Wednesday, June 06, 2012


Gail Collins tries to discuss the Wisconsin recall with David Brooks, but it's a dialogue with the deaf:

Gail: You see the recall as a test case on whether the public will make the hard choices when it comes to reducing our debt. I saw it as a test of the current Republican strategy of putting all the sacrifice on the backs of the un-wealthy. Announcing that public employees have to get fewer benefits and lose their power to negotiate isn't a hard choice if you happen to be the party that does not benefit from much union support.

David: I'm not sure what you mean by less wealthy. These particular public employees were receiving benefits and pensions far above those received by the median earner in Wisconsin. But this is a national problem. In state after state, from New York to Illinois to California, the lavish over-promises made to public employees are squeezing budgets, making it harder to fund schools and social programs and all the rest.

These promises weren't a Robin Hood venture. Quite the reverse.

(Emphasis added.)

Collins tries to talk about rich people, specifically the fact that they've made zero sacrifice in this downturn, but in Brooks's world there simply are no rich people -- or at least we're not supposed to include them in the universe of those we ask to sacrifice when we decide sacrifice is needed. We're supposed to exempt the real 1%, then grade the remaining members of the middle class on a curve. Voila -- the ones with decent benefits aren't just doing somewhat better than others in their social class, they're literally (in the Robin Hood sense) "the rich." They're "the wealthy." Implicitly, they take their place alongside Prius drivers and the denizens of Hollyweird as the elitists we're supposed to hate, while ignoring America's real elitits.


PurpleGirl said...

I know quite a few public employees. Not a one of them can afford a $4 million house, with the right space for entertaining. Not a single one. It's harder to fund social programs, schools and pensions because of the tax breaks given to the uber wealthy. (And their suck-ups like David Brooks.)

Victor said...

Yes, the REAL "The Monsters on Main Street" are the people who worked for decades to receive legally negotiated pensions of a couple of thousand dollars a month after they retire, and not the "Cannibal Capitalists" who who buy companies, destroy them, use the people's pension funds that they spent decades accruing, and giving them as bonuses to their top executives.
And the monsters most certainly aren't the politicians who allow this to happen, while at the same time cutting aid to people who need it, but also drastically cutting taxes to the wealthiest, not only to placate them, but for valuable prizes - like Wingnut Welfare jobs for life, with great pay, benefits, AND pensions!

No - not THEM - it's those union workers, and others with pensions, are the 'True Monsters!!!'

I'm not far from calling for an open revolution, and the consequences be damned!

It may be coming soon:
If we win - kill the rich MFer's.
If they win - kill the rest of us.
We're ALL dead in the long run.

I'm with Ten Bears - I'd rather die quickly in a fight, than be starved and asphyxiated slowly.

But let's see how long they last without sucking the life's-blood out of the rest of us?

How long before the "Cannibal Capitalists," without new flesh to feast on, begin feeding on the other cannibals?

Now, watching THAT would be ONE reason to stick around!

Steve M. said...

Yes, the REAL "The Monsters on Main Street" are the people who worked for decades to receive legally negotiated pensions....

"Legally negotiated" is the point, or it ought to be -- go look at this Balloon Juice post, which makes the point that libertarians, somehow, never defend these pensions as something the workers obtained via legally binding contracts. So why don't libertarians defend them? And, for that matter, why don't other right-wingers? Because the enforcement of contracts is less important than screwing the non-rich and helping the rich become richer.

BH said...

Right as rain, and another example of the inconsistencies which make most self-styled libertarians laughable. My personal favorite is their simultaneous horror of governmental power at the federal level and exaltation (or at least passive acceptance) of it at the state/local level.

Anonymous said...

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This is quite interesting. Social issues is now discussed in the open unlike before. There should be equality between the rich and the poor.