by: Diane Benjamin
It’s completely ridiculous that people from all political persuasions can’t sit down and reach common ground. It doesn’t help that both sides are prone to LIE and EXAGGERATE the truth for their uniformed minions. I read leftist emails and sites because I need to know what they are saying. Sometimes it is obvious sitting down and having a discussion is NOT possible because the arguments aren’t rooted anywhere near the truth. But sometimes they are.
The Nation.com had 2 stories which tie together, even if they didn’t realize it. One was about Democracy being destroyed by a Judge allowing Detroit to file bankruptcy. http://www.thenation.com/blog/177433/detroit-bankruptcy-bankrupts-democracy?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=email_nation&utm_campaign=Email%20Nation%20-%2020131203#
At the same time, the judge has empowered an emergency manager who has a track record of acting on those “simply inaccurate” premises, rather than the officials just chosen by Detroit voters to guide their city toward fiscal and social stability.
The judge’s decision gives the essential authority to guide the city’s affairs to Orr, the “emergency manager” selected by Republican Governor Rick Snyder, who in 2010 lost the city of Detroit by a 20-1 margin. Though barely 5 percent of Detroit voters thought Snyder should be calling any of the shots regarding their state and city, he is now—via his emergency manager, with the approval of the bankruptcy judge he asked to intervene—calling the shots.
And what of the new mayor, Mike Duggan, a veteran county official and highly regarded manager who won 55 percent of the vote in last month’s election?
“The only authority I’m going to have is the authority I can convince the governor and emergency manager to assign me,” Duggan, a Democrat, told reporters in November. “I’m attempting to persuade them. We’ll see.”
Duggan says he’s “going to do everything I can to advocate on behalf of Detroit’s future in this process. We need to make sure the retirees are treated fairly on the pensions they earned.” But, despite the fact that he will be the city’s mayor, he does not have the final say even on questions of whether the city will keep commitments to retired firefighters and police officers.
This is not what democracy looks like.
This is not the will of the people of Detroit.
We know that because the emergency manager power that Snyder has used to steer the city into bankruptcy, and that the governor and his appointee will now use to guide the city’s affairs, was rejected by the city’s voters in 2012.
Detroit failed to adjust budgets when businesses started leaving. They failed to decrease spending and they dug a massive hole for themselves. I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures of neighborhood after neighborhood abandoned and blighted. You can buy houses in Detroit of $100. This article fails to mention those facts. It does mention the people of Detroit voted for more of the same. Obviously there are no adults in the room. Detroit can’t print money. There is no money to fully pay pensions or bills. The people can vote for more of the same as they have done for decades, but eventually the train derails. Detroit’s has. Picket, hold protests, cry for the press – none of it is going to change the facts.
They also posted this story on the Pope’s comments on Capitalism: http://www.thenation.com/article/177429/what-pope-got-right-about-capitalism?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=email_nation&utm_campaign=Email%20Nation%20-%2020131203
It is an appraisal based not on “just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope,” as Rush Limbaugh sneered, but rather the words of Jesus telling the tale of the Good Samaritan found in Luke, not in Das Kapital. As opposed to Karl Marx’s emphasis on the growing misery of a much-needed but exploited working class, Francis condemns today’s economy of “exclusion” leaving the “other” as the roadkill of modern capitalism:
Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.
They got the idea right, but the reasons wrong. Capitalism hasn’t been practiced here in decades. Crony capitalism has. It was obvious yesterday in Illinois when both Houses in Springfield passed pension reform, then the Senate voted for handouts to corporations to stay in Illinois. The rich get richer at the expense of citizens. Local government is no different. How many businesses have been paid off the locate in Bloominton-Normal. True Capitalism is standing on your own feet, not on the backs of taxpayers.
Today government has the extreme need to regulate and socially engineer. Regulations don’t have the desired effect – they simply force businesses to comply with the will of government. They don’t equalize wealth, in fact they destroy it. Only the rich can hire the lawyers and accountants to decipher the blabber issued by government agencies. Mom and pop businesses are penalized until they are no longer in business. The rich get richer, middle class incomes drop. Sound familiar? The Obama administration is attempting to regulate and engineer everything and middle class incomes are down about $5000 per household.
David Hales, Bloomington City Manager, wants to license all businesses. Why? Government over-reach exemplified! Hales has promoted giving tax breaks to companies to locate here. The Economic Development Council wants a fund to BUY business interest here. The Chamber of Commerce wants government spending on downtown Bloomington. If the political and tax structure favored investment in Bloomington-Normal, businesses wouldn’t have to be bought to locate here.
We are no longer governed by people who understand capitalism is the truest path to prosperity. This country was built on “if you work hard you can succeed”. It was built on risking YOUR money, not the taxpayers. It was built on “you have the right to fail”. Government no longer understands their role as enumerated in the Constitution. That doesn’t mean America is over. It means the American people have to scram government back in their box and seal it with heavy-duty duct tape.
Unions were lied to. Taxpayers were lied to. People paying into Social Security and Medicare were lied to. National politicians and local politicians lied to the people.
Like the people of Detroit, the Illinois government unions can claim their rights to a pension were violated. Delaying the obvious isn’t going to restore prosperity to Detroit and it won’t in Illinois either. It’s time to re-establish what made America the place immigrants flocked to. Elections are coming around again early next year. This time, find candidates who understand government is the last place to look for answers.
One thought on “Views from the left, because I have to”
Thanks for finding this . . . and for the solid commentary.