Many years ago I saved back part of a post from the website dailykos. Most of you are familiar with dailykos. There are some incredibly smart folks there. Unfortunately I did not keep the link to this particular post just the snippet. That doesn’t lessen the point that is made. The total post was discussing Hurricane Wilma and its economic effects on Florida in 2005. Here is the excerpt:
“The reality of Reaganomics and its successors is that they have been a policy, first of burning through savings, then burning through credit, and successively carrying less and less insurance on the whole economy. That is effectively what a liberal government is – a vast insurance company, which converts the national advantage of infinite time arbitrage and recapture transparency into the ability to spread risk. The government is the buyer, seller, borrower, lender and insurer of last resort. The analogy is similar to the kernel in UN*X – sooner or later, you must talk to a single tasking process that makes decisions about how to balance competing demands for resources.”
As noted in the post a liberal government acts basically as a vast insurance company. Much like the wise family puts money away for things that they know will be coming in their life instead of spending it all today for a good time.
Liberals ran the government of the US for the middle of the 20th century, after conservative policies led to one of the greatest depressions of all time. During the time that liberals ran the government, many insurance type programs were set up to address problems that were too large for individual families and were too risky for so-called market solutions.
What kinds of problems have been addressed? Well, most notably the problems that beset people who live past their working years and have no income. Most folks leading up to the Great Depression (often referred to as the Republican Depression) could not save enough for a retirement. When their bodies wore out, that was the end of their income. They couldn’t provide for themselves, nor were their families able to help them. Thus Social Security was born, acting as an insurance of the whole against the ravages of old age.
Other insurance type programs followed – unemployment insurance, Medicare for older folks who would no longer be able to get health insurance in the market place. Things like farm crop insurance to help farmers through times of extreme weather, flood insurance, bank deposit insurance, and FEMA to help bring in resources local governments don’t have access to in times of disaster.
So like mature people should, liberal government has set up savings and insurance programs to address things that we know will happen, we just don’t know when. The most recent example of liberals setting up an insurance type program is for national health because market solutions were not even coming close to addressing the problem. So, while the actual program was flawed in the making of the legislation, it is still a good start in an attempt to prepare for what we know will happen to every citizen in a logical and timely manner.
I am proud to be a liberal. We have also approached other problems within society with the same steady, logical approach, from discrimination to environment.
George W. Bush and his economic policy of emptying the treasury through radical policies are still fresh in everyone’s memory. Policies such as tax refunds that could have been used to bring down the debt, huge tax cuts for the rich, two unfunded wars, an unfunded mandate on Medicare to pay top dollar for drugs.
The trickle down, so-called market based solutions have put all but the very rich at peril in this country. Instead of paying off our debts (mostly run up by Nixon, Reagan and Bush) George W. decided to run up even huger debts. And he also decided to try like hell to empty the reserves in all the various insurance accounts through various means. We have already discussed how Medicare has been savaged. Understand why we have a “crisis?”
The very rich are the only ones with the resources to pull themselves out any of the many disasters life can throw at us. Can you absorb the cost of a flooded out house or years of drought or the cost of medical care beyond the insurance limit? Liberals have tried to put into practice insurance funds of the whole for those purposes.
Republicans have spent that money like it was their little brother’s piggy bank. They give it to their buddies and spend frivolously on momentary pleasures. As one friend told me “They are like the frat boy his first time away from home. They blow their own money, run through Dad’s credit cards, and borrow money from every friend with no intention to repay. When things get really bad it’s time to burn down the frat house.”
Think really hard about the policies the two parties have pursued since the depression. Democrats have pursued policies to take as much uncertainty out of life as possible, thus leaving citizens free to pursue their interest. Republicans have pursued policies that have flowed treasury monies to their friends and tried to end policies that will take uncertainty out of life. Thus the very rich are much better off and quite free, while the bottom 98% suffer much more uncertainty and see their wages stagnate while prices rise.
Me? I am sticking with the party of true fiscal integrity which helps lead to true personal freedom.