Democratic Agenda

The Democrats have revealed their plan to bankrupt America within five years. I’m not a Republican by any stretch of the imagination, but does anyone really buy the Democratic agenda anymore? It’s as though the carebears took all the issues facing the nation, and did a care bear stare, and decided to fix everything wrong within five years, at no cost to anyone. How convenient.

Sure, as a citizen without access to low-latency broadband, part of me wishes their “100% broadband coverage” bull-hockey was plausible. We’re not South Korea or Denmark or any other small area of land with a bazillion people in it, however. We’re the United States, and we cover a not insignificant area of land. This makes “broadband for all” infeasible with current technology.

Also, from the article:

“I was told that an entry level person at Wal-Mart, who works his or her entire career at Wal-Mart, would make as much as the CEO makes in two weeks. A lifetime of work versus two weeks in the executive suite — this is not America, this is not fairness, this is not the basis of a strong middle class that is essential for our democracy. We must change that in our country,” she said.

Now “she” is Nancy Pelosi. As a Representative, she pulls in $162,100 per year. Minimum wage is currently $5.15 per hour. To bring Rep. Pelosi’s quote into context, a worker who works at Wal-Mart their entire life will pull in about $503,464 (all other things being equal)($10,712 per year from age 18 until age 65). Rep. Pelosi earns this amount in 3.1 years, which is one and a half terms.

If it is unfair in the employee versus CEO comparison, is it fair that she herself be making so very much more than these poor wage slaves? Bah. The entire article makes me angry. I really have no idea how the government gets *anything* done, given the wildly varying degrees of understanding of reality we have present in our congressmen.

  1. What’s more, members of Congress will pull their salaries for life. It’d be pretty keen to have *that* pension plan.

    Their goals seem nuts. Energy independence in ten years at government mandate seems like a sure-fire way to cripple the national economy with exorbitant fuel prices. Also, the last thing the American health care system needs is *more* centralization. We’d be better off, on the whole, if everyone paid their own way for health insurance. It’s not like employers don’t figure that cost into the cost of employment.

  2. California, from which Ms. Pelosi hails, also has a much higher minimum wage than the federal standard. Illinois and many other states where the cost of living is higer also have higher state minimum wage requirements. So really, using the federal minimum wage to make a point is bogus.

    On another note, a robust middle class has been typical in manufacturing-based economies. A service-based economy in which Wal-Mart is the largest employer simply won’t support the wages a manufacturing economy does, or at least it hasn’t so far. Maybe we can force it to, but it’s unclear what the costs will be.

    Jon — I’m not convinced that we’d *all* be better off with a more privatized health care system. People like me would, but not all companies offer health insurance, and in the above-mentioned service economy it is not the sure benefit that it used to be. What I do think is funny about the Democrats, though, is that they complain about the bloated insurance bureaucracy that drives up health care costs. In the same breath, they criticize the Bush administration for not creating enough jobs. Are they stupid, or do they really not understand that going to a single payer system would cause many tens of thousands of mid-level, good-paying jobs at insurance companies to be cut? Too funny.

  3. I don’t think we really want to consider minimum wage works the middle class. If Ms. Pelosi simply wants to increase minimum wage until it is the middle class that has very serious implications, namely very high unemployment and fewer workers.

    And I’m no defender of insane CEO pay, but comparing an entry-level Wal-Mart employee (probably 18 vs. someone who has 40 years experience) is simply an overt and deliberate attempt to obfuscate the economics of value added services. Again, not at all saying CEOs add the value they take (they don’t on average) but there is a clear difference between the decisoins they make and putting packages on shelves. Some places like Aldi actually don’t have shelves anymore…so that’s actually not a true neccesity.

  4. Re: more privatised health care

    Actually, I’d generally favor companies not providing health insurance to their employees, at least not as a tax-exempt benefit. The current set-up masks the cost of health insurance from its beneficiaries, so that getting *any* health insurance is prohibitively expensive. In the meantime, every employer who does provide those sorts of benefits would, in theory (less so, no doubt, in practice) be able to pass the current cost of those benefit plans directly into their employee’s paychecks, making for overtly higher wages, even if the net economic result, all else being equal, is a wash. (Similarly, I don’t like payroll taxes.)

    Obviously, that doesn’t benefit everyone, and I don’t (actually) advocate disbanding government sponsored health care for those who really can’t afford to pay for it themselves. Still, the current two-payer system doesn’t really work (AFAIK, this is only partly the result of government regulation), and a wholly socialised system would be an unmitigated disaster.

    On the other hand, I’ve been drinking a lot of Konservative Kool-Aid of late.

  5. Funny you should think Democrats likely to be the cause of a US bankruptcy, especially considering the other news of the day that the Senate just raised our debt limit again. We have record debts combined with record (for a generation or so) dislike and distrust of America’s policies and stability around the world, including by many of those who we owe money to. That could very well lead to bankruptcy before the new Democratic majority even has a chance to even get elected let alone enact any policy changes.

    I really hope Republican primary voters at least go back to nominating actual conservatives again just in case the majority slot doesn’t change hands.

  6. Dan,

    You write as though you think I don’t blame Republicans for the very same thing. You’ll note that I simply label this the Democratic plan for bankrupcy. I never claimed the Democrats had a corner on the market.

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