THE BLOG

Willful Ignorance, Callous Indifference, or Both?

05/25/2011 12:15 pm ET

What do almost 100 million Americans have in common? They are at --
or perilously close to -- the official poverty line! Yet government
officials and most of the so-called punditocracy declare rather
impatiently that the economy is just fine and only the misguided
masses don't think so. The universally rich television talking heads
patronizingly shake their dyed coifes at the public's uniformed
naiveté about the complexity of the marketplace in all it's
sphinx-like inscrutability.

These overpaid, smug opinionated keepers of Wall Street's gates are,
in their view, the only class of people who can explain the confusing
riddle of the American economy. The only glaring problem with this
conceit is that tens of millions of our fellow citizens have to choose
between food, medicine or heating fuel.

They worry about their jobs, if they have one or two. They worry about
their children. They worry about their lack of health insurance.

To add insult to injury, they are more than cognizant of the record
number of millionaires and billionaires who pay less in taxes than
those astronomically less well off.

What are people to think and feel if the "ruling class" pretends that
such problems are exaggerated and fueled by the false assumption that
there is some kind of "class warfare" at play?

"How absurd! Don't the great masses of these working class, middle
class and disenfranchised dolts understand that this is an
entrepreneurial society where anyone -- anyone, damn it! -- could and
should become rich if only they were more market savvy and
industrious?"

There are a few monumental problems with these cold-hearted, morally
bankrupt notions. Among them: the economy is mostly dependent on
consumer spending; the government takes more from those who have less
and gives obscenely more and more to those who have a lot. (You know
these people, they're the ones that have multimillion dollar weddings
and birthday parties that make caterers and florists richer but do
very little for the overall economy, but so what? Right?)

In addition, many Americans are spending nearly ten percent more than
they take in every month because they have a little thing called the
"cost of living"! To top it all off, the national debt is an
incomprehensible nine trillion plus dollars and we are virtually
"owned by other countries"... among them the pet killing, toy
poisoning, tainted food exporters who could easily blackmail us with
the threat of trading in their profoundly weak dollars for the muscular
euro, thereby crippling our economy.

So I ask those "in charge": is it willful ignorance, callous
indifference, or both?

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