Another Challenge to Conservatives

There is a conversation taking place on Reva's Take that I need to rant about. She challenged Progressives to present some new ideas that are outside of the realm of Liberal Ideas. I gave her my take on Progressives, but there is one post that really got me thinking.

From a Post on Reva's Take:

The definition of a conservative is someone "favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change."That is the best difinition of most "progressives"

I could think of. The 60's are long over and despite the failure of socialism they won't give it up.

It is the 'tending to oppose change part that got me to thinking. What is wrong with change? The Conservative mindset seems to be that we must return America to the moral utopia it once was. So I ask my Conservative friends, when did this America exist? To what era in America are we trying to return?

I am looking for my Conservatives friends to define the era, or even a decade when America best represented the moral values you Conservatives seek to preserve. Was it the 50's, the 40' or maybe the roaring 20's? Maybe we should go further back in our history. Maybe the 1830's is when America best defined the moral values you Conservatives seek to preserve.


18 Responses to Another Challenge to Conservatives

  1. Dell Gines Says:
    Technically, I would argue that that is an incorrect definition.

    Conservatism is basically adhering to the premise and principles of the declaration of independence and the consitution.

    Inherent in conservativism is the resistance of big government, empower the local communities and the states to have de-centralized government, closer to the people it effects, and the idea that the federal government should in general be about protecting the the nation from attacks, and maintaining the united of the states as a over all cohesive group.

    That is why I argue most Republicans are not conservatives.
  2. James Manning Says:

    But I'm talking about those social conservatives that alway talk about traditional values.

    I will conclude that America has never lived up to those values that social Conservatives talk about and if it has, I want to know when.
  3. Cynthia Says:
    The decentralization of the government has led Corporations to run amuck. They are outsourcing many jobs because of this to Chindia and now they ratified CAFTA, which is another vehicle to send jobs to other countries. There was a time when conglomerates were subjected to anti-trust laws. There was a time in recent U.S. history that Corporations had a moral obligation to its worker. Gone are those days (just look at all of the pension plans that have gone belly up). The decentralization of the government has widened the gap between the rich and the poor.

    So, I would also like to know what "Conservative values" people are talking about that are so good for everyone.

    The bottomline for me is that since I'm well educated, I will not have a problem with employment/careers. But, what of others?
  4. Dell Gines Says:
    Cynthia...protectionism is fools gold...

    Remember, every worker that is outsourced equals cost control for you...

    The fact is that it is dispersed across many, while the vividness of the few who lose jobs gets peoples attention.

    For example...

    If I have to hire a union worker for $15 or a non-union worker for $5, who is paying for that extra ten dollars?

    You in the cost of the product, as supply decreases and cost increases. That is the way the market works. That is how economic growth works.

    So what is the alternative? What happens if what you wish, and blame conservatives for is true, and all work that is outsourced now is brought back to the US?

    A) You have a dirth in people qualified and or willing to take those jobs

    B) You see a dramatic decline in Corporate profit margins, which leads to a decline in the stock price, which leads to investors pulling out, which leads to corporations letting more workers go...

    And amidst all of that, you have higher prices for the same products so the consumer is hurt as well...

    So Cynthia...what, and I am assuming you are a your solution from that perspective?
  5. Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden Says:
    11 10 05
    "There was a time in recent U.S. history that Corporations had a moral obligation to its worker"

