"So how do the Republicans plan to take advantage of the greatest natural disaster in our history and the terrible human tragedy that followed it? Well, besides suspending the prevailing wage laws - something the Republicans have been trying to get rid of for decades, Bush is also waiving some affirmative action requirements for reconstruction contractors. The Republicans in Congress are reportedly planning to pass legislation to limit victim's rights to sue, introduce vouchers for schools, eliminate environmental protection laws, and give tax breaks to companies working in the reconstruction areas."
I agree. I wonder if the Republican war on science has not permeated their entire approach. Evidence to the contrary seems no impediment to their policies. I can think of several issues where Republicans approach something because they think it "should" work or be moral. The fact that it doesn't work is irrelevent. The death penalty is a great example. Most conservatives I know support it even though DNA evidence has shown that our system is horribly broken. But it "should work." Whatever. Abstinence only education? Same thing. Actually both are situations where the programs actually harm the innocent and so you would expect conservatives to care about that. They don't seem to.
But back to economics. I am not an economist, but here goes. The conservative argument is that supply side--or trickle down economics work. you give the rich and investor class more money, and they invest it. The more they get to keep of their own wealth, the more they invest. Those investments, as I understand it, are supposed to "trickle" down to the poorest Americans with increased job opportunities and even elevated wages.
Reagan was the first to try this, and conservatives still think it worked. Despite the fact that the deficit balooned under Reagan, as did the separation between the rich and poor, etc. The late 80s was a horrible economic scene that only got better in the early 90s. I don't think there is evidence to support the idea that those tax cuts to the rich translates into more money for the poor.
Yet I heard a commentator on Faux news saying just that. He said he didn't understand why people wanted to tax the rich in this situation (Katrina) because that won't help. He said that if the rich do well, so will the poor. Really? This African American commentator is paraphrasing the old Coolidge "What's good for Business is good for America" idea?
Again, since the advent of supply side economics, we have seen the gap between rich and poor grow. We have seen the middle class shrink. Since Bush took office, we have seen a 17% growth in the poverty rate. How is that helping anyone?
My Texas friend was not happy about the wage cut in the hurricane zone, but said that there might be a benefit of speeding up the recovery. I can see that. And said so. But I asked why, under this President, have the wealthy been the only ones who are not asked to sacrifice anything? Why are the poor asked to give up services? Why are the middle class expected to live with higher local taxes and less state services? Why are the poor and middle class expected to live with less social safety net? Less health insurance? But the rich are asked to give nothing?
That isn't right.