LJWorld.com weblogs Loyal Opposition
“Pots and Kettles”
We have been enjoying the dialogue in this space over wealth, taxes, entitlements and the like. Lots of strong heartfelt opinions- almost diametrically opposed.
We have the free market advocates who wrap around themselves the riches of our country as a prime exhibit of the success of that approach. In opposition we have those abhorring the very skewed distribution of wealth that has resulted. . The former abhors government intervention in the marketplace to “fix” it and the latter demands it as the only way to restore some sense of equity within the system.
Is there no middle ground? There is truth in the notion that the individual efforts of those trying to improve themselves has produced more broadly shared wealth per capita then in most countries throughout history. There is also truth that in recent years in particular that wealth has not found its way to the average citizen and has been aggregated at the top.
How do you fix that assuming you want to “fix” it? Will it fix itself? No! Greed being a perennial motive for human accomplishment those that have it rarely will share with those who do not. Is the government the way to “fix” it? Perhaps? However, the government can and has had duplicitous motives. NAFTA certainly allowed us as a nation to better compete. It also has caused the loss of many, many well paying domestic jobs. Good? Bad? Might depend on whose ox has been gored. A third way we tried for a while was employee representation such as unions. Bargaining power did certainly advance the cause of the workers.
From the standpoint of some the current administration is trying to use “government” to redistribute the economic pie. The discretionary portion of the budget has been increased by 25%. New entitlements for the lower socio-economic have been created. We are running a massive deficit and printing money to pay for it. We are looking at massive deficits for years to come. Taxes have not been increased at the federal level although committees have been established to make suggestions on how to tame the deficit. The outlook is bleak. Now what?