Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Red, White, and Blue of Economic Inequality

David Brooks is a genius at finding a middle road that gently slopes right, tamping down hyperbole and histrionics. He’s long been a personal hero and role model for encouraging cooler heads to prevail. In the case of the occupy movement, however, he’s set up a brilliant, deceptively simply, and false dichotomy. David writes:
But the fact is that Red Inequality is much more important. The zooming wealth of the top 1 percent is a problem, but it’s not nearly as big a problem as the tens of millions of Americans who have dropped out of high school or college. It’s not nearly as big a problem as the 40 percent of children who are born out of wedlock. It’s not nearly as big a problem as the nation’s stagnant human capital, its stagnant social mobility and the disorganized social fabric for the bottom 50 percent.
If your ultimate goal is to reduce inequality, then you should be furious at the doctors, bankers and C.E.O.’s. If your goal is to expand opportunity, then you have a much bigger and different agenda (NYT).
Wait? Furious at doctors? The people who cure us and care for us? Oops. Sometimes deadlines help us focus, other times they just make us rush. I’m fairly confident David would never want to utter the phrase, “society should be furious at doctors.”
Nevertheless, the article is an attempt to provoke current and potential new occupiers to question whether or not the cause justifies such sustained efforts, mobilized direct action, and relentless focus on Economic Inequality, which knows no color or other division.
Economic Inequality may manifest itself as Red and Blue in some cases, but it’s White all over. Relax, that’s not a racial slur, Caucasians.
Mr. Brooks and his 1% paymasters fear nothing more than the efficacy of the full 99%, unpartitioned by superficial politics, race, geography, culture; and that’s precisely what the #occupy movement is all about.
Beneath and within the Red and the Blue, the underlying White fabric of all economic injustice is woven of a frayed and decayed fabric, of 19th century industrial capitalism and cotton, dipped and striped a billion too many times in the dye of Any Rand’s sociopathological objectivism, and Made In America by Frederick Taylor’s scientific management, valuing humans as mere cogs to be optimized in the machine.
The 99% are not Red, White, or Blue. We are Human Beings of every hue, united against every stain of imbalance and injustice.
Setting up a false Red and Blue dichotomy seeks to drive a wedge into the 99%, encouraging the kind of polarization that Brooks claims to oppose every Sunday morning, on an issue that is entirely colorless at it’s core.

Bottom Line: the usual whipping posts of education and opportunity will not distract the public this time from the astronomical costs and hoarded profits that exacerbate All Inequality, consequent to the one corrupt economic OS this movement is properly focused on upgrading. It’s time for the full system reformat. Delete all partitions. Reboot. Restart.

1 comment:

  1. As Paul Krugman apparently agrees in "A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Lose" at http://nyti.ms/tmNiuk and seeing as he's a Nobel Laureate and all, I'm taking that as a pretty nice implicit endorsement and friendly amendment. Awesome.

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