Guest post from Bob Raker, a Polk County Democratic activist.
As usual, economic policy will be an important topic in the 2020 election debate. We can expect that Russian Bots and the Republican Party will flood the media universe with attacks that label Democratic Party policies as socialist. At a time when silly phrases such as “lock her up” seem to resonate with some voters, these attacks could be troublesome.
Democrats may want to establish their own tagline. A more accurate description of the Democrats’ economic policy would be: CAPITALISM WITH A CONSCIENCE.
Anyone who thinks the Democrats are the only ones interfering in the free market system and threatening economic growth should review some history.
A little over one hundred years ago, the free market system was employing 12-year-old kids, working them 10 hours per day in a sweatshop. At the same time, Henry Ford was paying auto workers a very generous salary. Ford said the reason he did so was because he wanted his employees to be able to afford to buy a car.
Recently, a U.S. House Financial Services Committee hearing invited the CEO’s of America’s top banks to testify. When asked if they had any ideas on how to help their employees make ends meet, they had no ideas to offer. What’s galling about that lack of response is that at least one of the major banks spent over $20 billion in 2018 buying back shares of their company stock.
That activity only benefits their shareholders. Had they instead spent $10 billion on stock buybacks, and given the other $10 billion equally to all of their employees, each worker would have received a bonus check of about $40,000.
So, how many 2008 minivans could have been replaced if they had simply shared their profits equally? And why are shareholders more important than employees?
For many years, the free market system was dumping a toxic brew of petrochemicals into the Cuyahoga River, which runs through Cleveland. In 1969, the river caught on fire, causing over $50,000 damage to a railroad bridge. About a year later, our pinko commie President – Richard Nixon – signed into law the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and created a new cabinet level department …. The Environmental Protection Agency.
These laws clearly interfered in the free market.
In the mid 1980s, scientists discovered that certain industrial gases (e.g. Freon) were burning a hole in the ozone layer of the atmosphere. The number of skin cancer cases was expected to skyrocket. In 1987, President Reagan signed the Montreal Protocol, which banned the production of Freon. This action clearly interfered in the free market.
So, there are examples of card-carrying proponents of the free market system who showed that there can be legitimate reasons to modulate capitalism IF they have a conscience. Today’s president does not have a conscience.
When he pulled America out of the Paris Climate Agreement, he did so primarily to satisfy his own ego. He is focused on dismantling President Obama’s accomplishments.
The thing is, any jackass can kick down a barn; it takes a carpenter to build one. Obama was a carpenter, Trump is… not a carpenter.
Democratic Party candidates should all be carpenters by promoting CAPITALISM WITH A CONSCIENCE. In doing so, they can provide the tools necessary for all Americans to build their own individual version of the American Dream. Democrats want all Americans to be able to replace their 2008 minivan.
by Bob Raker
Photo via Flickr