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What Kind of Tea is Rand Paul Drinking?

August 26, 2010 by Murky Waters

The Tea Party intelligentsia of late seem to have boiled the movement's core message down to the zen-like motto of "Less government and lower taxes." So beautiful in its simplicity, and strangely familiar like something half-remembered from one of Ronald Reagan's dreams. It's a five word instruction manual for restoring honor and greatness to America. If the goverment would just mind it's own business, high paying jobs would come rushing back from overseas, the oil in the gulf would disappear, crumbling bridges would fix themselves, closed public schools would re-open, and high health care costs would plummet just because Democrats weren't in office anymore. What's so hard to understand about that?

Restraining our big evil government wouldn't apply to the Department of Defense, of course. Our military must continue it's tireless work of spreading freedom and democracy to every country that doesn't want it, regardless of the cost. No, limited government only applies to policies that could harm corporate profits, such as moratoriums on offshore oil drilling, or the unnecessary enforcement of safety regulations in coal mines. It also applies to any legislation that would make life easier for Americans, such as a government funded health care option. Contrary to popular belief, it's actually good for the economy when people are worried about their financial solvency. It makes them work harder and increases productivity, which leads to increased company profits. That translates into big bonuses for corporate executives, who can buy more gold-plated Jacuzzis and fur coats for their mistresses. Everybody wins!

Many of the conservative politicians running for office in 2010 seem bent on taking this free market embezzlement of the American people to a whole new nightmarish level. While watching Meet the Press this morning, I learned that candidate Rand Paul actually advocates getting rid of minimum wage, which would allow employers to pay employees as little as they wanted. So you found somebody stupid enough to work for ten cents an hour? No problem. Your government sure as heck doesn't care. It's your right as an American to exploit this country's resources for your personal gain, and that includes people. But maybe the guy you're hiring for pennies really isn't so stupid, maybe he's just desperate because several of you business owners got together and agreed to only pay your workers ten cents.

So this the Tea Party's vision for the country -- to turn Americans into full-fledged slave laborers? If you think that sounds like an overreaction, you might want to pick up a history book and read about what life was like for the average citizen back around the beginning of the 20th century. Great-great-grandma and grandpa worked long hours for low wages in horrible working conditions. It was the influence of the labor unions, those reviled hotbeds of socialist activity, that helped to bring about minimum wage, overtime pay, and the five day work week, provisions which were signed into law by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938. Safety regulations in America were not established until the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970. These benefits, which most of us have taken for granted for decades, could go away overnight if we continue to sleep at the wheel and listen to people like Rand Paul and, yes, even your beloved Sarah Palin.

It's hard to see how any sane person could support ending minimum wage. The purchasing power of U.S. consumers would drop through the floor right along with their wages. That's not exactly a prescription for a booming economy. Future generations would be condemned to a third-world existence, except for the lucky few who could claw their way up the social ladder and into the circle of the super rich. I'm sure that if Mr. Paul was asked to justify his position on the subject, he would offer the usual tired clichés about the magic hand of the marketplace brushing away all our sorrows and restoring the USA to a state of Norman Rockwell perfection. I've got some news for you: the anti-government economic policies of the last 30 years are what killed small town America. Continuing down that rode won't lead us to back to Mayberry. As of now, our future is looking more like Land of the Lost.

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"Won't you tell me where my country lies?" said the unifaun to his true love's eyes...