Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

To elaborate . . .

It's not really that most people are idiots, but most voters don't really understand much of anything about public policy. In particular, right now, they don't understand why they can't find a decent job, or maybe any job at all; why their savings evaporated if they ever had any; why their kids can't afford to go to college; why their house isn't worth anything; and why it just doesn't seem to get any better.

Now, to be sure, when voters try to explain what they think is going on or why they vote as they do it often sounds pretty goddamn stupid. "Keep your government hands off my Medicare" was a famous quotation from the summer of teabaggery. NPR interviewed an elderly woman yesterday who said, "I have to live on a budget, the government needs to do the same." Ahh, her budget almost certainly comes 100% from the federal government, which is the most important reason why government spending is increasing over time. People are furious about the Wall Street bailout, which was enthusiastically endorsed by John McCain and signed into law by George W. Bush, so they voted for Republicans.

Right now, the only thing that's going to get them a job is increased government spending, to supply the demand that's missing from the economy; and the only way their grandkids will have a shot at a better future is if we hurry up right now and spend a whole lot on renewable energy, efficient transportation, and other technologies of the future that private investment isn't creating.

But Democrats didn't tell them any of that. They were too chicken shit to make the case for saving the country from the disaster which will come upon us if the greedy psychopaths behind the modern conservative movement have their way. It's too damn bad.

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