We are waiting to see if Republicans will shut down the government.
Ironically, most of the states hardest hit by a shutdown are Republican. Of the 15 states with the highest percentage of government workers, only 5 voted Democratic in the last election:
Republican states with the most to lose Government workers as a percentage of employees.
West Virginia 20.2
South Dakota 18.6
South Carolina 18.4
Republicans claim they are acting to protect the free market. Robert Reich points out this so-called free market is not free, but bound by rules humans created. To quote him: “Governments don’t intrude on free markets; governments organize and maintain them. Markets aren’t free of rules; the rules define them.”
The question is what we want these rules to achieve: do we maximize efficiency, growth, fairness, or some combination of all three–which, according to Reich, are not necessarily in competition with one another.
The central political question, according to Reich, is who decides on the rules? If democracy worked as it should, this would be our elected representatives, but as income and wealth have concentrated at the top, so has political clout.
Reich says we can end the savage inequality and make the economy work for all of us. But only if we exert the power that is supposed to be ours to change the rules.
If it’s playing in your city, go see Reich’s film: Inequality for All.
“In Republican States, More Government Jobs,” Floyd Norris, The New York Times, B3, September 28, 2013
“Control by powerful elite belies ‘free market’ myth’, Robert Reich, San Francisco Chronicle, E9, September 29, 2013.