Confession of a Former [Fiscal] Republican
Sure. The title of this article is a bit of a spoiler, but it cuts right to the heart of the matter. Having grown up career-wise during the Go-Go 80’s and the eBoom 90’s, it was a fairly simple decision — or so I thought. Our newly formed information and services-based economy was blossoming in the bright sunlight of Reagan’s deregulation-based trickle down theories and further nourished by Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America that promised lower taxes, smaller government, welfare reform, and a focus on entrepreneurial growth; and I was benefitting big-time. As such, how could I not deify the “founders of my personal feast”?
However, like many I failed to see or feel outside of my own skin. I didn’t realize that while my friends and colleagues were riding this unending (or so we thought) wave of prosperity, so many others were being left on the beach or, worse yet, drowning in the undertow. If we had only widened our scope of understanding, perhaps we would have seen it and acted. But alas, it is a behavioral near-certainty that those doing poorly tend to look at the big picture in search of a way out, while those doing well are laser focused on their own [prosperous] wellbeing; living in the moment and for that next big moment. It is the irresistible call of the Alpha, and the inescapable caste of the pack; proof once more that we are not as evolved as we believe.
Fast forward to 2012 and the current mantra of the Republican Party. They tell us that the way forward is to unleash the beast; the exact same beast that while leashed has been devouring and continues to devour the 99%. That we must deregulate banking and industry even further, lower taxes on the wealthy, and further expand the globalization of our economy through new free trade agreements. They claim that if we let them do this, without any incentives whatsoever, that not just jobs, but good paying jobs will be created. Unfortunately, the would-be leaders offering up these solutions are the same people that have taken full advantage of the new global economy to ship jobs offshore, most often on ships carrying with them their personal wealth as to shelter it from U.S. taxation. These same people have seen their wealth increase greatly in the years since the economy melted down while unemployment soared over 10% and the mean length of unemployment doubled to 40 weeks. Who in their right mind would believe such promises when the very recent actions of the promise-makers point to the exact opposite outcome? Do the Republicans believe that we have we simply lost all ability to reason? Worse yet – have we? I guess we’ll find out come November.