Politics: 1 November 2010

We Will All Go Together When We Go

Kevin O’Rourke discusses the main economic issue facing Ireland—a country that must undergo fiscal austerity. Basically, he says that the only way such policies will be anything but contractionary is if exports grow. However, exports will not grow, because other countries (for example, the United Kingdom and German) are causing their economies to contract for purely ideological reasons. He rightly points out that we can’t look at each country separately; we have to look at them all together. And then there is the comment by ObsessiveMathsFreak (thanks to Paul Krugman for the catch), who makes a compelling case that, “The markets want money for cocaine and prostitutes… Most people don’t realize that ‘the markets’ are in reality 22-27 year old business school graduates, furiously concocting chaotic trading strategies on excel sheets and reporting to bosses perhaps 5 years senior to them.”

The one thing that I just can’t get my head around as I follow politics is why we can’t do right by everyone. I know why people with huge amounts of money want interest rates to stay low, but this is a small fraction of the people in the US, much less in the world. Mostly, people without jobs just want a job, and people with jobs would like to feel secure that they will continue to have jobs. We can continue as we have. I fully suspect that we will continue as we have. But don’t the wealthy see how much they have to lose? Can’t they see that slightly higher taxes are an insurance policy? Can’t they see government policies that would reduce unemployment would make their wealth safer? Don’t they see the possibility of two kinds of revolutions? The first is the old-fashioned revolution where people actually get killed (I will be hiding under my bed in that case). The second is that there will be a true populist uprising (not the fake teabagger populism), and the top income tax rate will be brought back up to 90%—quite democratically.

We are all in this together. I have little to lose regardless of what happens, because I have little. The millionaires and billionaires have a lot to lose. It may not be nuclear war that brings us down, but Tom Lehrer was right: we will all go together when we go.

Andrew Breitbart to Provide Election Analysis for ABC

It seems my expectations of corporate media cannot get low enough. ABC News has hired Andrew Breitbart—master propagandist of the fake ACORN and Shirley Sherrod stories—to provide election analysis tomorrow night. According to Media Matters, David Ford of ABC said, “If Andrew Breitbart says something that is incorrect, we have other voices to call him on it.” Who will call him on it? Ford implies it will be Bill Adair of Politifact. Yeah, right. What are the odds that ABC has hired anyone nearly as liberal as Breitbart is conservative?

Rally to Restore Sanity Crowd Size

I knew that Jon Stewart’s rally would be a good deal bigger than Glenn Beck’s rally. And when I saw it, I thought, “Wow. That looks about as big as MLK’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech rally.” And that rally had about 200,000 people in attendance. CBS News commissioned the same group to estimate the Stewart rally crowd size as they had for the Beck rally. The number? 215,000 people. Glenn Beck’s number? 87,000. (Of course, Beck always says it was at least 300,000.) In a sense, this is shocking, because Glenn Beck has about twice the nightly audience as Stewart. It could be as simple as the fact that it is easier to go to a rally when you don’t have to use a walker or wheelchair. With all due respect to Beck’s audience, it is old. Also with due respect to Beck’s audience, it is prone to believing ridiculous conspiracy theories. Maybe they didn’t come out because they knew that in the open air even the aluminum foil under their tri-corner hats would not protect them from the government’s secret “liberal rays” making it into their heads. (I don’t see why. Nothing else seems to make it into their heads!)

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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