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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Feudalism Redux : Romney's Economic Plan


Barry, My Liege :

Your opponent has taken the trouble to tell us exactly what he would do if elected.

Even though he is not worthy of our trust, let us take him at his word for the nonce.

According to FORTUNE Magazine in its September 3 issue, his plan is presented as a 5 point plan with each point numbered below.

My Liege, how anyone can imagine that the economic travail we experience today can be solved by five overly simplistic mantras is insulting to any thinking person.

Putting that aside, here then are the essential points of the Romney plan, with my comments below.

(1) "Aggressively promote domestic energy development, especially fossil fuels."

Even if we disregard the obvious corruption evidenced in this idea, it is clearly a disastrous public policy for the economy and the environment. Economically, our appetite for foreign oil funds many of our sworn enemies and destroys our economy by inflating our foreign trade deficit.

Our future lies with alternative and renewable energy.

(2) "Expand the market for U.S. goods overseas by negotiating new trade agreements and standing up to China on intellectual-property and currency issues."

It is a good idea to manage trade more effectively. We can give him that.

However, the problem is that our current policies create incentives to offshore and outsource jobs created by American companies. We should focus our policy changes in that area.

We will experience higher demand for our exports when, and only when, the domestic economies of our trading partners become stronger.

(3) "Improve workforce skills by transferring job-training programs to the states and going after teachers' unions, which, he says, stand in the way of school choice and better instruction."

This abomination ties together two disparate canards; each has to be considered separately.

Nearly all job training programs do not result in measurable job gains. The single effective remedy for job loss is to stimulate domestic aggregate demand by raising middle class incomes.

Our current policies do the exact opposite: our policies reduce middle class incomes and transfer incomes and wealth to the super rich monopolists.

The best way to raise middle class incomes is to reverse the trend toward weakening unions. With stronger unions, workers will have an opportunity for a middle class life.

Teachers' unions are not hurting public education; lower tax revenues are hurting public education. The only way to get better public education is to raise tax revenues by raising tax rates or growing the economy.

(4) "Attack the deficit through budget cuts, not tax increases."

Here is the centerpiece in the Romney/Kock plan to return the United States of America to feudal times. The plan is astoundingly simple : loot all funds devoted to middle class and poor people and transfer them to the 'private markets'. Then, lower taxes on rich people and raise them on poor people.

That will solidify our present kleptocratic, oligarchic social structure and reduce the possibility that we may someday return to a Democracy.

Tax cuts do NOT create jobs says the Congressional Research Service [http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/editorials/article/Low-tax-rates-may-not-boost-economy-3872573.php].

(5) "Reshape the regulatory climate to 'encourage and promote small business' rather than swamp it."

That last item, says Fortune, "covers his most consistent and passionate campaign pledge, the repeal of the Affordable Care Act."

I will simply misquote James Carville here : 'The only reason Republicans don't like regulation is the same reason that crooks don't like cops - they can't steal as much.' Apologies to Mr. Carville.

As an additional comment, and as a student of economic thought since 1960, it is my humble opinion that the 'economists' who write this drivel should be forced to disclose both their financial interests and the theoretical foundations of their incoherent rants.

Your faithful servant,

1 comment:


  1. Bev wrote: "I have a question Mike. You know where property tax pays for the schools. Why don't the local school boards collect a tax for all the kids who are renting or their parents are renting to take care of the added costs of education instead of always raising the property tax go by per pupil tax. Those parents with young kids could have more ownership in the schools their kids attend. I don't accept I don't want the value of my homes to go down as the only reason property tax owners pay the full freight on education. I pay $3800 for the five properties we have down here taking care of 17 schools and community colleges and I have no dog in the race. It is difficult to make my elderly renters pay for all of this and just keep paying, but it seems to me that the folks having all the kids could pay their fair share and if they don't have the money support doing maintenance around the schools."

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