A lot of people have analyzed the 2020 election, in which the Tea Party and the Republican Party took over the House of Representatives. I wasn’t satisfied with any of the current analyses, so I offer my own.
Let’s see. Mine would stretch back to the first President I can remember. John F. Kennedy. He was a real liberal; he was killed. The next liberal was Jimmy Carter. He was a weakling when it came to Iran. He didn’t stand up to terrorism and it rightly cost him the Presidency. For the next twenty five years people would be saying ‘the Democrats can’t defend us.’ His weakness hurt his party for years to come.
But Carter was right about one thing, and it was an observation that is only now coming to fruition. Carter faced the fact that environmental resources were running out and he spoke up about ‘limits to growth.’ He was shouted down. The people that shouted him down sounded a lot like the people shouting down realistic solutions for the declining economy and environment of today. These people couldn’t accept reality then and they can’t accept it now. They want to blame these declines on the Democrats, when in reality we are now well into the ‘limits to growth’ period. Stop being and voting like fools: the problem is not manufactured by Democrats, it is build into the fabric of the modern world. Resources are getting more and more expensive, the population is larger, and the buying power of the average American has gone down greatly.
There was a reaction against Carter. I think we would still have prisoners in Iran if Reagan had not been elected, but that doesn’t mean I found him a realistic or illuminating font of political wisdom. He was part of the ‘limits to growth’ denial train.
Under Reagan the erosion of the middle class and the destruction of the American farmer really began, even if he did not believe in ‘limits to growth.’ Back in those days the average blue collar worker had a house, a cabin on the lake, a big boat, a snowmobile, and money in his pocket. Decade by decade the cabin would go, the boat would go, the RV would go, the snowmobile would go, and finally, the money in the pocket and the house went. The farmers voted for Reagan overwhelmingly. He ‘rewarded’ them with big loans. Within seven years almost all those farmers that took those loans went bankrupt. They were designed to put small farmers out of business because, increasingly, small farms were dinosaurs.
I had an apprentice the last year or so before I sold Sunnyfield. She and her husband were dairy farmers from Maine. ”There were oveh thirty dairy fahrms in our town,” she said in her Down East accent. ”All of ‘em took loans except for us. Five years later we were the only one left.”
I never read one editorial on the destruction of the small farm by the Reagan administration. They didn’t have the guts to destroy the middle class yet, however, so it survived.
It was the Reagan people who first introduced the doctrine of the ‘trickle down economy.’ The idea was that if we took taxation and regulation burdens off the rich the money would trickle down to the middle class and the poor.
What kind of fools would believe in something like that? Well, obviously the same ones that watched the farm economy collapse as a ‘reward’ for voting for Reagan. Since when do rich people give away their money? Get a life! This is a prescription for a feudal economy. The rich have it all.
The truth is that a healthy economy is based on a ‘trickle up and down’ model. If there is a healthy middle class they support the rich and the poor. If there is no middle class, the poor starve and the even the rich have much less. This is borne out by subsequent presidencies. Reagan, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. all lowered taxes and regulations and the economy stagnated or shrank. Clinton raised taxes and the economy flourished—helped by the expansion of a new industry, cybertechnology.
The money made then was stolen from the middle class. Deregulated banking (partly Clinton’s fault too) destroyed America’s nest eggs, producing a massive cracking sound across the world. It took longer for decreased taxation of the wealthy to have its effect; a trillion dollar plus national debt.
And now, we hear ignoramuses blame Obama and the Democrats for the economy and advocate less taxes and more deregulation. Careful, you might get what you want, like the farmers did under Reagan. Voters, if you vote in benefits for the rich they will despise you. And the rest of us will suffer with you.
Nothing is totally black and white. I hate the health care plan forced upon us by Obama and the Democrats. They didn’t take care of the structural problems in the health system, an extreme form of monopoly, and now they want to force us to pay for it and they want to make the monopoly bigger.
As an herbalist who knows that alternative medicine works, I know there is no need for a costly system which indulges massive, needless scientific research and spending to come up with solutions that are expensive and flawed.
I wrote my Democratic senators, Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, about this issue. I said, “why don’t you take a lesson from us not-so-well-off self-employed people. We either have insurance for accidents only or catastrophe or hospitalization only. Start by offering universal insurance on a scale like this, rather than forcing people to buy into a bloated, expensive, undisciplined system.” Franken responded with a form letter; Klobuchar didn’t respond.
I certainly hope Republicans gut this so-called health care debacle. I am not going to be hiring anybody if I have to pay towards their health insurance if I employ them for more than $600. And I do know that Ron Paul actively supported alternative medicine; maybe Rand Paul will too.
Drug companies get billions and billions of dollars for research, decade after decade. Herbs only get enough to prove they don’t work; tests administrated, of course, by critics. Government should stay out of health care. Government has corrupted the whole system to the core.
Meanwhile, growth is more and more limited. No matter who is in power and who is out, the economy and the environment are degrading more and more rapidly. I may abuse science, but I don’t abuse global warming science. I live in Minnesota. In the far North the change in the climate is obvious. When I was a child there were no opossums in Minnesota. I just saw one last night. The growing season was about a month longer than normal. The oak leaves were as big as mouse’s ears in early May; they used to reach that threshold in late May. And all herbalists watch plants and know. . . not only are they blooming out of order, they are acting ‘confused.’