It seems to me…
Several years ago, a popular bumper sticker recommended
‘Subvert the Dominant Paradigm‘.
This probably is worthwhile advice for anyone elected to a political office.
I frequently have lambasted politicians of all stripes for their refusal to address the problems facing our country – and I strongly believe this criticism to be totally justified. In their defense, admitting the extent and source of what is required to turn our economy around would be political suicide.
- The general public has not been told the extent of our problems, the origin of these problems, what we need to do turn our economy around, or what the most probable results if we do not act to correct these problems.
- The general public prefers to not know the truth and if told, most likely would reject much of what they where told.
- The general public believes everything can be solved by taking a simple pill and does not require any pain or sacrifice by them.
The public want the easy fix and any politician desiring to be reelected seems all too willing to tell them what they want to hear. When elected to a position of public trust, intellectual dishonesty is immoral and should be as unacceptable as a violation of the law.
Part of the difficulty is that effective solutions to our economic problems are to an extent logically counterintuitive. It is similar to telling someone that to go left; they have to go right. To slow down; they have to speed up. Perhaps the best way to explain it is to remind everyone of the old adage – when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
I have very little sympathy for elected officials that painted themselves into a corner in order to get elected and now feel obligated by those campaign promises to take positions not in the best interest of our country. We need compromises on raising the debt limit, balancing our budget, and other important issues – not ideological rigidity. Anyone not able to act in our country’s best interest does not belong in a position of responsibility.
The Bush administration assumed the Presidency with a budget surplus. They promptly cut taxes rather than using that surplus to reduce the national debt. They then started two wars in which we are still involved. Instead of increasing taxes to cover the cost of these wars, they again reduced taxes. When they found themselves in a hole, they continued digging deeper.
Now we are in a very deep in that hole. Instead of trying to climb out, the political rhetoric is to deny the hole and demand the area surrounding the hole come down to the level inside it. And what seems bizarre is that everyone seems to be buying this argument. No where but in politics is it possible to accept insanity and declare it normal.
Isn’t it more logical to return to what was working before digging that hole? Role back the two Bush tax reductions and approve an across the board tax increase to cover the cost of the wars.
The recent recession is no longer a problem. What we need to be concerned about is the way our politicians are reacting to what continues to be a lengthy recovery. They have chosen to use what is in reality an easily treated malady as an excuse to force an expensive, dangerous quack remedy down our nation’s throat. Further tax cuts, which originally got us into this problem, will not cure this slowdown; it will undermine our long-run fiscal health[i].
I do not wish to come across as some dogmatic iconoclast. Preferably, I hope to present a sufficiently pervasive antithesis to the currently prevalent conservative ideology and present a plan able to sustain an economic recover and construct a foundation for future growth: ‘Subvert the Dominant Paradigm‘.
That’s what I think, what about you?
[i] Krugman, Paul. The Great Unraveling, W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 2003, p62.