The Republican party of Lincoln, the anti-slavery party, once at war with the South, it seems, is evolving into the party of the South.
One of the reasons for this is that the GOP accommodates various types of “economic religions” that are willing to accept or support the main tenets of the the unfounded notion of the "invisible hand" that controls the free market.
This leaves the party of Andrew Jackson, the Democratic party to function around other practical issues, although supporting private enterprise and what appears to be instead an uncontrolled market, interjecting government into the market whenever it seems not to be functioning in the public interest. .
The significant elements of both parties have been clearly demonstrated in their beliefs, especially in their actions taken toward “bailing out the auto industry.” Here it has been the so-called free market for the workers on one hand and government intervention for the financing class, somewhat reluctanly on the other.
“Let the free market function as the free market,” is one tenet of this party of the South. The other party accepts the tenet of the “free market” but advocates that social aspects of life are primarily within the realm of government.
Most of the beliefs of these two parties basically revolve around these two general notions. One seems, at least for the moment to be emphasizing the complete removal of collective bargaining from the function of the free market.
The southern aspect of the Republican party however adds other religious aspects other than the mere religion of free market. And here is where the weight of cultural legacy moves the active party focus to the South. The dominate Southern members of the GOP are motivated by all of these various happily held but unfounded beliefs.
Over the years, the auto industry has been willing to accept and work with its unions and has functioned quite well until it had to compete more and more with products that did not carry the cost of social benefits that are ordinarily provided by the governments of other car producers.
Southern politicians have worked toward attracting auto-making firms of other countries but not on a free market basis but guided by the notion of a free labor market. Therefore, the labor costs make it possible to locate in this country without providing the social needs that American auto companies provide.
American cars became gas guzzlers because “the market” demanded gas-guzzlers. We can observe Cadillac emblems on cars more resembling trucks rather than luxury cars because that is what the people have been buying. Many of the popular European cars are gas guzzlers as well.
The American auto industry is capable of producing cars requiring less petroleum and eventually, perhaps none of these derived fuels when the market calls for these type of cars, which has become obvious as right now. I would suspect that if gasoline were at fifty-cents a gallon that the market would again turn toward gas-guzzlers.
The car industry can however convert to fuel-saving cars and do this under fair market conditions, which were once the tenets of free market principles. It could also diversify.
But the government “bail-out” is required now because the financial structure is frozen and that government financing is the only way. For government intervention to unfreeze the financial processes has failed.
Busting the unions as a sacrifice to the gods of the free market doesn't justify millions of unemployed nor the destruction of an American industry, not during these times nor any other conceivable time.
Under a parliamentary system the new administration would already have been functioning to implement the necessary policies for saving our market economy, and some of these measures would already be in place. But now, by delaying fire prevention action we expose ourselves to more fire.
The result is that those who worship the free market most are prepared to add to the market's present destructive situation.
This brief explanation of our present political-economic situation helps clarify, in my mind at least, the whole reality and circumstances of our two-party system, each functioning symbiotically with the other in counterpoising positions.
Although my views are independent of either party, they obviously appear more closely related to one party rather the other.
However, understanding what is happening is usually elucidated through observation and explanation and in this case, it's the nature of our political economy and the evolution of our two-party political system that needs to be understood.
For here both parties are involved in a process of re-forming themselves as they relate to each other in confronting a serious socio-political and economic situation.