The Left’s Economic Policies and the Definition of Insanity
Two weeks ago, I posted an opinion piece about the challenges that our economy is facing and what I’ve been learning about public opinion, just in the course of talking with people I meet. (I’m not an economist and make no claims of being one. I’m more interested in the dynamics of human relationships.) It was a simple piece that evaluated how citizen distrust for government is bringing about a shift towards fiscal prudence in human behaviors, and how this shift plays into the economic crisis our nation is facing.
Since that time, there have been editorials and opinion articles coming out of the proverbial woodwork across a wide scope of websites addressing the reality that this economic crisis has now shifted to become a demand-side crisis, not supply-side. (FWIW, in light of the increase in unemployment in May, I happen to agree that this is true). The authors of various articles coming from leftist websites (noted here, here, here, here and here, just for starters) offer their own opinions about how to solve this demand-side crisis before it gets out of hand.
Generally speaking, a demand-side crisis is exhibited in a significant decrease in demand for products and goods. This can come about due to many contributing factors, and quite a few of the contributing factors do currently exist in this situation. Regardless of the factors that may exist, the situation isn’t as dire as the left is trying to portray it as being. They are exaggerating the severity of the situation for political reasons.
Why would they exaggerate the facts on this one? The Obama administration has no intention of extending the Bush tax cuts past the end of this year. This is a critical factor that could influence enthusiasm and involvement on the part of the GOTV efforts on the left going into next year’s election. In eliminating the tax cuts, just about everyone’s taxes will be increasing next year, which will decrease disposable income even more than it is at the present time, which would in all likelihood depress the economy more than it already is. The status of the economy will be one of the most significant factors being considered in the next election. So, as a preemptive measure, the left is trying to get various economic policies implemented now, in the hope that it will counteract the impact of eliminating the Bush tax cuts.
The left can’t come right out and say “Hey, we’re going to eliminate the Bush tax cuts, regardless of the hardships that citizens are facing. So we’re preempting this with more big-government programs, to try to take the sting out of it and to make ourselves look good.” They have to go about this in a more subtle way that could sway public opinion in certain sectors of the voting population, such as Independents, prior to going into next year’s election. In other words, they have to establish the narrative that the situation is dire, that government and government alone can save us, that government has it within their means to generate jobs, and that government has to act NOW. Then the left will come across as “saving” us from economic disaster and they believe that this will sway public opinion in their favor.
How exactly does the left propose to “save” us? By spending more money and implementing even more big-government social programs. (I would throw in an important head’s up one point…given suggestions such as this coming out of the left, along with the actions of the NLRB described in this article and the recent actions of the Senate, it may be possible that the left is making a run at turning the manufacturing industry in our country into a modern-day WPA. This is one of the worst things that could happen right now, because we need to have greater freedom/less government intervention within the manufacturing industry if we are to have any hope of getting our economy back on the right track).
If the left follows through with these plans (and I think that they are just overly-confident enough in their opinion of their own intellectual knowledge, and desperate enough regarding the election to do so)…it is very much so likely to make things worse than they might be otherwise. Why? Because of the distrust factor. There’s plenty of evidence (such as this and this) to substantiate the reality that the level of distrust the general public has towards government is relatively high at the moment. The distrust stems from the viewpoint on the part of average American citizens that government is doing too much rather than too little, that government can not be trusted to spend money wisely, and that government often puts what is advantageous to their own political party ahead of what it is genuinely the best choice to make for the sake of our nation in the long run. And this distrust is very much so justifiable. Yet there hasn’t been a single article that I’ve read coming from the left that attempts to address the distrust dynamic of the situation. At all.
Truthfully, when it comes to “Dynamics of Human Relationships 101”, and studying the part of human relationships that pertains to trust…this shouldn’t have to be said, because it is basic common sense. But I’m going to say it anyway. After a breech of trust occurs in a relationship, repeating the same actions that constituted that breech of trust generally tends to increase distrust rather than decrease it. So repeating the same actions and the same kinds of behaviors usually makes things worse than they already are.
Yet this is exactly what folks on the left are proposing to do. The kind of recommendations being provided by those on the left are likely to do more harm than good, because as the general public continues to see the same patterns of behavior that have stirred their distrust of government, their level of distrust is more likely to increase rather than decrease, and this could result in an increased level of cautiousness about how their disposable income is being spent, which could trigger an even greater crisis on the demand-side, completely and totally separate of any decrease in disposable income that might come about as a result of eliminating the Bush tax cuts.
And yes, this definitely provides proof positive about the correlation between the definition of insanity and the economic policies of the left.
It would be very easy for the general public to become overly-fearful or dispirited by all that is going on, and since I wouldn’t put much of anything past the left at this point, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if this was also an underlying motivation in their current actions.
We all know that one of the goals of those on the left is to succeed in “fundamentally transforming America”. We also know that they will generate a crisis to make use of that crisis for political reasons. And we know just how determined they can be to try to control the narrative in a way that progresses towards their own goals and objectives. But it isn’t the intentions or motives of those on the left that matters most right now.
What matters most is how we the people, particularly those of us on the right, respond to the situation. We have to counter their manipulation of the situation with objectivity. We have to counter their overly-emotional response with strongly grounded common sense. We have to respond to their insanity with the utmost of sanity. And we have to be rational in responding to any increase in distrust that is brought on by their actions. We have to be the leaders in all these things, because it is our common sense, objectivity, determination, perseverance, and optimism that our nation needs the most right now.