Tuesday, November 07, 2006

More Election Thoughts

I was just looking at Michael Kinsley's summary of "Pelosi's Platform" in Slate:
Regarding Iraq specifically, the Democrats' plan has two parts. First, they want Iraqis to "assum[e] primary responsibility for securing and governing their country." Then they want "responsible redeployment" (great euphemism) of American forces.
And I looked back at the plan. And Pelosi's way-back-when press release, and the USA Today report:
"The American people need to know, if you win, what are your priorities," she said. Reid said the party is standing "with the people we have always stood with: seniors, students and the hardworking families of America. We intend to tackle the issues that matter most."
The issues that matter most. Yup:
The Democrats' plan would increase the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour from $5.15, grant authority to the secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower prescription-drug prices with pharmaceutical companies for those in Medicare's drug program and cut student-loan interest rates — rising to 6.8% in July — by half.
Yeah. That really is the top of the list. The issues that matter most. Well, the minimum wage is a small tax on the legal use of unskilled labor; businesses will pay it in the short run, while in the long run it increases the profits available to those who can figure out how to replace laborers with gadgets. (Think about the automation behind the counter at McDonald's.) I have mixed feelings about it, but I really don't much care. Unlike Michael Kinsley, I do have a plan for victory: it's a Barnett/De Soto/Grameen Bank sort of a plan, with a whole lot of geeky add-ons because I'm not just a geek but a true believer in the saving grace of geekery. And what I do about it each year is give a whole bunch of money to Spirit of America, very slightly pushing the Armed Forces to develop their SysAdmin components -- even though this is not the way I'd go if it were up to me. And even though Barnett thinks (prev post) that his kinds of plans will be best pushed by a divided government, and even though I would love to support a divided (also hung, drawn, and quartered) government, and even though I am demonstrably near the opposite political pole from my Republican Congresscritter, I guess I will shortly go out and vote for his re-election because the kind of horrible mismanagement that he supports is not as bad as the dropping-out that I fear from a Democratic House; it leaves more SysAdmin options open. Also there's the protectionism issue, which I would still rank as far more important than the minimum wage. It happens that I favor explicitly redistributionist taxation, to some degree -- but I want a system to generate some wealth to be distributed. oh, dear.


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