The Demographic Reality Show: GOP Survivor?

By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

birth-rateWell, much to the chagrin of our Republican brothers and without any obvious help from the train wreckers themselves, their base just shrunk. For the first time in American history, more non-hispanic Caucasians died than were born. This demographic milestone hits the Right at the worst possible time. With the incredible shrinking number of  minorities in its ranks (only 13% of Republicans identify themselves as a minority) GOPers could always rest assured of refilling their ranks with scores of Caucasians driven into a frenzy by racial fear mongering or to rage by claims  fiscal foolishness or to just about any other emotion … just pick your own  right-wing wedge issue. Couple that with the fact that last year over 50% of all babies born were non-Caucasians and that the Republican  record with women is well … sad, very sad … and you’ve got a demographic disaster looming for the GOP.

Or do you? Let’s see how are our brothers (and a precious few sisters) across the ideological aisle are dealing with the problem. Why full speed ahead on blocking immigration reform (Sen. Ted Cruz); rushing to impose invasive ultrasounds in heartland places like Wisconsin (Gov. Scott Walker); budget cuts for the poor (Paul Ryan); more  votes in the U.S. House on bills to  ban all abortion  procedures after 20 weeks regardless of rape or incest (Boehner & Cantor). These righties sure know how to woo a woman.

Are there any voices of reason on the deck of this Titanic? Well you’d hope so. The College Republicans, once the recruiting ground of bomb throwers like Newt Gingrich (in 1978 he implored them be “young, nasty people who h[ave] no respect for their elders”), now seems to be the crewman in the crow’s nest transfixed on the looming iceberg even as their older brethren play the same ol’ tune (Nearer My God to Thee was the reputed last song played on the ill-fated luxury liner–strangely appropriate now and then) that got them shut out in the last two presidential battles and lost the youth vote by 5 million votes. According to a new report by the baby Repubs, young people deemed “winnable” for Republicans increasingly are coming to see the GOP a ” closed-minded, racist, rigid, [and]old-fashioned.” (p. 69). Imagine what the “unwinnables” must think! The report also finds the GOP out-of-step with the under 25 crowd in terms of understanding young Americans reliance on  social media and non-traditional news sources like Comedy Central’s’ The Daily Show to get  news and hence their view of the world.  Just as distressing, the Republicans are hopelessly tone-deaf to the attitudes of young voters on issues like abortion, immigration, and negative political advertising.  Ignore them at your peril the collegians are screaming, but the Right just keeps chugging father right. Onward Christian soldiers!

You have to wonder how any political party can survive with shrinking numbers, unpopular views, and an institutionalized arrogance (that 47% line still resonates) a Roman emperor would envy. Maybe you don’t have wonder for very long. Ask a Whig. Oops there aren’t any.

And as for the Caucasian race in the U.S., it might be time to take a break from the rat race they so proudly created. “We’re jumping the gun on a long, slow decline of our white population, which is going to characterize this century,” William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution, told the paper. “It’s a bookend from the last century, when whites helped us grow. Now it’s minorities who are going to make the contributions to our economic and population growth over the next 50 years.”

Was that a chill I just felt blowing over from the country club?

Source: Washington Post

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

154 thoughts on “The Demographic Reality Show: GOP Survivor?”

  1. tony c:

    I am all for Republican Democracy. I just believe individuals have rights. Your conception is that they only have rights if 51% say they do.

    That is BS. I want no part of a society in which I can be voted into a gas chamber if 51% say it is time for me to die.

    That is what you are proposing.

    I am pretty sure you did not agree with the passage of prop 8 in california. Yet that was a majority of voters. the court struck it down. In your world gays can only marry if 51% of the people who vote say they can?

    I dont agree with that.

  2. Bron: I dont know why you think it is OK to pay taxes at the ridiculously high rate we do.

    Because at the end of the day, I believe in majority rule, and you do not. If it were up to you and the other Aynish, you would dictatorially impose rules upon the vast majority that could not be overridden by ANY vote.

    Even our constitutional rights are up for a (super-)majority vote. There is nothing absolute about them, even an amendment can be rescinded within a few election cycles if enough people oppose it and are willing to express their opposition at the ballot box.

    To the extent a government expenditure would be voted down by a super-majority, I think that is waste, fraud, or abuse. Otherwise, I think taxes are what they are because the majority either agrees, or is so apathetic they can’t be bothered to do anything in opposition to it.

    But I consider political apathy a right, just as I think freedom of religion includes no religion, I think freedom of speech includes not making any effort to speak.

  3. What liberals believe, according to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal: “[M]oney grows on trees; the earth is flat; the industrial age, factory-style government is a cool new thing; debts don’t have to be repaid; people of faith are ignorant and uneducated; unborn babies don’t matter; pornography is fine; traditional marriage is discriminatory; 32 oz. sodas are evil; red meat should be rationed.”

  4. tony c:

    the majority of people spend 100% of their income with a small part 10% if they are lucky, set aside for savings.

    When you are paying 30% plus of your income to all sorts of taxes, it is hard to save any money.

    I dont know why you think it is OK to pay taxes at the ridiculously high rate we do. It is thievery.

