Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Road To Rush

Yesterday, on my way to the redneck store, I decided to go through the country. Country roads are always my first choice and the only hazard is that I always feel compelled to listen to redneck radio when I travel them. Without fail, I always wind up on Rush.

You have to consider the choices. It’s either college football, preachers or Rush. Seriously, it hit me while I was driving down the road that this is pretty desperate programming. Football only lasts a few months a year -- although religion lasts forever. I just can’t ever figure out why there isn’t at least one preacher on the radio that wants you to send money to somebody else -- some other charity -- besides themselves. Take the Salvation Army for instance. They seem to do pretty good work. And they’ve been doing it for over a hundred years. Ah, but I’m getting off track again. Back to Rush.

Between the ads for shiatsu foot massagers and coco butter oil treatments Rush was in his usual form. The stimulus wasn’t “really” working because the growth in GDP wasn’t “real”. Those car salesmen probably didn’t get “real” paychecks and the real estate agents didn’t get “real” commissions in Rush’s world I guess.

Krugman deflated Rush’s argument before Rush even got on the air.

”In another piece, Bivens notes that the usual suspects are now moving the goalposts, conceding that the stimulus is producing growth but saying that it’s not “genuine” growth because … it was caused by the stimulus. Ahem. “

The one that really got me though was when Rush was “educating” one of his listeners that thought the home-buying tax credit wasn’t such a bad idea. I’m sure he provided his audience with a similar education on Boeing getting tax breaks to move to South Carolina and I just missed it. I mean, surely if Republicans think giving a tax break to a business is a good thing then Democrats giving a tax break to real, live people is an even better thing. Right ? Well, not Rush. He says you should go around and ask your neighbors for the money and see how far that gets you -- because it’s their money. He has a point. It is the taxpayers money. Reckon Boeing went around asking the the good folks of South Carolina for $170 million ?

South Carolina officials offered Boeing $170 million in tax incentives in exchange for the promise of creating up to 3,800 jobs.

No, I don’t think so either.

Anyone that has ever heard Rush has heard him rail against “The Welfare State”. I wonder how many people actually know what that is and where it comes from ?

The Welfare State

”The Welfare State of the United Kingdom was prefigured in the William Beveridge Report in 1942, which identified five "Giant Evils" in society: squalor, ignorance, want, idleness and disease.

Clement Attlee's 1945 Labour government pledged to eradicate these Evils. The government undertook measures in policy to provide for the people of the United Kingdom "from the cradle to the grave."”

It might come as a surprise to you that Prime Minister Clement Attlee is considered the best Prime Minister of the 20th century -- ahead of even Winston Churchill.

One of his most enduring legacies was the National Health Service -- England’s “socialized medicine”.

Health and Welfare reforms

”In domestic policy, the party had clear aims. Attlee's first Health Secretary, Aneurin Bevan, fought against the general disapproval of the medical establishment in creating the British National Health Service. Although there are often disputes about its organisation and funding, British parties to this day must still voice their general support for the NHS in order to remain electable. “

But speaking of Churchill, here’s a quote that should give you hope.

”The United States invariably does the right thing, after having exhausted every other alternative.”

Don Brown
October 31, 2009

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