Monday, June 28, 2010

The Blame Game

¡Hola! Everybody...
A little economic ranting today...

* * *

-=[ Blaming the Unemployed ]=-

When my adult son was very young -- say 7-8 years-old -- we were at a picnic, and kids being kids, he didn’t want to wait until I set everything up in order to play ball. In his impatience, he kept swinging this large plastic bat perilously close to one of his cousins (who was zoning out, oblivious to the danger). I warned my son about swinging the bat and he stopped (or so I thought). Of course, a little time passed before I heard the thwack of plastic bat meeting said cousin’s head.

I disciplined my son and he was confused because he felt it was an “accident.” The hardest job of a parent, as far as I’m concerned, is teaching the “accountability lesson” -- the basic life lesson that actions have consequences.

This is forgivable in a young child, after all, they are here to learn, but I have to wonder what the fuck happened to the mostly conservative crowd who refuse to learn consequential thinking even as they pass judgment on everyone else.

Unlike the oil disaster, there is little talk about criminal investigations into the economic collapse, there is little sense that it was instigated by the same sort of greed, carelessness, and arrogance that is now ruining the Gulf of Mexico (and quite possibly changing life as we know it on the planet). Yet the economic meltdown will kill more people, create more chaos, and wreak more havoc on our lives than the Gulf oil “spill.” First, I have an issue with calling the BP oil catastrophe a “spill.” Spill denotes accident, and this was no accident. This is like an eight-year-old child claiming “accident” when he was swinging a bat perilously close to someone else’s head.

Instead, those (with the help of the media they own) who caused or helped enable the class war we call the Great Recession by parroting the talking points of the rightwing economic revolution are now treating the problem almost as if it were an act of God -- or an “accident.” Today the pathetically failed neocons now have only praise for tough and austere measures -- as if making ordinary folk suffer for the greedy indulgences of the rich was a noble cause. the deficit hawks have returned, and like most sequels, this one stinks to high heaven.

As Sam smith at Undernews succinctly notes:

There is a long line of economists, politicians, columnists, academics, and other powerful voices whose advice and encouragement directly led us to this economic disaster. You won’t read about it, however, because the very media that was complicit in the problem is now directing your attention away from its causes.

With a few exceptions (Dean Baker and Joseph Stiglitz come to mind) prominent economists and the major media has evaded saying the obvious: an economic policy that increasingly feeds the rich at the expense of everyone else can lead to nothing but trouble. Call it the “free market” or whatever other endearing name you want, but at its heart it was a vicious and brutal con game perpetrated against the majority of America.

The evidence is endless and endlessly ignored but here are a few examples:

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the gap in after-tax income between the richest 1 percent of Americans and the middle and poorest fifths of the country more than tripled between 1979 and taken together with prior research, the new data suggest greater income concentration at the top of the income scale than at any time since 1928. Here’s what the change looks like:

In 1950, the ratio of the average executive’s paycheck to the average worker’s was about 30 to 1. Since 2000 that average has ranged from 300 to 500 to one.

According to economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, two-thirds of income increases between 2002 and 2007 went to the wealthiest 1% of society, a higher share of income than at any time since 1928.

This is not sound economic theory put into practice but state-sponsored fascism. So when you complain about so-called lazy workers, save a little blame for all those economists, columnists, and politicians who told you to just let the free market be and it would all work out fine.

To the hypocrites stigmatizing those most impacted by failed economic policies of the right I say fuck you very much. In terms of action, it happens that the House is now considering single issues job bill. If you believe that hard-working people deserve a chance, then I would strongly recommend you call your representatives and demand action.



No comments:

Post a Comment

What say you?


[un]Common Sense