Nov 29

In June of 2008, Stephanie Simon wrote a great article entitled “The Greenest Show On Earth:  Democrats Gear Up for Denver”.  She described the trials and tribulations of the planners trying to implement Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s charge of making “the greenest convention in the history of the planet”.   Here’s a short excerpt:

Consider the fanny packs.

The host committee for the Democratic National Convention wanted 15,000 fanny packs for volunteers.  But they had to be made of organic cotton.  By unionized labor.   In the USA.

Official merchandiser Bob DeMasse scoured the country.   His weary conclusion:  “That just doesn’t exist.”

Seventeen months and one victorious Presidential election later, as the Democrats run all three rings of our government’s circus, it is clear that the folly and/or paralysis described in Simon’s article was merely a foreshadowing of things to come.

The fundamental problem facing the Democrats right now is that their understanding of how an economy works is flat-out wrong.    It’s not like their policies will not work.   They simply can not work, any more than Newton could will the apple to fall from the top of his head back onto the branch.   Consider the following plans of action:

Economic “Stimulus”: Proclaim to know how to direct the resources of the economy in synergistic fashion, like some kind of nuclear fusion reactor creating more output than the inputs used.   Continue to pursue a strategy that is based on class-warfare, envy and redistribution.   Refuse to acknowledge that taking resources from one part of the economy via a political process, and handing them over to some other part of the economy, will not and can not produce a net positive.   Recoil from the possibility that their very attempts to manage the economy are in fact the cause of the economic woes they now try to combat.

Cap & Trade:   Propose a $200 billion dollar/year boondoggle to extract additional resources from the economy to be re-allocated to some supposedly wiser-purpose, all for a negligible change in the supposed villain, average global temperature.  Maintain the overarching vision the that humans can control the climate of a planet.   Support the silencing of dissenting points of view, and blame any dissenters that slip past the gates on Rush Limbaugh.

Card Check: Hammer home the belief that the economy can be made better off by eliminating workers’ rights to a private ballot as to whether or not they should form a union.   (Whatever one thinks of unions, this simple fact about this proposal should make it DOA, but it remains a top legislative goal).

Health Care: Take an already over-regulated one sixth of our economy, call it a “market”, proclaim that markets don’t work, and seek to take it over instead.   Hold up the structurally bankrupt programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as models to emulate.   Vilify the insurance industry and proclaim the desire for competition, but do not allow the insurance companies to compete with each other across state lines.    Make no mention of medical-malpractice and tort reform.    Lastly and most importantly, do everything possible to hide the successes of Health Saving Accounts and similar freedom-based, patient-empowering programs.

Taxation:  Stay on track to allow the Bush “tax cuts for the rich” to expire.  Maintain the class-warfare required to support such policies.   Ignore the fact that “the share of the tax burden borne by the top 1 percent now exceeds the share paid by the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers combined.”    Continue the path towards having 50% of wage earners pay no income taxes at all (standing at roughly 43% right now).    Make no connection between high corporate tax rates and companies sending jobs overseas.

If you were an entrepreneur, or a business owner or manager with the ability to start large new initiatives, perhaps ones requiring large numbers of new employees, in the face of the above legislative uncertainty, would you dare proceed?

Hopefully as the Democrats keep themselves tied up in logical knots, they will succeed in passing nothing in the way of major additional economic legislation.  Eventually, perhaps requiring several election cycles, the pursuit of such hamstringing policies will be dropped (or those enacted, repealed) and the true engines of growth will be unleashed.  In the meantime, as the party of Biggest Government (yes, the Republicans have their sad recent history of being the party of Bigger Government), the Democrats can not do the right thing because doing so would require them to repudiate their very worldview.   Solutions to our economic problems based on a worldview that an ever-expanding government can create a utopia-on-Earth are every bit like Bob DeMasse’s sought-after fanny packs.   They just don’t exist.

25 Responses to “Democrats: Economic non-starters”

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  9. Our major issue in this country is our two political parties. Our forefathers knew that a two party system would be our downfall and took steps to try to stop this type of politics, and thus anyone who seriously thinks that politics isn’t corrupt or slaves to Corporate America hasn’t not been paying attention. George Jr. will go down in History as one of the worst administrations in history and I could go on for hours showing why, but my point is that the Obama administration has offered nothing different (besides health reform, granted) and has in fact continued nearly every single Bush program. Obama has almost the same political donors and thus has the same pressures as Bush did. Health reform will turn out to be the most expensive and destructive waste of tax payer money ever. I just wish I could offer a better alternative for other frustrated people, but I can’t and those that think that the tea partiers are the future, remember that Sarah Palin is an important figure to them.

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  12. Wall Street reform is not going to fail because of obstructionist Republicans.It is not going to fail because of incompetent leadership by Senator Dodd. It will however fail. It will fail because our Legislators are sold out before they ever get to Washington. They owe their existence to the people that paid their way to office, and that ain’t us.

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  15. For me it isn’t that people are “paid what they are worth” so much as the systemic over-valuation of the work performed. How is it possible, with massive layoffs and downsize–the market awash with employees–that compensation continues to increase? These bankers are the same folks who advise corporate management . . . doesn’t such a practice call into question the validity of the advice? Lastly, could it be that the “bonus pool” is a third lower this year than previously because of “supply” being taken out of the market? That is to say, since Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearn, and Lehman, no longer “exist” the bonus pool dropped because of fewer employees?

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  17. Sara Miller says:

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  22. […] SHOCK: Democrats’ Ecnomic Policies “Non-Starters?” […]

  23. avery says:

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