The missing middle

Outsourcing-offshoring-resized

Outsourcing-offshoring-resized (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The middle is missing in both our economy and in our politics. One is linked to the other and that is the problem. Both must be restored to correct the changes that have occurred over the past 30+ years. The middle class must be revived in an economy polarized between the rich and the poor, the 1% and the 99%. The polarization between the Right and the Left, Democrat and Republican, must also be lessened so that compromise is again possible. Without a vibrant middle class and political compromise, our democracy will fail. It is showing signs of failing now.

Outsourcing and offshoring jobs lead to a temporary increase in profits which finds approval on Wall Street. Over a period of years, outsourcing and offshoring destroy the middle class and reduce the number of customers who can afford American-made products. As the middle class shrivels away, we are left with the rich and the relatively poor, the 1% and the 99%, and that leads to political polarization. And political polarization leads to government policies favoring the wealthy at the expense of everyone else.

My solution to the problem is twofold: much higher taxes on the 1% and government policies discouraging outsourcing and offshoring. It is current government policies which have encouraged the outsourcing and offshoring of jobs that have decimated the middle class and led to our current polarized politics. If current government policies have done that, they can and must be reversed. Confiscatory tax levels for the 1% will dampen their desire to monopolize the fruits of the economy. Some might even desire to emulate Gérard Depardieu of France and seek Russian citizenship to escape high taxes. Let them.

Fathers and sons

Romney

Romney (Photo credit: Talk Radio News Service)

Mitt’s father, George Romney, failed to win the GOP nomination in 1968 for two main reasons: he did not endorse Goldwater in 1964 and he said that he had been “brainwashed” about Vietnam. In 1964, Romney was a stronger supporter of civil rights than Goldwater was and that led to his refusal to endorse Goldwater. It was a standing joke in Washington during the LBJ presidency that LBJ was “brainwashing” everyone about Vietnam. The brainwashing comment was not meant seriously, but it haunted the Romney candidacy.

George Romney was a moderate-to-liberal member of the GOP, and he was somewhat to the left of where President Obama is now.The Democratic Party then contained a wide variety of political views, but the dominant view then was further to the left of George Romney. If he had been elected in 1968, I think that George would have been a good president, certainly much better than Richard Nixon.

Mitt Romney shares few, if any, of his father’s political strengths, and he lacks his father’s honesty and decency. Like many father/son rivalries of the past, Mitt wanted to equal or surpass his father’s achievements, but lacked his father’s abilities. We have just lived through eight years produced by the father/son rivalry between George H W Bush and George W Bush. George H W Bush was an average president; George W was a terrible president. With the results of their example still affecting millions around the world, we must avoid repeating it with the Romney father and son rivalry.

Whither education?

English: Citizens registered as an Independent...

English: Citizens registered as an Independent, Democrat or Republican. Derived from :Image:Party affiliation USA.jpg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why does the Right criticize education so much? IMHO, because teachers are unionized and presumably vote Democratic rather than Republican. Also the purpose of education is to teach people to think and become good citizens. The GOP does not want thinking citizens who may not support the Republican agenda.

Making a mark

Atlas sculpture, New York City, by sculptor Le...

Atlas sculpture, New York City, by sculptor Lee Lawrie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am earning my stripes and making a mark; I was just called a liberal socialist by a blogger on the right. I will wear those names proudly and refer others on the right to my poem:

I am not a Marxist

I am not a Marxist.
Barack is not one too.
Call us socialists if you will
Labels do not matter
To those who care
Or to those who care to think.
To a good Christian or Muslim
Charity is a necessity.
Fairness, not charity, is what we seek
Putting the needy before the greedy
Is our program and our creed
Doing right for the many
Not right for the Right few
It is time to put our differences
To the side and be done
The Founding Fathers gave us more than they received
Let us emulate their vision and their wisdom
We can/must advance the cause of freedom and equality
Both here and abroad
Let us lead by example
Not by force and bluster
We can make the US number one again
In the hearts of all mankind.

George Lakoff contends that statements have more power if worded positively rather using a negative to refute a charge. However, I like my poem as written.

I will soon begin a chore that I have been postponing for some time, reading The Portable Karl Marx and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. The two books total 1741 pages and weigh between 4 and 5 pounds, a chore to carry. However, I must. I doubt that many or any who berate Barack and the Democrats have read either book. I find that I learn more if I read two or more books on a subject at a time. I am reading Saul Alinsky at this time with comments to follow soon. Fortunately his two books are slim.

Lies, all lies

The red "GOP" logo used by the party...

The red “GOP” logo used by the party for its website (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mitt Romney and the leaders of the GOP are lying 24/7. All lies all the time. It is going far beyond the usual electioneering distortion.  Rather than bothering to respond, Democratic candidates can just deny whatever the GOP say unless they can prove what they say. In other words, they are guilty until proven innocent. A reversal of American principle, but true to life at this time.

What truly worries me is that we might elect Mitt and a Congressional majority of  Republicans. Their lies won’t stop at our borders and on election day. What will foreign leaders think of our new leaders, if we elect Mitt and company? They will be unwilling to trust the leadership of the US to tell them the truth.