Quackery and the economy

Published 1:17 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Somewhere along the path of development of modern day economics, our current day wizards not only drove the economy into the ditch, they ran it off a cliff.

I’m not sure where the idea came from “if you let the economy run unfettered that it would produce a thriving and growing society and raise the boat for everyone.”

Pure quackery is what it is and now we have more than 30 years of practical experience to prove it.

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All the theory, dogma and ideology behind the “trickle-down” concept has been totally de-bunked by historical performance, yet there are still quacks running around out there trying to sell the same “duck.” The shame is there are still huge numbers of people (wealthy and middle-class) that keep buying the “duck.”

Let’s start with the basics by paraphrasing Wikipedia.

An economy consists of the labor, capital and natural resources of an area (country) and the people who participate in producing, moving and consuming goods. There are worldwide economies and neighborhood economies. A given economy is the result of technological evolution, history and social organization, as well as its geography and natural resources. Economics by its nature is based on looking at history and is a poor predictor of future performance because people and society play such a crucial role in economic performance.

So why, may I ask, do current politicos insist on holding onto ideologies that are based on chaos theory, e.g., the hidden hand of capitalism.

These chaos theories tend to ignore the fact that a well-working economy will provide opportunity to all. Unfettered capitalism has historically shown that it is incapable of ensuring the best outcomes.

To say America is the greatest economy in the world is meaningless when the middle class has declined dramatically for more than 40 years.

Good economies don’t punish the middle class, they boost it. But to create and sustain a well-working economy requires us to pay attention, not only to the financial part of the economy, but to people who are the primary resource of the economy. A system, political or financial, that doesn’t take care of its primary resources is doomed to collapse. To be sustainable, a healthy economy has to ensure that upward mobility is a reality, not just an empty promise. Kids from working class neighborhoods attending public schools must be able to move upward as a matter of routine and not be rare exceptions.

This is where government is supposed to play by ensuring regulatory controls are in place so powerful, greedy and un-patriotic/treasonous individuals/corporations don’t pervert the desired outcomes.

What has happened to the “greatest economy in the world?”

Great business leaders pay attention to and nurture their resources. Great business leaders pay attention to facts and reality. They understand the importance of good governance that produces an educated and creative talent pool. They understand people are more important to their success now than ever, both in business and government. They know they can’t compete in a world economy on their own without an effective government that implements fair trade controls (not free trade) and ensures social stability.

The economy is all about people who are socially and economically connected that need each other to grow and thrive. There are too many politicos and business leaders trying to take the people out of the equation as interchangeable parts. They like to portray the unions and working class people as the primary problem to denigrate and devalue all of the middle class.

The approach plays well with people that want to blame the faceless government or working-class people instead of themselves for the state of things. Quack, quack, “it’s not my fault,” quack. The reality is that it lacks substance.

It’s just absurd to blame Unions for much of anything when they represent less than a 12 percent of the work force.

The real blame lies squarely on politicos, financial and business leaders who have clearly shown their incompetence and un-patriotic actions for more than 40 years. Personally, I’m tired of hearing the whining from the spoiled brats in the financial and business community who spend way too much time blaming their deficiencies on the hard working people in this country.

Billions of dollars are spent lobbying instead of investing. Corporate leaders refuse to invest in America because it would require vision, courage and forethought. It is much easier to write off America than to stand with America when times are tough. They should reward the people and country that have given them their fortunes.

They are undeserving of tax breaks or the government support that they use to create jobs outside the United States. We’d be better off without them.

Let them denounce their citizenship to pay lower taxes in some foreign country, but never let them back in.

Once gone, gone forever.

Rodney Gibson is the former mayor of Saluda.