Friday, June 23, 2006
I try to avoid ordinary day-to-day politics in the blog, because there are so many more important things to write about, but I really have to write about what a travesty the modern Democratic Party has become. Here's an exchange from the dog-and-pony show that Larry King had with the nine Democratic women in the Senate the other day, featuring the brilliant Debbie Stabenow:
- KING: Senator Stabenow, your bailiwick was keeping good jobs in America.
KING: Everyone says they want to do that. How?
STABENOW: Well, first of all, we want to export our products, not our jobs, in a global economy. And Larry, I think that we're really in a fight for a way of life in this country, and we've got two choices.
We can do what the Bush administration and the Republicans are saying, which is it's OK to be erased [sic--I think she was saying "raced"] to the bottom with lower wages, more costs on healthcare and pensions, or we can do what we want to do, which is make it to the top.
And that means you enforce trade laws, you deal with healthcare and energy costs, and then you protect pensions and you race like crazy around education and innovation. People in Michigan know that. We know how to race to the top.
KING: Are you saying the opposition doesn't want that?
STABENOW: Well, you know, I sat through the president's latest State of the Union and didn't hear the word manufacturing once. Manufacturing built the middle class of this country. You can't have an economy without making things and growing things, which by the way, we do very well in Michigan.
And when you look at the fact that the middle class in this country are being squeezed on all sides and the choice they're being given is work for less, pay more for healthcare, pay more for gas, pay more -- you know, maybe lose your pension, that's not good enough, and we're here to say we're about making this a fight to the top.
Her answer to the question--remember, she represents Michigan, the only non-Katrina state in the nation that actually lost jobs last year--is a series of mindless focus-group slogans ("race to the top, not the bottom"' "export products, not jobs") and Bush-bashing. What little she says about actual policy--you enforce trade laws, you deal with healthcare and energy costs, and then you protect pensions and you race like crazy around education and innovation--none of this would actually do a thing to keep jobs in America.
"Enforce trade laws" means what? You cannot force another country to take your products without retaliatory trade practices that protect certain industries at the expense of others, and raises overall prices on food and other basic consumer products. Thiw works out fine if you're in one of those industries lucky enough to be subsidized by the government with "most favored industry" status. Otherwise, enjoy the $10 burgers and $5 a gallon gas. This is exactly what is wrong with Europe, with its permanent 10-15 percent unemployment, and to which I say, no thanks.
"You deal with healthcare and energy costs"--presumably by using heavy government subsidies, backed by increased taxes. I don't want to be France.
"and then you protect pensions" "Protecting pensions" sounds great and all, but it doesn't add or protect a single job. GM is imploding precisely because their pension liabilities are so ridiculously high.
"Race like crazy around education and innovation." I confess to having absolutely no idea what this means. If I can take a stab at it, I think of it as another reflection of the lefty obsession with solving problems with all-nighters, after the manner of the Clinton Administration's all-night pizza brainstorming sessions. This of course reflects the Left's eternal adolescence: There is no problem that can't be solved by putting a bunch of smart people in a room until you have a solution., especially if you can make it into a late night dorm party. This is something that would occur to a child. But it has no basis in reality, because the truth is even simpler: If you leave people alone and don't confiscate their money, they'll create jobs and innovate on their own. Hold the pizza.
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