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 Thursday April 28th 2016Tim Candler9

 

      "Two reasons. It wouldn't be logical to withdraw our investment from where we're growing, and our goal is to protect investments in emerging markets."  It was a while ago, but these humble words from the President of General Motors on February 2nd 2009, basically meant that GM was going to invest a billion dollars in Brazil and not in the United States. It was money from TARP loaned to General Motors that made this possible, it contained conditions but none the less it was a loan to a Global Corporation's decision makers not to the people of Detroit or Ohio. It was something new conservatives understood, and despite certain reservations about the principle of government inefficiencies interfering with the free market, they saw the benefit of investing in the industry of emerging markets where labor was less expensive, ill-organized and a great deal more obedient. Unfortunately many people in the USA failed to understand this, but they were mostly poor and powerless, a day to day, hand to mouth lifestyle with appalling eating habits, a terrible attitude toward bootstraps, blind to the opportunities available to them, devoted to their bibles, guns and their television set, possessed by a series of personal flaws that had probably prevented them from pursuing a useful career by graduating from somewhere like the Harvard School of Business. Then in the 2012 General Election the Republican Candidate for President was recorded on tape at a private fundraising dinner formalizing the neo-liberal position by informing his contributors that 47% of the American people didn't pay taxes, all they wanted was stuff from the government, they were a burden on the public purse and his job as a Presidential Candidate was not to concern himself with them because he'd never convince the 47% to "take personal responsibility and care for their own lives." They just didn't seem to understand that whole hearted devotion to Profit was the Solution to the the Problem, it was the engine of plenty, a Computer made in China in every shirt pocket, an Indonesian Shrimp on every plate, a garage with car elevator in every driveway, the economy was global, corporations were people, investment anywhere in the world that produced profit was a benefit to the whole.

 

Past

     The 2012 election also produced the wonderful idea from US Republicans that there was a major, unexplored, best seller endorsed distinction between "I" and "We." They'd been hunting around for some kind of justification for growing inequalities of wealth within the United States, and they decided to introduce their feminine side by making Ayn Rand a Saint. Atlas Shrugged, the great man theory of being, a consequential elite that knew what was best for the rest of us. "I swear by my life that I made this, you didn't. So you don't actually deserve anything from me, least of all a chapter in the book, nor do I need anything from you." It's paraphrase from an often quoted line from the New Conservative's Saint, but if you'd actually read Atlas Shrugged, you might have realized it was kind of a thriller like Biggles with mediocrity as the enemy instead of the Hun interspersed with the occasional simplistic grasp of Nietzsche's sad commentary upon our disappointment in God and the assumption of some kind of glorious flow running, almost genetic, though a select few who deserved the reward here in earth. Call it sociopathic if you have to, but it served a good purpose for a new conservative's sense of self, it drew a halo under which a person could stand proud when confronted by something like a homelessness veteran, it plumbed right into the neo-liberal idea, it appealed to narcissism and the kind of paranoia that produces the old fashioned Prophet that reckons he's spoken to God.  In the 2012 election the Republican Party, whose Presidential candidate was a Billionaire, a Management Consultant and former Governor of a North Eastern State, failed to defeat President Obama. But, while the party gained power over the Congress it further lost touch with those loyal Republican voters, who felt betrayed by their failure to understand their own very humble role within the neo-liberal "It's the economy stupid," which a majority in the Political Class, Democrats, Republicans, had very quickly learned to worship. The thing about Political Parties is that they are Tribes and a tribe's clans expect stuff from their Tribal Elders. Then when Tribal Elders fail to produce the right kind of stuff, there's trouble for the Castle. And here, I think it worth suggesting that Neo-Liberal "It's the economy stupid" hasn't actually been working for the bulk of Republican voters. Hello Donald Trump.

 

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