Populist Misperceptions

Always Be Suspicious of Reckless Self-Promotion.

For my friend U No Hu, a very brief post commenting on current political thought as the middle class seems set upon eating its own.

The GOP of yesterday — say pre-Reagan — doesn’t look all that bad anymore.  The bad guys were clearly identified and most Republicans were rather civil and even somewhat liberal by today’s standards.  And they seemed to share at least one goal in common with their Democratic counterparts:  A better United States, even if you had to reluctantly engage government resources to get it done.

I’m not sure you can say that a better country is the goal of today’s populist politics, particularly from the point of view of the right.  It is more cut, cut, cut and we have reached a point where government workers — scofflaws like university professors and snow plow drivers — are “stealing” from the people.  I would venture to guess that many government employees work at least as hard as the people attacking them unless, of course, they are someone like Gov. Scott Walker who has a cushy office job and has someone else clean his official toilet.

The problem here is ignorance.  I actually think the problem is stupidity, but if people are too stupid to understand facts and reasoning, then we will forever be subjected to the will of the minority, as we are now.  I don’t like believing that…so I’ll ignore it.

People on the right fail to see how they support interests that pull our wealth up to the lucky few while at the same time dismantling decades of social and economic progress. 

Maybe it is time to start asking the knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers on the right to explain how…say…cutting government spending without raising taxes is going to erase a debt that exceeds total government spending.  In a state where an annual budget needs to be balanced, something doesn’t add up.

Or perhaps ask a more simple question.  What is rich?  And who fooled the average Tea Partier into thinking he is rich?  The truly rich have fed this idea into the heads of their followers.  A full third of Americans believe they are in the top 10% of income earners.  Again, a problem with basic math exists there.

Aw, isn't that cute? Did you make that for your mommy?

Ask a more complicated question, one that evaluates real versus nominal incomes and wealth, for example, and you can understand why the right stubbornly sticks to simple complaints that can fit on a 18″ X 24″ sheet of poster board.

But we’re better than this, aren’t we? 



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