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George Will, the “Conservative” Agenda, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”) Lawrence Gold

President Obama’s centerpiece work, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”) has been highjacked by interests that seek to further economic imbalances and hardship, worldwide, while serving their own interests. Either that, or the TPP is a botched effort at planetary integration.

In his op-ed column, printed, today, George Will came out in favor, not only of the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- the "TPP" -- (which in a healthy form would have world-wide beneficial effects), but in favor of "Fast Track" approval of the TPP:  negotiations conducted behind closed doors, out of reach of public scrutiny, while the terms of that agreement are "Classified" Secret, but are known to heavily favor the further accumulation of wealth by the top 1% of wealth-holders.

As such, he has shown himself not to be a "conservative", but to be a "retrogressive". I will explain why -- but first, some background.

Backing of Fast Track goes against the principles of American Democracy, in which the government is "of the people, for the people, and by the people", and it goes in favor of oligarchy: rule by a dominant class.

Will's support of Fast Track can be justified only by a belief in former Fed Secretary Milton Friedman's, now-discredited "Trickle Down Theory" (which he has, himself, in Congressional hearing, admitted was wrong), in which it is supposed that by favoring money flow to into the hands of the wealthy and their corporations, job creation would result, to the benefit of all: wealth would trickle down the socioeconomic ladder. One of his major errors was to assume that some sort of mechanistic cause-effect relationship existed between concentration of wealth in the hands of the wealthy and job creation, rather than recognizing that a moral (or immoral) decision is involved.

Interesting that the word, "trickle" is accepted even by those who benefit from policy based upon the theory. "Trickle"? How about, "flood" -- "Flood Down" theory? There's a secret, but obvious, reason why advocates use the word, "trickle": they expect only a trickle!

In either case, the theory has been discredited.

In case it isn't obvious, why the theory has been discredited, I'll make it plain and easy:
People and families can spend only so much, no matter how extravagant they may be. The circulation of money that goes into the hands of the very rich gets conserved within their families and corporations in one form or another -- assets, investments. It goes out of, or is restricted from, general circulation.

To boost an economy, money must be in the hands of those who will spend it -- those who have actual need.

Trickle-down theory (and accumulation of disproportionate wealth in the hands of the few) leads to a combination of accumulation of fat in some sectors and starvation in others -- socioeconomic sugar shock -- and that's what we have, world-wide.

The main body of the economic system suffers. The conditions that arise lead to crime (an emergency measure, in the absence of education or personal resourcefulness) and to drug abuse (anaesthetization to ones quality of life) -- which includes alcholism and hard drug use. We might lay lack of education at the door of the uneducated -- and that's what so-called 'conservatives' like to do -- but the difficulty of obtaining higher education for those who are not already well-to-do contributes greatly to the difficulties they have in rising economically and to the shrinkage of the middle-class. So-called conservatives balk at spending for education, despite the fact that it is education, from generation to generation, that preserves and advances civilization; they are contributing to what may be the fall of current Western Civilization.

Thus, Trickle-down Theory and behavior of rich families like the Kochs leads to crime and drug abuse, as well as to slowing or reversing the rise of human civilization (regardless of the arguments of apologists who cite rises in standard of living over that of previous decades.  (Such rises, to any degree that they exist -- and it has been authoritatively argued that, on the whole, quality of life has actually declined -- consider the shrinkage of the middle-class) has occurred *despite* Trickle-down Theory, not because of it.

So Trickle-down Theory -- the only possible justification for Fast Track and the terms of the TPP --  has been invalidated. What, then, is the rationale for the current, "top 1% top-heavy favoritism" that is the TPP (in its current form) and for Fast-Track approval? It's the desire of those in power for more power.

Let's look at that one step deeper.

Bernie Sanders has (in his famous 8-hour filibuster/lecture) characterized the "desire of those in power for more power" as an addiction.

I think his characterization as addiction is apt. It fits the profile of addiction. Let me tell you why, again simply and easily.

