Thursday, June 30, 2011

Qui Tacit Consentit

Republicans keep saying the same thing, over and over, until you hear it from enough people, often enough, and it becomes conventional wisdom. You hear it for long enough, it becomes dogma.

We cannot spend money we do not have.
We are wrecking our children's future.
We have to manage our government the way you manage your home budget.
We have to bring these unions under control. (They are undeserving, do not work, and are looking for a free hand out.)

The Democrats, rather than responding directly to these sophisms, ignore them as if they have no power to persuade and float benign, politically correct responses like, "We all have to pull together." Or, "We are for freedom and opportunity."  Or, "We have to take a balanced approach."

A balanced approach? What does that mean?

The man who is too timid to offend, I would submit, is too timid to lead.

Let's just say what we mean:

1/ We cannot spend money we do not have. True. Oh, so true. So let's get us some more money. Tax the rich. The tax cuts for the rich were supposed to be temporary, for the good, flush times. Now the rich, having feasted on that windfall are not content to say, "Thanks for all the good times." They want the good times made permanent. A permanent free pass for the rich. Need to balance the budget, ask the middle class for the cash. We got ours.

2/ "We," are wrecking our children's future. Not "we" rich boy, you.

3/ The home budget:  When your expenses out strip your income, you look for ways to increase your income. Yes, cut expenses, but get more money in. There's two side to a ledger sheet, You remember that, right? You are the part of big business. Ledger sheets? Remember?

4/ Oh, those unions.  Yep, unions probably do make things cost more. Union cops do aggravate us by doing things which look like they don't care about getting a job done, but they do care about how little they can do and get paid unreasonably high wages for it.

No more glaring example is the state trooper who insists he needs to be flashing lights and waving cars by construction sites at $75 an hour and getting his pension padded because he has worked at jobs like this. 

But, the fact is, most unions aren't like that. Most of the union jobs are and have been held by hard working people who built this country and built the strongest industrial base in the world.  What destroyed the unions and the companies which employed them was the absence of a national health care system, so the unions had to do that for the active workers and the retirees and then the unions took the blame because it was the health care benefits which really tipped the American auto industry over the brink.

Of course, the other half of the story was the failure of the auto executives to do an even halfway adequate job for all the money they were being paid.  American auto execs failed to put into place quality controls, failed to cultivate a market for the kinds of cars which made the Japanese and failed to compete with the Japanese who built their own factories by identifying what was best about the American system and eliminating what did not work.

So there you have it: Let's fail and blame somebody else, from government to private enterprise.

The road to failure. The path to perdition. The American Way.


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