Republicans oppose jobs bills. They make whatever excuses seem expedient at a given moment, but the reality is that they have no interest in helping to create jobs. The Republican agenda depends on a continuing paucity of opportunities. Republicans know that trickle down economics doesn’t work, and that making the wealthy wealthier does not motivate them to create jobs. They know that making the wealthy wealthier mostly results in hording in offshore accounts, and obscenely ostentatious self-indulgences. Trickle down isn’t just a failed economic theory, it’s a red herring.
Republicans know that there are far more people seeking jobs than there are jobs available, but they don’t see that as a problem, they see it as a solution. Not only do they not care about the suffering of those who want but cannot find work, they depend on that suffering, and intentionally exacerbate it. That is why they also oppose government spending to benefit the long-term unemployed. Republican antipathy to paying taxes isn’t only about avarice, it is about ensuring that there aren’t enough public resources available to alleviate those economically suffering.
Republicans like to pretend that their economic cruelty is about not coddling, but it’s actually about punishing. Republicans aren’t really worried about people being soft, they’re actually worried about people not hurting. To Republicans, schadenfreude may be a favorite form of entertainment, but hurting people economically also serves a critical purpose. The more desperate people are to find work, the more likely they will be to accept any work at any wages under any conditions. Kick them while they are down, and try to make them beg. Being able to disparage and demonize them is an added bonus.
The final piece of the puzzle is the Republican focus on making life more difficult for those who do have work. Republicans oppose increasing the minimum wage. They want even the employed to know economic want. Republicans oppose workplace safety regulations, and they want to destroy unions. They want workers completely subject to the whims of management, and unable to quit lousy jobs because there are no good alternatives and there is no social safety net to protect them. Under the Republican agenda, workers have to do what they’re told or suffer even worse consequences.
In short, the Republican agenda is to keep people desperate for work, with more people seeking jobs than can find them, with no laws or other forms of assistance or protection for those who can find jobs, and no safety net for those who can’t. Lack of opportunity ensures a glutted labor market, which drives down wages, forcing many of even those who do find work to seek more. Exhausting hours, inadequate pay, and broken unions ensure that workers are hungry and tired and incapable of defending themselves.
It could be called a new form of feudalism, but that feudalism actually made necessary more responsibility from the aristocracy toward the peasants and serfs than does unregulated bastard capitalism from owners and management toward labor. It is class warfare. Simple, straightforward, class warfare. For Republicans, poverty, hunger, and unemployment are not tributary outcomes of their economic model, they are deliberate means toward insidious ends. Make people hurt. Make them desperate. They will do what they are told. They will ask for no more than that they be allowed to survive another week.
Or so Republicans hope.