    Incorrect, as companies have never given a damn about their workers. I think Levy Strauss is the only one that comes to mind. Also, upon further reviewing outsourcing, I wish that more American companies would support American workers, but we don't give companies any incentives to do their jobs. It isn't the decentralization of government; it's the DISINCENTIVES that the government tacitly endorses that make companies leave us. I don't think we should charge corporations any federal taxes, only state and local taxes. I also think that the utility companies can price fix it so that the corporations don'thave to pay a crap load for power etc. Otherwise, these costs always get passed down to the consumer. And for a critical analysis of why anti trust legislation doesn't work, see the CATO institute at Anti trust legislation is supposed to break up unstable cartels, but in the end they usurp the rights of the corporation and the CONSUMERS end up paying the costs. I really am not comfortable with statism at all and don't believe that most American's are. Sure we need the government when there are natural disasters and for road maintenance, but other than that,I want to be left alone! The most recent 9th Circuit rulings show a disturbing trend towards taking away rights of parents in our society. Cynthia, do you REALLY think the government needs to re-centralize? I don't want to live in a Big Brother state! And James, I will point out that the literal definition of conservative is non applicable to the current conservative movement. Current cons DO want change. And in terms of the days of old, those people are probably referring to post WWII America where the two parent household was propagandized and many men were the patriarchs of the family. But I would argue that time in our history actually touted resonable morals. Of course with Blacks, our story is always a bit different. But I will say that our valuation of extended family kept us together and that has totally eroded now...Good post and sorry for ranting.
  6. Dell Gines Says:
    Good Post Mah...
  7. James Manning Says:
    Dell, but what if this happened.

    1) The jobs returned to America and corporations now have to pay a reasonable salary to workers.
    Government provides tax cuts to offset the cost of higher American workers.

    2) More Americans have jobs. Fewer Americans in poverty. More Americans able with discretionary income. Added tax revenue to government coffers.

    3) The working poor now able to move into lower middle class status because of rising incomes.

    4) Fewer poor people dependant on government assistance. More Americans purchasing homes and raising the living standards in rural and urban places.

    Why can't that happen?


    The era in which you refer to is the era that I figured most would refer to. However, I see that era as a time of oppression. You used the correct term, propagandized. It was an image that they sold but it wasn’t a lifestyle that they lived. America has always touted values but it is black people that has always had to act as her conscience.
  8. Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden Says:
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  9. Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden Says:
    11 10 05

    James thx for the response, you too Dell. James I think that is what I was trying to hit on as well; but I honestly think that the Black family structure, even if not the usual two parent thingie was augmented by extended family networks. The Black flight and desegregation that took place in the sixties destroyed our networks slowly but surely. And I can recall a time when the neighbor could spank your ass if you acted up! Now, you will get sued for disciplining with your neighbor's kids even if they litter on your lawn!

    In terms of outsourcing, like I said the government needs to remove the DISINCENTIVES from doing business here in the first place. And in capitalism there are always poor people. You might stipulate that more poor would get to another economic level if outsourcing were done away with, but the poor will always be around! And I don't think commies are the answer; a swift kick in the ass and a drive for more Americans to support charities will be the answer.
  10. James Manning Says:
    I would agree to an extent with you on the black family network. It is the type of neighborhood that I grew up in and it no longer exist. It seems that there is a middle ground somewhere so we do not have to choose between fractured families and oppression.

    I also recognize that there is will always be poor in our society, but when our government pass laws that exacerbate the degenerative condition of poor for corporate profits, then there is a problem. Again, it seems to me that there is a middle ground somewhere but Conservatives seem to only care about one end of the spectrum with the thought that corporate profits will trickle down to the poor and somehow lift them along with the rest of society. We know that is not happening.
  11. Dell Gines Says:
    James, you are on to something, but you still have to grasp the basic economics behind it.

    The government should reduce taxation on corporations, this would allow them to create additional jobs, and produce products at a lower price, which theoretically would be cheaper for the poor to purchase.

    But other countries would still have comparative advantage issues, as the cost of manufacturing and certain technological functions would still be cheaper to outsource overseas.

    See globalization is not a bad thing, because it is the natural market working itself out. As economies shift with changing technology, you are always going to have a certain amount of disposed workers whose skills don't match the economy.

    In regard to the lowest of the poor, to reduce manufacturing cost here in America sufficient for corporations not to want to outsource the labor, you would have to dramatically reduce the minimum wage, and you would also have to forgo benefits. For $5 dollars in some countries you can get a week of labor, how can yo u do that here?

