Mantras and social conservative core values won't produce a single private sector job. Yet somehow the Republicans maintain the mantle of business acumen and get away with highway robbery by playing on their audience's naiveté. And those among us with no business background defer to them. Wrong answer!
So-called conservatives also like to throw out all kinds of economics pablum picked up in some cutely illustrated paperback to justify their ruinous policies. I have said this before and it's always worth repeating: I do not want to pay taxes. But then there is reality. Take the Laffer curve or, as my old antitrust economics professor Dr. John M. Kuhlman has termed it: the "laugher" curve. Sum up the idea: lower taxes will produce more tax revenue. Actually, greater economic activity will produce more tax revenue even with lower taxes. More investment will produce greater economic activity and/or more skilled labor will increase productivity. Any combination of either of those will increase the tempo of economic activity. But lower taxes will not ensure greater investment any more than it will ensure better wages and better wages do not ensure a more skilled work force. Lower taxes might result in higher dividends or bonuses for executives, making it all an economic wash. Nothing is certain. But in microeconomics, the source of the simplistic models and which has nothing much to do with the macroeconomic behavior attributed, just about everything is held certain other than two variables. Then they march some career public servant, some unaccomplished heir, or talk radio host out as the spokesperson for capitalist theory. I'm not laffing.
Nor is it reassuring to know that many of us who need to be armed to defend ourselves against these half baked ideas and outright lies are unaware beyond the intuition that tells us we are being taken for a ride. You see, there are other ways to wring profits out of the model: lower labor costs. Lower labor costs can even overcome increased numbers of workers required to make up for the loss of skilled labor. Never believe for a moment that the power behind the Republican leadership believed a word of the message about controlling the borders. Never take at face value the assertions being made about the private sector just because the proof source is membership in the Got Ours Party.
Unions are the biggest threat to these lies. Unions are the biggest target of these interests. They offer a source of education and a defense against them. They offer the opportunity to ensure that the fire sale of American capital achievement is halted by stopping the devaluation of labor. I remember sitting around after lunch or during breaks and listening to the discussions between members and stewards in a union shop. They provided a countervailing perspective on the issues in the shop, the company, and in the world. And that is one reason why Taliban Bob wants a constitutional amendment to guaranty the "Right to Work." If you don't understand business or economics, you look to wring out the most obvious variable in the business: labor. McDonnell neither understands business, economics, nor labor. Or if he does, he is even the more nefarious a character.
I suppose "Right to Work" would be inserted right after "Right to Life."
"The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water."
John W. Gardner, Secretary of HEW under JFK and author of "Excellence."
Cross posted at Blue Virginia