Thursday, September 8, 2011

The election, an overview

I am not emotionally invested in any candidate for this upcoming election.  I think the reason is that I see both parties as obsolete.

On the one hand are the people who believe in Government.  Government is fine and is needed, but as an overview, I think it is pretty clear to me that the idea of the over-sized government, the entitlement state has failed.  The European countries all voted themselves gigantic governments that provided ever expanding benefits and services to their people, and the most profligate of them, the PIGS (Portugal, Italy and Ireland, Greece, and Spain) are essentially bankrupt and can only continue with drastic cuts in government spending and huge loans from the productive countries, especially Germany.  So, the experiment of a socialist-light approach to governing looks to me like an idea that didn't work.  And the left in America is still trying to push us into that uber-government model.

So the Government as The Solution is an obsolete idea, it seems to me.

On the other hand, there are people who believe in the Free Market.  It is also pretty clear to me that the Reaganite, conservative, Republican idea that all the government needs to do is get out of the way of the magnificent, wealth creating, abundance overflowing free market is also a lovely dream that has been exposed as a cruel failure and hoax.  The Republican mantra of cutting taxes and regulations to produce economic prosperity was decisively disproven by George W Bush.  He cut taxes and jobs shrank rather then grew.  He cut regulations and the financial industry opportunistically, and very successfully transferred billions of dollars from the middle classes into their own multi-million dollar bonuses and generational fortunes.  When their financial-industry-created housing bubble collapsed, they used their wealth and influence to transfer hundreds of more billions of dollars to themselves in bailouts and stopped any attempts to raise taxes on them or impose meaningful regulations or meaningful financial industry reform.

So, the Free Market as The Solution is also a obsolete idea, it seems to me.

So, who is running for president?  for Congress?  All I can see are people who are captive of one of the two obsolete fantasies mentioned above.

So, whom do I vote for?  I wish I knew.  I have been waiting for a non-ideological problem solver for about a decade now.  W ran as a "uniter, not a divider" so I thought he might be the one to be able to reach across the isle and find non-ideological solutions.  He was brutally divisive.  Obama ran as a "post-partisan" politician who thought that people on the other side of the isle had some good ideas.  He is brutally divisive.

Who do we throw out?  Who do we replace them with?

We need a new vision of government, one that is not centered on how big or how small government is.  I wish I knew what that vision is, or who is that visionary.  I don't.