Bruce Webb: The Desperation of the Economic Right

Hoisted from comments, Bruce Webb writes…

The Economic Right as represented by Sowell are getting desperate and as such are petulently lashing out.

The key to understanding their thinking is that they don’t see inequality as something to be resisted. In their ideology cream rises to the top while the markets allocate returns on productivity effeciently. It is not quite as brash as 19th Century Vulgar Darwinism but has the same result. There has always been a stream of thought that sees extreme inequality as validation that an unfettered economy will reward merit with riches. It is a self reinforcing system for those inside the walls.

However it is a difficult program to sell in a fully democratic system. People will vote in their own self-interest, or at least group interest, and nothing in Right thought supports the notion that in doing so voters are doing anything wrong.

The only way to implement the entire Economic Right agenda was some combination of Republican Unitary Executive and Republican Permanent Majority. Only then could you push through the Private Accounts, HSAs, Education Savings Accounts, Flat Tax, elimination of Corporate Taxs, elimination of the Estate Tax, elimination of capital gains taxes on investments, all of which share a common characteristic, they all benefit a minority of the population and overwhelmingly an overlapping minority.

Remember it was only a little over three years ago that the Republican Party was riding triumphant, they had bagged Saddam, gerrymandered Texas and had a whole series of vulnerable Senate seats to grab. All it would take to secure power maybe forever but certainly long enough to push through their entire tax program was victory in Iraq.

I think this is what explains their persistant state of denial on Bush, Iraq and Social Security. It is not that they don’t see, it is that all of their dreams are going down the toilet with them and they are facing an extended time out of power and who knows what they will be faced with when they come back.

Because if you had to identify the Rights worst nightmare? Socialized Medicine that works. Like Social Security, Single Payer is not the optimal solution for every participant, but it works very well for the 43 million uninsured and pretty well for most of insured workers.

The Right spent the 21 years from 1983 to 2004 successfully draining electricity from the Third Rail of American Politics, now if and when they ever get back into power they will be faced with an invulnerable Social Security System but likely a new Third Rail in the form of Single Payer. If I was Sowell I would be staying away from sharp objects.