Rebuilding the Middle

December 7, 2007 at 4:32 pm

Feeling the end of a Republican administration that has gone out of its way to help big business, lobbyists are rushing to pass last minute legislation to receive as many handouts as possible.

Large broadcasters want to be able to own more stations and media outlets, trucking companies want their drivers to be able to work more hours, and coal companies want to be able to dump waste into the river.

The Bush administration has vastly accelerated the shift in the role of government over 7 years of gut-busting, regulation roll-backing, big business consulting to the point that our government now primarily serves large multinational corporation instead of its constituents. We are seeing the culmination of “trickle down” theory. Give to the biggest corporations and it will trickle down to the people.

Republicans framed this argument well and almost every Republican I know can cite the mantra of regulation being onerous for business. “But we’ll go out of business if we have to meet that regulation” is the frequent cry. This argument has led to auto industry welfare that has kept the big 3 from adapting, a energy policy that serves Exxon rather than looks ahead to find alternative forms of energy, and the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

What this give the Democrats, however, is a tremendous opportunity. If the Democrats can craft a policy that supports small-to-medium-sized businesses, they can appeal to your average business owner. Republicans tend to lump all businesses together, but mostly serve big business.

Democrats should work to understand the issues of smaller companies. Then, they need to craft a message that appeals to your average business owner. The overarching message has to be very simple. As simple as “trickle down” theory.

Call it “rebuilding the middle” or something catchier. Middle is a good word to use, though, since it emphasizes support for the middle class. And “rebuilding” speaks to the middle-class rubble Republicans have created through their policies. The idea is simple, help out the heart of our economy.

I’d suggest that this message address fair competition, healthcare, regulations that are really onerous, ending corporate welfare, and discouraging monopolies. If Democrats could build this platform, they would draw support from a wide number of businesses that recognize the one-sided multinational corporation slant of the Bush policies and we could start ending government by corporations, for corporations.