Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Rep. Barney Frank is ending a decades long career in the House.  He was a champion of fiscal responsibility and gay rights.  He essentially said he was sick of the no compromise attitude that consumed the House.  I have always said that the one person most responsible for this mess was Newt Gingrich.  Frank said the same thing and singled him out as the main cause of the hateful atmosphere in DC.  And now the republicans have switched their allegiance to Gingrich in the latest GOP primary poll.  At least for this week.

Now the GOP and the Governor are New Mexico is starting a destructive approach in the current reapportionment lawsuits they have filed. They want a list of all communications between Democrats and Brian Sanderoff who was hired by the Legislative Council to work on designing new legislative and congressional districts.  He has carried out this task for almost thirty years with absolutely no indication of any favoritism.  They are doing nothing but trying to defame a respected Sanderoff and painting conspiracies where there are none.  What if they find more communications from email savvy republicans?  That would be funny. The Governor is nothing more than another Gingrich.

Albuquerque Journal Columnist Wynn Quigley wrote a good technical analysis this morning about energy subsidies and taxation.  His point I believe was that subsidies for renewable energy systems was really no different that oil and gas subsidies.  He said the economics favored oil and gas.  He is probably correct to a certain point, but he leaves out the most important issue.  That would be the fact that fossil fuels are killing our planet and the continued use of them are disastrous.  That makes the economic issues the least of our worries.


Bubba Muntzer said...

Sure, the economics favor oil and gas. He left out the fact that lobbyists and big campaign donations favor oil and gas. I didn't see any calculations for how it will come out when oil is $500 a barrel, either.

And most important, as you point out, I didn't see where he accounted for the peoples' wishes, either.

One beauty of the Occupy movement is that people are saying No, this is not the kind of world we want, this world where the power of money controlled by a tiny minority translates into control of everything. That's why they are physically occupying these spaces all over the country, beginning with Wall Street.

Not all the Occupy protesters are anti Capitalist, either. They just see that the political system isn't working for them. (Which is just what drove the tea baggers.) But they have certainly opened things up for questioning whether it's possible to achieve fairness under Capitalism. Recall that once before we had come to this point, when the "trust buster" Teddy Roosevelt came along and broke up the all-powerful conglomerates. The way Capitalism works, though, must work, is such that here were are again, with tremendous power in a few hands.

That was a very interesting article, though. About how taxes are never neutral. About politicians scurrying back and forth from this point of view to that one. About how there is some social and we might add economic engineering going on in deciding who and what gets taxed. But unfortunately the kind of economics he ascribes to, Classical Economics, which is more of an apologetics for Capitalism, precludes him from considering how Capitalism itself distorts the political system where the decisions over who and what gets taxed are made.

Bubba Muntzer said...

By the way, I read that book you recommended, A Hidden Place by Robert Charles Wilson. On Saturday in one sitting. Well, I got up for coffee, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Very good read though, and very pertinent for today, if anyone else is interested. It takes place during the Depression and that was a lot like what we're going through now and he shows how people can act in rough times, and why. We are the product of our material conditions, as Marx said.

Anyway thanks for that heads up. I plan to write something about it on my blog when I find time because I'd like to go into it a little more. There were several things about that book I really enjoyed. Alas, I'm working almost 80 hrs a week right now, down here where Capitalism hits the fan.