very divided. Were we divided when Clinton was President, yeah, almost as much as with Obama. So, does the prospect of a RMoney presidency say that the divide will somehow go away? No, it may lessen, but not go away. What does that say though? Outwardly it would seem that conservatives/Republicans are less willing to work with the other side. But still the divide stays no matter what. How is electing RMoney going to change anything other than whose side hates the President?
The stance of JBS comes to mind. Sorry, I am not picking on you J, I am using the example. He has promoted a flat tax plan for years. The part where it goes bad is he cannot accept that it does not stay 100% intact his way. He has agreement with a lot on parts, but for him it seems to have to be all or nothing. One part is the elimination of the tax codes, take away all loopholes credits - the whole thing and just have a simple taxing. I think I can say definitively that most, if not all, of us left right and center like that idea. The ones that want that to stay are the very wealthy and big corporations that benefit from that mess. Long ago J and I talked about this and the only thing we disagreed on was that I felt a progressing tax was still needed. Basically his structure, eliminate all loopholes etc. and a simplified tax. I like having even lower wage workers paying a small percent, maybe only 1% but having a hand in the pie. I also think that those that make millions benefit more from what the government does and should shoulder more of the burden. It wasn’t a lot of a progression either. Maybe something like 15, 20, 25 or something. The main point is, we were really close. A lot of his idea is good and would be great. Yet, he can’t allow that anyone disagrees with even a part. My way or the highway has got to stop. I am not directing that at JBS but everyone.
For most things I look to history and track record for whether it will work or might. Like tax cuts for the rich. Trickle down economics has proven itself as a bad thing. It supposedly would increase jobs and pay and did not do that and it can even be argued that it made things worse. Aside from the fact that the Laffer curve would assign a overall taxation at around 70% for it to work. With taxing far far below that, it is a non starter.
The opposite for a stagnant economy is stimulus, which has shown to work many times in the past. Even Bush and the R’s used it. While I still think some stimulus would help, I am beginning to think it is not going to be good in the long run. The problem, as I see it, is that stimulus works great in a cyclical downturn. It has been used hundreds or thousands of times and has shown to work. However, the question is... are we cyclical? Is this just a down trough in an up or down economy, or is this a permanent state? Did we just lose several million or more jobs PERMANENTLY? Did wages fall permanently? Did the quality of jobs reduce to lesser quality permanently?
There has been a progression from better wage jobs to service type jobs with far less pay for decades. The better paying jobs were exported and low paying jobs took up the slack. I see no plan left or right to try to increase better paying jobs again.
Business is based on making a profit. They cut costs or spending to help make profit. However, the biggest spending they can cut is wages. So, while given big tax cuts, they still reduce spending but cutting labor costs either with wages or amount employed. Then those people have less to spend on those companies so they have to cut wages and employee spending to increase profit (while still getting nice tax cuts for themselves). As long as this country is all about profit and not the people that make it, then the downward spiral will continue.
Anyone notice that spending by people is down and yet the cost of living still goes up? People are being paid less but costs still rise. Gas consumption is way down, but gas prices are still very high. The law of supply/demand says when demand goes down, then prices fall, yet they don’t. Why?
With the majority of the country still hurting, why are prices still rising when demand is down? Why isn’t there the required deflation that should exist when demand is down? The answer is all of that big money in the commodities markets gambling to make money and artificially inflating prices.
Anyway, I got off track as usual. My point is that we are divided because of petty stupid junk and not what is real. The talking heads and idiots with microphones stir the pot and create enmity on purpose. Frankly, it is so see through it is amazing, and yet it still goes on.
Look to what ISN’T an option, what ISN’T discussed. Just like with the tax codes, why ISN’T wiping out the mess an option? Why isn’t that debated? I mean by those that actually can do it. Why was nothing done to prevent big banks and Wall Street from doing exactly what they did to create the collapse? They still are doing the same things. They are immoral and wrong, but dang it they are legal so full steam ahead. Why is that off the table? Why are dropping wages not even whispered about? Why are rising prices not considered? Why is there no mention of the broken commodities markets that no longer set prices, but inflate them for gambling winnings? I suppose too, why in the world is education a bad thing?
So, when you complain about the country being divided, don’t look to the leaders in Washington, or the State, look to yourself. Look at how YOU are creating the divide.
How can we work together instead of help those that keep us divided?