I believe a progressive commenter linked to this blog in the comments as some sort of a progressive blog.
It’s nothing of the sort. It only seems progressive in that it is populist. But this stuff is straight up rightwing populism by way of the Republican Party and the Tea Partiers.
The title, Revolt of the Plebes, has a working class feel about it, but this is all White middle class angst coming out of the Tea Parties. They complain and complain about the economy, but they don’t seem to have a clue about what caused it.
They think that the “elites” are trying to lower the standard of living of the middle class, but their main example of elites is Barack and Michelle Obama, who, while flawed, are on the liberal end of this project. One way that the elites are plotting to lower the middle class standard of living is by raising taxes! That’s not how it works though. Raising taxes typically results in government services in return for the taxation. It’s not exactly an elite project. It’s a progressive project, a form of wealth redistribution hopefully from the upper middle class and rich to the classes under them.
Like other rightwing populists, he excoriates Obama’s stimulus bill as useless. He also attacks Obama’s recent $26 billion for teaching jobs and Medicaid as a payoff to “fiscally irresponsible” state governments to powerful unions. The states were not spendthrifts. They are broke due to the Depression. Teachers are being laid off. They need to be rehired.
The contempt for schoolteachers and especially their unions is typical of American rightwing populism, which has always hated schoolteachers for some odd reason (anti-intellectualism?) and has always hated unions, because many middle class Americans are not members of unions. Since they are not in unions, they resent fellow middle class Americans who are in unions as getting undeservedly high wages and benefits. This is nothing but sour grapes.
Hatred of schoolteachers is not progressive. Contempt for unions, the organizations of the working class, in particular teacher unions, in many parts of the world (Latin America) some of the most radical unions around, is not progressive. Opposition to government spending on stimulus funds to get a dead economy going again is not progressive.
So we have these endless complaints about the dead economy, with no explanation on who killed the golden goose. The blame, if any, is opportioned out to mysterious “elites,” most of whom are liberals! It’s implied that taxation caused the slump. That’s certainly not the case.
Another hallmark of this stuff is opposition to the TARP bailouts. Though many Americans were angry about these bailouts, and I opposed them in the form they were ladled out, it was necessary to do that. A number of those firms are even paying us back. AIG may well pay us back in full. My objection was only that the TARP bailouts had to come with many strings attached to them re-regulating these bankster criminals back to the way they were in the 1930’s to rein in their fraud and make sure this doesn’t happen again.
But to simply refuse to bail out those huge banks would have been madness. It would have resulted in a slump much worse than the one we are experiencing right now. These are pure free marketeers who want no state intervention in their glorious free market economy. That’s nuttiness. You’re going back to the 1870’s and wild booms and busts. It’s irresponsible and senseless.
Do these clowns have any suggestions for how to get us out of this slump? None whatsoever. Other than gutting government spending. Gutting state spending in the midst of a Depression is sheer insanity. It means the Depression will go much deeper and continue much longer than before.
I’ve noticed that this stuff is becoming extremely popular. Too bad. It’s not progressive, offers no solutions and peddles only bad medicine. Further, in its attacks on working people, their unions, state spending, taxation and state intervention in the economy, it serves the project of the very elites and corporations that it claims to be attacking.
Very confused and ridiculous politics.