Oh, the things you find on the Intertubes!
Where, oh where do I begin with this steaming heap of bullshit I found yesterday from one Rick Newman by way of MSN.com?
Livid doesn't being to describe the way I felt when I clicked through.
What no one's telling US workers
While policy wonks argue about how to address income inequality in this country, plenty of hardworking Americans need to hear a more practical message.
"More practical". Um. This can't be good.
My! Former partner of Mittens! The "Bain view"! Indeed, let's hear what this presumably ultra-rich yahoo has to say about the economy. It should be interesting, in a kind of sick, masochistic way.The simmering debate over income inequality got a jolt of energy recently with the publication of Edward Conard's book "Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You've Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong." Conard is a former partner of Mitt Romney's at Bain Capital, so his book can be interpreted (rightly or wrongly) as the Bain View of the Universe.
Conard mounts an unapologetic defense of the 1% and the economic activity they generate, arguing that spending and investment by the wealthy is the main thing that keeps the economy humming and creates jobs. The New York Times Magazine summarized his argument this way: "If we had a little more (income inequality), then everyone, particularly the 99%, would be better off."
JEEZUS. Stick a goddamn fork in this one, already.
The rich are now 4 times more wealthy than they were 12 years ago, so if this "the 1% creates all our jobs" crap were actually true, we should be overwhelmed with jobs at the moment.
Where are all those jobs that additional wealth should have created? Or is this yet another goddamn lie from the frigging Haves? I know where my suspicions lie.
Anyway, back to the cuddly Mr. Newman:
What politicians and policymakers really ought to be telling struggling Americans is this: You're on your own. The government is running out of money and is borderline dysfunctional besides. Instead of new policies that will make the economy more fair, we need more self-sufficient workers who aren't looking to government for answers.
Yeah, screw you, you proles. Even though the government has shitloads of money for illegal wars and massive corporate bailouts, YOU can take a hike. After all, those taxes you're paying have to go to the 1% so they can keep creating those jobs that don't exist. Shut up and get back to work! Do you expect your CEO to go hungry or something?
(And are we still working on Mr. Conard's opinion, here? Or is all the rest of the article Mr. Newman's own view? Or are they the same thing? Did we just bring up the book in the first place to hide an opinion behind? It's impossible to tell. It's like the lamestargumentum ad verecundiam I've ever seen.
Yeah, it's a total fucking mystery.The economy is changing rapidly, and it's not completely clear why it's gotten so much harder to get ahead.
Oh, wait, it's not.
G'wan, get yerself some education. Take out a student loan. You'll probably die before you pay it back, but what the hell. Of course, don't expect any kind of government assistance, and if you choose wrong in what you learn, you're screwed! Whee, it'll be so much fun.
But there are certainly clues. Education has a lot to do with it: There are very limited opportunities these days for people who don't have a college degree or whose training is outdated.
Careful, don't mention the o-word. It's the American worker's fault for making ridiculous job-killing demands like minimal safety regulations, a 8-hour day, or even a minimum wage. How absurdly selfish to expect employers to keep jobs in the U.S. if they can find someone in New Delhi to do it for sub-sub-sub minimum wages and no benefits. And you certainly can't expect a company to do business with the horrible confiscatory taxes imposed in this country.
Technology is another factor. People whose careers are tied to the digital revolution enjoy the good fortune of working in a burgeoning field, while many others work in shrinking fields being decimated by new technology. Workers able to ride the wave of globalization, at companies that do business around the world, have an edge.
Attitude is another factor. Too many American workers rely on somebody else for their livelihood, without the grit that it takes to adapt and recover when something goes wrong. This is the natural byproduct of a long era of prosperity in which living standards rose for nearly everybody, just because the economy was booming. It didn't take extraordinary fortitude to get ahead. Often, all you had to do was show up.Oh, for fuck's sake. It's like having Rush Limbaugh lecture you on weight loss.
How lazy of you people to expect a job, much less rising living standards. God knows you should just get off your pudgy asses and go out and forge your own fortune, like, oh, Mittens did. Real entrepreneurs never rely on someone else, much less the government, for a hand up, after all.
And "grit"? Really?
Maybe if we were living in, oh, say, an irradiated post-holocaust Mad Max future instead of THE RICHEST FUCKING NATION ON GOD'S GREY EARTH. Still, keep rolling that rock, suckers!
Things are different now, and the bar for success is higher. Instead of arguing over the abstract causes of income inequality or hoping for miracles from Washington, national leaders ought to be sending this message to America's workers: Get smarter. Work harder. Go where the opportunity is. Prosperity isn't going to trickle down from the wealthy, or arrive in the form of a government check. The only person looking out for you is you.
Dear American Citizens: We aren't even going to bother pretending we give a fuck about you any more. Love, the 1%.
And this is what passes for economic journalism in the 21st Century. Jeebus fucking Christmas.