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Sunday, March 11, 2012

I make the gravy

Someone has to make the gravy and someone has to eat the gravy. I don’t have a problem making gravy I don’t get to eat. When I have to make the gravy and pay for the gravy I do have a problem. That is the deal the middle class is being offered today in America. We get to do all the work and pay all the bills. The elite, the rich and politically connected have always been parasitic, most of the time capitalist society can support the parasitic with its surplus and still give the 99% a comfortable living. There has traditionally been a tipping point, unfortunately, it has to become really bad before reaching that tipping point. The elite never see it coming because they don’t feel it, someone with 30 million dollars will not notice that gas is $100 a gallon or bread is $30 a loaf. High consumer prices make no difference to them, they already spend $1,000 for a pair of shoes or $25,000 for a wrist watch. This has always been the case for the 1%, they don’t go hungry or die from a treatable disease. As always the elites have had success at keeping the masses from organizing or allowing any alternate ideas to surface, we are confused and disorganized. The mass media has been used by their owners to present information that keeps us confused and disorganized, and this turns out to be financially profitable for the owners of the mass media. The right wing media adds anger to the confused and disorganized which earns them bonus points from their owners. This is why it has to get so bad before the tipping point is reached.
There is no secret cabal, no international organization controlling the masses. The elites are organized but not that organized. If there was a secret master plan, a star chamber, some individual elite would see a potential advantage in making it public or fighting it. This has been tried many times and has always failed because of human nature. At best a secret plan can only happen at a local level with a very small number of elites for a short period of time. Social systems lose their balance because of human nature, the beneficiaries get fat and comfortable and there is no motivation for those in control to change anything. The system just slowly rots from the core. When the tipping point comes there is little left to stop it. The assassination of a single Duke in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 started World War 1 and ended a 1,000 years of monarchies.
Yes, I am on a rant today and no I do not believe we are near a tipping point, we are still far from any tipping point. Over my life time I have seen a decline in the middle class, there is less upward mobility for my children than there was for me. Currently there is no plan to improve our society, and our politicians have empty slogans about saving the future or returning our greatness. Market tested words without any meaning or with any meaning you wish. The plan is to keep doing what has caused the decline. Our leaders make much of threats which do not exist while ignoring the very real threats we do face. I think most people buy this because there is nothing else for sale. The ½% of the population that is always discontented has grown to maybe 20%, not a good sign. The Tea Party has become a parking place for discontented Republicans without losing the Republican votes and the OWS movement hasn’t been able to organize or get funded. At this point if either group does make a difference it will be a net negative but likely neither group will make any real difference. That a larger percentage of the population is demanding better is a meaningful metric. Something will replace the Tea Party and OWS, people will continue to look for a better answer. Things will get better because of the competition, and the competition is the rest of the world.
While we have spent 30 years chasing the failed dream of a financial utopia of the perfect free market, the rest of the world has been practicing real world capitalism. We are the only nation using the supply side market theory. I think the middle class has lost ground in America, if I lived in China or the Netherlands I would feel the middle class has gained ground. My parents saw us move from Biplanes to a moon rocket, in my life one of the most successful capitalist societies is communist, I never saw that coming. There is no reason to think this rate of change will not continue. We may be moving backward but the rest of the world is moving forward. The Republican’s plan to make things better is by making things worst. Since governance is incompetent the logic says we need less governance. If this works so well why are the nations with the best performance using a different plan? Why are nations that used to look to America as the template are no longer listening to us? Before you point to our President or the 2008 Democratic legislature explain why this was happening in 2004. If the Supply Side theory is correct we should be floating in good jobs and everyone should be rich, so where are the jobs and why are we broke? We have deregulated, reduced taxes and even the Republicans acknowledge that this hasn’t worked, we just need more and it will magically start to work. Really?
Political gridlock is the best government for business, the Chinese do not have a process for political gridlock and their economy has outperformed for more than 20 years. Singapore avoids political gridlock and they have outperformed for more than 20 years. I can name a dozen examples of nations without political gridlock that are succeeding. I cannot find one example of a country with political gridlock that is even breaking even. Iraq has political gridlock, how well is that going?
We question evolutionary theory, and we question global warming, because they are just theories. We are not allowed to question supply side theory; especially using facts, if I can’t question supply side is it really a theory or is it a statement of faith?  I propose that the economic supply side theory is wrong based on the results of the last 30 years we have been practicing it. I would suggest that we use the best practices of the countries that have a record of success. They use a little bit of many economic theories, using what works and reviewing the results.

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