Monday, September 17, 2012

Unspoken class warfare

Although you can turn on Fox News, AM radio or generally listen to Republicans and hear that "class warfare" is being waged by Democrats against the wealthy (in what would have to be the most poorly waged war in human history), I would contend that what constitutes a more real class warfare in America would be the tacit assumptions made by our plutocratic class.

For instance: Corey Robin became fairly livid when Terry Moran of ABC News asked the striking teachers union in Chicago if they "realize how much damage they are doing to their profession." This angered Robin for two basic reasons: (1) the figures Moran used to suggest how greedy the teachers are being are false, and (2) Moran is saying that the teachers make plenty while Moran himself makes much more money, so, in other words, "is what [he] does more valuable than what a teacher does?"

Robin also noted that Moran, who lectured the teachers about the decadence of their salaries, can earn their annual income by giving two speeches.

And there is the hidden assumption: that this is as it should be. That someone like Moran should make so much and that teachers who make so comparatively little are the greedy ones who must selflessly sacrifice for the good of the economy and others (it should be recognized that the teachers aren't simply striking for higher wages.) That someone like Moran, who works in a profession which is populated by persons who were given their cushy jobs by virtue of their aristocratic birth (Megan McCain, Chelsea Clinton, Jenna Bush-Hager, Liz Cheney, Luke Russert, Jonah Goldberg, etc.) and which by its failure to critically examine the claims of government officials helped to launch a war in Iraq which will cost taxpayers trillions (but has been quite lucrative for select individuals and corporations) should scold teachers about how much damage they are doing to their profession when they attempt to stand up to the plutocratic interests that are trying to make their lives worse while further enriching themselves.

And getting back to the belief that Democrats are waging class warfare against the rich, let's take a moment and consider who is leading the charge against the union in Chicago: former Obama administration Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emanuel, who, according to Rick Pearlstein, received 12 million dollars from charter school advocates during his 2011 mayoral campaign.

Update: See also Charles Pierce on the strike.

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