    So the answer isn't to restrict the inevitable and necessary globalization, but to manage our competitiveness within it so that corporations can produce cheaper products, that more people with less money can buy, and also create new growth through the additional profits acquired.
  12. Dell Gines Says:
    Man that picture of that dude when I first hit the page is killing me!

    On the way home I thought of something as well.

    50% of all the jobs in this nation are not corporate, but are in small businesses, 80% of all the new jobs in the country are created by small businesses.

    Also, I think corporations get a bad rap, as consider how many Americans that do employ, and also consider than publicly traded corporations enrich other Americans who have ownership as well.

    I just wanted to toss that out there.
  13. James Manning Says:
    Let’s consider this. There is no way to compete with China and other third world nations and we’re raising their living conditions. Are we not saying that America has no choice to lower its living standards to meet the reality of the global economy? There was a time when manufacturing dominated the economy and GM was the biggest employer in the US. Companies provided pensions, reasonably educated people had an opportunity to live a decent life working for Ford, GM or General Electric.

    Now with the global economy, Wal Mart is the biggest US employee and half of their workers are part-time. They get their benefits from the government. Corporations are allowed to file for bankruptcy and jettison their pension plans leaving millions of retirees with no income or health benefits. At what point to do we say, capitalism is fine, but we need to protect American workers.

    How do we maintain a standard of living with stagnant wages, erosion of worker’s rights and the elimination of pension protection? It seems to me that there is a downward trajectory happening.
  14. Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden Says:
    11 10 05

    Hello again:
    Before I leave for the day, good post. I think the issue is to reconcile selfishness with caring. James, if you look at the comments under the current post on my blog, you will see Patrick Joubert and I discussing it. I must admit that despite my intellectual predilections towards capitalism, the impoverished always bug me a bit because I think they HAVE to exist for capitalism to work. Let me think about this some more. I hate commies, but at times socialist approaches might be best for homelessness. I am unsure about that but may say something about that on a post. Have a nice weekend!
  15. Dell Gines Says:
    You can't do it James...economics is not a closed end equation and the more isolation and protectionism you practice, the worse it becomes on the consumer and the worker combined.

    Let me ask you a question since you brought up walmart...

    Is it better to have 1 million part time employees, or 500,000 full time employees with benefits? And higher priced products?

    Because that is the end effect of what you are suggesting.

    Secondly, if you do that, you would also have to restrict imports as overseas companies would begin to attack the higher prices we are forced to pay with lower priced products further stressing corporations and having them lose more employees.

    Everything has a cause and effect.

    What really needs to be done is the educational system has to be more flexible and adaptable to the rapid pace of economic change so that individuals can adapt their skills to meet current market demands.

    And Mahdnisa, the poor don't always have to exist for capitalism to be effective. Well let me reframe that...poverty is a matter of perspective in many instances. Right now the worst of the poor in America have a life style, access to medicine and healthcare through medicaid, support through welfare, that if you compared them to the American middle class 70 years ago, they would be about equal.

    Also, there is no theoretical limit to how big the economic pie can be under a true free market system, and as the economy expands, opportunities for increased employement by necessity have to occur.

    The problem rest in the tax them to death mentality and other regulations that the government puts on big businesses and small businesses alike which restricts expansion slows the economy and decreases the jobs available.
  16. Rell Says:
    you consider yourself a liberal?
  17. James Manning Says:

    I consider myself a Progressive. I have links on the home page that define the Progressive Mindset if you are interested as to what that means to me.
  18. Cynthia Says:

    I could buy your argument about lower wages except that things are not better for the consumers with this deregulation. The whole premise behind a small government was so that corporations could be more competitive/efficient and that would translate into lower prices for the consumers. However, this is not the reality. The way things are, larger corporation have swallowed up smaller corps and the result is higher prices for the consumers and more profits for the corps. I just don't see how that is better.

    My political leaning is more socialist than anything else. I believe that everyone should have an equal opportunity to succeed. I also believe that those who work hard should be rewarded for that work. In a nutshell, I believe in fairness for all.