I don’t understand. Government is unwilling to break the “social compact” they have with seniors in terms of Social Security and Entitlement programs. Such an affront to our morals would apparently cause seniors to choose between food and medicine. But they’re willing to re-work actual contracts – whether they are education loan terms or re-negotiated home mortgage lending practices – to secure some special interest votes.
Archive for October 2011
Here’s the conservative motto for the 2011 primary season through the general election in November, 2012:
We may not have our Ronald Reagan yet, but you guys definitely have your Jimmy Carter!!
You heard it at the Middle Resolution blog first!
Copyright October 20, 2011, 9:13 pm
All rights reserved
One Virginia congressman said recently “I had to re-learn the meaning of “compromise” when I got here. Up in DC, it means “everybody gets everything they want”.”
That’s exactly the situation when there’s an unlimited supply of money to dole out, and it’s exactly the root of our fiscal discipline problems right now.
It used to be the case that opposing viewpoints came to the table with two sets of ideas and engaged in the process of compromise. If you make me remove this, then you have to remove that. I’ve got to keep that, so I’ll let you keep the other thing. Let’s meet in the middle and craft a bill which probably nobody loves, but nearly everybody can live with.
Let’s all wax poetic about the idea of Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan tipping back a few brews together after the workday wrangling was done. Does anybody think Harry Reid and John Boehner would even suffer each other long enough to pick up a burger from the drive-thru?
Unfortunately, that process has been lost over the last several years, and the Congressional representatives today are dealing with a much different system.
The current operation is to have special interest wonks write your bill. Then marshal the troops on your side of the aisle and count the votes you know you’ve got. Then go out and buy the votes you need to get to 218 or 51. Cornhusker Kickback, Louisiana Purchase, Gator Aid, whatever it takes. The minority is completely left out of the process, and the bill is so one-sided that it is almost unrecognizable to a near-majority of the citizenry. The best representative is the one who holds out the longest and gets funding for the biggest bridge to nowhere in return for his or her vote. It’s despicable when you really think about it.
The idea of compromise has gotten a bad rap recently. The unspoken full phrase is “compromise (your principles)”, at which everybody holds their nose. You can compromise without compromising your principles. This isn’t an Eagles fan and a Redskins fan agreeing to root for the Cowboys. It’s not having somebody who wants to cut off your hand and convincing them that three fingers is a suitable middle ground. Compromise shouldn’t be a four-letter word, and you shouldn’t have to abandon your principles to participate in it.
Is now the time to re-learn the graceful dance of compromise? Do we have representatives who are able or, even more, willing to do it? Is the partisan political process so acidic, the bickering so deafening, and the party ranks closed so tight, that it is even possible??
I hope it’s worth a try.
Outside of religious liberty or liberty in general; capitalism/free markets were sautéing in the minds of the founders. Adam Smith’s, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations was surely on their respective reading lists. Fast forward to the current dispensation in the Commonwealth, as Governor McDonnell and Lt. Governor Bolling, have been resetting the course for free market and private enterprise. Nothing new but they should be applauded for calling upon the collective spirit of the foundation of Virginia and free markets; which date back to 1607. However, one can take a step further back to 1606, when The London Company (Charter of the Virginia Company of London) in its infancy was established by royal charter by James I of England, on April 10, 1606 with the purpose of establishing colonial settlements inNorth America.
The settlement of Jamestown; despite early failures did prove to be beneficial, productive and a fundamental exercise/success in classical economics.The Virginia Company needed labor. Voluntary settlers in exchange for seven years of labor for the company they were provided passage, food, protection and land ownership. Not exactly a pay check but par for the course by the day’s standard. Not to mention the unlimited opportunity which lay ahead of the enterprise. These settlerswere employees and their job was to make a profit for their employer. They knew the risks involved and exercised their agency to undertake the effort. In no way can one compare today’s work environment to the brutal existence of the early settlers. However, as with any early business adventure, the risk/reward is great. The colony did grow, receive an additional charter and in time industry flourished. The Virginia Company despite success did incur debt, people didn’t pay bills and they suffered from bad public relations. Just as it is today, The Virginia Company had to deal with political infighting and financial woes as well. Was it a great business model, perhaps not but it helped lay the foundation for the greatest country the modern world has ever seen. Shame the Occupy Wall Street “protesters” can’t travel back in time. How would they fair back in 1607 during the Starving Times at Jamestown without an ipad, Starbucks latte and smart phone. Just how industrious would they be? How fast would it take compared to today’s standards to make a latte? Perhaps they should put themselves into the context of 1607 on the banks of the James River to see how wonderful our society is despite its flaws.
Where would society be without entrepreneurs and corporations whose initial investment, assumption of the risk/financial catastrophe and without the concept of a profit? All one needs to do is remove the mask of self entitlement and take a look around. We have been doing it here inVirginia since 1607 and it works.