You know the drill — Politico’s Arena asks, I answer. I’d like to know what you would have said, so please tell me in the comments section below.
Arena Asked: President Barack Obama, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warn of calamitous effects if the nation’s debt ceiling is not raised soon. But a few prominent Republicans, such as Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, a presidential candidate, say nothing much would happen and blast the administration for its “scare tactics.”
Are Bachmann and co. naive about the consequences of default? Or do they have a point? Might this be the economic equivalent of Y2K, the turn-of-the-21 century computer scare that ended up causing minimal damage?
My Answer: Bachmann and her Tea Party minions are not naive–they are ruthless.
They are ruthlessly seeking power over others. They are ruthlessly seeking to change America into a narrow, dog-eat-dog, hierarchical culture consistent with their extreme fundamentalist theology.
But in the end, they are actually the lapdogs of those corporate interests (e. g. Murdock) that operate from pure greed with no connection to the social threads that bind a society together and enable a healthy economy to function. They don’t get that co-operation and mutual support (I call that the power TO) are as essential to successful cultures as competition. On that point, perhaps they are indeed dangerously naïve.
GLORIA FELDT is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, a sought-after speaker and frequent contributor to major news outlets, and the Co-Founder and President of Take The Lead. People has called her “the voice of experience,” and among the many honors she has been given, Vanity Fair called her one of America’s “Top 200 Women Legends, Leaders, and Trailblazers,” and Glamour chose her as a “Woman of the Year.”
As co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a leading women’s leadership nonprofit, her mission is to achieve gender parity by 2025 through innovative training programs, workshops, a groundbreaking 50 Women Can Change The World immersive, online courses, a free weekly newsletter, and events including a monthly Virtual Happy Hour program and a Take The Lead Day symposium that reached over 400,000 women globally in 2017.