Posted June 19, 2012 at 8:00 am, in From the USW International President
The Romney v. Obama economic smack down in Ohio last Thursday failed to deliver half the punch of remarks the men made earlier in the week.
President Obama said the nation must focus on the public sector, which continues to lay off thousands of teachers, cops and firefighters, even while the private sector has recovered sufficiently to consistently add jobs. Romney said he would fire more teachers, cops and firemen.
This gets to the dispute between Democrats and Republicans. The GOP has contended for 30 years that the primary function of government is to serve corporations and the 1 percent, and that when they thrive, the 99 percent may receive hand-me-down benefits. Democrats believe the principal function of government is to serve the majority of people and that when they benefit, the economy thrives for everyone.
For all the fancy talk in Ohio on Thursday, it comes down to this: Do Americans want a government of the people by the people for the people, one conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal? Or do Americans want a government of the corporations by the corporations for the corporations, one dedicated to the proposition that the rich are better than everyone else?
For the rich, like Mitt Romney, the proposition that they are better than everyone else is a given. Romney believes that he, the son of a wealthy car company executive and governor, the youth who attended exclusive private schools and wallowed in every privilege, is a self-made man.
That is basic Republican philosophy: Every wealthy person and every successful corporation achieved that all by themselves. They didn’t inherit; they didn’t benefit from taxpayer-funded infrastructure like roads, schools and patent enforcement; there was no luck involved. They achieved it alone by virtue of their own grit, hard work and dedication.
Anyone can do it, the GOP believes, if they would just buckle down, work hard and follow all the rules. As a result, in Republican world, anyone who isn’t rich has only himself to blame.
Therefore, in GOP-logic, the poor and middle class are inferior beings. Government should not serve them. The government, Republicans think, should bow to the successful, who earned service. The government must not, according to the GOP, reward shiftlessness by providing benefits to middle class scallywags who have failed to do what it takes to get rich. (more…)