Published November 29, 2012
Republicans need new economic answersFRED LAMOTTE
Republicans have important economic questions that should be on the table in any discussion about America’s future. Why must Republicans embed their economics in the social rhetoric of pre-Civil War slave-state culture, a culture that largely despises non-Christians, disdains non-whites, and distrusts independent women? Distinct from far-right cultural prejudices are fiscal questions such as: Where do we get the assumption that one citizen is “entitled” to the earnings of another? Have we confused the moral imperative to share, through our free will, and the political imperative of the state to enforce taxation? When a shrinking base of producers must support an increasing population of nonproducers, how can an economy sustain itself? Even the Bible says, “He who will not work shall not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). And even Karl Marx declared, “To each according to their need, from each according to their ability.” Can we transform entitlements into cooperatives, requiring everyone who takes from the system to put energy back into it? How might the federal government stimulate local business start-ups without overwhelming them in regulation? Might “free-enterprise zones,” where government seeds local entrepreneurs, help racial minorities gain fiscal independence and dignity better than “entitlements”? Is mere “redistribution of wealth” a viable solution? Without stimulating employment and production, is redistribution not simply fiscal entropy, resulting in the “heat-death” of the economy? The next great Republican leader will have the wisdom to ask these economic questions without embedding them in the buzzwords of a backward culture.