A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Spreading the wealth, or spreading the dumbth.

I'm sure that I am betraying my age, but I love the word dumbth. If any word encompasses what passes for political discourse in this country, it's dumbth.

Like all these working guys that claim that they are "Joe the Plumber." You're not making a living, you're not getting by, you're angry without understanding why, you've got no healthcare? Joe the Plumber.

You're not making any money as working people because unions have been eviscerated under the government policies of the last forty years. You're not making any money, Joe, because you've bought the crock that unions are your enemy and not your ally. You're not making any money because you have spurned the training that craft unions provide, since you equate that as cuddling up with communists. You unthinkingly react to the "spreading the wealth" socialist bugaboo put out by a campaign bankrupt of ideas that has simply marinated in bitterness and anger when you need to understand that you don't have any wealth to spread.

"Spreading the wealth" means regulating business so that billionaire bankers and executives don't get bonuses in exchange for abysmal performance that has put all of our livelihoods at risk--bonuses paid out of your pocket either indirectly through inequitable pay schemes or through your money given to them in the bailout. "Spreading the wealth" simply means increasing opportunity for everyone to make a decent wage in exchange for their hard work. "Spreading the wealth" means not providing tax breaks-- and that's YOUR tax money we're talking about-- for businesses that send jobs overseas-- jobs like yours. Just examine where the wealth has concentrated over the last eight years-- it hasn't been into YOUR pockets.

The "market" isn't going to do it for you, Joe. The "market" doesn't care about anything but protecting the same incestuous coterie of executives that determine each others' compensation by serving on each others' boards. Notice how quickly all that rot about "free markets" evaporated when the credit dried up-- talk about socialism! Suddenly there were the same executives who scream about getting "government off our backs" running screaming toward that same government with their hands out for a bailout.

So here are a few questions: if government is such a bad thing, such a weak force for good, why do its detractors want so badly to control it? And who HAS controlled it for the last eight years? Has it shrunk or grown in that time? Has it attempted to balance its budget or has it run record deficits? Has it concentrated on the needs of Workin' Joe or Executive Joseph IV?

In the last several decades, Americans have worked ever longer hours for ever-stagnating wages and ever-increasing healthcare costs. Our productivity has exploded-- and so has our debt. But hey, go ahead and vote for executives to make 411 times what you make-- or more. Refuse to believe that they are being paid off the labor your aching back provides, and that profitability doesn't matter nearly as much as stock price. Of course your masters want you to believe that any other system would be "socialism," because that's a word that short-circuits the thinking of loads of Americans, almost as badly as the word "Muslim." Dumbth.

But capitalism isn't the problem, Joe-- rapacity is. Capitalism is powerful when it is regulated against overweening selfishness which is the height of a lack of patriotism. Where else can people rise through their own efforts-- as long as the deck is not stacked against them? And of course, this fever to hold down wages for everyone but executives is short-sighted too, because workers are also consumers. When the credit dries up, so does the economy, because workers certainly can't consume when they have no access to any sort of money. When consumers can't buy, it's the small businesses that suffer most of all-- unless you count yacht-makers.

These politicians and businessmen would have you believe that government can't do anything for you economically when government has done PLENTY for them. And to sweeten the pot, they flavor their message with a brand of Christianity that completely contradicts the words and actions of Jesus or Moses, that denigrates any love for one's fellow-man or sense of community by worshiping the god of self-centeredness, the god of sandbox morality.

Think before you vote, Joe. Don't be spooked or herded.

I wonder how long it will take for the anonymous commenters from Crystal City, VA and its environs to swoop in.

Labels:

14 Comments:

At 11/2/08, 3:21 PM, Blogger cupcake said...

Sing it, sister.

Bravo.

 
At 11/2/08, 3:51 PM, Blogger Tracy M. Custer said...

Again, you say what I wish I could. I applaud you!

 
At 11/2/08, 5:53 PM, Blogger Mrs. Chili said...

This is beautiful. It encapsulates a lot of what I've been trying to say for the last two months - right around the first time someone accused ME of being a socialist.

 
At 11/3/08, 7:38 PM, Blogger Ms. George said...

You are absolutely, wonderfully brilliant on this, as with so many other commentaries! Required reading for the next 24 hours until this is all over...

 
At 11/4/08, 3:21 PM, Blogger Goldie said...

Right now a group of friends are discussing "Obama's plans to eliminate the 401K". Apparently there's an asinine book out there that one obscure person wrote and another obscure dude in the Congress thinks it would be kinda cool if we sorta made it into a bill... or something. True, what they propose would kill everyone's 401K if implemented. But it is not a bill -- it is not even a draft -- there is not even a discussion or any work being done to draft it -- it only exists in two crazy individuals' heads. And to use it to tell people not vote for Obama... dirty play, imo. McCain did it too. I heard him myself at that rally my family made me attend. "My friends, he wants to tax your 401K". Because don't we all know the Ohio voters are dumb sheeple and will believe anything Tha Maverick tells them. And they call the Dems patronizing. Sheesh.

 
At 11/4/08, 3:35 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Oh, now, thanks, ladies-- but I am just tired of the innuendo and the bitterness and especially the fear the bitterness and the anger. We've had eight long years of governance from that end of the emotional spectrum. It has NOT served America or Americans well.

I love that word "sheeple." I wish I'd made that one up.

 
At 11/4/08, 4:20 PM, Blogger Rita said...

Here in North St. Louis County, the lines have been quite long. I waited for hours, and it didn't sound like my fine neighbors were all that fooled by McCain.

I do not think we will be done with fear, bitterness, or anger after tonight.

 
At 11/4/08, 5:11 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

I am afraid you might be right, but you've gotta have "HOPE."

 
At 11/4/08, 6:19 PM, Blogger Fred said...

I voted two weeks ago to ensure I could watch the returns. Right now, CNN has their field correspondents in the studio via holgram. Weird.

 
At 11/4/08, 6:59 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Hologram? Are you kidding?

I wish I could have voted early, but there's nothing lovelier than standing in line at 4:30 am in the darkness and reading a book by the light of your iPod.

 
At 11/5/08, 4:57 PM, Blogger The Old Man said...

Nicely worded. Save your October 2008 paystub to compare to your October 2012 paystub. I think you'll be suprised. The proof is in the pudding...

 
At 11/5/08, 10:08 PM, Anonymous Laurie B said...

Dumbth, right up there with clusterfuck. A dumbth leads to the other, everytime. The wrong people have been in charge of too many broad spectrum political decisions.

 
At 11/6/08, 9:39 AM, Blogger Zipi said...

Very well said, Ms. C.

I wonder if Joe the Plumber does even understand the meaning of the word "socialism".

 
At 3/2/09, 6:01 AM, Blogger sexy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 

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