FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Economic Chickenhawks

The wonderful “Chickenhawk Database” defines a chickenhawk as “a public person, generally male who (1) tends to advocate, or is a fervent supporter of those who advocate, military solutions to political problems, and who have personally (2) declined to take advantage of a significant opportunity to serve in uniform during wartime.” Naturally, just about every “Bomb the dune goons back to the stone age and grab their oil” type in the Bush Administration had “other priorities” when it came to serving in the military during the Vietnam War. It’s breathtaking how many Bushies managed to get out of serving their beloved country. Bill Bennett, chickenhawk supreme, has actually written a book called “Why We Fight.” Shouldn’t the book be called “Why They Fight”? Bennett left the room when the last fight started.

Okay, so what’s an “economic chickenhawk”? I’d define it as “a public person, generally male, who (1) tends to advocate, or is a fervent supporter of those who advocate radical, permanent tax cuts and “voodoo” economic programs designed to make the rich richer, all in the name of ‘free enterprise,’ while (2) declining to take advantage of a significant opportunity to participate in the free enterprise system itself.

In other words, Bush/Rove/Cheney are dangerous to the economic health of the United States because none of them has ever successfully run a real business. Running a successful business is a tough, complex, messy, difficult enterprise, requiring a good product, sound judgement, intelligence, ability to deal with people, timing, and luck. Complex thinking, intelligence and the ability to embrace ambiguity are not the hallmarks of the Bush Administration.

Just as it’s a wonder that anyone cares what Bush thinks about military matters, since he dodged serving in Vietnam through Poppy’s intervention (and then went AWOL from his National Guard Post), it’s incredible anyone can take his economic thoughts seriously. Here’s a man who ran his oil company into the ground (resorting to insider trading to make his bones before bailing on the stockholders), and then made some dough off his failing baseball team ONLY after blackmailing the taxpayers into building him a free stadium. As Governor of Texas, he destroyed the ability of the state to raise money through tax cuts, and then bugged out before the consequences hit. Since he’s come into power, he’s turned a huge surplus into an exploding deficit, produced no jobs, and sent Wall Street into a tailspin. And now he’s offering more of the same, and we’re supposed to care what he thinks?

ALL of the Bush Economic Death Squad — Cheney, Rove, Grover Norquist, etc. — have avoided serving in the Free Enterprise System. Almost all of them have spent their time in one of three places — Big Government (which they pretend to hate, and want to dismantle), Think Tanks (safely insulated from the hurly-burly having to create and sell products), and Mega-Corporations like Halliburton, where the real business of the business is getting Big Government to dole out pork-laden “no-bid” overrun-friendly contracts.

Before we listen to George W. Bush about economic issues, I suggest we let him spend a couple of years running a hamburger stand somewhere. Let him deal with suppliers, employees and customers. See how long he lasts by slashing the price of the product but tripling his own salary. Find out how he likes knowing that his livelihood is actually dependent on pleasing his customers while paying attention to the bottom line. No exploding deficits here, George, or you’re gone.

The Economic Chickenhawks in the Bush Administration can yammer about “cutting taxes to produce jobs” and “cutting dividends to create prosperity” with such confidence because they’ve never put these principles to the test themselves (GUESS WHAT! THEY DON’T WORK!). Like the Vietnam war, where these gutless wonders could safely bellow about the domino theory and “getting tough with Ho Chi Minh” from the safety of the Young Americans For Freedom Rec Room at Yale while blacks and poor Southern whites did the actually fighting and dying, so now they can pretend that “Leave No Millionaire Behind” economic voodoo actually means something. None of these folks have ever succeeded running a real business. None WILL EVER run a real business — after Bush loses in ’04, they’ll go back to their Think Tanks, Consulting Fiefdoms and Corporate Boardrooms, and continue to pretend that making rich people richer actually makes the United States a better place.

