Tuesday, March 27, 2018

letter to the editor of The Atlantic (unpublished)

Dear Editor, 

I'm amused by efforts to defend either major political party-- or to throw a lot more rocks at one or the other. Should we "boycott the GOP"? If you're not boycotting both major parties, your standards are too low; your policy preferences are incoherent; or you're willing to thoroughly compromise whatever principles you might have. The GOP is the party of fiscal conservatism, but they're profligates. The Dems are the party of peace and civil liberties, but they're content with warmongers and are leading the charge to trample free speech at universities. The GOP is the party of family values, but they gave us Trump. The Dems support women's rights, but they gave us a candidate who forcefully enabled a sexual predator. And so on.

In December, Peter Beinart asked whether GOP'ers and their policies are racist. Maybe, I guess, sometimes. But on the other side, you have Dems who subsidize the destruction of family through welfare policies; insist on K-12 education dominated by government-run entities with tremendous monopoly power over those with less income; work to make it much more costly to hire less-skilled workers through a higher minimum wage; and say nothing about the 15.3% FICA payroll tax on every dollar earned by the working poor and middle-class-- all of which disproportionately harm disadvantaged people of color.

Really, by these metrics, it should be a pox on both houses. Boycott both major parties. Criticize both parties for causing so much damage to the vulnerable. Turn more of your energy from politics to economics, from striving for power to a better understanding of public policy.

D. Eric Schansberg
Professor of Economics
Indiana University Southeast

New Albany, IN 47150


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home