Shifting Allegiances and the Equality Conundrum

Steve Benen has his latest up at The Washington Monthly describing Jon Huntsman’s past support for various formulations of healthcare. Steve describes Huntsman’s support for the healthcare mandate, how that support has waned and the fact that Huntsman is lying about the historical facts of this while serving as governor of Utah. LINK

This was back in 2007. Since then a lot of water has passed under the bridge. Most notably are the dramatic changes we have witnessed in the distribution of power in Washington. Even more though is the relationship of major elements of private sector economic forces relative to the political.

I have to think these relationship changes have everything to do with Huntsman lying about his support for the healthcare mandate. When we look at the Citizens United decision and how it has altered campaign finance it drives home the point of how seriously wrongheaded the SC decision was. This same thing also comes to bear upon the ineffectual regulatory action of congress relative to Wall Street and of finance in general.

What this all comes down to is a serious fracturing of an already questionable equality of representation of citizens in the Congress of the United States. This shifting allegiance of congress is a moving target and continues to transform itself so that citizens are progressively less inclined to get a fair shake. This has been with us for far too long already.

There should be great concern that at some future time when a correction ultimately happens, whether that correction can be held in check and avoid a violent social confrontation. Taking a clue from other countries and the things happening across the globe right now we need to see the similarities and appreciate how power transforms over time and thus alters the fundamental parameters of governance. There is a very certain cause and effect relationship in this which will play out and which we know is almost certain to bring harm.

Each successive generation of leaders needs to have an extraordinary education and a degree of social awareness to avoid all this coming to pass. However, possession of such knowledge doesn’t necessarily automatically accrue to the affluent of a society. We see in present day a serious shortcoming in this regard. If we continue to alter access to knowledge and to higher education there will be fewer opportunities for the larger social unit to possess this knowledge and thus avoid following a self destructive course. It then follows that our present march toward an increasingly unequal distribution of resources is almost certain to end in failure. The implication is that the notion of equality must necessarily extend in the broadest sense throughout the social unit.

What happens though if we pursue this and find a way to improve upon the inequality? If there is equalization does that not also mean limiting the general scope of the realm of knowledge and perception? Probably not. I’m thinking in this argument that we should be thankful for human nature. I rail against our nature a lot but human nature fairly well guarantees we’ll always have to deal with inequality and thus won’t ever find ourselves absent the comparatives which allow us to measure and at least change if not actually advance.

This whole line of reasoning seriously sucks. I say that because it would seem to indicate that our repetitive successes and failures will continue forever and there is little we can do to ever really modify the reality of our existence. We may have advanced technologically but we remain emotional beings who act unpredictably and without logic. We went along for a generation or so and seemed to have all this in hand but then found ourselves powerless to prevent it being changed. We’re apparently on the precipice of a period where healthcare is less accessible than before, where education is less accessible than before and where the idea of a retirement and being secure in our old age is much less certain. The measure of regression is undeniable. To underscore this regression I would point out that we have these wars going on where there is a vast disagreement on the numbers of people, official or unofficial, who have been killed and have nothing even close to a precise recording of the conduct of the wars or the real monetary cost.


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