What if they held a class war and nobody noticed? For decades, liberals and progressives have been bashed for conducting a "class war" every time they suggest that it would be appropriate for the extremely wealthy to shoulder a bit more of the burden of paying for government. Meanwhile, a swarm of far-right think-tanks and political action committees have been working tirelessly to promote the idea that taxes on the wealthy should be lowered further from their historic lows, and that entitlement programs such as social security and medicare are too expensive to sustain (and in any case, immoral). The latest attempts to delegitimize public employee unions are the logical next step in what genuinely appears to be the systematic dismantlement of the middle class. This blog will highlight some of the more extreme examples of this activity that may not always show up in your news feeds.
I saw Prometheus on the first weekend of its release, and was surprised how negative to it my reaction was--especially in light of its relatively favorable rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the strong endorsement from Denby. To me, it seemed like an incoherent plot peopled with stupid and unlikable characters, though with decent effects. But that description fits a fair number of films that I promptly forgot about; why did I dwell on the particular badness of this movie? I suppose because of the wasted potential, given the director, budget, cast, etc. But instead of producing a deep, thought-provoking and affecting work concerning the nature of life in the universe, they gave us an updated Mission to Mars with slightly greater pretensions. Disappointing.
Balloon Juice, a blog I tend to enjoy a lot, seems to be going through an unusually candid period vis a vis the class war that most of us are in the process of losing, as evidenced by two recent excellent posts by DougJ and Freddie deBoer.
DAVID BROOKS: Okay, so our act starts with us inflating a giant internet bubble. Then that collapses, taking the country's economy with it, just as we massively cut taxes on millionaires because, we say, if we don't the government will have too much money. Right after that we blow off warnings about terrorism and let 3,000 Americans get slaughtered. We use that as a chance to lie the U.S. into invading a country that had nothing to do with the attack, killing hundreds of thousands of people and turning millions into refugees. In the middle of all that we borrow torture techniques from the Inquisition and use them on people in secret sites around the planet. Then we make billions off another financial bubble, the biggest in human history, and do nothing as itcollapses, plunging the world into the greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression. To fix that we open up the national bank vault and shovel out money as fast as possible to all the criminals who made it happen in the first place. Then—as the amazing finale—we refuse to prosecute anyone for that, for the war, or for torture, and we start killing U.S. citizens with flying death robots.
AGENT: ...That's a hell of an act. What do you call it?