Off With Their Heads!

In: economics|politics|Public policy|revolutions

5 Aug 2011

NewPopulationBomb’s Jack A. Goldstone argues here that the United States is starting to look like France on the eve of its revolution.  There will be metaphorical blood on the streets, he says, if the rich don’ t become reasonable about taxes and shared burden.

 

And what of the consequences of the elites ‘no new taxes’ mantra?   The US is about to move into 2012 with four factors coming into view – an unemployment rate over 9%, a trillion-dollar increase in taxes over ten years on ordinary workers when Obama’s social security tax cuts expire (see my previous post), the expiration of long-term unemployment insurance for those out of work for two years, and the continuation of a $42 billion per year tax cuts for the rich if the Bush tax cuts are not allowed to lapse.  Just as the French elites could not see that their actions would fuel an extreme populist backlash, so today’s Republicans don’t seem to realize that this combination will likely bring a populist backlash against the rich that will make any prior talk of ‘class warfare’ seem like a weak metaphor.

While I think Goldstone is correct in channeling Alexis de Tocqueville‘s assessment that the French elites “spoke as if ordinary people were deaf and blind to what they were saying,” I think he underestimates the modern rich.  As the Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdoch have demonstrated, one can make pro-rich policies look populist by funding groups like the Tea Party and slanting the news media to one’s cause.  As for what the future holds, I am starting to think that Orwell–not Tocqueville–had the best insights.

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While some people look at cockroaches as disgusting pests, We view them as resilient organisms that predate humans and will likely outlive us as well. People of color, the poor, the downtrodden, and the oppressed, much like cockroaches, are often despised, feared and in some cases have been the objects of extermination.

We started this blog as an attempt to understand the complicated world we live in. Things have changed since the old days of conquest, colonization, and slavery. Anonymous living, consumerism, and mass media have made it difficult to identify the forces that make modern-day oppression possible. Thus, posts here tend to focus on corruption, media, bureaucracy, ethics, economics, law, human rights, etc...in short, We try to take a second-order inquiry into assumptions and systems that some of us take for granted. We also take time to challenge stereotypes that function to place us in a box. Occasionally, We just rant.

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