I found Friday’s Op-Ed column in the New York Times, by Nobel Prize winner in economics, Paul Krugman, both misleading and trite. While I do not know how much he might be paid for this column, he makes the case this week that he is overpaid, no matter the amount. He has used his personal soap box in this column, repeatedly to attack what he believes are Mitt Romney’s beliefs, impugns the GOP’s belief in small business creators and owners, and repeats the progressives’ favorite lie, that the GOP just does not care about the common-man, the middle class in America.
Krugman mentions the newly released video of Mitt Romney, where Romney says that 47 percent of the country is now “unreachable”. Romney says he is not interested even trying to reach 47 percent of voters, not because they are middle-class working stiffs, as Krugman would have you believe, but because that 47 percent have already decided who they are voting for. There are 47 percent of people who buy into the Obama message of dependence and victim-hood. To Romney, it would be a matter of wasting time and resources, going after a demographic that simply is not interested in Romney’s philosophy. Perhaps that is a novel concept – getting a good return on an investment – for progressives, having seen the past three years of waste after waste perpetrated on the American people by Democrats, while they swear that any time now the economy will sputter to life once again.
Krugman goes on to say the GOP should think better of the 47 percent, setting up a false dichotomy – that either the GOP should love them, as the left does, or that the GOP hates them. To Krugman, there are no other options. I find it funny, though, that the left’s love for them means giving them healthcare bill that saddles them with a crippling new tax, and that will necessarily raise their insurance premiums by allowing their children to remain on the parents’ policies until age 26. The left are also the ones that think a lifetime dependent on the government is a wonderful thing. That is a warped type of love…
Krugman goes on to bemoan a tweet by House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, on Labor Day. Krugman’s issue is that Cantor praised people who took chances to build their own businesses, and did not quite give organized labor the due deference Krugman thought it should receive on “its day”. The horrendous tweet Krugman named?
“Today, we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success.”
— Eric Cantor (@GOPLeader) September 3, 2012
That is pretty terrible. Eric Cantor had the gall to compliment people who have worked hard, and built their own businesses — and he did it on Labor Day, too! Doing far more damage was Krugman’s pointing it out, and then warping what Cantor meant, to fit into Krugman’s own purpose. Krugman found fault with Romney’s RNC speech too – the mortal sin? Romney never once said the word, “worker”! Obama, in contrast, said “worker” many times, Krugman tells us – and apparently that, and not the actual effects of policy mean something to Krugman.
Krugman also took Romney to task for his opinion about immigrants. Romney said in his remarks that immigrants have come to America “…in pursuit of ‘freedom to build a business’.” Krugman criticizes Romney for not mentioning the workers again. So, according to Krugman, unless Romney mentions them, he cannot stand them – again, another false dichotomy.
Eventually, Krugman stumbles onto a decent point, but then he becomes guilty of drawing a false conclusion from it. He blames big money for the Republican’s “disdain for workers”. He claims that the big money has “bought” the entire right-wing, and are now running it as they please. Krugman goes on to blame also Ayn Rand and adherents to her philosophy. It is the owners and operators of businesses, Krugman tells us, who are all responsible for economic activity.
While Krugman spews forth many points, and many things that he considers self-evident “facts”, he is off base most of the time, and even when he approaches what might be considered a cogent point, he seems to swerve suddenly back into the left-wing weeds. He does little more than attack Mitt Romney with false issues (citing Romney’s lack of mentioning a group as some sort of failing or sign that he hates the unsaid group). At other times, Krugman projects the actions of the left onto the right (big money buying sway? I wonder if Krugman’s ever heard of George Soros?) Finally, Krugman tries to tie the whole column together with the hackneyed point that the entire right-wing has become a party of wealthy, non-thinking, idiotic, drones – if that is not projection, I do not know what is.
The inane Op-ed column can be read here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/21/opinion/krugman-disdain-for-workers.html
When I mention the “Middle Class”, I would suspect most Americans immediately think, “Hey, that’s me!”, and they pay attention. However, it is an over-used, hackneyed phrase in politics. Whenever a politician wants instantly to grab attention of the American populace, they bring up the “Middle Class”. Since it is usually used by politicians in a “threatened-species” manner, the Middle Class members sit up straight, and listen intently. The Upper Class pays attention, because they are out numbered by the Middle Class (and despite what some people claim, more votes certainly do still count). The Lower Class pays attention because they see the Middle Class as the destination that they are struggling to earn their way into. Politicians, belonging to a class all their own, notice these behavioral tendencies of the three main groups, and smell opportunity.
For the politicians to use the knee-jerk reaction of the Lower Class, I find their methods very insidious. Usually, what the politicians will do is tell the L.C. that their “gravy train”, their government-granted entitlements, or any other government-dolled goodies are in dire jeopardy because of the actions of the filthy rich. While this will not cause as large a reaction, because the L.C. is less mobile and likely to show up at their Congressman’s office. Anytime someone is given something, and then they are told it is threatened – watch the anger at losing that entitlement explode.
For the politicians to use the reaction of the Upper Class, they can threaten that the M.C. will push for higher wages or take a larger part of the Uppers Class’s wealth in any other number of ways. The U.C., then finding themselves threatened may decide to react by using their money and friendships in Washington to affect change in their favors. Most recently, I think that the more common method of trying to keep goodwill is for the constituents to offer to pay higher taxes (knowing that it will never come to that). I find it interesting to think that a class so often seen as miserly and “above-it-all”, still seems to be so easily swayed by this type of rhetoric.
