“Permanent, Political Class”

I’m sure that comment was a dig at Rick Perry. But it is useful as a device to get us talking about something not too much discussed; and that, in turn, illustrates rather vividly why Sarah Palin’s fifteenth minute is very far away from being up.

Me, I rather like Rick Perry. If Palin announces she isn’t going to run, Perry would be my pick. All the talk about him being an entrenched power mogul is a little bit overblown & lacking in perspective, in my opinion. He started being Governor of Texas, what, when George W. Bush stepped down to serve as President or something? So, beginning of 2001, ten years ago? Yeah, and? We’ve got people serving in the United States Senate for generations.

But we are overdue for a paradigm shift.

The way I see it, people living in a free society are always going to be predisposed to separate themselves into exactly two important factions; they will unify into one piece only in the presence of a truly grave threat, and then not for any sustained length of time. And if ever they are to fracture into three or more pieces, they’ll place a high priority on healing the smaller cracks and fissures, to overcome those, but also to keep the one yawning chasm in place. So that is the natural juxtaposition of a free people, from what I have seen. One big major split with two large crowds, one on either side of the big split.

Our big split has been rotated. When FDR changed the way we do business in the United States, around that time it became a split of: Management versus labor. The democrats wanted it that way, reasoning that if elections are decided by votes, labor gets more votes so everything is going to be democrat-heavy for a few decades. And that is precisely what happened. After awhile, though, people began to figure out organized labor existed for the purpose of making itself more expensive and we all were paying the price. And so there was a balancing that came about. But the polarization was between labor-sympathetics and management-sympathetics. Or let’s label that last one — people who are capable of looking down the road. People who actually read about what’s going on and put it all together; people who are capable of saying “So we work these generous compensation and vacation packages into the price of things manufactured domestically…we bitch about exports going down, imports going up, ‘jobs being shipped overseas’…and…hello, clue??”

That has been the liberal/conservative divide. At least on domestic issues dealing with regulation of the private sector.

But as far as reality is concerned, there is a different divide being created by a shift in executive power. Our modern loathing of details that make things work, has inclined us to vote in these executives to make decisions based on vague campaign promises, rather than to vote directly on the policies ourselves. Obama is perhaps the very pinnacle of this trend, having campaigned on little more than a bumper sticker slogan of “hope and change.” He was confronted by a tidal wave of criticism over the excessive vagueness of this “plan,” but the tidal wave of criticism was insufficient to stop Him, so we voted in ’08 that bumper sticker slogans were enough. The trend has been building for a very long time, that we don’t want to get into our election season squabbles about policies, we want to get into our election seasons squabbles about…Michelle Obama’s arms, Barack’s dance moves, John McCain can’t send e-mail, Palin doesn’t know the answer to trivial pursuit questions and oh my goodness doesn’t Joe Biden have an impressive wide white straight-toothed smile? Such a nice man.

So we don’t argue too much about “how many jobs are we going to lose to satisfy organized labor’s insatiable demands?” At some point, you’ve shipped all the jobs overseas you can afford to ship overseas, and we’re probably there…next step is the public sector unions getting everything they want, and it seems that particular battle might have been resolved, this time against the unions. So it’s more-or-less settled. In this way, we’ve “grown up” somewhat, probably far too late, and come to realize we’re all in the same boat as far as providing goods and services. Management and labor are seen by the electorate as being more-or-less on the same side. People don’t say so out loud. But M&L are only placed in conflict with each other during some spat about maternity leave or the latest labor demand for better medical benefits or more vacations. Which I think is seen by most nowadays, the way I have always looked at it: as something that is not a public policy issue.

Maybe that’s because in the 21st century labor lacks the ability to get into specifics. They can’t say “Our rights are being oppressed if we don’t get our four weeks vacation, management wants to restrict us to only three!” The average voter would reply with “Uh hey waitaminnit…I only get two where I work.”

The new polarization, I think, is between people who have jobs that actually produce things — or are trying like the dickens to get hold of a job that does that, based on the experience they’ve accumulated to date — and everybody else. The moochers who think work is for suckers, the pencil-neck bureaucrats, the lawyers, the rules & regs people, the politicians, the buyers and sellers of so-called “toxic assets.”

Like Palin said (about 1:40): “We are governed by a permanent political class.” They are completely out of control. Because our major split has been mis-aligned from reality for about, oh, thirty years or more…they have realized a huge benefit from their complete lock on our political and educational institutions, with the other side enjoying no representation at all, or very little. Hence my comments about the polarization being in need of an update.

We have labor and management in the business of building something that other people can actually use, for which customers and clients will willingly pay real money. And then we have labor and management in something that isn’t a business at all. Coming up with new & creative excuses for slapping taxes on things. Regulating, regulating and regulating some more.

We’re running into all kinds of problems when the second of those two groups, makes it their “business” to pretend to know something about how the first of those two groups builds their stuff — when they really don’t know much of anything about anything.

Monopoly ManWe have a new yawning political chasm between those who run out of money and must take their lumps for having screwed up — on the income, on the expenses, or on the budgeting, one way or another it will be their fault; and, those who run out of money and can simply pass blame on to the taxpayer for not having paid enough. That is our new dividing line.

The labor/management split is out of whack because it’s out of date. The last time it made any sense, the clothes worn by the Monopoly Man were almost still in style.

And so this gels into a perplexing question for those who insist Palin is “doing damage” and her “fifteenth minute is up”: Do you think there might be some validity, any at all, to my observation that we are polarized in a whole new way and that the older labor/management schism no longer reflects reality? And, if you’re willing to concede that, if only partly — who besides Palin is going to carry the interests of the wealth creators…that would be wealth-creation management, as well as wealth-creation labor…to the halls of power where the rules are made? Who else is as likely? Who else is as fit?

Because, you see, this is why there’s this red ink all over the place. The people who build things that actually might command a willingly-paid price, haven’t had a voice in Washington. They haven’t been trudging to the Potomac to make themselves heard. They’ve been too busy; they’ve had work to do. Even now, when they’re participating, it’s only under protest and it’s only with the time they can spare as they try to continue making things that generate real wealth for themselves & others. The rest of the country needs them, more than they need the rest of the country. And so we have been leaving the rule-making to people who don’t know how to build working valuable things, and don’t care to learn how. We have been making rules that destroy wealth, because we have been allowing the rules to be made by those who do not respect the creation of real wealth.

I keep hearing from the Palin-haters “What exactly is Palin’s plan to fix what’s broken?” The question, it seems to me, is what exactly is going to be done by anybody else, to wrest the power out of the grasp of those who consume and destroy, building nothing, and get it into the hands of people who know how to build things? Who else do you Palin-bashers have in mind to get that accomplished?

Update: The complete speech in transcript and video form. Doesn’t settle whether she’s running or not, but it’s enough to change the odds at the betting tables quite a bit.

Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes and Washington Rebel.

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