  5. Bron: Why are YOU so worried about rich people, and so unworried about poor people?

    Your claim that poor people do not buy much is facetious; poor people spend 100% of their income buying stuff. It is rich people that do not buy much, as a percentage of their income.

  6. Tax Paris’s trust fund, I am allright with that. Just dont tax that portion of her income she earns from a W2.

  7. why are you so worried about rich people? if they buy a jet and fuel for it and use it regularly, they probably pay more in fuel than I make in a year.

    and it is fair to poor people [dont tax food] because they dont buy much.

    Personally I would rather see a flat tax of 15% across the board and people making less than 24,999 are exempt.

  8. Bron: Unless, perhaps, your “consumption” tax applies to businesses and corporations as well, so every supply and service they buy gets taxed, including raw materials, fuel, electricity, buildings, etc. That would mean normal business expenses would no longer be entirely deductible; they count as consumption and therefore get taxed. That might make things quite a bit more fair, but you still have the issue of wealthy people that do not work or consume much as a percentage of their income getting a free ride on the government provided services and infrastructure.

  9. Bron: Taxation of consumption is unfair, and there is nothing particularly compelling of making “consumption” the basis of funding for things like police protection or the protection of rights or contracts.

    In fact, that could be a perverse basis; since presumably large businesses and the wealthy get far more benefit out of the court system, police protection of their considerably greater property and money, the road systems that bring them employees and customers and ship their goods, and even out of the national defense that protects their business and property from being seized by invaders.

    What the rich consume is not in the least proportional to what they get protected or use of the common infrastructure, and what the poor have to protect (or the protection afforded them by police and courts) is often nearly nothing, they would be providing more in the consumption tax than they should, and therefore giving the wealthy a free ride.

    Income and assets are a pretty good correlative proxy for how much the governmental system is benefiting an individual or business; and that is why we tax income (and assets, e.g. property tax).

    Taxing consumption is unfair; those in poverty have to spend basically all of their income (the benefit of society to them), thus 100% of their income is taxed. Only the rich can save money (the larger benefit of society to them) and the very rich spend a small fraction of their income on consumption, 1% or less for some of them. They should not get that benefit for free, taxing consumption gives them greater benefit at zero cost, and that is unfair.

    I have heard estimates that if the national government were to be funded by a national sales tax, it would have to be on the order of 25%. I see no way to make that a fair deal for a person making minimum wage, and spending all of it, versus a person making a million dollars a month, and spending perhaps 1% of it.

    Consumption has nothing to do with what is being protected by government, income and the value of assets capture much of that. (Life and limb are also being protected, e.g. law enforcement presumably reduces the rates of murder, assault and rape, and that is not reflected in the income and asset taxes).

    For the poor person that has to work and get paid an hourly wage and then has to spend all their money, your consumption tax is essentially a tax on his labor anyway, since for him it is a direct conversion. The only people who do not get their labor taxed are the rich (like Paris Hilton) that do not really work for their income, because they own an asset that produces income! That is a perverse dichotomy of outcome.

  10. Daily Beast Andrew Sullivan
    But It Keeps Getting Worse …
    Jun 17 2013 @ 3:00pm

    “I keep being told that the Christianist base of the GOP is calming down, they learned their lesson, they’re not that important, etc. Josh Barro said that in a recent Ask Anything. Ross and Reihan are always poo-pooing the notion. So why did everyone who’s anyone in the GOP turn up for Ralph Reed’s religion-fest last weekend? Rubio, Paul, Jeb, Ryan, to name four, along with the usual nutters. Even Rand Paul – the supposed libertarian – said that there was a “war on Christianity” being conducted by “liberal elites at home and across the world.” And Cain and Palin – two essentially ridiculous figures – are still taken seriously…..”

  11. Bron: That clarifies nothing. Taxation cannot be both necessary and a crime; any sensible definition of “crime” cannot include anything absolutely necessary.

    Do you hang this distinction on “individual?” Do you want taxes to be applied only to businesses (with businesses explicitly not qualifying as “individuals”)?

  12. no tony, i said taxation on an individual’s labor is a crime.

    taxation on the work of an individual should not be done.

  13. Bron: Plus, I am not taxing an individual’s labor, I am taxing their income. A trust fund kid in a coma can have a multi-million dollar income; I am not in any way taxing any labor they are doing, because they aren’t doing anything but breathing and metabolizing some IV fluids. We tax income, not labor.

    For example, I read about self-sustaining farms at one point; and it is entirely practical for a family of four to survive on two or three acres, with full nutrition (including sufficient protein from chickens and eggs, fed by grown vegetables, sometimes supplemented with protein from easily raised worms, grubs or insect life). The labor component of the farming (via the French method) is less than 40 man hours a week; and can be even less if the farm includes an apple tree (one of the highest forms of calorie production per square yard of land). It requires no fertilizer or outside input; it is possible to grow nitrogen-fixing “cover” crops in between calorie producing crops, the cover crops are not edible but plowed under to rot and provide the nutrients (fertilizer) for the calorie crops. So typically 60% of the land is cover crop and 40% is calorie crop; and part of that 40% can be used for soybeans or other high protein vegetables to feed chickens; and convert at about 4:1 those calories into meat and eggs. The French method is not the rows of plants we see in industrial farms; I would describe it as more like wall-to-wall carpeting of plants in raised (and wide) beds. It is a far more efficient use of space and has many other benefits for hand-farming; for example the canopy of the plants shades the bed so well it prevents weeds from growing and traps evaporative moisture and heat from the soil to create a greenhouse effect beneath the canopy (which is only 12 inches high or so).

