Tuesday, March 8, 2011

We wouldn't want class warfare, would we?


Jim Harris said...

Bill, did you see 60 Minutes this week? It featured a report on children of the homeless around Orlando, Florida. The homeless they interviewed were people evicted from their homes because of the economic crisis. That piece really illustrates the cartoon above. They were the byproduct of mistakes made on Wall Street. Wall Street was bailed out, but not the common house owner.

While writing this reply I'm listening to a review of a book about 18th England and how class shaped its economics.

WCG said...

Was that the 60 Minutes where they interviewed Christopher Hitchens? I saw a clip of that - I almost embedded it here, in fact - but not the rest of the show.

But, you know, I really can't criticize "bailing out" Wall Street. After all, letting our financial system collapse would have been cutting off our nose to spite our face. If you think it's bad now, this is nothing compared to what it would have been like then.

And the owners of those companies weren't "bailed out." For the most part, they lost everything they had invested. I've got an uncle who's angry at Obama because his old GM stock is worthless. Well, what did he expect? That's what happens in bankruptcy, whether the company is "bailed out" or not.

Unfortunately, bankers - including many responsible for this mess - mostly kept their jobs. That's NOT fair. But fair just doesn't count, not next to keeping our economy from collapsing entirely. We need to think about "fair" after we've got things stabilized again - and, hopefully, before the next collapse.

The worst part of it is that they're still getting their tax cuts. They caused this collapse, but we still can't tax them to help repair some of the damage. The rich are still making out like bandits - and I mean that almost literally.

Instead of returning tax rates on the rich to where they were under Reagan, we're slashing spending on schools and on prenatal care. We're attacking school teachers. We're attacking unions. Unions! It's just incredible, isn't it? Unions have been declining in membership and power for decades. How could we blame unions for any of this?

But the right-wing propaganda mill is very, very good as scaring and misinforming ignorant, cowardly, and gullible people. It's hard to believe we didn't all learn a lesson from the Bush administration. But I guess we didn't. The right-wing is back, and worse than ever.