Let's say someone rapes you and then gets just a slap on the wrist. Then let's say that same someone arrests you for looking disheveled, because he has now seen the light and wants to be a stickler for the law. And say that someone was named Standard and Poor's. That's just a start on the kind of jabberwocky world we live in.
Sometimes the lies and distortions, the false premises and invented pseudo-science, get to be too much. The Republicans have drunk the Kool aid. The Democrats stick within the nutty parameters of that rhetoric. So it is time for a rant, speaking a little truth to the powerful, from the currently (but not necessarily forever) powerless.
First, let's talk about the super-rich in our society, those shadowy figures who are remaining silent and anonymous in these debates. The politicians love to bow down to them (oh, yeah, these guys pay them millions). Guess what? They are not "wealth creators" or "job creators." They are parasites. The people who create wealth are the people who work, whether it is in a sweat shop in China or a classroom in the Bronx. The rich are job destroyers whenever possible. They do whatever serves their portfolios of billions.
When the super-rich have so much money they don't know how to offload it, sometimes they step in and begin doing things like establishing school policy through huge grants. So school policy is decided by the handful of people who possess these billions? What's wrong with democracy? How about we tax those billions of dollars out of their bank accounts and let the public decide, in a democratic process, how to spend it?
The call for "tax the rich," which bubbles up whenever the microphones are allowed to pick it up, is a broad sentiment against these parasites. But you never hear the call from Democrats. They would not want to undermine "bipartisan" negotiations.
Those who today control the narrative, and the purse strings, are the opposite of the "best generation" -- they are the spoiled me-generation all grown up. Used to living off trust funds and daddy's other gifts, they only know to take and take, never to give or develop. They are glad to let infrastructure collapse. They have never known how to create anything. The super-rich parasites protect their pampered little Pillsbury Dough Boy selves and their pathetic McMansions. And they whine when anyone suggests social responsibility or social justice.
While I'm on a rant, how about some of the other myths that should be poked?
The market is the most efficient means to organize anything and individualism and competition drive the best development. No, not true. Somehow the Ayn Rand cult has become the rage with these right wingers -- even though part of her belief system is a militant atheism and she has Roark, the hero in her book, dynamite a building.
But let's get this clear: capitalism is full of inefficiencies. In the drive for profit, distorted priorities are the norm.
Take for example health care. Does anyone still believe the health care industry is efficient? Please. A medium-sized hospital in Toronto requires 2 clerks to handle the paperwork. In the US, that same hospital requires about 200 clerks, mainly for billing, often for responding to insurance company's attempts to deny service. These insurance companies have a huge cadre of clerks on their side too.
Supply and demand? It's the market lesson we learn from first grade. Does anyone really believe it? Do you really think gas prices zoom up because of a dip in supply? Give me a break. They are hauling in billions, making tacit agreements between trusts of when to spike prices. The "market forces" fairy tale is just a joke.
How about war making democracy safe? Clearly ten years of war in Afghanistan has taught us something -- though it is never breathed in the halls of congress. They never mention that these medieval ?, reactionary fighters (Al Qaeda et al) were created by the CIA and the west in the 80's as a strike force against the Soviet Union. And they cannot admit that the more the US has fought them in the region, the more Al Qaeda, who are generally regarded with fear and hatred in the region, come to be seen as freedom fighters.
And with the super-rich running things, there's not much benefit in being right. Arne Duncan recently announced that tests would not determine school funding because they were not an accurate measure: so why wasn't Monty Neill or Linda Darling-Hammond elevated and put in charge? The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are a disaster. And Barbara Lee is still kept on the outside? The economy tanks. Why aren't Robert Reich and Paul Krugman summoned to the White House? When Diane Ravitch was spouting neo-liberal attacks on schools, she was constantly quoted as the preeminent expert on education. Once she realized that she had been wrong and called for support for communities and teachers, she was marginalized in the media. What hypocrisy.
Oh, there is plenty to rant about. Don't get me started. My only hope is that the breakdown in believable discourse in the halls of power will reignite some truth-telling at the base, among regular people. Then we'd really have something to talk about.