Thursday, September 10, 2009

Liberatarians and Republicans: Prove It

The other week I was considerably annoyed to hear a reasonably young lawyer opine that the public option would create a nanny state. The public option would provide health insurance, for a premium, to those who can't get it now. The conversation also included Switzerland, which our young lawyer was pleased to castigate as a nanny state destined to be populated by a mass of barnacles. (My phrase, not hers.)

Well. Isn't it amusing that the World Economic Forum just anointed Switzerland just last week the world's MOST COMPETITIVE ECONOMY, eclipsing the USA, and people are speaking openly about the USA's apparent descent to 3rd world country status--blaming it on Obama, of course, who has been in office about 1/100th of the time that Republicans have controlled US trade, economic, and monetary policy in the last 50 years.

The UN is even thinking about replacing the dollar as the currency standards with a global currency.

Here's what I want to say about all that.

The GOP has run its massive demonstration projects twice now, for a very long time. The first time led to the Great Depression, an epoch of agonywithout measure. The second, inaugurated by Ronald Reagan and driven to a fiscal, moral, and civil nadir by George W. Bush, just concluded.

Over against that was the incredible success of Clinton's trade, economic, and monetary policy.

So to conservatives, I say, show me your successes. Put the record up against the rhetoric. Exactly what has a free-market economy and welfare state for bankers, oil corps, pharmaceuticals, mining, Enron, Halliburton, and KBR achieved for the majority of Americans? What has insurance-dependent, for-profit medicine brought the average family? What has union-busting achieved for the average blue-collar worker? Where is the vaunted prosperity of the 1950s and 1960s, which thrived BECAUSE OF Franklin Delano Roosevelt's brilliant conprehension of the relationship between democracy and economics? Why has the dollar plummeted in value? Why has the average family required two or three jobs to break even (if that)? Why has dismantling worker protections brought workers to their knees rather than the promised prosperity of trickle-down economics?

I want the GOP to answer. Rhetorical attacks on the political economics that brought the world the most prosperous nation in human history just don't cut the mustard anymore.

So when you hear Jon Kyl--that sanctimonious lying sack of liquified excrement--intone about the sins of Obama, why don't you pin his trollish ears back with some facts? When Mitch McConnell--that butter-fed mongoose--warns darkly about "socialism," why don't you just sit down, shut up, and think for a change. Read some history.

I would think figuring out what went right then and what has gone so horribly wrong since would be a high priority for you.

But then I never imagined anyone would be fool enough to vote for George W. Bush.

The American people are as intelligent as anybody else. They're just a whole hell of a lot less educated. Most of us don't have a foggy inkling what Roosevelt actually did--let alone what profound issues apart from soup kitchens lay behind what he did. Most of us couldn't trace the connections among Reagan, Bush, Bush, and the gazillion-dollar deficit if our lives depended on it. Because we don't vote policy. We vote personality.

I hope everyone is right ready to explain to your 20-year-old how your vote was in his or her generation's best interests.