February 11, 2014

Democrats are the New Republicans

Imagine, if you are under the age of 40, that once, not really so long ago, one of the two major American political parties espoused the following ideals, and the other party did not believe in these ideals strongly at all.
  • Free Enterprise -- That companies should operate in a market under the law without subsidies from government....  Without, for instance, subsidies for oil exploration.  ("According to...the Congressional Budget Office, capital investments like oil field leases and drilling equipment are taxed at an effective rate of 9 percent, significantly lower than the overall rate of 25 percent for businesses in general and lower than virtually any other industry." -- NYT)
  • Market Solution for Health Care -- Health Care should be extended via a market solution: a regulated marketplace of private insurers and providers, a mandate, and subsidies for the poorest families (Nixon).
  • Naive Free Trade -- Extend free trade everywhere possible, regardless of factors like currency manipulation.

So, which party was that?

The Republican Party.

Today, one party pays lip service to these ideals at times, but the other party truly believes in these ideals.

More of the true believers are Democrats.

I'd go further.

Today, it is the Democratic Party that believes in the Horatio Alger story, the upward mobility, the land of opportunity.

These are strong ideals, and the Democrats, having the real belief, should embrace the first two of these ideals, and Horatio Alger, more forcefully, publicly, rhetorically.

Free Trade, on the other hand has a complexity that is crucial:  Free Trade isn't actual unless the currencies freely float (click link to understand why).


I was surprised as I began to finish this post and looked up when Elizabeth Warren was a Republican because her party affinity history, wiki nutshell version, is just like my own:

"Warren voted as a Republican for many years saying, "I was a Republican because I thought that those were the people who best supported markets." She states that in 1995 she began to vote Democratic because she no longer believed that to be true, but she says that she has voted for both parties because she believed that neither party should dominate."

People, Elizabeth Warren has evolved some, but not that much.  It's the Republican party that has changed so drastically.

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