Gurda blames the TEA party folks for the current ills of the nation. Really, John? After a diatribe about how bad it is, how young people can't find a good paying job and how his children will do fine, he proceeds to take a number of facts and somehow tie them to the TEA Party movement. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, though. That seems to be the media talking point these days. Interesting how the Democrats have the same talking points. But there's no collusion there, I am certain.
Here Gurda grossly oversimplifies the problem, solution and TEA Party stand:
The season would seem ripe for a reassessment of American capitalism, but this time it's not the voices of the left that are being heard above the din. It's the zealots of the tea party. As the rest of us struggle for purchase in these uncertain times, the far right has already named a culprit. It's not Wall Street avarice, not systemic market shifts and not Chinese monetary policy. The problem with America, the acolytes of the tea party piously intone, is American government, pure and simple.
In fact, the movement fully understands the China problem. Wall Street avarice? Systemic market shifts? All these are brought about in large part by US Government policy.
No, John. You can't blame Obama directly, but you can blame government and the Party of the Ass in particular. The very idea that everyone "should" be able to own a home is absurd, but was a brainchild of social engineers in government. If banks didn't provide the "correct" number of loans to minorities so they could live in whatever community they wanted regardless of income, well it must be "redlining". Carter started it, Clinton escalated it. And the Elephants were no better. They allowed it and even supported it. With Fannie and Freddie buying up every mortgage in sight, there was no risk to the lender. The taxpayer got the tab.
I can, indeed blame Obama, in part for sending jobs to China. The policies of his administration from EPA to Labor and NLRB are driving jobs from this country at a pretty good clip. His brand of crony capitalism with companies like GE and Solyndra picks winners and losers based on campaign contributions rather than merit.
The tea party has steered an entire political party hard to the right. We now have the faintly absurd situation of billionaire Warren Buffett saying, "Tax me - please," and Republicans responding, "No, no, that wouldn't be right." The super-rich, long an object of both envy and suspicion in American life, have been re-branded as "essential job-creators." It may be worth noting that, by the end of the 1950s - a decade of robust job creation under Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican - the nation's top tax rate was 91%, compared with just 35% today.
Nothing is stopping Warren Buffett or any of the other "Patriotic Millionaires" from writing a check to the government if they feel they need to contribute more. But the rich have ways of moving money and changing behaviors that the rest of us do not have. And as the beast of the federal government becomes hungrier, that burden will fall on those of us in the middle (again). Further, it is of interest to note that the "Patriotic Millionaires" have a place on their website where YOU can donate to their cause. (You wouldn't think that would be necessary, but apparently.....you know.) That the top tax rate in the 1950's was 91% did not mean people paid 91%. The effective tax rate was much, much less.
Gurda is trying to make the point that the problem is "greed". That there are "social obligations" involved. He is right. But he's wrong about who is greedy. Is it the person who earns the wage and wants to keep the fruit of his labor? Or is it the person who does not work, but demands to be supported by that same wage earner?
Last, the Constitution of the United States only gives the Federal Government certain enumerated powers. If John Gurda wants the government to provide a lifetime of social services to all, he just needs to have it amended. That's why there's a process. But I'm sure he knows that. After all, he's an historian.