    The reason we know this is practical is because people are doing it successfully, and have done so for decades on end.

    But we do not tax their labor. At certain times of the year they may be working 80 or a 100 hours a week, but they have no “income,” we do not demand a percentage of the food they produce or chickens they grow.

    Likewise, when my wife and I clean the house, or paint a room, we do not have to tally up the hours spent and pay the government something for doing it.

    We pay taxes on cash income; whether you labored to produce that cash income is immaterial to us. We know some of it just happens and you didn’t work a minute for it; Paris Hilton has income without labor, as do many other individuals, including businessmen that long ago stopped working and are just enjoying the fruits of a machine that is still chugging along producing income for them.

    The tax is not on the labor, the tax is on the income.

  14. Bron: then you just maintain an incoherent philosophy, dude, because you admit taxation is necessary, and simultaneously call it a crime, therefore you believe a crime is a necessity, a philosophical position nobody in their right mind would include in the definition of what constitutes a “crime.”

  15. taxation of an individual’s labor is a crime. And it is done by force so yes, taxation can be equated with assault, murder, thievery, rape, fraud, and slavery.

    You are on sound philosophical ground. Although I would equate it more with thievery and slavery.

  16. Bron: I don’t think governments are businesses, they do not need money for a rainy day. Ideally, a government can print money at will. Such a government can, uniquely, operate not just as a non-profit, but as an absolutely zero-profit organization. Because if it understimates its budget one year, it can print money to pay its bills, and raise taxes the next year to cover that shortfall and produce a closer estimate for the next year.

    Ideally, covering the shortfall means destroying the money it printed to cover it; so there is no net increase in inflation.

    A government does not have to operate like a business, and has a different motivation than a business; in fact they are nearly opposites. The government goal is to do the most good for its citizens within the budget it is given. Its “profit” is its benefit provided.

    The business goal is to maximize its profit, but (as the existence of crime proves) there are many ways to profit that we regard as unethical or criminal or just wrong; there are ways of making a profit (like enslaving people to work a tobacco farm) that the vast majority of us have concluded should be prohibited, by violence and lethal force if necessary.

    Because of that, businesses must be controlled to prevent them from employing ways of making profits at the expense of others, even if that “expense” is something we can only discern statistically (like the carcinogenic effects of aerosolized combustion products or some chemical processes).

  17. Bron: It should be based on positive rather than negative signals.

    Do you think the same about assault, murder, thievery, rape, fraud, and slavery?

    Crime is an extreme form of selfish behavior (by the criminal) that benefits them in some way, emotionally or financially. I do not think there is any “positive” signal that can counter that benefit that is fair to everybody else, I think the only thing that works (and societies throughout the world concur) is negative signals. Those that murder will be hunted and killed, those that steal will by hunted down and punished.

    When businesses are driven by the desire for greater profit, there is no positive signal that can really prevent them from engaging in harmful behavior. There are simply some behaviors that do not rise to the level of “crime” or that we cannot pin on any individual, but still know are harmful to others statistically speaking, like toxic levels of pollution. The only pragmatic way to address these, since we cannot address them in a court of law that requires definitive proof of individual harm (when we presume somebody is innocent until proven guilty) is to play the same game as the corporations: We add a cost (a tax or fine or punishment) to weight their decision and make the reduction of harm their most profitable route.

    That IS a positive reinforcement. Or to be more precise, there is no meaningful distinction between “positive” and “negative” reinforcements. There is only “influence,” we intend to influence their decisions, which they make in the framework of “profits,” to produce behavior we consider more important than profit, which is a reduction in the collateral damage they inflict, without paying for it, by their pursuit of profit.

  18. tony c:

    government should have a surplus for a rainy day. or it should return the money to the people.

    I dont think we should use taxes to influence business decisions. I think that is wrong. What should influence business is will that maximize profit and benefit to customers, management, employees and shareholders. In a perfect world employees would be shareholders.

    It should be based on positive rather than negative signals.

    If your tax rate is 10% and you make a pot full of money, there is nothing wrong with putting that money aside for a rainy day. In fact we ought to have 2-3 years of spending saved up and we ought to be lending money to ourselves when we need it and not from future earnings either.

  19. So what Eisenhower was basically saying is “use it or lose it.” The point wasn’t to increase revenue, we can presume he figured nobody in their right mind would let their income get high enough to be lopped off at the cap, if they could find a way to put the excess to use in their own self-interest; buying machines, property, buildings, advertising, paying employees more to build loyalty, and otherwise creating jobs, consuming products and services and boosting the economy. THAT was the goal, not government revenue.

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