Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea Parties?

I've been watching them and have a number of observations and puzzlements and fears.

My observations - reading comments of the participants, nobody seems quite clear what they're protesting. There are lots of concerns about taxes going up... but nobody has raised any taxes at this point. There are complaints about the government spending too much but no other suggestions for how to address the current situation other than tax cuts, which of course, got us where we are. And there is anger about helping out those who are poor or in trouble because it is obviously always their fault. And lots of poor logic... tax cuts do not cause investment in business. They cause profit taking. Higher taxes cause investment because by investing in infrastructure, you avoid the taxes.

As for redistribution of wealth... that is clearly a Biblical idea (see Acts 4 & Leviticus 25) and that is precisely was tax systems do - redistribute wealth. They only question is where and how. Sometimes it is direct and active, other times it is less direct but the result is always the same, capital moves. Under the Reagan philosophy which has held sway since 1980, wealth migrated upwards with the expectation that it would trickle down. Well, it did migrate up as wealth has become more concentrated and the gap between the wealthiest folk and the poorest folk in the US approaches that of any developing country, but it didn't trickle down.

puzzlement: Where were these folk when Bush was building record deficits? Many were saying that if you disagreed with Bush policies you were tantamount to a traitor. So why now are they marching? Do they really not understand the implications of doing nothing to help the economy? Do they not see the connection between tax cuts, a system that encouraged greed, and our struggling economy? And what in the world does any of this have to do with the Boston Tea Party? Or Thomas Paine?

It makes me afraid. In large degree the protests seem to be about fear. People are afraid of the future and feel insecure. Those are not unrealistic fears for many folk. The problem is that right wing media and politicians are feeding on that fear and deepening the polarization of our country. They are fanning the fears so that they move from rational concern to irrational terror. They are offering no solutions. They are not talking. They certainly are not listening to any other viewpoints. It is all about building up a political base who are blinded with rage and shaped by fear that is both rational and irrational and using them to gain power. That makes me worry about the future of my country.


That Baptist Ain't Right said...

Good post. The fact is the tea parties are eerily similar to the rallies I remember hearing about as a kid here in the Deep South. Of course, it is cleaned up a bit: there are no hoods or crosses ablaze. The indignation is broadened a bit to include Mexicans & all poor folk ...

When I watch that stuff on the news, I see white people. I see a lot of religious signs. I hear a lot of anti-Obama sound bites.

The fact is a black man is in the White House, gay people continue to exist, the public schools don’t espouse fundamentalism & the Democrats won the November 2008 elections by a landslide. Holding these Tea Parties is a political stunt that plays on the emotions of people who simply don't have an understanding of how economics works, & just enough understanding of history to repeat the same Fascist horrors.

Yes, what I see in these Tea Parties is nothing more than race baiting & calls for another Confederacy, though cleaned up a bit to make it palatable to conservatives --- the extremists know exactly what they are doing with these Tea Parties & what they are calling for.

Mike said...

Where the hell did that last post come from? What the hell do tea parties have to do with black people, gay people, and public schools?

It's obvious you have quite a chip on your shoulder and feel the need to espouse your confusing agenda...nice way to do it by hijacking someone's blog that actually made an intelligent comment about his confusion over the tea party rallies.

I originally thought the picture of Alfred E. Neuman was funny, but now am thinking it is might be a good indication of how you actually think.