VIEWPOINT: It's not the party, it's the policy
Whether Democrat or Republican, solutions are what people want In 1981, I was appointed as a member of the North Dakota Public School Board of Education and the State Board for Vocational Education. Appearing before a legislative committee seekin...
Whether Democrat or Republican, solutions are what people want
In 1981, I was appointed as a member of the North Dakota Public School Board of Education and the State Board for Vocational Education. Appearing before a legislative committee seeking their endorsement of the governor's appointment, I was asked whether I was a Republican or a Democrat. I have never been sure what difference that made, but I told the legislator that I remembered during the presidential election of 1952 I was reading a Herald newspaper article discussing the candidacies of Gen. Dwight Eisenhower and Gov. Adlai Stevenson when I asked my father whether we were Republicans or Democrats. My dad answered, "Well, I guess we are Republicans," and I have been one ever since.
I hope my political philosophy has matured some during those 56 years. I know that there have been several times throughout my life that I was embarrassed to call myself a Republican, including two years ago. We got what we deserved.
But this column isn't about politics per se; it especially is not about this year's election. Rather, it is about what economic philosophies I ascribe to and why I consider them so important. In fact, both political parties have members whose philosophies cover a very broad spectrum. To me, it is less important whether a candidate is a Republican or a Democrat than what that candidate offers as solutions to problems, or even if there is a problem begging a government solution.
One of my initial reactions to a lot of proposed solutions is simply "Why?" For the past 225 years, no change was necessary. Why do we need one now.? There are a lot of things that have changed over time. Sometimes it is a situation, such as the subprime thievery that has ensnared so many, that requires some form of government action. The problem with so many of the solutions is that, given the magnitude of the problem, the guilty become rich at the expense of society as a whole. Even worse, so few of the guilty receive any form of punishment. If they do, it is a couple of years in a country club priso, which they come out of with most of their ill-acquired wealth still intact. Maybe the solution is necessary in order to keep the economy sound, but that does not make it right, or what is best in the long run.
Another example is the new farm bill, if it does ever get passed. First of all, those opposed to it are not honest when they do not begin their opposition by pointing out that two-thirds of the appropriated money is not even part of farm legislation. It is for programs such as food stamps. It is a social welfare program that most taxpayers are willing to support.
As to the farm program itself, as I understand it, both the supporters and opponents are guilty of distortion. As things stand today, no farm payments should be made to any farmer when all the alternative crops taken together are profitable. Now that the legislation recognizes the need for flexibility, I agree that a program should be in place for food security, and for an immediate response to changing circumstances. It does that. That is all it should do. The new program also puts in place a true crop insurance program, which is good for the nation as a whole. Those opposed to it are not being honest in their opposition. This legislation appears to address most of the anti-capitalist provisions of past programs.
In sum, what I am is a capitalist. It is the capitalist system that demands the creation of wealth and capitalism demands that wealth must be fairly distributed. Capitalism demands political and economic democracy. No other system can even do so.
Any time I see a proposed solution to a problem that I think is anti-capitalist you will read my objections. It is not 17th century hands-off capitalism, but except for an agreed upon welfare program any economic proposal must be capitalist in its base. Then, we will pass something of immeasurable value to future generations.
Kingsbury can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org , or call (701) 738-0028.