Democrats, Republicans and Subsidizing Risk — Why Homer Simpson Feels Secure


Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone recently wrote ‘Debt Ceiling Deal: The Democrats Take a Dive‘.

Taibbi notes: “The Democrats aren’t failing to stand up to Republicans and failing to enact sensible reforms that benefit the middle class because they genuinely believe there’s political hay to be made moving to the right. They’re doing it because they do not represent any actual voters. I know I’ve said this before, but they are not a progressive political party, not even secretly, deep inside. They just play one on television.”

A good Democratic friend of mine asked a rhetorical question about Taibbi’s article: ‘So if We have become a plutocracy and the Democrats just play good cop to the Republicans’ bad cop then the question for us is, “how do we take the power back?”

You don’t and you won’t. Unless …

There is no taking the power back until the Democratic language about change becomes comfortable with speaking in terms of market economics. Economic forces are the only real determinant of change. Last week we saw over $600 billion of losses in the stock market and suddenly the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and business starts forcibly pushing for a debt deal. Economics made it happen … even though patience was needed to get the better deal for the long term.

The average person doesn’t care what the real deal was because their life — and your and my life — are largely subsidized. Any pain caused to us is shared and so most Americans are OK with that.

The Democrats fail often enough because they want ‘the deal’. They want the subsidy that shows their voters that they got them something.

Think of it: almost every Democratic policy focuses on a redistribution of wealth without the equivalent of a ‘copay’ on the part of the recipient.

As my friend pointed out, the Democrats and the Republicans are in many respects just two sides of the same coin.

The Republicans also seek out subsidies — and their form of corporate welfare is no less taxing than social welfare — but their method is usually considered more business-friendly because a copay is always involved. Republicans subsidize risk taking in the marketplace. Democrats subsidize living with Republican risk taking. It is a very vicious cycle.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Democrats, Republicans and Subsidizing Risk — Why Homer Simpson Feels Secure

  1. George S. Harris

    I tried to understand what this piece means, but I don’t have a clue. Guess I am not cerebral enough or too damned old or too subsidized.

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