If the government dictates that we must close down the economy, then it is incumbent upon that same government to ensure that the people – ALL the people – can survive that shutdown, and have a reasonable hope of returning to fruitful and stable lives afterwards.
When I hear and read of these protests to end the COVID-19 Lockdown and re-open the Economy, what I mostly hear is fear: particularly the (well-founded) fear of losing one’s home and livelihood in the current economic shutdown.
I hear a desperate cry to return things back to the way they were, even though that is not possible. I hear the fear of people who do not have the resources they need to survive this plague for an indefinite period of time. I hear the fear of people who are grasping for hope. These protestors are yelling for “Freedom.” To me, it is clear what they mean is “Freedom From Fear”. But, they can only imagine that Freedom on their own terms: not within the context of being a member-of, and dependent upon, the society around them. They believe that Freedom from responsibility to their neighbor is the only way to survive.
Continue reading “Re-Opening the Economy: Loving Thy Neighbor”
Regarding the just-announced GM Factory shutdowns. It’s economic reality: the market is changing, the company is pivoting to be a leader rather than a follower in responding to those changes.
Companies that do not adjust as the market changes will die – as Sears recently did.
The world is always changing, nothing is ever certain. Much of the “Wisdom Literature” in the Bible: Job, Lamentations, Proverbs, reflects and even dwells on this. The nature of a change can sometimes be influenced or tempered, but change itself cannot be stopped.
So, I’m not impressed with all of the furor condemning GM for it’s announcement. It’s all political posturing, and won’t last long – as GM well knows.
What I want to know is whether the change is being done in as compassionate and careful way as possible: is the company (and, even more importantly, State and Federal governments) doing enough to help those who will be losing their jobs? Will they be doing enough to help the affected communities and local businesses transition to life without GM?
Continue reading “GM is not the problem”
I’ve said this before, and it needs to be said again and again:
Some aspects of the GOP’s agenda, particularly with regards to economic policy and governance, have merit: reducing government bloat and overregulation are good goals; as is strengthening our manufacturing base and increasing our economic competitiveness.
I may disagree with some aspects of these goals, especially certain proposed implementations, but the basic ideas are sound. Making progress on these issues would be welcomed by many moderate Democrats and non-aligned voters, especially if implemented with some effort at building a common consensus with those outside the party. And many within the GOP, such as Senator McCain and even Dick Cheney have said exactly this.
However, the GOP’s blind spot is their assumption that they have been given a mandate to promote their social agenda and a pass on ignoring the influence of dark money and corruption in politics. If they continue pushing on rolling back social reform and ignore the corruption issues (as they are actively doing), they’ll have a really tough time in the next election cycle – despite their extensive attempts at voter suppression and gerrymandering.
But Democrats be warned: American voters are determined to have a government that is focused on improving the situation of the middle class and the poor, and they see “dark money” and influence-buying as key obstacles to making that happen. I think it likely we’ll continue to see increasingly large, wild and ultimately destructive swings every few years from one party being given control to the other until both parties recognize this and do something about it. Case in point: the current regime.
And let’s be perfectly clear on this: those of us who are devoted to the cause of social justice can never ignore the fact that people vote first with their wallets. If we don’t provide the majority of people within this country with realistic hope for a stable and prosperous future, they will be adamant in their refusal to support any expansion of social justice that could be construed as taking away what little stability and hope they already have. It doesn’t matter to them how right or just a particular cause may be: what matters is whether they have a roof over their own heads and food on the table for their own children.
That’s reality: deal with it.