I thought there might be hope for the Morning Joe gang as reality gathers it forces to convince even the most obstinate defenders of the dysfunctional State, but it appears now that all hope is lost. It's not that they don't recognize the problem of systemic failure within our government -- the problem is that they continue to support government as the solution -- a broken system will not fix itself. So, the particular views of the regulars and most guests on Morning Joe are no longer interesting, except as they relate to a national failure to understand the difference between symptomatic solutions and fundamental solutions. Morning Joe is a reflection of a national failure.
Scott Walker, a guest yesterday, is an exception, and he presented partial fundamental solutions by insisting that the system of collective bargaining has to be tweaked enough to avoid huge lay offs of public workers. Yet, Walker is accused of breaking the union. Again, this morning, Joe Scarborough was leaning toward Mika's view that Walker is breaking the union and cutting taxes on top earning business owners. The Morning Joe crew give the impression that Walker is doing away with collective bargaining and favoring businesses, therefore it is an ideological battle of Republicans and Big Business against Democrats and teachers, firemen and police. This is so dishonest it's difficult to know where to start. Walker is trying to prevent collective bargaining in a limited way that has to do with benefits, not wages, and he's doing this because of the balkanized union situation in Wisconsin which has too much power at the local state levels, and the current benefits are sustainable. Mika and Joe kept saying the union has agreed to pay some on their pensions and healthcare, but this would have to be decided between all the various local players, and just because a few union people have made statements to the press doesn't mean anything until all the negotiations would take place, and this is the problem -- the Governor knows what would happen if he doesn't change the system -- the same union manipulation of the local officials will happen as it has always happened in this broken system -- then the state will continue to spiral down until public workers lose their jobs.
But, it does no good to explain this because hardly anyone on the Left is listening. Mort Zuckerman was on the show and the conversation shifted to Libya and our dependence on oil. Joe and Zuckerman were bemoaning the fact that the US can no longer make big decisions on things like energy policy, and that it's a shame we're still dependent on insane dictators in North Africa and the Mid-east because of our oil dependence. Yes, yes, yes -- it's systemic failure. Yet, Joe and others can't see that their own failure to support fundamental solutions in Wisconsin reflect this national problem they bemoan. As long as we're looking for political solutions, and we're frozen in the middle by competing political pressures, there will be no fundamental solutions, and our fundamental problems will grow worse. Our government has not allowed the private sector to freely develop energy solutions to our energy demands for decades, and now Joe is saying our government ought to be like China and just deal with the problem, but government has been the problem. Government intervention is the reason we are dependent on foreign oil, and it is political pressures that have us frozen in the middle unable to make decisions.
The situation in Wisconsin is the same situation. Both moderates and liberals believe that the solution is to compromise, allow the unions to give a little back, but let them keep all the power they've gained, much of the power coming through legislation which gives them coercive power. If the public union retains their advantage in "negotiating" power, any short-term tweaks to improve the financial situation will shortly dissappear once the heat is off of the unions. This problem requires a fundamental solution, just as our energy problems require fundamental solutions. Fundamental solutions are systemic solutions -- if our system of statist government is not changed, then our problems grow worse. But, everyone wants to deal with symptoms and leave the system intact -- this won't work.
The only hope we have is through innovative fundamental solutions which can only arise in a private sector in which everyone is actively involved. The public has been too apathetic -- the public has turned too much over to local, state and national government, and the public has asked too much from government. Now the public is paying attention and realzing that the economy is collapsing, but if there's not a demand to make systemic changes, the same things that have happened will continue to happen.
We can praise teachers and other public employees all day long and feel good about our righteousness, but if the ugly truth about a government system which has been manipulated to gain unrealistic benefits which taxpayers can't afford to fund is avoided due to political pressures, then the consequences will be dire. Also, we can complain about gas prices and wonder why something isn't being done, but if we ignore the government system which has prevented energy development, then we're headed for economic disaster.
I don't think, individually, there's the will or understanding to change our statist system. As bad as it will be, it appears that collapse is the only teacher left.