Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The twilight of democracy?

In the 1930s, the last times as hard as what we're in now, the state stepped in to write a new contract between capital and labor that saved capitalism, whether the plutocrats whose greed caused the Depression and the devastation of the working class appreciated it or not. Today, we're back where we were in 1929, and people are finally taking to the streets in anger and desperation -- but with an astonishingly sunny disposition about the whole thing, I must say.

(For those of you who haven't seen it yet, former Schtickdreck Henry Blodgett, who helped pump up the Internet bubble, is now telling it like it is. Don't miss it. I believe I recently mentioned that inequality in the U.S. is now making Third World kleptocracies look benign, as Blodgett's colleague Gus Lubin illustrates.)

However, the response of the GOP (Grand Old Plutocracy) is to propose raising taxes on the bottom half of income earners in the interest of "fairness," while further cutting taxes on the ultra-wealthy -- which are by the way at the lowest level since 1930. That ought to seem really weird, but in fact the polling numbers right now show Plutocracy Party candidates running neck and neck with the president, who has cut taxes on workers and for that matter middle income professionals, and wants to raise taxes on the wealthy, while spending money to create jobs and pull the economy out of the quicksand -- all of which makes him a socialist who hates America.

There's false consciousness, and then there's insanity. The problem is that the corporate media refuse to explain any of this clearly, and instead choke the public square with obfuscating smoke. The 6 trillion dollar question is what's going to happen when those folks out in the streets just get mocked by the corporate media, their plight belittled by the political class, and they're still out of work, and it just keeps getting worse.

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