Sunday, September 28, 2008

Top Down or Bottom Up? How Psychological Factors Impact Economic Results

Given the current state of our economy, we have all been subjected to several theories as to how best to proceed out of this economic storm. John McCain and the Republican Party continue to push their "top down" approach by emphasizing tax cuts to the wealthy. Barack Obama and the Democratic Party prefers an economic philosophy where a "bottom up" approach is embraced.

This posting is an attempt on my part to expose the underlying elements at play that have consistently proven that the Republicans' "top down" approach has been a consistent and dismal failure -- that there is an inherent imbalance in such an approach that will consistently produce disastrous results. And I am absolutely convinced that the Republican party, given its philosophical prejudices is incapable of governing in a fair and even-handed manner and certainly does not deserve our trust, loyalty, or our votes. Let me explain.

Having been an active and passionate observer of politics for the past forty years, beginning with the Johnson administration in '64, I have been witness to a number of Republican administrations, beginning with Nixon's in '68, followed by Ford (after Nixon's impeachment and resignation), then Reagan, Bush (#41), and lastly, the worst of them all, George W. Bush (#43). And what I take away from these decades of Republican stewardship (28 years in all), is their uncanny ability to shrink economic activity -- by virtue of a predictable and obvious favoring of the interests of a wealthy few over the interests of the vast majority. It's a selfish philosophy that seems to be fueled by a belief, conscious or not, in the "Scarcity Principle".

The Scarcity Principle holds that what is "perceived" to be scarce is generally held to be more valuable. Conversely, what is perceived to be "abundant" is inherently less valuable. This perspective translates into a mindset within certain circles that only a "chosen few" can realize the "American Dream" -- that wealth can only be achieved or realized in a limited fashion. A specific example of an economic policy, or an offspring of this philosophy, is what has become popularly known as "trickle down" economics. Such an approach is repulsively aristocratic, archaic, elitist, and only serves to suffocate or stifle economic activity.

We are now, in 2008, once again beginning to witness a historic and unprecedented contraction of economic activity due to the unmitigated corruption of a system borne largely from the tapestry of Republican greed, a greed that incapacitates those afflicted from seeing the forest above the swamp of their selfish lust for money, a greed that blinds them to the pain and suffering of those regarded to be disposable pawns on the chessboard of life.

Given such a culture, how could they possibly hope to govern in a manner that elicits trust and understanding and an expansive type of inclusion. Their selfishness and greed suffocates any spirit of growth or dynamism that might yield positive results. So, I say, vote all Republicans out of office. They don't deserve our trust and certainly don't deserve our votes.

John McCain exemplified this type of mindset by his selfish lust for power, as demonstrated by his surprise visit to Washington, D.C. to "rescue" the government's bailout process at a most sensitive and critical juncture in the process. Apparently impervious to, or unconcerned about, the potential risk of economic disaster by such a disruption, his actions reveal a stunning and blind ignorance of the "greater good" and highlight a selfish inclination to pursue personal goals or ambitions first.

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