July 13, 2010

Yet another Republican declaring up is down

Or in this case, that down is actually up. Slactivist has a great take on the insanity of the Republican running for governor in Pennsylvania and another example of a Republican simply denying reality. I know I am frustrated today, but I have had it with these people. It is as if everyone of them has become a Karl Rove follower over night and learned that facts don't matter--just declare the reality you want.

It works for just about every aspect of Republican life, as I noted in the other post. Climate change, evolution, and we could add American history to that list--are all subject to the reality you want it to be. Don't like the story of slavery and segregation? Simply relegate it to the back pages.

Here, Corbett continues the Republican attack on the unemployed. It has to be their fault, after all. If they were just better workers, or not so lazy, or not so greedy, they would have a job, and in fact, giving them unemployment benefits so they can stay in their house while they look for non-existent jobs--that is, to a Republican, repugnant. Like rescuing a puppy, or caring for creation.

I met with a former student yesterday who is interested in history grad school. I spent the better part of an hour trying to talk him out of that. :) Well, kind of. But he told me at the beginning that he had chosen to stay in town with the idea that he would pick up a summer job while he thought about grad school. He said that he just assumed he could find an hourly job somewhere. "Even Target isn't hiring," he told me. "What is wrong when even Target isn't hiring at minimum wage?"

But for the Republicans, this all false. There are loads of jobs out there waiting to be filled. Only Republicans with jobs are hard working and honest and moral. Only those with money deserve their money. The rest can go screw.
I don't know whether Tom Corbett is such a fool himself, or if he has simply made the political calculation that a majority of Pennsylvania voters might be attracted to such foolishness and that there are votes to be won by appealing to the lesser demons of our nature. After all, there are far more people who are afraid of becoming unemployed than there are people who are currently unemployed -- blame the jobless for their plight and you can reassure those frightened others that they don't have to be frightened of earning the sad fate of those lazy, inferior others.

So it's possible that Tom Corbett is a cynical nurturer of nastiness rather than just a fearful, ignorant fool himself.

But either way, there's something very, very wrong with this man.
There is something very wrong with his party too.

6 comments:

Smitty said...

Sad.

From Balloon Juice this morning:

Missing from almost all discussion of America’s dizzying rate of unemployment is the brute fact that hourly wages of people with jobs have been dropping, adjusted for inflation. Average weekly earnings rose a bit this spring only because the typical worker put in more hours, but June’s decline in average hours pushed weekly paychecks down at an annualized rate of 4.5 percent.
In other words, Americans are keeping their jobs or finding new ones only by accepting lower wages.

Meanwhile, a much smaller group of Americans’ earnings are back in the stratosphere: Wall Street traders and executives, hedge-fund and private-equity fund managers, and top corporate executives. As hiring has picked up on the Street, fat salaries are reappearing. Richard Stein, president of Global Sage, an executive search firm, tells the New York Times corporate clients have offered compensation packages of more than $1 million annually to a dozen candidates in just the last few weeks.

We’re back to the same ominous trend as before the Great Recession: a larger and larger share of total income going to the very top while the vast middle class continues to lose ground.

And as long as this trend continues, we can’t get out of the shadow of the Great Recession. When most of the gains from economic growth go to a small sliver of Americans at the top, the rest don’t have enough purchasing power to buy what the economy is capable of producing.

See the article here.

Streak said...

That is the thing, Smitty, there is a conservative argument for some better distribution of wealth. Henry Ford paid his workers more than most at the time, not because he was a good egg, but because he wanted them to be able to buy his cars.

As I keep saying, that middle class of the 1950s didn't just happen. It wasn't just magical capitalism fairy dust. It was calculated investment in areas to allow people to participate wholly in the market. It is nothing like socialism, when you think about it, but more like a super charged capitalist system, because you have that many more entrepreneurs and that many more consumers participating in a vibrant economy.

Conservatives have decided to just encourage consumption and screw the rest, and we get what we have paid for over these last 40 years--stagnant wages, disappearing middle class, and a shift of the tax burden to those who can least afford it. And it happened so slowly that most Americans haven't noticed. A perfect bit of sleight of hand.

Add to that a GOP led by Palin and Beck, and you have idiots leading people who prefer not to look at reality.

Smitty said...

Conservatives have decided to just encourage consumption and screw the rest, and we get what we have paid for over these last 40 years--stagnant wages, disappearing middle class, and a shift of the tax burden

Add to that a ballooning credit-debt structure and you have the makings of the financial disaster we're in. Consumption with no real buying power IS debt. And debt IS...where we are right now. No middle class and a subservient lower-middle class who is encouraged to buy with money they don't have to the benefit of the wealthiest who can make money off of debt.

steves said...

Here, Corbett continues the Republican attack on the unemployed. It has to be their fault, after all. If they were just better workers, or not so lazy, or not so greedy, they would have a job, and in fact, giving them unemployment benefits so they can stay in their house while they look for non-existent jobs--that is, to a Republican, repugnant.

Has this guy ever gotten unemployment? It really isn't that much and it is hard to live on it. At best, it is a stop-gap until you find more employment, but I certainly wouldn't say it was something people could live on. I would prefer my tax money go to things like this, as opposed to some of the stupid shit we spend money on.

Smitty, you raise a good point and I share your frustration, but I don't see an easy solution. What do we do help out the middle class and working class? What would be the most fair solution? I think that requiring the wealthiest to pay more taxes is reasonable, but what else can be done?

Streak said...

I have a few suggestions.

Taxes are just the beginning, btw, not the end. I think we should go back to what created that middle class in the first place. Let's start by investing in education. That will mean some reform at the universities who have been turned into revenue-seeking whores, but it can be done. Let's invest heavily in 2 year colleges and at the same time, invest in unions, and high paying jobs that don't require a master's degree. That may require some union reform, and I am fine with that. But we have essentially, as a country, told the worker to go screw and to like it.

I am absolutely fine with having the social safety net being for emergencies and for short periods. But there should be something for those people to find off unemployment that isn't McDonalds.

How about we invest in sustainable, or closer, agriculture? How about we stop subsidizing sugar and corn and start subsidizing spinach and broccoli? How about we do some serious trust busting and start freeing up our food supply and making it actually part of a recognizable market?

And because I am in such a crappy mood, I think we need to start having a dialogue about the "how much is too much" question. We are still in that "asking that question is class warfare," and "when the rich do well, it helps everyone" bullshit. Enough of that crap. If you made a billion dollars off the market derivatives, we tax your ass hard. If you ship jobs overseas, we cut your access to our markets. If you hold your company in the Caribbean to avoid taxation, we simply don't let you do business here.

We can have a competitive economy, and one that actually encourages small businesses and ingenuity. I don't think we have that now. We need to rethink what we have, and stop with this American dream bullshit unless we really mean it.

leighton said...

All good medium-term plans, Streak, and I would also throw in Fred Clark's infrastructure suggestions as a short-term booster. Though since these are good ideas not promoted by Republicans, the obstructionists in Congress will do their best to make sure we fail.