Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chickens come home to roost

“I think the U.S. has every chance of having a good year next year, but the politicians are doing their damnedest to prevent it from happening — the Republicans are — and the Democrats to my eternal bafflement have not stood their ground,” Ian C. Shepherdson, chief United States economist for High Frequency Economics, a research firm, said in an interview.

G.O.P. on Defensive as Analysts Question Party’s Fiscal Policy

Oh really, Ian, you're baffled? Completely flummoxed? You can't imagine why Democrats have not stood their ground and calmly explained sound fiscal policy to the electorate - the same electorate that has been fed voodoo economics for thirty years? For the last three decades professional economists have stood beside the financiers and politicians while they touted Libertarian mantras like "Taxes are theft" and "Government is the problem" and "Welfare queens," and now you're baffled that the political climate can't communicate the truth?

This is the price of the deal Reagan made. You lied to the Religious Right, got them to sign onto your tax and regulation free paradise, and proceeded to loot the entire planet. And now, when the looting has to stop so that the rich people will still have actual countries to live in, you're shocked that you can't just turn the mob around and send them home? After thirty years of shameless lying, you can't understand why people can't tell the difference between lies and truth anymore?

This is going to be a tough decade for rich people. They are going to remember that they need the mob they've spent the last thirty years belittling. Millionaires who assert that they owe the government nothing are going to suddenly realize that the only thing standing between them and a Chinese concentration camp are all those working-class folks, those simple-minded buffoons who took slogans of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity seriously. Because the Chinese will totally sue you in World Court, extradite you, take your cash, and put your ass in a rice paddy with a shovel. And the shovel handle will be broken.

And the only thing stopping the Chinese from carrying out the destruction of the Western financial class is the Western working class, those millions of dupes both serve in and pay for the armed forces that stop the Chinese from saying international law is whatever they say it is. For years you've used the power of those dupes to say international law is whatever you say it is, right down to poisonous IMF austerity policies that were forced on other nations (policies suspiciously similar to the ones you are currently complaining about). And for years we went along with it, because frankly life under a Chinese communtariat did not sound as appealing as life under a free-market grab fest.

Ah, but you fixed that, didn't you. When the current crop of Republicans gets done destroying every single regulation, breaking every union, and eliminating all worker protections, then an awful lot of people are going to look at the overworked, overcrowded, oppressed Chinese middle class buying cars and pianos and wonder, "Why can't we have it that good?" And then you'll come crying to us about freedom and liberty and the American way, but it will be too late. You will have sucked all the blood out of that empire.

This is how empires fall: they become so successful that failure becomes inconceivable. At that point the political class stops asking for shared sacrifice to make the empire succeed, and concentrates on just making themselves succeed. After a while, this inward-focused gaze steers the entire nation off a cliff, and somebody else - somebody who was serious about shared sacrifice, like those Chinese fellows who execute corporate officers who screw up too badly - takes over the road.

America, in its blind patriotic exceptionalism, buried under religious purity tests that have replaced politics, saddled and broken by a financier class that crashed the global economy two years ago and yet is already back up to its old tricks, sure as heck looks like Rome devoting all of its political capital to simply keeping the current emperor from being assassinated by the next one.

2 comments:

madhava said...

I recently had a conversation with a Republican colleague of mine and she is absolutely convinced that Obama is an arrogant do nothing and there is no way he will win the next election. Furthermore, when the GOP takes back the Whitehouse (not if, but when) the first thing they will do is overturn the healthcare law. Since Obama is responsible for wrecking the economy, so says my friend, having a Republcan back in the whitehouse will fix the economy. My colleague said it will most likely be Rick Perry or Michelle Bachmann. I tried really hard to listen to my colleague, because she represents a voting block that recently won a huge chunk of congress, and I figure it can't hurt to know thy enemy, so to speak. What I am perplexed by is whether or not she represents some really weird political center that actually has a chance of taking the whitehouse back, or whether she represents some fleeting midterm anti-Obama crowd, that come the general election will actually have a very hard time beating Obama, since face-to-face arguments may be harder to win then the current use the media to throw pie crusts technique currently being employed by the GOP. What are your thoughts?

MCPlanck said...

She represents the 1/3 of the country that would vote for a dead weasel if there was an "R" next to its name on the ballot. Part of the problem with the country is that only 1/6 of the electorate would vote for a dead weasel labeled "D". This imbalance of crazy allows one side to push the dialogue to the extreme.

Party affiliation in America is not about policy or character; it is about identity. People vote R because they want to think of themselves as successful; they vote D because they want to think of themselves as compassionate. In addition the labels of "godly" and "sane" have become attached to the political parties, much to our collective harm.

Obama's re-election is guaranteed by every historical index we know how to measure. Not being able to admit those plain facts demonstrates that for your colleague, politics has ceased to be about facts. Don't take her claims of Obama's perfidy as statements about reality; take them as what they are: statements about her own values and desires.