Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Friday, October 03, 2008

On the Economy and the Election

We are on the verge of having Wall Street billionaires rescued ONCE AGAIN from their own foolish behavior. This is getting old. Real old.

I just want to point a few things out. First, we deregulated the airline industry during the Carter years. As a result, we lost Eastern and Pan-Am and they don't even pretend to serve meals on flights any more.

We deregulated the Savings and Loan industry in the 1980s and found ourselves on the hook for hundreds of billions bailing them out.

We deregulated electricity as a commodity and as a result, Enron blacked out California and look where they ended up.

We deregulated speculation on oil as a commodity and we're paying $4.00 a gallon as a result.

We deregulated banking and Wall Street, and now we're about to pass the largest bailout in history.

Are we EVER going to learn?

John McCain called himself a "Teddy Roosevelt Republican." Teddy Roosevelt was a trust-buster. McCain has voted for and pushed for deregulation ever since his Keating five days. So when does he flip-flop again and become the true TR trust-buster?

The standard excuse is "They're too big to fail." How did they get that big in the first place? If they're too big to fail, they should be broken up the way they did (temporarily) with the telephone industry in the early 1980s. We need to regulate a level playing field so that companies can't buy out all their competition and become behemoths that have to be rescued from their own foolishness.

The problem is that they privatize profits while socializing risks. That ain't American. That's Fascism if it's the companies running the government or Socialism if it's the other way around. Right now the government is about to buy a controlling interest in a lot of companies, if the Congress has enough sense to get some equity for their (our) money. Neither is acceptable. We have to regulate the marketplace so we have truly free enterprise.

Now, as to the election, I have been giving some prayerful thought to this situation. I have voted in every general election and almost every primary since 1972. I have never voted a straight party ticket in a general election, but this time I don't believe I'm going to continue that pattern.

We can't afford any more Repuglican mismanagement.

When Democrats are in power, working people are better off. There are more jobs created, and more prosperity. No Republican administration in the last 30 years has created as many jobs as the Democratic administration it followed. The Reagan Administration did not create as many jobs as the Carter Administration did, even though it lasted twice as long. The current Bush "Administration" hasn't created as many jobs as the Clinton Administration created in any single year they were in office. Indeed, not as many people are working full-time now as there were in 2000. And the jobs created under Bush II have mostly been either government jobs (remember the party of smaller government?) or low-paying service sector jobs.

When Democrats are in power, business is better off. Wall Street has always prospered more during Democratic administrations. Look at the Dow. The biggest increases have been in Democratic times and the biggest crashes were during Republican times. The Dow has always grown more during Democratic administrations.

When Democrats are in power, government spending is more controlled. The last balanced budgets were during the Johnson and Clinton Administrations. The biggest deficits came under Reagan and Bush II.

As I said, we can't afford any more of this Republican nonsense.


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