Tuesday, June 21, 2011

An Economic Wrong Turn

The Republican Party has traditionally promoted corporations and commerce as a way for the country to grow economically. Some 50 years ago, the chairman of GM announced "What is good for GM is good for the country."

I personally don't completely agree, but many reasonable people believe that to be true. And it may well have been largely true in the pre-global economy of the 1950s.

About 235 years ago, Adam Smith, the father of economics and of capitalism, taught us that a necessary element of creating and building national wealth is to promote and maintain domestic production - to stop importing goods from abroad. (England had put the same restrictions on Scotland as it had on the colonies and they faced the same issue.)

We no longer promote domestic production, and, especially, "our" corporations no longer do so; not when their self-interest dictates chasing cheap labor and moving production overseas.

To the extent that a corporation's profits are maximized by moving manufacturing overseas to get a competitive advantage from cheap labor, that corporation's self-interest no longer promotes the wealth of our nation. I believe we should resist accommodating corporate self-interests which are no longer aligned with our national interests.

In following and promoting corporate interests as the large corporations turned from national entities to being to an international foundation, we as a nation have taken a very wrong turn.

Perhaps this is why today's GOP has become so inadvertently unfocused and, to some, even a bit crazed.

I believe Republicans are truly patriotic - they love our country. I disagree with how one best manifests love for country, but I also believe there is no one fixed way to do so.

I suspect that thoughtful people on the right subconsciously understand that the self-interest of today's international corporations in today's global economy does not and cannot promote our national self-interest, our national economy or our national security.

And that conflict between (i) their natural patriotism and (ii) their subconscious realization that automatic support of large corporations which no longer serve American interests is what makes today's GOP policies so "schizophrenic," so cognitively dissonant.

I believe that if we restore a truly traditional values of economics as put forth by Adam Smith, his "invisible hand" will steer us back to the road of national wealth, health and security.

[On Edit]

This TEDxAustin Robyn O'Brien lecture on our food supply and maximization of corporate profits with the attendant effects on our society is thought-provoking: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rixyrCNVVGA


  1. @RJW: Agreed. You may wish to take look at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=144596146915

  2. I think you are too kind to the neo conservatives. The Tea Party extremists who are hijacking the GOP are bat-sh!t crazy, and the worst part is they believe the vomit that emits from their mouths. It's time the mainstream right ousted them and demanded they start their own party so that they can go back to the fringes where they belong.