To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Monday, January 18, 2021

Observercast

Real Economics I

on

BY SHARON MARTIN

Sharon-Martin-272x300“ObamaCare destroyed the economy of the United States,” a friend of mine wrote.

Hospitals in Oklahoma shut down because our governor didn’t accept the Medicaid expansion. That did indeed knock a hole in the economy of some small towns. But it wasn’t the ACA that did it; it was Republicans playing Make Sure Obama Loses that did the trick.

It started with Chief Justice Roberts’ clever tactic to declare the ACA constitutional but let states opt out of key parts.

Listen, we pay for the uninsured, with higher premiums and lower productivity. Insuring 20 million more people didn’t hurt the economy. We’d be better off if everyone were covered. Did your candidate propose that?

Republican policies are not good for the poor and middle class. Why do so many hardworking people vote for bad economic policies? They’re not voting for a Teddy Roosevelt to break up monopolies or a Dwight Eisenhower to promote the interstate highway system. They’re voting for men and women who turn up their noses at constituents’ needs.

Excuse me if I paint Republican lawmakers with a broad brush, but most of them seem to be in lockstep, marching against progress and economic prosperity for the people they supposedly serve.

Democrats need to be more assertive. We need to point out fallacies in so-called conservative arguments and show proof that our policies benefit hardworking men and woman.

Forget the propaganda. America can deal with social issues without bankrupting the middle class and starving the poor.

State taxes in Oklahoma have been cut and the people chiseled. Public schools are hungry. Prisons have become a corporate moneymaker. We hear calls for bringing in new industries even as the Legislature turns the treasury over to oil and gas companies.

Now, the Trump Administration seeks to follow the devastating example of Oklahoma and other red states.

Speaker Ryan’s plan to save Social Security lets younger workers create their own retirement programs. Yep, we’re all financial wizards now. You’re not? Don’t worry. A broker will take care of it for you. The only things you’ll have to worry about are brokerage fees and market fluctuations.

Remember what happened to your 401k during the last downturn? What if that were your Social Security? Who does privatizing Social Security benefit? Hint: it’s not retirees.

You can study competing theories of economics, but they are really competing moral theories. The GDP doesn’t matter if all the earnings being generated go to a chosen few. Hunger and despair don’t make us more secure.

Which theory gives economic security to the greatest number of people? Is that the one your candidates promise to follow?

Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer