Failure to Communicate

I keep reading about moderates, conservatives, and liberals. But these words describe positions bounded by social policy. The real key is the candidates positions on political economy: how will the power of the state be used to tax, how will the state pay for its services and programs, how will the state fund its regulations and quality of life; how will the state exercise oversight of its billions in budget, how will it safeguard corruption, into whose hands will these billions fall? How will the state direct the private economy? How will the state provide for the general welfare?

Whether moderate, conservative, or liberal, anyone can be greedy. Examine the economic positions, see how the money flows.

The Wrong Beat

Daily, John Boehner posts on twitter the opposite and dishonest view that “uncertainty” or “deficits” “prevent” “job creators” from creating jobs–while never mentioning weak, non-existent demand, that large corporations are showing year on end record profits, that capital has its own instruments of wealth and its growth is not tied to labor (why should it be when our savings are available for almost free!), or explaining why his party wants to lease the Ohio turnpike, sell Wisconsin’s utilities, roll back workers rights, and in ME remove child labor restrictions.

How will these actions prime the economy or close the largest gap of income and wealth ever witnessed in US history? No one in the GOP offers charts or numbers to say. Their entire policy is built on blame and blind faith. Their agenda is to exploit democracy to consolidate power and privatize the public sector economy and its revenue and tax authority. Recession doesn’t affect the rich or their paid minions. It is totally incorrect to believe that elected Republicans care about the country as they mislead the rank and file.


Booming Sāo Paulo (Photo by marcos_leal on Flickr / Creative Commons)

Occam’s razor cuts both ways. Attention is riveted on the Euro-crisis, made worse by unsound policy that threatens to implode several countries. But it’s a good time to look away to countries that have high debt and taxes and are annually increasing their GNP and quality of life (wages, education, healthcare services, women’s equality) without an austerity program–or anything close to it.

The examples are close to home. Our neighbors to the south. Brazil, at number 7 in the world, along with 5 other South American countries ranked in the world’s top 45 economies, despite widespread corruption, labor inefficiencies, high taxes, poor infrastructure and trade barriers, are moving their citizens out of poverty, expanding wages and safety nets, and attracting investment. The “failed” policies that bear the brunt of GOP blame are meeting with spectacular success around the globe.

Despite large salaries and dedicated resources, US media fails to cover these countries in our backyard. The GOP fails to take note of their sustained success. The real failure is that the GOP can’t find a success that fits its warped ideology. In India, China, and throughout Southern Asia and Africa, not a single country with sustained growth has cut taxes and safety nets, abandoned infrastructure, underfunded education, neglected nutritional support for children. Nor have these countries created an internal neo-colonial model that uses democracy to transfer the entire economy into private hands. Local populations in Paraguay, Brazil, and Colombia have offered fierce resistance to protect land and resources.

Brazil’s economy posted 7.5% growth in 2010 over the previous year, recording the fastest pace of expansion since 1986.

The world has a strong resonance with the Occupy movement. In purpose, numbers, and vision, it dwarfs the Tea Party. It never gives the word, “failed.” a mike check. Not in any of the languages spoken in the more than 150 cities around the world that see tyranny in the consolidation of power and capital in the hands of an unresponsive few.

Look “Ya-ward” (Within Yourself)

In the current domestic climate, the world beyond the US is seen as laden with threats. Islamists, terrorists, rebel armies, socialists, militarists lurk in every corner. They wait to destroy American interests. We must be armed to the teeth! We must support tyrants who love us and serve as our proxies. We must tamp down freedom before its gets out of hand. So goes the scenario painted by the collective candidates.

It is telling that the business leaders and job makers who seek higher office only cite “fails” at home without putting forth any models of success abroad that America can learn from. How is it all of America’s failures are domestic and none seem to stretch across national borders? In the meantime, Brazil is first in farm products, Germany sustains high-end manufacturing, China revs up domestic consumption, African countries create infra-structure contracts and joint ventures, Asian countries have satellite high tech industries, the Philippines has call centers, and the US has turned strangely inward.

Bain & Co. identifies 8 emerging trends: the next billion consumers; new investments in old infrastructure; militarization following industrialization; growing output of primary products; greater investments in education and skills training; higher healthcare spending; soft innovations in consumer products; and new technologies.

But our economic plans call for strengthening the rich and living in fear on the empty promise of less.

In the mean while, the emerging trends will create a cool $27 trillion in new wealth.

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published Monday, November 14, 2011 at Southern Perlo.

Walter Rhett

Walter Rhett

Walter Rhett attended Ohio State University and writes from Charleston, SC. He writes about national and global affairs with an eye on southern history and culture in Southern Perlo.  Perlo is a rice dish, handed down by tradition, shared by all; carefully crafted, loaded with local bounty to extend and enhance its value and taste. Perlo: African one pot rice, filled with tradition and life.