Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Esty the Grownup Democrat

The good news is that Bain Capital, associated with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, was not asked by the owners of Deco Products of Iowa to intervene and streamline its processes at a time when the company was suffering business losses. Deco has for more than six decades been in the family of Elizabeth Esty, a Democrat in true blue Connecticut running for the U.S. Congress in the 5th District. The further good news is that, owing to a mishap involving the FBI in Chris Donovan’s campaign for the same position, Ms. Esty prevailed over Mr. Donovan in a democratic primary.

Mr. Donovan’s political parts were assembled in a union hall. One can only imagine what hash he would have made of Mrs. Esty had it been known during the Democratic primary that Mrs. Esty is the beneficiary of a family owned company that, way back in 2009 when times were tough, laid off 53 of about 225 NON UNIONIZED workers.

According to a news report, “Esty received between $35,000 and $115,000 in 'partnership income' during 2011 – and between $15,000 and $45,000 in the first four months of 2012 – through her role in a family partnership connected with Deco Products Co. The zinc die-cast manufacturing plant was co-founded by her grandfather some 60 years ago in the northeastern Iowa town of Decorah.”

In the kindergarten of quasi-socialist progressive Democrats here in Connecticut, -- some of whom, such as Democratic contender for the U.S. Senate Chris Murphy, receive their marching orders from Washington D.C. via President Barack Obama’s Chicago campaign operation -- Mrs. Esty occasionally stands out as the lonely grownup.

To survive as a corporate entity in a competitive business environment, a company sometimes is forced to let go workers during business slowdowns. A business that always draws breath in and never lets it out is fated to explode. A business that does not year after year make a profit – which it then uses in part to improve its product, deepen its market share and thus provide additional jobs, salaries and benefits to more workers, not to mention additional taxes to state and federal governments -- will soon be measured for the coffin. All grownups know this. And although a particular worker may nightly envision his or her boss hanging on a hook in the fourth circle of Dante’s Hell, where Plutus, the wolf like demon of wealth holds court, the worker never-the-less is happy to have a job, earn a salary, put bread on his or her table, and rejoice that he or she does not live in present day Greece amid the fire and brimstone of “social unrest.”   

In made in Washington Democratic campaign rhetoric, profits are the first deadly sin. The second deadly sin is independence from overseers in Washington D.C., the tax and spending capital of the Beltway Empire that, having deprived private enterprise of its profits and weakened the vitality of corporations through a massive regulatory apparatus, then proceeds to direct company’s business activities though regulatory wavers and aid in the form of tax credits to their preferred crony capitalists. Grownups and some few reporters and editors familiar with a 20th century full of autocratic regimes know very well where such command economies end up. German and Italian fascism and Soviet communism, all centrally directed authoritarian political structures, were eventually tossed on the ash heap of history for reasons best summarized by the Iron Lady of Britain, Margaret Thatcher: “The trouble with socialism (i.e. command economies) is that, sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money.”

Greece, Spain, Italy and other Western countries already have run out of other people’s money. In much of Europe, deeply flawed, democratically elected governments have been replaced by anti-nationalist eurocratic technicians now in the process of dismantling both democratic governments and quasi-socialist policies that have gone broke for reasons eloquently stated by Mrs. Thatcher.

Here in the United State -- and perhaps most especially in true blue Connecticut -- the Democratic Party seems fated to repeat lessons unlearned from the European theatre. If the nation and Connecticut continues to spend its way into poverty by means discredited in Europe, it must go the way of Europe. Who chooses the means chooses the ends, a proposition that not even the most eloquent of our quasi socialistic, authoritarian, democratically elected pied pipers may rationally dispute.

Unfortunately for Connecticut and much of New England, a rational discussion of economic do’s and don’ts is rarely permitted in campaign debates, and the lessons of Europe, now visible under our noses, remain unheeded and unaddressed. There are no Maggie Thatchers anywhere in Connecticut. Mrs. Esty hardly comes close, but she is that rarest of all Democratic birds of paradise, a moderate Democrat, a breed of political animal long thought to have been extinct in the state.
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