I am not a tea-party activist or tea-party anything – but I am a pseudo-monetarist that is in favor of small government and individual rights. Anyone can see that the west, and the east for that matter, has only dabbled in the last 100 years with “big government getting bigger”. We have NOT dabbled with smaller government – look at public expenditure the world over, ever since large scale public debt became possible late in the 19th century.
That being said, how Robert Reich can suggest that the Tea-Partiers are on the verge of treason is just ludicrous. See “The Tea Party’s Plot Is On The Verge Of Treason“. It is not the GOP that is holding “up” government progress. The government is split – because the American people are split. Many have been conned into believing that big government is good and that it can hand down money to them without any consequences; and many others cannot even be heard above the din and are lambasted for being “nutters”, if they are ever heard.
The government is stuck in a rut because it is a reflection of the same rut we find our political, social and economic ideas in. We could argue the theory; but the facts stand tall. The underlying political model we are now reaping has been building for 100 years – big government and only more of it. Even when the right wing parties get in, the government gets bigger! This then is not a discussion of left versus right. This is a broader issue. It so happens that many on the “right” say they want small government – even if what they “do” is different to what they “say”.
The underlying economic argument has drifted off into the weeds. Irrespective of your school, the facts are that no economic environment has thrived outside the context of growth – and I mean private sector growth. Not one political movement and its attendant government that grows its own expenditure at the expense of the private sector have outlasted another that has built its sustainement on private over public growth. Not one. This is not about taxes. This is not about taking from the poor. This is not about re-distribution. Those are nits. This is a basic issue. Economic growth in the last 70 years has masked a lot of cracks. Even the left could do us all a favor and “go for growth” – private growth – just to hide their own warts, let alone the rights’ ugliness too. But we are stuck in a rut – and the basic argument for growth is being crowed out.
The last item is the underlying social fabric that has outgrown its capability. Political stability and historical work ethic of the 20th century have given rise to a fat cat. We are living off that fat cat. We have become so accustomed to stability and growth that we have decided, like the fictitious Krell in Forbidden Planet, to focus on “better things”. We now spend our hard earned money, and the money of tomorrow, and the money of the young and unborn, on social toys of the day and social engineering. We have bought the right (with debt) and are now blind to the paymaster awaiting. Even if the argument for the social toy is valued – the point is we are way past our means. The argument is lost people. Debt is not a way to run a business – when everyone else is at the same time! Debt works in small lumps; and if there is an equivalent credit, but when everyone (indivudlas, firms, or economics) are beyond their means, there is no Universal Banker to save us.
And that, perhaps, is the root of all. Debt, as a financial instrument, is what has led is to this point. There has always been debts – even in barter based society – but the automation of it, the scale, and the lack of any global clearing creditor, has led to this peak. And the only option is to go down the other side. I don’t think the Sequester is a good idea. But we need to cut. If only our politicians in power could see that there is time set aside for politics. Now is not it. We all need to buy some time – to give ourselves the luxury to argue. Now is the time for cutting and growth; less regulation – and targeted investment in growth strategies (not gerrymandering winners).
Robert Reich is part of the treason he lays at the feet of others. We should stop the talk of treason and start the talk of growth. Before the warts get too big they swallow us up.
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