Monday, August 11, 2008

Damn it, kavips--can't you just let me watch the Olympics in peace?

Oh, no, you have to go and make me think again.

I'm only going to deal with two paragraphs right this instance (sort of my protest for being drawn away from meaningless athletic competition with possibly the ugliest American uniforms ever worn):

So I believe in free marketing when it is small and there is enough give and take among all parties that some symbiotic balance is achieved between all parties. Then individual talent has a chance to move a species forward up the evolutionary ladder…. But when the market gets too big or it merges together so that only one man can control its direction, then I think it needs to be split up and returned back to where every entity must fight for its own existence…..


What you make me think of here is the extremely persuasive argument of historian Fernand Braudel that economic activity should really be considered in three distinct albeit interacting spheres. Braudel was looking primarily at the early emergence of capitalism in the 15-18th Centuries around the world. He saw the face-to-face, day-to-day trades and direct interactions between people in the same locality as the material world--a term later essentially refined into material culture.

Farmers trading eggs to the blacksmith, that kind of thing....

At the next highest level, with the emergence of fairs, bourses, and traveling merchants, you got into the market economy, and that's where towns and cities started exercising some controls because all the interactions were no longer local.

Above that, as you moved toward huge concentrations of wealth and trade, you reached capitalism--literally, those who dealt more accurately in capital than in products or services.

The point is that I think instinctively you're right about one of the inherent failures of much of libertarian philosophy [here I go again, endearing myself to other libertarians]: the failure to distinguish between markets and capitalism, and the unwillingness to understand that Braudel's distinction between markets and capitalism.

I think thats the distinction you're attempting to capture here.

Second paragraph I'll deal with tonight:

You can dislike Obama for being black (it was covered in the thread I mentioned earlier) but I have come to the conclusion that big business, big oil, big government, big bullies need taken down a notch……..

McCain just is not strong enough to do it….


My conundrum is that I don't think either of them will do it. And I think both will turn out to be a one-term disaster.

Senator Obama is just as beholden to entrenched special corporate interests as Senator McCain--it's just that they are different interests.

Example: McCain's in the bag to Big Oil, so he wants to drill here, drill now and the contributions pour in.

Obama's in the bag to the Defense corporations, so the many who touts his judgment on Iraq and a return to diplomacy has already promised them (a) a bigger military budget; (b) massive new acquisitions of hardware for a more than 100,000-man expansion of the US Armed Forces; (c) and has therefore seen contributions roll in from the Military/Industrial complex.

Example: McCain's tax plan, according to independent auditors, favors richer Americans and loses 4.3 Trillion in revenue over the next ten years.

Obama's tax plan, according to the same independent auditors, favors single people and retiring Boomers, and loses 3.3 Trillion in revenue over the next ten years. [And that doesn't include promises he's made on health care.]

And yet both of these professional politicians have promised us that they can "invest" billions of dollars into new projects while still cutting taxes.

Once I have given you the point that Senator Obama's tax plan is more progressive, how else does his promise to lower taxes to the point that his cuts seriously reduce revenue, while simultaneously calling for billions and billions of new spending, differ from the tax and spend policy we've seen for the past eight years?

Here is personal honesty and not partisanship: I no more believe that Barack Obama has the ability [or even the intent] to take big oil, big government, or BIG ANYTHING down a notch than I believe that Cindy McCain is going to strip off her shirt and compete to be the next Miss Buffalo Chips.

I truly believe that my friends at Delawareliberal and Delaware Politics on both sides of the aisle are deluding themselves when they buy into the idea that their candidate is going to make a gigantic difference....

[And when my own Libertarian Party gives me Bob Barr, I really don't have much of a choice this year.]

Since my vote in Delaware--given registration numbers and past history--isn't going to make a difference anyway, I'm seriously tempted just to stay home....

2 comments:

kavips said...

First point, don't ask me how, but I saw your post coming just as soon as I had finished writing and hit: publish....

Second point, thinking is good. If I can be an avenue towards that noble purpose, well, perhaps my whole life is not as worthless as I think it is..., after all.

Third, If I could personally get Obama to talk with you and if he was able to convince you that he will support the people, the Constitution and not be a slave to big interests, would you, could you, support him too....? (My apologies to Dr. Suess)

On point #3 don't get your hopes up..... I've got to cut in line in front of 300 million people first....

Steve Newton said...

As for third (first): ah, no.

Obama has to win my vote the same way everybody else does, with his policies, his positions, and the people with whom he surrounds himself.

His military policies and his tax policies are simply dangerous.

His positions (i.e. FISA, 2nd Amendment, NAFTA) shift so much that they are unknowable.

His surrounding cadre of advisors includes individuals like Wesley Clark and Merril McPeak, both of whom are not people I want close to policy making in DC for any reason.

Reverse it this way: is there anything John McCain could say to you in a single one-on-one interview that would trump your understanding of his policies, his cronies, or his political baggage?