The dirty trick is, according to where the politicians put their measuring sticks, the Middle Class could be made to be any group. From an income of $30,000 up to $120,000? You are Middle Class. From $28,000 to $150,000? Boom – you are Middle Class. It is all about political expediency. The politicians constantly play fast and loose with rules, regulations, and our money, so why should their rhetoric be any different? If there is a political point to be made, or some “points” to be earned for their next election, they will paint you in any shade that they need to, to make their point (or to engage fully in their fear-mongering). The Middle Class has to be the most bandied-about segment of America.
These methods of politicians to get various classes to argue and fight with one another, while the politicians get away with murder, creates this huge positive feedback loop. Costs increase with every promise and entitlement given. While it seems to have been this way as long as this blogger can remember, I do not expect it to change (especially since blowing that class-dog-whistle works so well). The government has given goodies to pry support from certain groups, and now it is nearly impossible to reduce it. They need constantly to keep money flowing, while others, seeing these sweet deals, want their “fair share” too. Ever-increasing funds are needed as more and more people join the rolls. Where is it supposed to all come from? Sometimes, I wonder how much a little critical thought is worth – well politicians are attempting to figure that out for us all.
(This post took me forever, due primarily to the fact I started Tweeting, and that’s like Internet crack. I told those responsible that they’d be noted as my distractions): @tamale102280, @iteabellsingers, and @apologyispolicy
They’re good people – follow ‘em if you don’t already!
In the past few years, we have seen an American government swing drastically to one direction. Then the winners mistake that election for a mandate (instead of the rejection of the neo-conservative-right that it was), ram-rod legislation through the one-party Congress, and then see their own party’s even larger rejection, in the process, losing control of Congress. It is like the American electorate has a sudden schizophrenic temperament, swinging wildly from one political ideology to another. Is the electorate like a top, wobbling one direction and another, looking for a fine balance of both parties? If people are actually looking for some “fine-line” between the parties, then why is there so much angry rhetoric and complaining when we are told a compromise is in the works, and that it will benefit everyone?
In the preceding three years, this country has seen massive amounts of capital expended for saving this industry or that company. A few trillion here, and a couple of hundred billion there – pretty soon, it is real money (or so the saying goes). All the while, this administration continually tells us Americans, that the millionaires have too much money – far more than they will ever need, and that the government would better utilize that money. The same government who squanders billions on uncompetitive solar panel companies, run by friendly money-bundlers would use the money better than the owners of it, who will either loan it to banks (as CDs or other accounts) or spend it, thereby stimulating the economy with said purchase.
Recently, instead of merely wasting public funds, we have seen the government and politicians actually committing and supporting other illegal acts. From going to war without consulting Congress, to trading on inside information (which amounts to stealing from other stockholders who do not have the same access to information), to strongly supporting the Occupy Wall Street trespassing and violence. The Occupy Los Angeles Occupiers were reported to have had plans to use violent bombs and other weapons against the police force, but the mayor finally reacted, and police cleaned up the camps. In a twist of irony, the politicians would have us believe that using non-lethal pepper-spray is akin to slaughtering those protesters, who were warned repeatedly if they did not move, the spraying would occur. Free speech is not without responsibility, and neither is any action.
I believe that the continuously broadcast line by government, that Americans are being somewhat subjugated and “used” by big, bad corporations may be true in some instances (check the still growing MF Global scandal)– but the people pointing the fingers are far worse than any of their boogeymen. “It is the bankers and stock traders who are stealing – they are making tons of money, and they are holding America down while they do it”, we are fed daily. It is an everyday occurrence, and must be continually reinforced, or the sheeple may begin to question the rhetoric and think critically once again, ruining the carefully laid plans. What a perfect set-up the politicians have created, eh? Simultaneously, they: create a problem, identify and offer “solutions” to the problem, all while pointing to the creator of the problem as everyone but themselves. The politicians have even aligned themselves with various social interest groups (under the guise of “grassroots” movements and concerns for group members) to continually, reinforce the lies. Government causes the problems, government identifies the problems, but whoa – government certainly are not the ones to blame for the same problems!
This continual reinforcement of the incendiary rhetoric is not without costs. The Occupy movement has seen hundreds of protesters arrested, property has been trashed, defaced, and ruined — all because of what amounts to baseless finger-pointing. The politicians have failed at nearly every task that they are supposed to accomplish (is anyone wondering where budgets for the past 2-3 years are? They are somewhere in the black hole that is the Harry Reid-led Senate). Americans are not stupid, but when they are constantly told that something is not “fair”, and that somehow they are being forced to do more work than the Joneses – well, we cannot have that, can we? Everyone must pay their “fair share” as the code-words call for. What better way for politicians to “cash in” on a generation that grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, that is frequently referred to as the “me generation”? Of course, tell them that someone has more than they, and that they could have it so much easier if someone else could make it all even. You cannot incessantly stoke a movement with violent, unfounded rhetoric, and expect that you can also shut it down effortlessly.
The fact remains whether or not the democratic party can still control the greed- and unfairness-driven masses that they have created. In my eyes, it is very comparable to Dr. Frankenstein’s monster – once he was turned loose, he was uncontrollable. In cities where mayors finally chased away the Occupiers, the crowds vowed that they would return. So, where does the country move from here? Will the spring thaw also see the rebirth of the Occupy Movement? Will politicians see the errors of their ways?
“A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.” – Groucho Marx
Huh, a five year understands when they run out of money, they cannot spend any more. It speaks volumes about the brain power in Washington D.C., doesn’t it?
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