Wednesday, May 30, 2018

What kind of society does “America” mean?

I remember John Steinbeck's line somewhere that the poor in America don't consider themselves to be poor--they have been brainwashed into thinking that they are temporarily embarrassed millionaires.  Poverty is a minor setback, and it is only a matter of time before they become another Gatsby.

Except, it is not any minor setback.  And not everybody easily climbs up the ladder to become millionaires and gazillionaires.  Especially if you are not white in America!

But, when the dominant narrative is driven by whites, who shrug their shoulders and ask "Why can’t they get their act together?," to talk about inequality means that the trolls would immediately attack with name-calling. Socialist!

That shoulder-shrugging approach has always been the MO for the whites-only party, aka the GOP:
Republican orthodoxy is that inequality is not necessarily a problem. And if rising tides substantially lifted everybody’s boat, it might matter less that the yachts parked at the North Cove Marina a stone’s throw from Goldman Sachs rode a bigger swell. Tides in America don’t work like that anymore, though.
Most other boats are leaky.  And many don't even have boats!
Your heart doesn’t even have to bleed to care. The United States risks its prosperity by leaving so many Americans behind.
Republicans. Don't. Care. "Republicans just passed another round of tax cuts to offer a helping hand to the upper crust."

I have always wondered why there is simply no rioting on the streets. Why there is no looting. Why aren't the poor jumping into their broken down cars and rushing to ransack the Versailles of the greedy gazillionaires?
As Catherine Rampell noted in The Washington Post, populism — understood as a political movement shaped around giving the working class a “fair shake” — is pretty much dead.
To refer to trump as a populist is a twisted interpretation of what populism means.  He is no populist; he is merely a loud-mouthed racist, misogynist, ...

So, what happens to the poor?  Especially those who are not white?

Let them eat frog legs!

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