John Kenneth Galbraith once said, “One of the greatest pieces of economic wisdom is to know what you do not know.” The Bushies don’t know what they don’t know. Worse yet, they don’t care about finding out. Their economic policy is like their war policy. They have that absolute Chickenhawk clarity that comes with never having actually had to fight the battle themselves.

Before you buy into George’s economic plan, ask yourself this question — would you trust him to run a 7-11? I wouldn’t. After trying to fix the Slurpee machine, he go AWOL again.

RICH PROCTER is a cranky, disaffected Democrat whose work often appears in “SmirkingChimp.com“. He can be reached at planetniner@yahoo.com

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
August 07, 2020
Friday - Sunday
John Davis
The COVID Interregnum
Louis Yako
20 Postcard Notes From Iraq: With Love in the Age of COVID-19
Patrick Cockburn
War and Pandemic Journalism: the Truth Can Disappear Fast
Eve Ottenberg
Fixing the COVID Numbers
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Every Which Way to Lose
Paul Street
Trump is Not Conceding: This is Happening Here
Robert Hunziker
The World on Fire
Rob Urie
Neoliberal Centrists and the American Left
John Laforge
USAF Vet Could Face ‘20 Days for 20 Bombs’ for Protest Against US H-Bombs Stationed in Germany
Andrew Levine
Clyburn’s Complaint
Kavaljit Singh
Revisiting the Idea of Pigou Wealth Tax in the Time of Covid-19
Paul Ryder
Here Come the 1968 Mistakes Again
T.J. Coles
Fighting Over Kashmir Could Blow Up the Planet
David Macaray
Haven’t We All Known Guys Who Were Exactly like Donald Trump?
Conn Hallinan
What’s Driving the Simmering Conflict Between India and China
Joseph Natoli
American Failures: August, 2020
Ramzy Baroud
Apartheid or One State: Has Jordan Broken a Political Taboo?
Bruce Hobson
The US Left Needs Humility to Understand Mexican Politics
David Rosen
Easy Targets: Trump’s Attacks on Transgendered People
Ben Debney
The Neoliberal Virus
Evelyn Leopold
Is Netanyahu Serious About Annexing Jordan Valley?
Nicky Reid
When the Chickens Came Home to Roost In Portlandistan
Irma A. Velásquez Nimatuj
The Power of the White Man and His Symbols is Being De-Mystified
Kathy Kelly
Reversal: Boeing’s Flow of Blood
Brian Kelly
Ireland and Slavery: Framing Irish Complicity in the Slave Trade
Ariela Ruiz Caro
South American Nations Adopt Different COVID-19 Stategies, With Different Results
Ron Jacobs
Exorcism at Boston’s Old West Church, All Hallows Eve 1971
J.P. Linstroth
Bolsonaro’s Continuous Follies
Thomas Klikauer – Nadine Campbell
Right-Wing Populism and the End of Democracy
Dean Baker
Trump’s Real Record on Unemployment in Two Graphs
Michael Welton
Listening, Conflict and Citizenship
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump Is The Only One Who Should Be Going To School This Fall
John Feffer
America’s Multiple Infections
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Thinking Outside the Social Media Echo Chamber
Andrea Mazzarino
The Military is Sick
John Kendall Hawkins
How the Middle Half Lives
Graham Peebles
The Plight of Refugees and Migrant Workers under Covid
Robert P. Alvarez
The Next Coronavirus Bill Must Protect the 2020 Election
Greg Macdougall
Ottawa Bluesfest at Zibi: Development at Sacred Site Poses Questions of Responsibility
CounterPunch News Service
Tensions Escalate as Logging Work Commences Near Active Treesits in a Redwood Rainforest
Louis Proyect
The Low Magic of Charles Bukowski
Gloria Oladipo
Rural America Deserves a Real COVID-19 Response
Binoy Kampmark
Crossing the Creepy Line: Google, Deception and the ACCC
Marc Norton
Giants and Warriors Give Their Workers the Boot
David Yearsley
Celebration of Change
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail