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June 21, 2014

Saturday Morning Open Thread: How to Craft Policy [WeirdDave]

The other day the RNC called me. "Hey Dave", they said, "We need your help this election season to stop the liberal Democrats". "How do we stop the liberal Republicans?" I asked.

They hung up.

And therein lies the problem. No, the problem isn't that they hung up on me, thinking that because of my question I wouldn't contribute; they were right. Hanging up is a poor solution, if I were an easily offended guy it might lead me to write them off, but still. No, the problem is that as they see it they are between a rock and a hard place. (For the purposes of this discussion I'm going to assume good intentions all around, m'kay? I know this isn't the case with everyone) Their base is pulling one way with all it's might, and their monied patrons are pulling the other just as hard.


In this corner we have the base. Real, hard working people who can see plain as day that Amnesty will doom this country to third world status. We've put our foot down, hard, and we aren't budging. Amnesty is a deal breaker, and no matter how much money they have, if we don't vote, it's goodbye Senate majority, hello President Lieawatha and then the big goodbye: So long US of A, it was nice knowing ya.

In the other corner we have the fat cats. Business interests and the Chamber of Commerce. Burdened by sky-high regulatory cost, sledgehammered by labor rates and reeling from that energy inflation that DC says we don't have. They know that they are the engine that makes America tick, and they are desperate for some relief to keep their businesses going. Without them, we don't have an economy, and they know it. Amnesty seems to be an easy answer: Amnesty brings down labor costs, which will allow them to keep their companies afloat. (That it will screw Joe Six-Pack isn't really their concern, nor should it necessarily be, and the fact that it's short sighted and will lead to the ruin of the whole country is, I think, to them just crazy talk. They're not in the trenches and likely don't see the view from the ground, they don't know how bad it is down here. I know, I know, but remember, I assuming good intentions, OK?) If they don't get the relief they need, they'll withhold their money. Even if all of us turn out in November, without a budget they can't counter the Democrat lie machine.

So. Rock, meet Hard Place. Pot meet Kettle. Immovable Object, say hello to Mr. Unstoppable Force. And here's poor old Reince Priebus, stuck in the middle with you. Being beltway types as they are, they lean towards the money, and in so doing they'll inadvertently damn us all (remember, good intentions).

There is a solution, and I'm going to give it to them. Lord knows they won't see it, and frankly the whole bunch of them strike me as about as competent as a left handed garter snake, but who knows?

Assume you're a business. You're looking to set up shop somewhere. What factors determine where? There are four big ones.

#1 Stability. How likely is it that you can continue to run your business? I bet Venezuela has very low labor costs, and they've got oil by the cartload, but you'd be crazy to locate there. As soon as you turned a profit, your business would be taken away. The US is still at or near the top in this category.

#2 Regulatory burden. Taxes, laws, regulations, fines, etc. Sadly, we don't do so well here. Better than Venezuela or North Korea, but it's still a problem.

#3 Labor. Yes, labor costs are high in the US, but it's generally skilled, educated labor, and it does have the bonus of providing a market for the goods produced. How many Nike shoes do you suppose the folks in Indonesia are buying? They're making them, sure, but buying them? Not so much.

#4 Energy. Factories don't run on perpetual motion machines. Energy costs are a huge part of overhead.

(#4b is material costs, but in a global market, this evens out. Where it doesn't, it's because of #2 above)

#1 is a given (for now). #2 is a long term project. #3 is why Amnesty is an issue. But #4...

If I'm Reince, I go to the Chamber of Commerce, and I tell them this:

"I know you want Amnesty to cut your labor costs. Well, you can't have it. It's shortsighted, and we won't win dog catcher if we push it. But I'm going to give you something better. I'm going to cut your energy costs in half. Help us win the Senate in '14 and we'll start laying the groundwork. Give us the Presidency in '16 and we'll open the taps. We'll build Keystone so fast the oil won't be able to keep up. We'll drill so many natural gas wells you'll be able to walk across Colorado without touching dirt. We'll take all of the money being wasted on crony boondoggles like Solyndra and perfect Thorium reactors (they are 100% safe and damn close to reality), so that you'll be able to put an outlet on the outside of your buildings and charge people to fill their wheelbarrows with electricity. As your energy costs slide, your profits will grow, and even though that will likely mean wages will start to climb, a strong and vibrant working class will weaken even further those bloodsucking unions. You, that's right, YOU, will create so many jobs that your workers will come to you and demand Amnesty because there aren't enough people for the jobs available. We're going to start an energy boom the likes of which this world has never seen, and all of you with the foresight to embrace it will get richer than God.

And then we'll tell the Middle East to go pound sand, Lord knows they have enough of it."

*Mic drop*

All you need is a little bit of attitude.

Warning, clip NSFW

Get all of the potential 2016 candidates on board to say that this is the plan they will support. Do I even have to explain how well no Amnesty and lower energy will go over with the base? It's not that complicated. It's all right in front of them, all they have to find is someone with a little sales skills. Add in some common sense and a dash of intelligence...

Oh, shit, now I see the flaw in my plan. Never mind.

Sad thing is, the Republican political class would benefit enormously from this themselves. It's too damn bad they can't see what's right in front of their face.

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posted by Open Blogger at 09:41 AM

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