Saturday, April 28, 2018

Paul Ryan's Makers- and-Takers Stance Is in Open Conflict with Christian Values

Ryan fires House chaplain for "being too political." I think what he meant was "Don't call out my hypocrisy."

Thing is, it doesn't trickle down if you grab it and send it back up.

Speaker Paul Ryan stepped in it this week, by all accounts, when he fired the House chaplain for including Christian values in a recent invocation.

Holy Jesus, Batman! What about market forces?!?

Yeah, what about them? A Bloomberg View writer recycles the zombie economics of trickle-down to declare Ryan all-in on behalf of the poor. Sample graph:
At a nationally televised town hall last week, Paul Ryan was asked how he upholds the Catholic Church’s teaching that we should help the poor. Ryan, a Catholic, answered that his emphasis on economic growth, upward mobility and opportunity for all is how, as House speaker, he puts that teaching into practice.
Ugh. How many times do we have to send the money up to the top and watch income inequality increase to understand that market forces don't work (at least the way you say they do)?

Even if it works a little, does that mean Ryan is satisfied that he's a little Christian and the priest should shut up a lot?

I for one want to move past Ryan. He's a well-documented fraud. His numbers never added up, and even as speaker he never tried to push through a budget that met his exact prescriptions and instead pushed budget busters. So here are my general thoughts on the inherent conflicts in conservative economic thought:
Sides in an argument can agree to disagree. That, often, is civil discourse. Fine.

But when one side disagrees with itself -- when its core beliefs conflict with its core values -- the only way the situation is resolved is through confession or hypocrisy.

The central problem is conservative libertarianism runs counter to Christian communitarianism. You either have to say "I don't want to give food to the poor, flat out," (honesty) or you say "Jesus would cut food stamps, too." (umm, no). This is difficult for evangelicals who primarily line up with Republicans. (inarguable)

Liberals don't generally win the religious vote (inarguable), but they don't have any such conflict of beliefs versus values. "We want to feed the poor," lines up nicely with "Jesus went right past food stamps to loaves and fishes, so good chance Jesus is into feeding the poor, too."
My conclusion: Conservatives are dogged by conflicts where liberals aren't, even though conservatives can claim (statistically) that they are the proper home of Christian evangelicals.

Liberals for the win, in this case. If not, explain how a true Christian conservative would solve this dilemma?

Note. Here's how income inequality charts:

A picture's worth? How about another?

At some point, can Americans stop demonstrating such toxic greed? What ratio would Jesus want? (Full disclosure: I'm an atheist. Doesn't mean I don't have values.)

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Americans Want Things Only Liberals Will Provide, and Polls Show It.

Below is a list I found in Salon of policies Americans would rush to enact.

And the trouble is Democrats are afraid to totally embrace this, for fear of what, alienating non-college-educated white men? Er, maybe.

Here's the list:
  • Allowing the government to negotiate drug prices (supported by 79 percent)
  • Offering students the same interest rates as big banks (78 percent)
  • Universal pre-kindergarten (77 percent)
  • Fair trade that protects workers, the environment and jobs (75 percent)
  • Ending tax loopholes for corporations that ship jobs overseas (74 percent)
  • Ending gerrymandering (73 percent)
  • Letting homeowners pay down mortgages with 401k funds (72 percent)
  • Debt-free college at public universities (71 percent)
  • A $400 billion infrastructure jobs program (71 percent)
  • Requiring the NSA to get warrants before collecting our data (71 percent)
  • Disclosing corporate spending on politics and lobbying (71 percent)
  • Medicare buy-in, available to all (71 percent)
  • Closing offshore corporate tax loopholes (70 percent)
  • A "Green New Deal," creating millions of clean energy jobs (70 percent)
  • A Full Employment Act (70 percent)
  • Expanding Social Security benefits (70 percent)
How many of these things are you against? Thought so.

Get out and tell your representatives what you want. Then vote 2018.