The New Confederacy
Dennis G. at Balloon Juice has a must read post, Making money the Confederate way. There are to ways to create wealth – you can create it or you can steal it. There are those who say the Civil War was not about slavery and in a sense they are right.
150 years ago the Confederacy launched the Civil War to protect an economic systems based on the theft. Slavery was the most obvious example, but the system also exempted the rich from taxes and the burdens of war. It also refused to support innovation, invention or infrastructure as tools to generate wealth. It was a Kleptocracy.
One of the Confederacy’s biggest gripes against Lincoln was that Old Abe wanted to invest Federal money in Education, railroads, ports, and other physical improvements. Worst from their POV was that Lincoln also wanted to invest in people and protect the rights of workers. Lincoln’s desire to limit the amount of wealth the elites could steal was why the South started the war.
That brings us to to Paul Ryan’s budget plan:
Case in point is Paul Ryan’s very “serious” wealth redistribution plan. At its core it is a plan to steal the labor, savings and wealth from most Americans and redistribute it to the elites. It is just another plan—in an endless series of plans—designed to steal money while passing along the cost of social and environmental destruction to others. It is just theft, plain and simple.
And like the Confederates of old, Ryan and his fellow eunuchs of the the elites are against any Federal involvement in wealth creation through innovation, invention or infrastructure spending. That might create new winners and losers and we can’t have that in their Galtian wonderland.
Ryan’s plan is distinctly Confederate, but then again that could be said about almost everything offered by the Republican controlled House. All of their policies are an effort to turn the clock back to some time before the Civil War and recreate a distinctly Confederate economy—an economy controlled by an elite handful of old white guys who could steal anything they wanted and below them a mass of poor folks struggling just to survive.
Thom Hartman has said that the goal of the Koch brothers and their Republican lawmakers is to turn the United States into Charles Dickens’ England. I think Dennis G’s analogy is better. As conservative Clive Crook points out Ryan’s plan will do nothing to reduce medical costs and in fact will not even reduce the deficit problem. What it will do is to further redistribute the wealth to the elites at the expense of the middle class and the poor – the Confederate model.
Dennis G’s post is one I wish I had written but I didn’t so go read the entire thing here.