For most of them I can "agree to disagree".
However when people cherry pick the framing of the debate to fit their argument AND they can't bear to use the abundant evidence of the "Mission Accomplished Zones" where their theories were implemented to the detriment of their intended beneficiaries - the knowledge that THEY blame the other side for intransigence is even more disturbing.
So is the case with this audio piece from "Tell Me More" on NPR.
Michele Martin of "Tell Me More" brought on the owner of Washington DC's "Busboys And Poets" "Open Mic" restaurant to represent the "small business owners" in the American economy in the context of a debate on the need to RAISE taxes on the rich. Thanks to my subscription to the left-leaning "Link TV" and my weekly consumption of "Book TV" on C-SPAN I know that "Busboys And Poets" is the official stop for any and all "Progressive-Fundamentalist" author and political operative who is passing through the nation's capital and seeks to be in the company of a favorable audience. But I digress.
I am going to take a different strategy with this post.
The transactional route says that this is a debate between "Tax The Rich To Pull This Nation Out Of Its' Fiscal Black Hole - Allowing The Federal Transfer Payments To Remain At The Level That We Are Used To" versus "Keep The Tax Rates Low So That People Can Keep Their Money And Instead Don't Spend The Money That You Don't Have".
As I listened to the debate from the Busboy owner and the guy with a "Please Tax Me" sign stuck to his backside I was drawn back to my recent experiences in Philadelphia in which I made note of the major issue that was never mentioned in the debate. (Two now that I think of it).
Which Is The Great Reservoir For Enduring Prosperity?
One could legitimately argue that this nation has had both politics in place over time.
- A Marginal Progressive Tax Rate At CONFISCATORY levels
- An Economy Based On A Strong Organic Manufacturing Base Around Which Most Of Our Notable Cities Were Built.
The rub against the high tax rate period is that - despite these progressive taxes - there was still abundant poverty in this nation. It was industry has has the greatest track record for lifting people out of poverty. They would be poor but for their job.
Out of transparency it is also fair to say that the Industrial Revolution that occurred as this nation transitioned out of a "Slavery-based Economy" in a large portion of this nation also had its fair share of:
- Exploited "wage slaves"
- Hazardous working conditions
- Environmental pollution
- Corrupt Trusts which lived off of political corruption
Between these two options (and they are not "mutually exclusive") the option which has more people, working, making productive advances and earning a paycheck while learning a skill is the more optimal bias to work toward.
Progressive Versus Conservative - The Architectural Debate
The real debate is between:
- A strong (armed) central government that draws in resources from where ever it attempts to hide at the periphery - into a central repository for redistribution to the places that are falling short of our "Social Justice" minimum threshold where - our "Social Contract" mandates that no one be allowed to fall below
- A distributed model where each "local economy" is responsible for creating the desirable outcomes for the constituents and they promote the policies that express - and remain accountable for the results that are garnered as such. The tiers of government (city/county/state/federal) are funded with respect to their constitutional function - with the government that is closest to the people having the greater obligation to its constituents
The "Anti-Matter" Partner Of Social Justice
The notion of "Social Justice" speaks to the expectation that a civilized society will provide a certain set of accouterments that are commensurate with the human status of all people within the scope of their tutelage.
The "Patriotic Millionaire" heard in the audio report above drew upon this notion as he indicated that those with the resources should pay their "fair share". The key benefit to this scheme is that more societal stability is created and the resentment that results in a massive overthrow of the government, economic and social institutions that are seen as the agents of suppression can be mitigated.
To be clear - the "Social Progressive" tells of the interconnectedness that we all have as human beings. With this in mind the promotion of "People over Profits" is the means by which those with "profits" are compelled to accept the above "progressive taxation system".
In my writings I noted how the "rise and fall" of the industrial cities (Detroit, Gary, Camden, Rochester) is typically spoken via the narrative of the Labor Progressive:
- Corporate Robber Barrons exploited a large immigrant (and Black) labor class to build up a fiscal war chest
- Labor struck back - using the combination of wild-cat strikes and progressive legislation they balanced out the relationship between labor and ownership
- As the exploitative will of these now regulated corporations were stifled by the union labor and progressive government - they BROKE the "Community Contract" - exiting these cities that grew up around them - going to:
- Right To Work States in the US South
- To Mexico in North America
- Overseas to other Developing Nations where labor is more easily exploited
The label that I learned from watching the documentary about Newark called "Mean Streets" was "CORPORATE ABANDONMENT".
I dare stand up to this narrative and add a few more dimensions that are not likely heard.
- It is IRREFUTABLE that while the three agents of this success were critical (Labor, Government & "The Consumers Of Labor" ) - the fact that these once thriving places still have their (would be) laborers and their governments - the absent of what is often seen as their enemy - has clearly caused the other two to suffer great economic and social recess
- As the local/regional governments got into "favorable hands" - with the coalition of organized labor placing more of their candidates into power - the steady decline of the key industrial base of these places saw an accelerated fall
- With so many governments in the "Rust Belt" suffering gaping fiscal shortfalls (even prior to this present economic malaise) we must agree that "SOCIAL JUSTICE COSTS MONEY".
- Take away the organic source of productivity and the extent of "justice" that can be purchased declines precipitously
A special note must also be added.
It has long been argued by many, regardless of their ideological bent that the optimal base of our economy is INDUSTRY not "FINANCIAL SERVICES MIDDLE MEN".
As the argument goes - industry is "hard currency". Physical products are made and sold. A variety of secondary markets are created.
In the financial services they engage in "middle man" activities. They deal in abstract goods that have dubious fungible value. For example the "day trader" is not necessarily providing key financing for the growth of a business. They are using computing power to exploit margins in the market, rapidly trading in and out of positions as their source of profit. In short they offer no real value for the money they make.
I thus argue that a PROGRESSIVE TAX BASED economy which offers promises of "good living" to those who use their "Equal Ballot" as the key means of implementing "Progressive Taxes" which will then be used to define the "Social Justice Entitlements" is no more honorable than the day trader.
The thing that shook me up the most in my recent visit to Philadelphia was the "economic stagnation" of those who lived within the eco-system within the neighborhoods and those who came in - their vision defined from the far away places from which they came - which enabled to allow them to see GRAND OPPORTUNITY.
I argue that the very same abstractions that the "middle men" exploit with little evidence of organic production is found among the "Embedded Confidence Men" who are implanted into the psyche of "The Least Of These" communities.
A particular right-wing radio host is known for saying "The day that people learn that they can VOTE themselves a pay raise by using the police power of the government to tax others as the primary source of their own income - this nation is over". But for the magic money that the Fed is able to generate - both the "Social Justice Confiscator" and the "Wall Street Oligarch" are threatening our national treasury.
We many never come to agreement on our differing visions about economic theory and policy.
The only thing that I mandate is that those who disagree with my viewpoint but proclaim their political strengthen in cities like Philly, Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles also stand by the aggregate results that are cast upon the people - making note of how much this victory has not changed their condition.
ORGANIC COMPETENCY GROWTH IS THE ONLY RATIONAL WAY FORWARD
"Per Capita GDP" between the various cities in North America.