Of all the myths surrounding politics, one of that is totally false and yet one of the hardest to kill is that Republican economies are good for the economy. Like many myths of the realm, it was probably created by some flack and then promoted to the hilt by Republicans and their partners in the corporate media.
One only need look at our most recent economic history to see that Republicans create very short term exhilaration by pumping money to the wealthy through tax cuts. But once the rich have bought one more yacht and pumped their stock portfolio their money quits circulating and ends in the pile with the rest. Because they have much of the money that is keeping the flow going, when they stop spending the economy starts shriveling up.
At this point jobs start shriveling and in a decent society the government (us) incurs costs to help people stay alive. This of course includes things like food, health care and heating.
These are costs that should be known to those running the show and should be accounted for. Right now the Republicans are once again failing at understanding that all the money in a few hands will once again trigger a major recession or depression. We have seen such happenings under every Republican president since Hoover.
However, now we are seeing some very long term costs coming in to play which are not planned for and frankly are even being exacerbated by Republican policies.
Lets’s begin with the skyrocketing costs of gun violence in this country. Once again gun violence is in the forefront of the news cycle following the gut wrenching tragedy in Florida. The tragedy in Las Vegas is already long removed from our memories as are all the mini-tragedies in between.
As usual, the corporate media is focusing on the dead, but another 14 were injured in the Florida shooting on Valentine’s day. Of those, some may never be able to work, some will incur ongoing health issues including mental issues. The costs of these issues may be borne by the family, but much of it will probably come from us, via the government. As gun violence increases, these costs will increase. For the full story check out the Mother Jones article here.
Logic, compassion and simple common sense would tell us that the approach to this problem would be to attack the causes of the problem to try to ease the pain of the loss of life , the injuries and the long term damage caused by the increasing gun violence. Study after study points to the availability of weapons made specifically for killing humans at a mass level as the main culprit. Republicans seem to lack the logic gene and continue to insist that the best way to approach this problem is with more and bigger guns. Imagine the carnage that will ensue if that happens.
Another cost that is really skyrocketing is damage due to climate change related weather. Droughts are causing an increase in fires across the country from Florida to Minnesota to California. On the other side of the coin are the increasingly powerful storms that leave nearly total devastation in their paths. Last year natural disasters cost the US $306 Billion. We can only expect that amount to increase.
Whether we pay for it in increasingly higher insurance rates, special fees, or through government assistance, it is you and I that are paying for it. The Republican solution to this problem is to do more and more of what caused the problem in the first place. Ignore it and it will go away I guess. But any sensient human knows that it won’t.
Related to this is agricultural losses due to increasing drought and flood cycles. The estimated cost for this about $5 Billion.
The final example I will discuss here is the low wage economy. Related to this subject is the increasing burden of college debt. This debt has rendered many young adults have their money tied up so they will not be part of those buying homes and building a future. The debt is over $1Trillion. This will cause pain in the economy in the long run. Unfortunately that will be subject for another day
It is amazing that citizens in the US can work for companies that make profits in the tens of billions of dollars per year and that company can’t pay that employee enough to support him- or herself let alone a family.Thus even though a person is employed full time, we through the government must support A LARGE CORPORATION’S EMPLOYEES BECAUSE THE CORPORATION REFUSES TO PAY A LIVING WAGE.
A study done at the Labor Center at the U of California, Berkeley in April of 2015 pegged this cost at that time at nearly $153 Billion. I suspect many on the right would like to quibble with that number. Any number above 0 for support for full time workers should not be acceptable. Perhaps someone would like to explain why a world wide corporation with sales nearing half a Trillion dollars refuses to pay the employees who do the work living wages?
Once again, the Republican answer is more of the same or even worse if they can get away with it.
Add up this short list of huge expenses – BTW this is by no means an exhaustive list – and you come up with nearly a Trillion dollars in costs, much of which are borne by you and I through insurance or government. While none of these costs could be fully eliminated, all could be drastically reduced through policy change. But you won’t see any policy change through the current Republican Party. Each of these policies benefits their donor class – the gun sellers, the polluters and the huge corporations that thrive on cheap labor.
Maybe Republicans will even extend an offer of thoughts and prayers to go with their current policies.
The only way we can get changes is to vote for representatives who are not beholden to their corporate masters.