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Remember The Future?

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Richard Turcotte       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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In the modern Republican Party ... government is rarely, if ever, supported. But there are some areas where private sector will not provide goods and services by itself, public goods for example, and even when the goods are provided market failures distort the outcome.
Who will build bridges, provide sewage systems, national defense, roads, airports, water systems, and so on if not the government? Who will force internalization of all costs of production if not the government? Who else can overcome adverse selection, information, and moral-hazard problems in health and retirement markets? Conservatives can come up with stories about how the private sector will overcome these problems and provide goods in each case, but historically these goods simply haven't been provided, at least not at the scale and breadth needed. That's why government stepped in to begin with. To think it will somehow be different this time if government stepped out of the way is highly wishful thinking.

Remember when our look-backs at American history were filled with admirable examples of citizens and politicians working together (not always in full agreement or conflict-free to be sure) to address not only the issues and challenges of the day, but to do so with an eye to making certain that the next days for all might be a bit better than the ones just passed?

What happened?

More importantly, what will happen?

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The Republican Party--committed as it is to preserving benefits for the few today by whatever methods prove "successful"--has made it clear that their ambitions and objectives are evident to all, with no regard whatsoever for the answer to "what will happen?" Spending for the less fortunate, for our children, for research, for education, to address climate change, to provide for better energy options than continued reliance on finite resources, and a seemingly endless list of other issues for which they care not even a little--but making sure that the wealthy accrue more financial gains however structured while minimizing the voices of t he many--all are crystal-clear examples of the right's agenda, such as it is.

But seriously -- what happens if they succeed (a term used as liberally as possible)? What magic potion will their middle- and lower-class supporters be drinking when the consequences of these narrow-minded, shortsighted, and delusional tactics fall upon all of us if their efforts are left unchecked?

Who wants to take the lead in explaining to our next generations that we were much more concerned with ensuring that more is available to the few at the expense of the many?

Are any of these rabid supporters inclined to pause in the midst of their urgent efforts to "take back America" to consider that that never-real ideal will be even harder to capture when the inevitable consequences of Republican Party efforts materialize?

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It's not an especially complex undertaking, and connecting the dots of right-wing orthodoxy to the reality of what happens is actually a fairly easy undertaking. Introspection in advance is rarely a bad thing, and usually a better option than reflecting on what has already gone wrong.

The future well-being of all of us might be worth considering before right-wing ideology becomes reality. 


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Looking Left and Right: Inspiring Different Ideas, Envisioning Better Tomorrows I remain a firm believer in late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone's observation that "We all do better when we all do better." That objective might be worth pursuing (more...)

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