The way addictions work is that the addicting substance triggers either a release of endorphins (body-generated "pleasure chemicals") or substitutes for endorphins, producing a pleasurable sensation. The term sometimes used is "endorphin rush".

What happens is that the body absorbs the substance and, over time, either reduces its natural creation of those chemicals (to maintain physiological equilibrium) -- causing dependency on the outside substance -- or the body becomes exhausted in its own ability to produce those chemicals -- again causing dependency on the outside substance. The reduced self-production of endorphins leads to "tolerance" of the drug (decreased pleasure-effect), requiring more and more to produce the same effect, and if continued, to full-fledged, progressive addiction.

For drug addicts and alcoholics, the "outside substance" is the drug or alcohol.

For money-and-power addicts, the "outside substance" is money and power. Every time they make money or gain more power, they get an endorphin rush. But like drug addicts, they require more and more to produce the same effect. Hence, their perpetual search for more.

We may ask, Why do they need stimulation of "pleasure chemicals"?

I say, for the same reason low-income drug addicts need it: They experience a certain "dissatisfaction" with their quality of life. In the case of the wealthy, it's that material wealth is insufficient, by itself, for a satisfying quality of life. They look to acquisitions for satisfaction, but all it does is distract them from their dissatisfaction with the broader view of life that their social position makes necessary -- and with their internal sense of themselves. They substitute thin pride of accomplishment for accumulating wealth (similar to the pride of success in potty-training) for pleasure of accomplishment in doing good. However, they fail to recognize that fact. They believe, "If only I had more, I would be satisfied" -- and away they go. Make sense?

Why are they dissatisfied with their quality of life? The answer is, in large part, because the way of life they live includes the news (and their experience) of how fouled up the world is and they, themselves, are -- which they blame on everyone else, not seeing their part in it. They suffer "tunnel vision" and everyone else suffers the consequences.

In the absence of an effective cure for addiction, what they must be made to do is reduce their dosage of the addicting substance -- and that, they resist until the consequences of their addiction become intolerable to themselves -- just as with a drug addict.

In this case, the reduction of dosage recommended is a decrease in the rate of increase of their wealth by taxation.

Taxation would redistribute wealth into the hands of those who would spend it, thereby stimulating the economy in a healthy way. "When the water level rises, all ships rise." Bernie Sanders has also used this saying to describe the situation.

Back to George Will and political so-called conservativss.

The first thing I want to do is strip them of the term, "conservatives". They are not conservatives. They are not conserving anything but the wealth produced by many concentrated in the hands of the few. In the larger view that includes the experience of 99% of human beings, "conservatives" are retrogressives.

Likewise, by the way, the term, "liberals". The term is misleading, in its usage. It implies, "liberally giving away the store" (in contrast to conserving resources), when in its proper usage, it means, "those who liberate" -- who free others, and themselves, for that matter. ("Liberty")  Unfortunately, the moral position of "liberals" is compromised by their failure to distinguish healthy Capitalism from unhealthy Capitalism.

I can clarify the difference between healthy Capitalism and unhealthy Capitalism easily and clearly:
Healthy Capitalism regulates itself to bring about the greatest good for the greatest number; it's sociocentric (socially, rather than only self-centered) and world-centric in its intelligence; it seeks a balance of effects that can be effectively regulated. (Note that health of an organism requires balanced self-regulation, and that 'so-called conservatives' are, in principle, against regulation. They're like spoiled children.)  Unhealthy Capitalism believes that Capitalism is moral justification for unbridled greed without regard for the larger effects; it's egocentric Capitalism that believes, "if it's legal, it's moral", (or at least, excusable).

So, George Will and the political 'so-called conservativss' of both major American parties, are retrogressives. They are a big drag upon the whole, world-wide socioeconomic system because they are so out of balance.

Stimulus packages only put the foot down harder on the "accelerator". Retrogressive 'conservatism' is a brake. We need to take the foot off the brake -- strip retrogressive 'conservatives' of the legitimacy of their position and reverse their sugar-shock effect upon the economy -- and we need to bring more intelligence to the "liberal/progressive" agenda.

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