Populist outrage, it’s all the rage. Everyone’s doing it. Newsweek’s cover story screamed about it. Barney (“I want a list of names!”) Frank is leading it. Anarchist children in London are sharing their view of a utopian future by breaking windows (“In the future we will let in fresh air!”).
But, what it’s all about is a communal display of “blame the other guy, because I’m not at fault.”
The lack of integrity that is washing out of America, and that has now become a global virus, is a vast disgrace. Perhaps the greatest executor of this hideousness is Paul Krugman who had the temerity to insult every American this week in the Times. The severity of Krugman’s egregiousness comes for the fact that he knows better. Or should. He has personally, as has every other academic in this country, benefited from decades of economic expansion that he now calls a sham. Well, their future problem will be that soon there will be no surplus left to support their vitriol. Let’s hope Nobel Prizes comes with a handbook on substance farming.
But they will be the last ones to be planting gardens in the back yard, right? Government supported academics, civil servants, political friends of those with access to tax dollars, they are the ones who are unaffected by the discord they sow. At least for a while.
America is going through a self-destructive deconstruction of its commercial systems, and more importantly, the vilification of the people, the very few people, who can actually run them. Because of the quality of our educational institutions, most Americans actually think this is a good thing, so Barney Frank is applauded for spouting McCarthyisms when he is hiding from the fact that he was a primary reason for the governmental policies that lead to the disruption in our financial system to begin with.
Now, this mob emotion is spiraling out of control. But by identifying an “other,” the finger pointers are deflecting their own responsibility.
New York is dealing with it’s own prophetic paradox of rage. Now that there is no one left who is making any money (bad, making money is bad…) there is no tax revenue coming in. Surprise … shocking news flash: the people the Times is hell bent on vilifying are the ones who paid all the taxes. Opps. Albany’s response? Raise taxes. That can go on for a while, but only till the bones are sucked dry.
A virtuous intelligentsia, a virtuous government, a virtuous people would have realized by now that we all benefited from the growth in the economy that has occurred over our lifetimes. (You are reading this on a computer, using the internet, via a telecom system, right? I could go on, but the obviousness of this argument becomes embarrassing very quickly) The rest of the world has as well. Arguments to the contrary are self serving and ignorant of the real history of the common man.
They would also have realized their collective responsibility for the financial crisis we are working through. Instead we are pointing fingers, while hiding our credit cards, damming “the bankers” from inside our inflated houses, vilifying New York, while collecting the fattest social security checks of all time, calling bonuses (of any size?) wrong, while having standards of living and consumption at the highest level in recorded history. None of us bought huge hydrocarbon cars, none of us moved to the suburbs, nope not us, we didn’t do this. Must be them, get them!
Until we grow up and realize that the “them who did this to us” is “us”, then act responsibly and collectively, the only solution to the crisis will be rebuilding from a pile of ashes. If it gets that bad then we deserve the calamity and social bloodletting that will result. The shattering of glass should be shattering to all our souls.
Looked good on the streets of London today, didn’t it?