Thoughts from the Presidential Primaries: The American People Demand Change
Can't Tax Us to Prosperity, Can't Be Prosperous by Making the Rich Richer
January 3, 2008
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By: Dave Rogers
Goldilocks has her "not too hot or cold" economy, but we worry about the three bears she chummed around with.
Sitting here in mid-Michigan with a wonderland of snow outside on 2 January 2007, one thing is very clear: the American people are demanding change.
It's just about noon and Larry Kudlow has just stated on the stock channel "we need to keep the Goldilocks economy" as he groped for a Presidential candidate who would perpetuate the myth that this economy is solid and preservable.
The words were no more out of his mouth than another commentator proclaimed an omen of doom: Oil just hit $100 a barrel for the first time in history.
I had visions of a robed sheik driving a huge stake through the pathetic heart of poor little Goldilocks.
The Goldilocks economy, of course, is like her bowl of porridge "not too hot, not too cold, but just right."
Other thoughts, perhaps imponderables, are emerging from the Iowa and New Hampshire political circuses:
1-The conservative adage is undoubtedly true that you can't tax the country into prosperity.
On the other hand it's eminently clear that . . .
2-The country won't achieve widespread prosperity by making rich people richer.
Financial gurus on TV were carping about John Edwards the morning of 2 January. They made light of the fact that Edwards seeks to control corporate profits, even executive salaries, while he lives in a mansion and gets $400 haircuts. "Limousine liberal," they scoffed appropriately, noting that Edwards got rich suing the very corporations he now attacks.
Fair criticism, and probably why Barack Obama, not Edwards or Hillary Clinton, appears to be ahead of the Democratic race in Iowa. And why Mike Huckabee, not Mitt Romney, leads the Republican pack.
But Edwards is providing ideas that the American people desperately want about the conduct of their government and the effects of the corporate culture on their lives.
Can you hear the echo from Dwight D. Eisenhower's warning about the dangers of the military-industrial complex?
It all seems to be clearer now, as the primary process proceeds, that Iowa and New Hampshire are a horse race of ideas as much as men and women running for the Presidency.
Something has to happen "on the bottom end," the financial wizards opined. "The bottom end," I take it, are the vast unwashed middle classes who don't have million dollar incomes, trust funds or own hedge funds.
People who work for a living, apparently, are "the bottom end" in the lexicon of the financial elites.
Yes, something has to happen to restore the jobs and self respect of working class America. All our jobs have moved to China and elsewhere in the world and while it's wonderful to share there has to be some balance.
Balance, that's what the American people are demanding.
As youngsters growing up in a Catholic community on the West Side of Bay City, we were urged, nay coerced, into giving our pennies and nickles "for the starving children in China."
Wow, how hollow does that ring 60 years later!
The proverbial shoe is on the other foot as the United States almost begs China to ease up on their currency imbalance and allow even a shred of fair trade to allow us to breathe economically.
This will be a year of change, and perhaps, if the smoke signals from Iowa and New Hampshire are any indication, a watershed year like 1932 when Franklin D. Roosevelt swept out Herbert Hoover and the supporters of the financial status quo.
Candidates who came up from poverty in Arkansas like Huckabee and obscurity, like Obama from south Chicago, not those with silver spoons on their high chairs, seem to have caught the favor of the "bottom end."
And, when the shouting is over, the "bottom end" has the votes.
Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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