Sunday, February 27, 2011


From Frank Rich at the New York Times:
That’s not to say there is no fiscal mission in the right’s agenda, both nationally and locally — only that the mission has nothing to do with deficit reduction. The real goal is to reward the G.O.P.’s wealthiest patrons by crippling what remains of organized labor, by wrecking the government agencies charged with regulating and policing corporations, and, as always, by rewarding the wealthiest with more tax breaks. The bankrupt moral equation codified in the Bush era — that tax cuts tilted to the highest bracket were a higher priority even than paying for two wars — is now a given. The once-bedrock American values of shared sacrifice and equal economic opportunity have been overrun.

Please read the entire splendid opinion piece.

UPDATE: Another excellent opinion column which includes the stories of working people who are struggling and some who have hit rock bottom by Bob Herbert also in the New York Times. Read their stories. Herbert says:
It would be a mistake to think that this fight is solely about the right of public employees to collectively bargain. As important as that issue is, it’s just one skirmish in what’s shaping up as a long, bitter campaign to keep ordinary workers, whether union members or not, from being completely overwhelmed by the forces of unrestrained greed in this society.

The predators at the top, billionaires and millionaires, are pitting ordinary workers against one another. So we’re left with the bizarre situation of unionized workers with a pension being resented by nonunion workers without one. The swells are in the background, having a good laugh.

I asked Lynda Hiller if she felt generally optimistic or pessimistic. She was quiet for a moment, then said: “I don’t think things are going to get any better. I think we’re going to hit rock bottom. The big shots are in charge, and they just don’t give a darn about the little person.”

"...they just don't give a darn about the little person," understates the attitude of the predators. They are contemptuous of the little people.


  1. What's so devastating to me, is the extent that the FAUX News/Koch Brothers/Tea Party Wingnut POV has so shaped public consciousness.

    I keep hearing this meme about "Greedy Public Worker Unions" . . . when it's precisely BECAUSE the private sector has been so de-unionized, that its wages&benefits&pensions have fallen behind!

    Why is there no thought of bring private-sector unions back, of bring private-sector wages&benefits&pensions UP, not public workers DOWN?

    Why have private-sector PROFITS---and their share of TAXES!!!---just been seen as off-limits???

    It's like David Koch's PROFITS are the Law of Gravity or something! A given, FIXED Divine-Right entity, instead of something merely *PERMITTED*, in Society-Run-By-Consent-of-the-Governed LAWS?!

    There is NO Absolute Right to Profits! We have business laws, environmental laws, and yes, LABOR laws!

    You aren't allowed profits based upon child-labor.
    You aren't allowed profits based upon unregulated environmental destruction, or natural resource *annihilation*.
    You aren't allowed to pay U.S. workers $1 dollar/day...

    ...and you SHOULDN'T be allowed unlimited profits/under-accessed taxation, and then cry "The State is broke! We can't negotiate w/ public worker unions anymore!"

    Argh, this issue so aggravates me. (I'm the child of two civil servants for the State of California). I went to the "Solidarity Rally w/ Wisconsin" in Sacramento yesterday. While we were way more numerous than the Tea Party counter-demonstrators, there were still TOO MANY of them. They're like a cancer of Idiocy and/or Greed on the Body Politic...

  2. JCF, if nothing else, the machinations of the Koch brothers, who very much like to operate in private, are now exposed to public view. They can do their philanthropy to try to appear respectable, but now many more people know what they're up to.

    The direction that the Republicans are taking the states and the country is all so wrong, but I can take comfort that the dealings of Koch family are coming into the light. The members of the Koch family stand as symbols for the many others like them who have bought up the government of our country.

  3. "The once-bedrock American values of shared sacrifice and equal economic opportunity have been overrun."

    This is simply tragic.

    Also, JCF, the problem is that the law makes the first fiduciary responsibility of all corporations be to the shareholders -- not the customers or clients that they serve. Until that is changed what you point out here will continue.

  4. Ellie, that the idea of shared sacrifice has disappeared from public discourse is indeed tragic.


Anonymous commenters, please sign a name, any name, to distinguish one anonymous commenter from another. Thank you.