Political Interpreter: Sue Windels

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Political Interpreter: Sue Windels

by Ari Armstrong, July 22, 2004

I thought it would be fun to restate political brochures to better reflect the reality of the positions advocated by the politicians. I happened to receive a brochure from Sue Windels, a state senator, so I'll start there. Readers who would like me to consider other brochures for the political interpreter can mail them to Ari Armstrong, 9975 Wadsworth Pkwy. #K2-111, Westminster, CO 80021. Quotes from Windels's brochure are marked "SW," while my restatements are marked "AA."

SW: Our State Senator.

AA: The state senator elected in the district by a minority of residents, most of whom know practically nothing about the senator's politics.

SW: Small businesses will be the engine that pulls us out of our economic doldrums.

AA: Windels thinks her constituents will be persuaded by empty rhetoric that anybody can agree with. Unfortunately, she may be right.

SW: Ask Senator Windels to continue her support of small business through her support of education and job training tax credits, improved transportation, and reduction of red tape.

AA: Windels thinks that the best way to "support" business is to use tax policy to socially engineer politically-approved behaviors, further socialize transportation, and marginally reduce the politically-imposed hassles of doing business. Of course, since everybody claims to be for cutting "red tape," Windels didn't think it important to list actual examples.

SW: Call Senator Windels and tell her you support her position to provide incentives to business that discourages the outsourcing of Colorado jobs overseas.

AA: Call Senator Windels and tell her that you're an economic ignoramus who wants to use tax policy to destroy wealth by discouraging free trade and reducing the economic benefits that derive from comparative advantage.

SW: Wal-Mart [new paragraph] Senator Windels knows that local residents MUST have a voice in local development decisions. If we empower people first, government can be a tool for the kind of community we want. Let Senator Windels know you appreciate her support of neighbors making local neighborhood decisions.

AA: Senator Windels believes property rights should be sacrificed to political activists who want to deprive everyone else of their economic liberties. She advocates special-interest warfare in which the politically motivated offer votes to politicians who grant them favors. She believes replacing the voluntary decisions people make within the free market rooted in property rights should be replaced with arbitrary political decisions backed by the force of the state. She picks on Wal-Mart specifically because the people who benefit most from Wal-Mart, including the poor, tend not to vote or organize politically as often. She declines to mention the fact that Wal-Mart attempted to violate property rights by using local political force to usurp the property rights of local residents, perhaps because Windels advocates a similar use of political force to violate property rights. Windels thus fails to distinguish between a Wal-Mart store built through voluntary market exchange and a Wal-Mart store built with the help of local politicians in violation of property rights. In Windels's view, the issue is not whether a Wal-Mart store is built in harmony with property rights, but whether a Wal-Mart store makes the most powerful interest groups happy.

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