Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Doug LaMalfa, Genius

Out of morbid curiosity, I follow Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s ramblings on facebook.  I never really learn much, but am constantly reminded just how low-grade the North State’s representation in Congress really is.  I’m not quite sure what it says that someone so thoughtless and utterly juvenile in his approach to the public good and the well-being of our community could be elected, but it can’t be good.

The latest reminder came in the form of a less-than-witty rejoinder to an article on politico which documented the frustration of many state’s with Texas Governor Rick Perry’s mission to steal jobs from said states by trading on Texas’ social irresponsibility and economic exploitation of its labour force. 

LaMalfa had this to say: “Hey oppressive job killer bureaucratic dominated states, no whining.  Take a course in economics, not just poli-sci and public admin”.

Let us first be very clear about what Rick Perry is doing.  To prove an economic theory which should have been declared dead by the mass of evidence occasioned by the massive destruction wreaked during our financial crisis, the Texas governor is trying to damage the economy of other states, hurt the livelihoods of other people, and profit from the misfortune of other communities.  A more self-interested, anti-social attitude I cannot imagine, and I am unsurprised that Perry has the sympathy of someone as irresponsible and slack-jawed as Doug LaMalfa.

This is, moreover, a terribly hypocritical approach to be taken by a man who aspired—and likely still does—to lead the whole nation.  Typically, those who shout the loudest about their patriotism and love of country are least committed to the welfare of the public.

At the end of the day, Rick Perry’s Texas might be low-tax and low-regulation.  But it is also a state characterized by low-standards, low-safety, poor services, poor support, poor quality of life, and a degraded community.  Perry would happily beggar his neighbor while simultaneously promoting his stunted state as a model of exploitation for the nation…and our own representative, to the extent that his brainless blathering is decipherable, seems to approve.

Perry’s move, contrary to what LaMalfa appears to believe, is very political.  Nor are economics more generally easily separated from “poli-sci and public admin”.  As most people aside from LaMalfa know, “economics” is not some kind of “neutral” science, but rather the attempt to transform a political ideal into material manifestation. 


Another example of LaMalfa’s stupidity came when he used his facebook forum to mock the Governor’s concern about what he crudely described as “your global warming story”, saying that forest management was the answer.  If LaMalfa thought with his grey cells instead of his alimentary canal, he would understand, as this Guardian story notes,  that there has been a cumulative effect, with warming leading to more fires, which in turn eat up a greater percentage of funds available for forest management, meaning that when LaMalfa’s party is busy trying to prove its ideological purity by starving these departments of funds, that there is less money to spend on preventive care through management (which is not at all the same thing as saying that global warming is a “story”). 

Northern Californians would surely bemoan having elected a man of this low calibre to represent us in Washington, D.C. were it not for the fact that, for decades now, this is the only kind of representation we have known.

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