Monday, March 4, 2013

The Grand and Beautiful Free Market Unicorn: Why Republicans Have to Lie

The free market unicorn is so pretty.  It is so nice to talk about and dream about.  We muse on our lives in its glorious presence.  Its radioactive glowing blood has magical powers that will save us from the dark forest.  It sounds great, and I guess it feels so good to cling to, but sorry, she doesn’t exist.
Some guy much smarter than me wrote this awhile back, musing on the building of the Barclay Center in downtown Brooklyn, as they dynamited underground endlessly:

All I could think of as I looked straight ahead at the informal Tea Party gathering in my shop, was of vermin:  rats.  Thousands of rats, of all sizes; from mouse-like, to dog-sized, running, running - in all directions - set free from their concrete caves, from the sewers, from the subway tunnels.  Set free by the vibrations under the street, from the booming artificial thunder; set free by the blasts of progress.  Rats set free to run wild, to venture everywhere their curiosity takes them, to explore new territories, new markets, to infest and overwhelm; just as the booming progress has set free the hoards of new Capitalists in places like China and Russia, to run boundless and careless in search of new opportunities.  They cut corners and find these new markets everywhere:  contaminating babies’ milk with carcinogens to boost the protein levels; infesting drywall with lethal formaldehyde; laying radioactive waste to towns and villages for forever-and-a-half-life, in setting up their factories; killing and maiming untold generations, while tallying their precious profits in the billions.  A loaf of bread loaded with plaster of paris; a severed finger in a can of beans:  Ahh, the rugged frontier of new Capitalism.  We’d already been there and done that in this country generations ago.

There is no free market, at least not in the way that Republicans claim it exists.  When did you ever hear this free market shit before, when Bush was president?  It wasn’t important back then?  Bush was such a fucking capitalist?  No, it’s nothing but a manufactured attack.  If you’re not a capitalist, you cannot really be an American, and thus, Obama is not really an American.

Even if somehow the great free market actually exists, and it solves all of our social and economic problems (and raises all ships….god I hate that expression), who in the hell understands its function and can tell us how long we have to wait?  Let’s say a market correction will actually solve all of our problems.  How long will it take?  Six months?  10 years?  50 years?
Management expert Ed Deming, (link) decades ago, proved that Government cooperation (along with valuing people, and a host of other management points) breeds success.  Even Adam Smith, the guy who you’d think would be the godfather of free market enforcement, said the following in The Wealth of Nations:

Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to, only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer. What improves the circumstances of the greater part can never be regarded as an inconveniency to the whole.  No society can surely be flourishing and happy of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.
The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities.
Yes, Adam Smith; and he knew a little more about this subject than say, Rand Paul or Ted Cruz.
Walmart is a wonderful example of a free market gone amok.  Their ads are quite accurate:  they do indeed have the lowest prices around.  But somebody has to bear the weight of that floor, and it is most certainly their workers, both direct employees and their abused contract labor.
Walmart generally pays its employees a wage that necessitates their employees utilize government assistance.  I believe this is built into their business model:  they count on the government to, in effect, subsidize their wages paid to employees.  It’s almost like the local government is giving them a continuing tax break-type incentive to keep them in the area, as part of the vital tax base, and as a job provider.  Like a partnership built on a wink and a nod…and a round of golf.
I’m waiting for Walmart to lower their hourly wages to $2.25, and pretend their employees collect tips.  Why not try it?  Oh, the market won’t bear it??  That’s actually beneath people’s acceptable floor for wages?
This brings me to my final point.  Let us concede for a moment that the free market really does exist in this country.  Nobody understands it well enough to predict its function.  How do we know what type of cycles and sub-cycles actually exist within this great American free market?  Perhaps labor unions and government regulations are all part of the free market, a pendulum swing response to the quest for self that characterizes the job providers’ and business owners’ mentality and is positive and morally right in our capitalist society.
If the job creators and business owners are in a perpetual and morally right quest for self-enrichment, aren’t we all as humans in this same quest?  We own the means to provide our labor, and we look out for ourselves, banding together when necessary, for our own personal protection and advancement.  It’s only natural, especially when our opponent is by definition in a quest for his own riches and not at all looking out for us.

Yeah, we are all Americans.   The Kenyan included.
Certainly minorities and various classes of people were mistreated historically in this country.  This time around, though, even middle class white people are branded dogshit.  Wow.
GOP:  We see through your bullshit.   Stop fucking around.  We are all humans and equal to you.  Get over it and do your job!

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