Why Now?
Sunday, November 21, 2004
  Am I Blue?

Sartorially I’ve been blue most of my life. Denim has been the consistent theme in the beginning and end, with “air force blue”, “police blue”, and blue button-down shirts in between.

Politically I spent the 20th century as an independent, voting for the individual, rather than the party. I was interested in fiscal responsibility, avoiding foreign involvements, energy independence, environmental sensitivity, and incremental increases in the quality of life for everyone: fairly conservative values, nothing extreme.

As a true believer in capitalism, I have always been leery of corporations as they are a basic violation of the capitalistic ideal. People forget that the muscle in the “invisible hand” that guides the free market is risk and the sole purpose of a corporation is to reduce risk. I oppose the imposition of litigation caps for the same reason, the reduction of risk. I am deeply offended that people can lead large businesses to disaster and walk away with fortunes.

Many of today’s business leaders spend their time watching the stock market instead of the market in which their companies compete. If the leadership of a company spends more time worrying about the opinions of Wall Street wonks than the opinions of customers, the company is in trouble. When a company is in good shape, the stock will rise because of the company’s increasing value.

When I was forced to choose a party affiliation I naturally chose the Democratic Party, the party of small business and economic growth, the party that understands the threat that corporations pose to capitalism and the free market.

The Republicans support corporations with special exemptions, subsidies, and give-aways. They are the party that supports reducing the risks for corporations and transferring the cost to small business and the consumer.

The current Republican Party has eliminated the possibility of splitting your ballot by enforcing ideological orthodoxy on all members. Any member who attempts to take an independent stand is subjected to the Rovian Inquisition and risks their career and livelihood for even minor deviations from the Party Line.

When I wore “air force blue”, I was a Russian linguist and intelligence analyst. I spent eight years fighting the “Red Menace” of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. I read a lot of their propaganda and am familiar with its construction and tone. Now, when I had hoped to slide gracefully towards a quiet retirement, I must again sharpen the sword of democracy to battle the “Red Menace” of the Republican Party.

The Constitution of the Soviet Union was as, or more, democratic than the Constitution of the United States, but that didn’t stop Stalin. When his back was against the wall because of Hitler’s invasion, Stalin played the ultimate political cards: patriotism and religion. G-d and Country!", the rallying cry of every politician who wants to justify dictatorial power.


"reducing the risks for corporations and transferring the cost to small business and the consumer"Dell is planning to build a factory in our area, which is a good news/bad news situation.

We can certainly use the jobs; our textile, furniture, and tobacco industries have taken terrible hits.

On the other hand, the state and county governments are falling all over themselves offering "incentive packages" to lure Dell to their county. If Dell pulls out some day, a lot of taxpayers will be left jobless AND holding the proverbial bag.

When there's a well-educated and trained job force just waiting for a company to hire them, abundant land, decent educational system in place, interstate highways going east-west and north-south, an adjacent airport with a (planned) FedEx hub....it seems to me the company should be delighted to locate here without having to be bribed.

Come to think of it, maybe they should pay US for the privilege.
I have watched this process repeatedly all over the country: huge tax breaks and benefits for corporations and they leave after a few years. A local small business can't even get a sign variance, much less traffic lights, road improvements, and tax deals.

Dell would be a good fit, but Michael Dell isn't the guy who used to take your call when he was selling out of his dorm room. The corporation is only concerned with its own bottom-line.
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