Sunday, May 2, 2010
May Day Labor Day and Disasters.
Watching Bill Moyer’s last dance tonight and I have to say it aggravated me no end. Phony folksy types like Hightower make me want to puke with their false equivalences and their total silence when their true friends the Republicans are in power. These farmers screaming about bank bailouts while any attempt to cut their welfare subsidies is met with shrieks about the family farm. Ethanol is an economic disaster and is awful for the environment. It requires more energy to produce than you get out of it so it makes no sense but because the family farm is some how sacred we piss away tons of money on it. The reason for this waste is the archaic political system that was created to perpetuate slavery and has succeeded for 230 years. You have no right to cry about fair market prices when you demand a huge subsidy. They simply do not understand that the capitalism they are nostalgic for never existed. They are as delusional as their tea bagging counterparts on the farther right. And make no mistake their positions are right wing in nature. They want the other guy regulated but pay a minimum wage like any other business? No they are special and living wages are for land owners not migrant workers. There was something special that led their ancestors to come to America for a better life but now we have all these illegal aliens running around. The solution is not to scream in impotent rage at the bankers greed while resisting fundamental reform. The rich getting everything they can is capitalism. Read their bible, Atlas Shrugged. That is the system Europeans have been fighting since the day they stole the place from the folks that came here from Asia. These are the same populists that elected Raygun because he made them feel good about America by tearing the Solar panels off the White House. The fact that he was looting the treasury with his defense contractor masters was not important. It was just another pesky fact that the folks in flyover country want no part of. It is God and country with those folks and when their Saint Ron broke the unions they cheered. They believe teacher’s unions are the problem with education just as they believe Jesus loves them. They can produce no evidence of either but they know it to be true. Now that they are on the same side unions are now A OK.
It is very hard for me to get behind a group that feels a living wage isn’t their responsibility as an employer. The populist notion that we are all in this together is not compatible with capitalism. They are not wrong when they rail at the bankers, the financialization of America has been a disaster for all but the very few at the very top. The idea was that we would pass free trade agreements that let capital flee to the lowest least regulated areas. This has had a huge redistribution effect and raised about a billion people out of abject poverty. The fallacy was that higher productivity of an educated work force would compete for the more sophisticated jobs and higher productivity would keep the country competitive. This has proved to be a myth much like the rational market. The hot flat and crowded retread of Malthus set was partly correct in that American workers are now competing against children in China.
The reason I despair is that we never seem to learn anything. In the late 1960’s off the California coast they were using all the latest technology to safely drill for oil. They screwed up and devastated the coast around Santa Barbra. We decided that the small amount of energy to be extracted was not worth the economic loss of the spill. Fast forward fifty years and We are again told that it is safe to drill and we again find that they were not telling the truth and the Gulf Coast will now be devastated and the economic losses will be massive. The problem is that there is no one speaking for the other side.