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Ear to the Ground

Mitt Romney’s ‘Reagan Economic Zone’

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Posted on Sep 6, 2011
Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

Not content to limit his worship of Ronald Reagan to the usual dewy-eyed remembrances and genuflection practiced by all Republican presidential candidates, Mitt Romney has decided to build an international monument to the former president in the form of a multilateral free trade zone.

The “Reagan Economic Zone” is but one of 59 proposals (by the L.A. Times’ count) contained in Romney’s 160-page jobs plan titled “Believe in America: Mitt Romney’s Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth.”

Romney also wants to roll back what’s left of government regulation, sanction China and—you guessed it—cut taxes.

The White House contender claims his conservative economic agenda will create 11 million jobs in his first term, although we’ve already tried some of these ideas and found them lacking—PZS

Mitt Romney / Believe in America:

Create Reagan Economic Zone

But we can hardly rest there, for there is an opportunity to pursue a gamechanging multilateral agreement among like-minded nations genuinely committed to the principles of open markets. As president, Mitt Romney will pursue the formation of a “Reagan Economic Zone.” This zone would codify the principles of free trade at the international level and place the issues now hindering trade in services and intellectual property, crucial to American prosperity and that of other developed nations, at the center of the discussion.

Such a partnership would be extraordinarily attractive to most developed nations, and to those developing nations that have embraced free enterprise and open markets. With membership open to any nation willing to abide by the rules, two primary U.S. objectives would be fulfilled. First, as the most open and innovative economies came together, the dynamism of the resulting economic zone would serve as a powerful magnet, drawing in an expanding circle of countries willing to abide by the rules in exchange for greater access to one another’s markets. At the same time, it would also serve as a mechanism for confronting nations that violated trade rules while free-riding on the international system. Creating a large open market, and excluding countries that failed to respect the rule of law, would prevent cheaters from prospering and provide a major incentive for them to reform.

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By Marian Griffith, September 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The best thing Obama and the Democrat party can do, at this point is stop playing the game. Cede the election. Or at least stop trying and refuse to spend a billion dollars into a campaign.

As a party the Democrats have proven them too scared of the ‘big bad Republicans’ to oppose their destructive policies in any meaningful way. As a president Obama is held captive by his inability to see that the Republicans would sooner burn down the whole country than cooperate with him, and by a party that refuses to support him when he tries to do something meaningful.

At the same time the political system has become such that without the financial support of the very people who are the biggest cause of the economic and political problems there is no chance of being elected.

So the best thing to do is to give the whole mess back to the politicians who caused it (or at least aggravated it significantly). They will only make things get even worse, but at least then they can not blame it on the Democrats or their president.

The whole system needs to be rebuilt and since it clearly can not be fixed from the inside trying to postpone the inevitable collapse is pointless. Better focus your attention on laying new foundations on which to build once the debris is cleared.

Not going to happen of course since all politicians are in business for the sense of power and for the money, and voluntarily walking away from either goes against the grain of the kind of people who want to become an American politician nowadays.

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By AmishEcstasy, September 7, 2011 at 7:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I heard his speech yesterday proposing all of this and it gave me an ice
cream headache.

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By Jerry, September 7, 2011 at 7:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN said \“My fervent hope is
that on Thursday Mr. Obama will set an example
and tell the cold, hard truth\”
How can anyone know when a politician is not
lying? They all lie, this country has been
built on lies and the population of this
country has believed these liars and voted for
the liars based on who tells them the biggest
lie.
And, why should the normal middle class people
have to share in a lower standard of living?
The middle class didn’t cause these problems,
the banks and wall street and the politicians
caused this. When are the banks and wall
street going to pays for their greed and when
will our president do something about what
they did instead of bailing them out? And when
will the politicians demand that corporations
start paying their fair share of taxes? You
say we all have to sacrifice and lower our
standard of living, well most of the laid off
people in this country have been lowering
their standard of living for several years
already. I do not see any politicians,
including our president, lowering their
standard of living.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, September 7, 2011 at 6:30 am Link to this comment

IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID!

I beg to differ.

Yes, the economy is central to the well-being of any nation. Most of us are not in nor ever will enter that Plutocrat Paradise that we have created for our adventurous entrepreneurs in America. So, what about the rest of us?

Are we talking “Trickle-Down Economics” Redux? Been there, done that - pap for the masses.

Which is where the Rep Candidates are missing the ball, because egalitarianism simply is not on their radar screens. If they talk economy, we think jobs, but they think profits. No joke … it’s as simple as that.

The US needs fundamental reforms, meaning “not superficial” moonbeam-economic proposals. 

If fundamental changes in values and policy objectives are not undertaken, then we are in for continuing a long, long cycle of economic activity that has benefited a very select group of people called nowadays “The Plutocrats”. The rest of us are treated as “road-kill on the highway of life”. 

Our well-being, for some mysterious reason, is not worth considering or of even the slightest concern. We are “economic-fodder” – no more no less. 

INCOME DISPARITY

The major challenge, to which I suggest most economists will agree, is Income Disparity. What’s that?

It is a qualification (called the Gini Coefficient or Index) of the distribution of income in an economy.  It answers the question, “Is the distribution fair or distorted?” Used world-wide it can be accessed here.  The higher the coefficient the more warped is the distribution of the riches a country’s economy creates.

The American Gini Index is the highest of any developed country. Meaning our Income Disparity is the worst in the Developed World.

And why is it that way? For a good many reasons, the foremost of which is an historical period that encrusted Reaganomics as a guiding economic principle.

Which relates to these factors:
•  Bigger is better, therefore market integration is allowed willy-nilly and competition falters as many consumers go chasing relatively few suppliers - thus profits are enhanced.
•  That the reduction of marginal income taxes has not only created our Plutocrat Class but,
•  Nurtured the crass cupidity that causes mindless risk-taking capable of tanking our economy but, more so, treats individuals as dispensable commodities to economic input processes.
•  That a two-party system has encrusted the above principals into a set of national priorities that has maintained the high-ground regardless of a Democrat or Republican administration, because both parties are influenced by business interests to the disadvantage of our communal interest of well-being.

MY POINT

So, what’s a country to do? Nothing less than acknowledging the above as reformations to be effected.

More profoundly, Americans must learn that the Avaricious Individualism of past years has instituted a Cult of Personal Riches that is the opposite of the profound Egalitarian Values of this nation. This cult has neutered any sense of national solidarity, which can be translated into the principle of the Well-Being of the Collective is far more a permanent objective that the Well-Being and enrichment of a select groups of individuals.

Call that Socialism if you like. Because that economic philosophy does have as a core value the egalitarian notion of Income Fairness.

The only question worth answering therefore is this: Within the upcoming national electoral debate, what must be done to militate for more a Progressive Agenda that promotes the egalitarianism that we seem to have lost in this nation?

NB

Egalitarianism = the belief of or based upon the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.

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By Dr Bones, September 7, 2011 at 6:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Time to get a new plan or grow new brain.

The corporate crooks in DC are so obvious and so pathetic.  They should all be in prison for treason.

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By christian96, September 6, 2011 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
- Why the early bird gets the worm;
- Life isn’t always fair;
- and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
 
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
 
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
 
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
 
Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
 
Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
 
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
 
Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I’m A Victim

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