There are going to be complicated understandings in the news about why the Stock Market had such a major drop. They include a poor economy in the U.S. (but we already had one before this), a debt crisis in Europe (ditto, though maybe it got a little worse), or some combination of the two. Then there are the “daily horoscope” explanations of why — “the market crashed because sparrows flew from Wisconsin, thus ruining the Brazilian Rainforest yesterday”.
At least as understandable as any one of them is this: The economy isn’t stable because our government isn’t. After months of wrangling and a near-stoppage re: the debt ceiling, we thought for a minute that it would be stable, but now we know that it’s not. Immediately after the last round of arguing and a near-default, where everyone took a sigh of relief, the Repo-blicans proved that they were still not going to discuss things. The “Super-Committee” that’s supposed to put forth a budget plan by November will be composed of Republicans who will stick to the same “No Tax Increases!” plan that worked so well last time. John Boehner has said that they won’t even put somebody on the committee who will raise taxes on the richest of the rich. That leaves a Super-Committee-Who-Won’t-Agree-On-Anything. The Dems will want to raise taxes to increase revenue and the Repos will refuse. Even if they come to another “compromise” like the last one, they will battle with their bravado until the last minute once again. And most of America (60% according to the polls I see) want a tax increase on the richest. That means that Dems will look dumb if they back down and Republicans think will look “weak” if they do. This is not the way to a compromise. If Dems harden their stance and Repos continue to stand their ground, by November, we will have … nothing.
Once again, the economy could go into some sort of spin because both parties won’t move at all, leaving a government that gets nothing done. Even corporations need to know which way the wind blows. How can you predict earnings if you don’t know what the laws governing your item will be? How can you make plans not knowing if the economy looks like the Tea Party wants it or the Supposed Socialists want it? You can’t. How are people going to have confidence in the economy if all they hear about is stagnation in the Capitol? If they don’t have confidence that their leaders can do anything, or that the economy will re-focus on jobs and such, why would they buy anything?
It’s a no-win situation because our politicians want it to be a no-win situation for their “opponents”. “No” and “No” don’t add up to “Yes”. It doesn’t work that way.
So what to do? Write, call, yell at, protest, any politician who gets on the Committee and says in advance “I want a no-compromise compromise”. Politicians used to be “Statesmen” and “Stateswomen” who knew the art of the deal, how to compromise, and understood that there’s a reason we have Branches of Government and two houses of Congress — because we need everyone’s input. I don’t remember anything in the Constitution saying anything about parties, though. Those we may not need. The woman whose view of life I most value, Virginia Satir, says that “if you can’t come up with at least three options, you’re not being creative enough”. We need States-people who are creative and can get things done, not partisans who are nay-sayers and don’t.
For people who want the economy to be stable, and investment, jobs, and profits to happen, the Repos are doing everything they can to make sure it won’t happen if it’s not their way. Help them find somebody who can flex. Tell them to avoid anyone who can’t or won’t.
Just a thought.