Tuesday, October 31, 2017

More MIsery of the Elites

Paul Krugman's latest is yet another noodle-lashing of those nasty Republicans and their foul donor class whose added tax cuts won't put the slightest dent into their pre-existing conditions of meanness and misery.

The wealthy donors for whom the G.O.P. will apparently do anything, up to and including covering up for possible treason, will get no joy from their tax cuts.
I don’t mean that history will judge them harshly, although it will. I don’t even mean that plutocrats as well as plebeians will eventually suffer if America becomes a lawless, authoritarian regime. I mean that a few hundred thousand dollars extra will do little if anything to make the already wealthy more satisfied with their lives.

You might well ask, who cares? Even if tax cuts would make the rich joyful, this shouldn’t count against the sheer misery Republicans are trying to impose on the tens of millions of people they’re trying to deprive of health care, food stamps, disability benefits and more.
Still, for some reason I find it fascinating that all this misery, plus the possible destruction of constitutional government, may happen without even making the intended beneficiaries happy.
My published response: 
  Making this all about the feral GOP donor class lets the "good rich" off the hook. It isn't a matter of Republicans vs Democrats. It's a matter of the rich versus the rest of us. And it's bipartisan. Why else are "centrist" Democrats, like Wall Street mogul Steve Rattner, so rabidly against Medicare for All? 
As Gilens and Page established in their study of affluence and political influence, even most wealthy Democratic donors are against increased spending for public education and higher taxes to pay for true universal health care. As a result, more often than not, the beholden Congress does the exact opposite of what the voters want and need.
And as Forbes's latest annual wealth list reveals, the 400 richest US billionaires now own as much wealth as the bottom 60% of the population combined. This obscene inequality is making even the ultra-rich so nervous that one UBS banker suggested a "cure" of more public exhibits of plutocratic art, and more investment in sports teams. This noblesse oblige would not, however, extend to actual free admission for the public. Even the despots of the crumbling Roman Empire let their citizens watch the gladiators get killed for free.
So Trump isn't the only clueless tycoon who thinks that his dollars are equivalent to IQ points. Even if he were kicked out tomorrow, there's plenty more where he came from.

It's total war. It's 400 plutocrats' combined net worth of $2.68 trillion against the rest of us. It's the antithesis of democracy.


Erik Roth said...

Exactly so, 'tis total war, and like Warren Buffett said, "There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning."

One reason for that Wendell Berry identifies:
“We Americans are not usually thought to be a submissive people, but of course we are. Why else would we allow our country to be destroyed? Why else would we be rewarding its destroyers? Why else would we all — by proxies we have given to greedy corporations and corrupt politicians — be participating in its destruction? Most of us are still too sane to piss in our own cistern, but we allow others to do so and we reward them for it. We reward them so well, in fact, that those who piss in our cistern are wealthier than the rest of us.
How do we submit? By not being radical enough. Or by not being thorough enough, which is the same thing.”

And, as Ms. Garcia has so well articulated many times, at fostering the ruling oligarchy, and expanding the American empire, both political parties are essentially in collusion.

The radical direction that must be taken to achieve the change we need is not coming from either party.
Of course the Republicans are blatantly beholding to the plutocrats and the prejudiced.
But the Democrats have effectively quashed all attempts to reform and promote any substantive alternative.
The two senators from my state, Minnesota, epitomize the problem we face.
They each represent the Clinton-controlled establishment, despite obvious rejection of that by the electorate, whether by the idiotic anarchist Trump voters, or the hapless hopeful Sanders folks who got burned.

All I can see is that we must keep saying, as Ms. Garcia does, just what we need, and not who, while calling out whoever is part of the problem, and suggesting some of the solution.

Another voice crying in the diminishing wilderness worth heeding makes this timely point:


He notes: "Paul Manafort put the Trump-Pence ticket together and maintained ties to the veep even after leaving the campaign."

Anne said...

More M I S E R Y for Hillary!

The Russians must have gotten to Donna Brazile, because she's spilling the beans in her new book and in this article linked below. She'd better get herself one of those flak jackets, pronto.

How timely, just when Mueller is charging people with money laundering. Poor Hillary will probably be seeing a lot more of Dr. Chardonnay now. I hope she doesn't fall again.

'Inside Hillary Clinton's Secret Takeover of the DNC'


Looking forward to Karen's take on this!

Pearl said...

Now I have to take a hot shower after reading the true facts of the Democrats" behavior during the election campaign. For reading about Trump it is a cold shower.

Read Tim Canova's current column just sent to party members.