Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More on the bizarro backlash

I didn't have time yesterday to mention the "2" in Glenn Beck's 1-2 punch of bizarro populism. Namely: cutting spending.

So while the tax burden on the not rich increases while the tax burden on the rich decreases, the not rich will concomitantly get less out of their tax dollars as spending on public infrastructure, the welfare state, totalitarian* environmental and worker protections and such are reduced. Their money will instead go towards subsidizing the corporations that will get the lucrative contracts as a result of the privatization of government functions and the always increasing military budget.

That's the thing about Laffer's supply side economics. Despite their having failed disastrously time and again, they are quite proficient at siphoning wealth from the many to the very few.

It's why I keep going back to the following Thomas Frank quote from What's the Matter with Kansas? which I find so very perspicacious:

Like a French Revolution in reverse - one in which the sans-culottes pour down the streets demanding more power for the aristocracy - the backlash pushes the spectrum of the acceptable to the right, to the right, father to the right. It may never bring prayer back to the public schools, but it has rescued all manner of right-wing nostrums from history's dustbin. Having rolled back the landmark economic reforms of the sixties (the war on poverty) and those of the thirties (labor law, agricultural price supports, banking regulation), its leaders now turn their guns on the accomplishments of the earliest years of progressivism (Woodrow Wilson's estate tax; Theodore Roosevelt's antitrust measures). With a little more effort, the backlash might repeal the entire twentieth century.
Glenn Beck wants to return his audience to the days of Upton Sinclair's jungle.

Again: this is populism?


No comments: