Election 2014  
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GOP: A Party That Hates Women

Romney and Ryan envision an anti-woman economy and society, but women are increasingly key to winning elections.

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Mainstream economic theory claims that that private spending is weak because we are scared of the future tax implications of the rising budget deficits. But the overwhelming evidence shows that if you own a business, you’re not going to invest while consumption is weak. And households will not spend because people are scared of becoming unemployed and are trying to reduce their bloated debt levels. Above all else, businesses need sales to encourage them to hire workers. A restaurant doesn't lay anyone off when it's full of paying customers, no matter how much the owner might hate the government, the paper work, and the health regulations; A department store doesn't lay off workers when it's full of paying customers; and an engineering firm doesn't lay anyone off when it has a backlog of orders.

And guess what?  Women are not only more than half of the electorate, but they are a huge part of the overall aggregate demand for goods and services. Under the Republican agenda, women could well revert to a kind of economic serfdom, whose labor expended can be considered surplus to that required to maintain the survival of the man and his family.  

In fact, if Romney's plan were to be introduced now or, worse yet, the automatic budget sequestration cuts proposed in the Budget Control Act from last fall were actually implemented, (which mandates across-the-board cuts to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years), then we'd likely experience a double-dip recession in the U.S. next year. Support for this view has been expressed by no less than the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) which argued in a report the other day, that the U.S. economy would slide into recession in fiscal 2013 if Congress fails to act to maintain current tax rates and avert deep cuts to federal spending.

Austerity advocates like Romney and Ryan are obsessed with putting the squeeze on public spending, especially broad social welfare and education. Their plans mean that workers get trapped in a low-skill, low-pay circle of disadvantage. The increasingly casualized labor market is reinforcing that pathology, particularly for women.

As strange as it sounds, the worst of these effects may well be thankfully nullified by the GOP's ongoing war on women voters -- the probable difference-makers in the upcoming election. Nat Silver of the FiveThirtyEight blog is the ultimate wonk pollster, and the best guestimates now are that President Obama today is only ahead by around 3 to 4 percent. I think it is a little more. I think Obama will do better as Romney’s tax issues bring more revelations and the GOP war on women becomes center stage. Given the desultory state of the economy today, if the president wins by anywhere near the same margin as in 2008, the handwriting will truly be on the wall for the party of social conservatives, angry older white men and the 1 percenters themselves.

The changes that are occurring in the overall population as the next generation -- particularly women -- takes over will be death to the past Republican coalition. The GOP will eventually realize that its anti-choice stance and all that goes with it is a huge problem. The party will find that its viscerally anti-feminist rhetoric and policies will be even more of a killer in the future. And a byproduct of that will be that the corporate predators who comprise so much of the top 1 percenters will also realize that they can no longer govern with the support of social conservatives who vote against their own interests.

I think this election will make everyone realize that the future of the U.S. has already begun.