Thursday, September 6, 2012

Stupid, Is It REALLY the Economy?

“It’s the economy stupid!” was once a battle cry, and if we believe the implications of a recent Time Magazine article, it should be the one Romney will yell. But there is a reality which, some ten years ago, was pointed out in these pages: It’s all about demographics.

For a generation, the Baby-Boom generation has shaped our culture and economy. It said no to Viet Nam, but yes to education and Rock’n’Roll – and it also demanded an end to discrimination and sexual repression. Those who are now define the core of the Republican value system were on the other side of each of those issues; before that, their parents were on the wrong side of other issues, issues which actually helped create the Baby-Boomers.

We are now at the dawn of a new era, one in which the Baby-Boomers are beginning to retire – which has placed our economy in transition. If you hear a call for job creation, it is from those who are ignorant of, or intentionally ignore, reality. The Baby-Boomers are “jobs”, they are occupations whose slots are filled – but soon to be empty. They out number the unemployed and recent college graduates; they are, in essence, an economic factor
which made the idea of Outsourcing so attractive to so many businesses. Once the biggest portion of Baby-Boomers retire, there will be more employment opportunities than there are available applicants.

The issue of unemployment will evaporate, and we will begin a generation marked by employers seeking qualified immigrants to fill vacant slots. This is basic demographic reality. There is another reality, the traditional Republican assault on education, and educational funding – which passed the burden of a national benefit to local taxpayers – is about to have its effect. When those jobs are vacated, will we have young applicants who have the educational background needed to competently fill those positions? Well those jobs requiring intellectual training also be outsourced to China – whose cultural heritage has always, despite the brief ‘Cultural Revolution’ under Mao, prized scholars?

When you hear of Social Security going broke, or this and that program lacking funds, it is important to keep in mind the projections assume NO Immigration – because we have, at Republican behest, actively created anti-immigration policies. Of course their logic is beautiful: they want to deport 11 million, most of whom have been here over a decade and have become productive members of society, and replace them with “guest workers.” Now, if we assume al-Qaeda like groups have minimal intelligence, guess who will compose, or define, the most significant element among those “guest workers.” In the meantime, many of those Romney would deport will be leave behind American families who will be forced into the welfare system – a bi-product of removing their sole means of support. But that is precisely what the right wing voters wish to achieve – a three-fold attack: remove taxpayers, thus reduce related Social Security contributions, and finally increase AFDC costs, so as to provide fuel to attack the ‘welfare state.’

These are the same people who ran ahead of the curve in promoting, and funded at taxpayer expense, the outsourcing which transferred 10,000 Maine jobs to China. In that reality, there is an ironic element: the Republican States are the ones which suffered the largest percentage of jobs outsourced, or transferred, to China. The GOP is managed by people
who destroy their own home – the rest of us suffer when the uncontrolled, and intentionally accelerated, blaze spreads to ours.

Back before the 2000 election, I wrote that you should vote for Bush – because I wanted to see if my predictions would be as bad as I believed they would be. You voted for him, and now it is just a matter of the degree to which you are enjoying the Recession, and welcome the doubling of the National Debt. Given the Romney-Ryan position on Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, it may not be too much to ask: Well you enjoy the bodies in the streets?  The bodies of those who died for want of affordable health care.

If you are concerned with the economy, you might want to look at a recent Federal Budge Office analysis: there it shows, if we make retirement attractive, and properly fund it, the unemployment rate will plunge and the economy will soar. But if you don’t like that idea, once again I’ll suggest you vote Republican – just so I can see if things will be as bad, or worse, than I am projecting.

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