Friday, October 17, 2008

Both parties are so similar, it really doesn't matter who you vote for, right? WRONG.

On both the right and the left, there are people who feel it doesn't matter what happens Nov. 4, that the Obama and McCain campaigns are just puppet sideshows, that their corporate masters will continue to pull the strings, so you might as well vote for Barr, or Nader, or write in Mickey Mouse.

Writing in Common Dreams, Ira Chernus summed up some reasons why this is wrong.
There's no mystery about it. Republican economic policy aims, above all, to protect the interests of the very rich. They make nearly all their money from investments. Inflation is their greatest enemy, because it eats up the profits they expect from their investment. So Republicans regularly throw the economy into recession. Lots of people lose their jobs, which means wages go down, which means inflation stays low.

That's why we had major recessions during the first Reagan administration, the George H.W. Bush administration, and the current Bush administration. Republicans are happy to see the middle class and the poor suffer, as long as they damp down inflation to protect the rich.

On top of that, of course, the GOP gives massive tax cuts to the rich, much larger than the Democrats. That runs up budget deficits. With government having to borrow huge sums, there's more competition for investment capital, so interest rates go up. Working people have to pay more on their mortgages and credit cards, but the rich get better returns on their investments.
Avedon Carol is known for her pithy and pointed barbs she appends to links she posts in The Sideshow. But every once in awhile, she's just had it and lets fly a full-fledged rant. A recent classic was about how Republicans are always worse for the economy than Democrats. It began with some useful links to the data.
Every time I post a link to an article about how the Republicans are always worse for the economy than Democrats, people seem surprised to learn this fact. I've been pushing this since I started blogging, which is why I was so pleased back in 2002 when Dwight Meredith started doing his series on his old P.L.A. blog comparing the relative economic performance of Republicans and Democrats - so pleased that I decided it should all be aggregated on a single page
But that was just for openers. The heart of the matter:
The Republicans always have a lot of "responsible"-sounding reasons why they are better for the economy, but honestly, they are lies. The Republicans don't want to help "families", they don't want to help you avoid moral hazard, they don't want you to do your best and try to achieve, they don't care whether their policies hurt you.

Their end game isn't to make you a harder-working and better person, it's to avoid having to show you any respect. They don't respect you and they don't want to have to pretend they do. They want you to show them deference and they know you won't do that if you feel like a free person in a free society who doesn't have to take crap from some petty tyrant who thinks you should feel honored to kiss his ring. Republicans are pissed off because it's so hard to get good help these days - help that knows they are just the help, that knows their place, that uses the servants' entrance and calls them "sir" and doesn't question them. A strong middle-class - that is, a secure workforce - gets bolshy and tells abusive employers to bugger off, and the ruling class doesn't like that.

Which is why Alan Greenspan, secure himself in the knowledge that Ronald Reagan et al. had already severely weakened the middle-class to the point where they could actually say this stuff out loud, publicly stated that he regarded it as his job to increase economic insecurity. Your economic insecurity.
In less troubled times the old cliché that you should "vote as if your life depends on it" may be a bit of an well-meaning exaggeration. But these are not normal times, and clichés become clichés for a reason. This time, your life definitely does depend on it.

1 comment:

Bud Diablo, crossover voter said...

Here's a capsule summary of the post for your readers to print out and take along to the polls.

REPUBLICANS
1) Masssive tax breaks for the very rich;
2) OK with them that middle-class and poor folks suffer;
3) Don't respect you;
4) Throw US economy into deep recessions.

DEMOCRATS
1) No gigantic tax breaks for super rich;
2) Party of everyday people and the downtrodden;
3) Respect you;
4) Against recessions which cause lower wages and job loss.

This really does throw it into stark relief. The choice is so clear that the Democrats really ought to be garnering the kinds of majorities that Breshnev did in the USSR--on the order of 98%.