Thursday, March 19, 2009


Matt Towery has a recommendation for the Republican Party in his latest article. It's that they should be bold. Specifically they should put forth ideas. Bold ideas. Four bold ideas that Towery would like to see the Republicans champion.

1. Term limits for congressional types. I don't have a strong feeling about this one, one way or another. The issue isn't term limits, however, the really issue is gerrymandering. How many congressional districts in the United States are really contestable and how many are cut in such a way as to be "safe" for one party or the other? But that's another issue; at any rate, this is nice, but not going to set the world on fire.

2. The Fair Tax. By the fair tax they mean a flat tax - this would lower the tax burden on the wealthy and possibly raise it on the working class. It would mean that the government would have to spend less money, which means they would have to cut services (presumably services which disproportionately benefit the working class).

3. Eliminate federal agencies and consolidate others. As referenced earlier, whether or not Towery specifically wants to make life harder on the working and middle class, that would probably be the end result, as programs that benefit them are scaled back or eliminated.

4. Start a program to restore American Manufacturing Dominance.
Provide a list of laws to be eliminated, incentives to be provided and a definitive means of measuring progress. We will forever be beholden to countries such as China to provide capital for our treasury if they continue to grow a manufacturing-strong economy while we become a nation where basically everyone trades dollar bills for providing services to one another.
This is the most interesting to me. Because how does China beat us currently? They treat their employees terribly, paying them little, and working them hard. Right now, American workers are far more expensive than Chinese ones. American Workers have to be paid well, have to have benefits, have to have safe working conditions, have limits in how long they can work and so on and so forth. Chinese workers are a bargain comparatively speaking.

Now as a soft-headed liberal I think to myself, "Well something needs to be done to give those Chinese workers a leg up." But I'm guessing Towery, as a hard-headed Conservative, probably isn't thinking along those lines. Possibly he believes that we can innovate faster than the Chinese, improve our manufacturing processes such that we can continue employing expensive American workers and still out perform Chinese plants. But just as likely he believes that American Workers have it too easy and are too protected. If we remove those protections, eliminate that "list of laws" he references (and I'm not even mentioning the environmental laws), if we make America a bit more like the third world, well, than things will really take off.


Random Goblin said...

1. I agree on all counts. I don;t think term limits would solve the problems of continual running for re-election, because it would only not be the case in the last term, and then they would just be campaigning for their party successor. gerrymandering is also a problem, but I wonder what really would be a fair way to apportion districts?

2. I am against a flat tax, but I'm not sure that there is really as much of an ulterior motive as you are implying. I really don;t think Republicans actually hate poor people and want to punish them for their poverty.

3. Again, you're narrowing in on an ulterior motive which may or may not be dominant. Are you really against streamlining bureaucracy?

4. You really think that the solution to foreign trade deficits is to spend our resources improving conditions in China? Sorry, but I think that's proposterous. Furthermore, I think Towery probably is not actually proposing that we make American manufacturing as Cheap as Chinese manufacturing by making conditions shitty in the US and reducing its workers to abject poverty. What would the purpose of restoring American Manufacturing dominance be, then? If it really is just about filling the pockets of the plutocrats, then letting the manufacturing happen in China is actually preferable. I think it far more likely that he's talking about changing incentives for going abroad for manufacturing, like tariffs on foreign trade and increased tax incentives for domestic industry.

Bryant said...

2&3 I don't think Towery actually is trying to screw the poor with these programs, I just think that's what would actually happen. Frankly I assume that Towery believes in trickle down economics, which means he believes the best way to help the poor is to help the rich.

I, on the other hand, believe that Trickle Down economics is a crock, and that we should move towards a Building up economics theory.

As for four, I'm generally in favor of fair trade; as free as possible while keeping it genuinely competitive. But as for whether or not Towery wants things for the American Worker to be actually as bad as in China, he certainly is in favor of weakening unions, cutting worker benefits, eliminating or minimizing workplace regulations and so on and so forth.