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Paul Newman explains the Republican Party.

By       Message Ed Tubbs     Permalink
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Paul Newman explains the Republican Party.

"What we've got hee-ah is "fail-yah to com-municate.'" That infamous line from Paul Newman's 1967 movie, Cool Hand Luke, has so many applications, especially when the follow-up line is "Some men you just can't reach."   ( )

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It certainly fits wonderfully, explaining the misunderstanding many (most?) Americans have concerning the most basic operating premise behind all Republican orthodoxy and legislated policies.

The Party was founded in 1855, in Grand Rapids, Michigan by ex-Whigs and Free-Soilers. There has never existed any question concerning the GOP's over-arching business-first orientation. As the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan opined, one is absolutely entitled to ones' own opinions, but not one's own facts. And the issue of the Republican Party's first allegiance is a matter of fact!

Today, great hay about "jobs, jobs, and jobs" is a din sounding across the land by the GOP and its candidates for public office. None are louder than those queuing for the Party's bid to be its candidate for the presidency. This is precisely where the resounding failure not to communicate, but for the American public to hear has occurred.

The question isn't "how,' but "why' the party's assertion that it's the least interested in job creation, relative to any business orientation, can be seen as a completely bogus attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of Americans. Business, by definition, has zero interest in job creation, save the least necessary en route to the objective: maximization of profit.

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Understand first that there is nothing negative about wanting to maximize profit; no qualitative or moral difference than the wage-earner's desire to maximize his or her take home pay. One goes into business -- which is to say, begins a business -- to earn an income; return on sweat equity or capital. You do not go in out of the purely altruistic objective of creating jobs for those who lack them. One remains in business out of the same motivation.

It's as simple as that. Keeping the discussion as simple as possible, forgetting the accounting differences between expenses and costs, profit is what the business operator has once all business outgo is subtracted from all business income. For most operations, the largest expense item is the wages paid to its employees. Thus it becomes very easy to see that by keeping wages (and all attending benefits) as low as possible works to increase the net income to the operation. Furthermore, one of the most effective ways to keep wages as low as possible is to keep the number of folks drawing them to as low a number as possible. Within the United States, or beyond our shore is irrelevant to the predicate: whichever works best . . . for the business! No business will long remain in business by being profligate by either paying higher wages or hiring more employees than is necessary to carry out the tasks the operation requires.

The circle of the argument should now be rather complete. If your orientation is first to business, and if business' first orientation is the maximization of profit, jobs is an obstacle it must somehow overcome, to the extent possible. Understanding this is a prerequisite to understanding exactly why the Republican cries for "jobs" is no different than the snake-oil salesman's expressed concern for the health of his customers. -- Ed Tubbs, Tenino, WA

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An "Old Army Vet" and liberal, qua liberal, with a passion for open inquiry in a neverending quest for truth unpoisoned by religious superstitions. Per Voltaire: "He who can lead you to believe an absurdity can lead you to commit an atrocity."

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