Ahh . . . the Sunday New York Times. What would a Sunday morning be without the Times?
This morning, it included fascinating article in which the Times had asked a group of economists for ideas on how to end the massive unemployment crunch created by the Republicans with their Great Depression II. As I read the article, I kept thinking . . . really guys . . . you actually asked economists for ideas on how to end the unemployment mess? Economists?? The only thing worse I could imagine would be asking Republicans.
The Times surely must know that economists are basically statisticians. The best of the group can tell you what happened last month, or perhaps last year, sort of like good weathermen. But why would you ask them for ideas on how to end the great unemployment mess? And, predictably, they had no real ideas. Perhaps the funniest idea was from someone who argued that, with the Boomers aging, we would need a lot more medical toys, so that might create a whole new industry.
No one argued seriously for a joint government-private sector alliance of the sort that sent men to the moon within a decade. As in some kind of joint venture in which the government might “invest” tax dollars (borrowed of course from China) in a massive new energy industry (really a new anything) that would create initially research jobs, that would then turn into production jobs (assuming our capitalists didn’t immediately send the jobs overseas to China). Like republicans, the economists all believe that government can’t create jobs of any value—that is the province of the private sector. But I would argue that we would probably never have landed men on the moon, creating a whole new space industry, without the government. Our greedy capitalists would never have made the needed investments. Yes, we need the private sector to manage the scientists and engineers and high tech manufacturing capabilities needed for such a venture. That’s why we would need an alliance. It’s also why republicans, much like economists, would never propose such a scheme—socialized engineering they would call it. But they do like their tax cuts—the original “charge and spend” guys. Ahhh . . . I can’t wait for them to take over. Think of how much fun they will have, while the rest of the country goes broke.
And then there was the Frank Rich column about the role of money in politics, and how much worse it has become since Tony and his other Supreme mobsters issued their ruling from the bench that corporations were really people and needed their speech rights. Tony imagined that the thing we really needed in our political system was more money. Yep, that’s what was keeping it from being a really, really great system—more money.
And Mr. Rich, demurring from that position, was explaining how both parties are now being corrupted, if not equally, then surely enough to eliminate the possibility that the American people would benefit from that new system. And if that’s the case, if both democrats and republicans are now corrupt, I wonder why we bother any longer with elections. Perhaps, we should quit playing “Let’s Pretend” that we have a representative democracy and instead acknowledge that we have instead an oligarchy, drawing very close to a new kind of monarchy. There is as yet no monarch, but we do seem to have a ruling class—dukes and barons so to speak. People like Rupert the Magnificent, the Koch brothers, the CEOs of our insurance companies, surely the banking CEOs might all classify as Dukes. Johnnie Boehner, the Newtster, the old man Johnny Mac, Mike Dingleberry, and others of that ilk might be classed as barons, all owned outright by their respective Dukes. The rest of us all would be classified as the “peasant class.”
Perhaps in the next iteration, Tony and the Supremes will simply reinvent the actual monarchy, Think of how much fun Sarah will have trying to lay claim to the new throne of America. Queen Sarah the First.
Has a nice ring to it.