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  • The Old Shell Game

    Posted by David Foster on April 22nd, 2014 (All posts by )

    Saw a bumper sticker today that said, “I’m a member of the 99%, and I vote.”

    …intended to imply, surely, that members of the 99% (based on income) have common economic interests on which they should be voting together.

    But a professor of environmental studies, on the one hand, and a welder working in the oil/gas industry, on the other, do not have common economic interests, even if their incomes are exactly the same. Quite the opposite..the professor is likely to profit from a more restrictive approach to energy infrastructure, whereas the welder is likely to suffer economically from those same policies.

    An inner-city couple concerned with getting their kids a good education does not have common interests with the local head of a teachers’ union striving to maintain antediluvian policies and consequent low standards, even if they are in the same income bracket.

    The game the Democrats and their media sycophants are playing is this: to try to focus public attention on generalized income-based class conflict in order to divert attention from the preferential treatment given by government to certain groups at the expense of others.  The hope is that if sufficient anger can be generated and directed at “the rich,” people will be less likely to reject those politicians who want to cripple America’s energy infrastructure, leave the public schools to continue their multigenerational wrecking program, etc etc.

     

    10 Responses to “The Old Shell Game”

    1. Bill Brandt Says:

      Good points David. I wonder if there is a politician on the other aside astute enough to exploit these deficiencies.

    2. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      Margaret Thatcher on the subject: “They’d rather have the poor poorer.”
      http://youtu.be/pdR7WW3XR9c

      Were these people Venezuelan, they’d be supporting Chavez. In Cuba, Castro. What irks them is someone, somewhere, is making more money than them. Socialists and Progressives (but I repeat myself), for all their pretend hatred of materialism, are totally fixated on money, and their need to have more. That others have more galls them no end, regardless of what they have. They will destroy entire economies, countries and civilizations to put a stop to that. And they do. Over and over.

    3. pst314 Says:

      It’s literally the latest variation on “I am a Bolshevik”, but with the unpleasant historical associations somewhat concealed.

    4. David Foster Says:

      “Bolshevik”…the idea is to expand the feeling that “I am an oppressed proletarian” to encompass the vast majority of the population, including people who Marx surely would have defined as “bourgeois.”

    5. onparkstreet Says:

      Crony capitalism and the increasing oligarchical nature of American society might fit roughly into the 1 percent rhetoric. I think it’s more complicated that simple class warfare. We are in a period where our elites-Codevilla’s country class seemed to be popular around here–are increasingly more aligned with their transnational Davos elite than viewing themselves as any kind of Americans.

    6. pst314 Says:

      David Foster “expand the feeling…to encompass the vast majority of the population”

      Agreed.

    7. Jay Manifold Says:

      Back around the time of some of Joycelyn Elders’ less, er, politic remarks, a friend of mine suggested the creation of a bumper sticker reading I MASTURBATE AND I VOTE.

    8. Steve Korn Says:

      Dave, these are keen insights…and spot-on.

      The Left requires division. The Left feeds on splitting people. They divide people. Create envy. Victimhood especially. Our president is a master at this. Unfortunately, it is a destructive skill.

      Conservatives do a poor job of countering the Left’s pounding the airwaves with its view of “pizza pie economics.” Conservatives fail to explain in story form that a market-based system and capitalism is not like a pizza pie. Someone else’s extra pizza slice does not mean one less slice for me as told by the mainstream media.

      Conservatives also do a poor job opposing and stopping crony capitalism.

      I don’t see political change until the youth who vote and might vote…and the hispanic vote…re-think what’s important in their lives…and they realize that weak job prospects are a direct result of this administration and its anti-growth policies. Hardship can be turned into opportunity with the right leadership.

      Steve

    9. MikeK Says:

      “I don’t see political change until the youth who vote and might vote…and the hispanic vote…re-think what’s important in their lives…and they realize that weak job prospects are a direct result of this administration and its anti-growth policies. Hardship can be turned into opportunity with the right leadership.”

      I agree completely. One consolation of my age is the likelihood that I will not have to deal with the consequences of this locust years generation.

      Winston Churchill, another British statesman, quickly picked up on Inskip’s quotation and referred to it in a House of Commons speech on November 12, 1936. Churchill praised Inskip for realizing the danger that Britain faced by falling behind Germany in rearmament. He also gave credit to Inskip for using the Joel passage, “the years that the locust hath eaten,” to describe the period during which ineffective British authorities allowed the armament gap to develop (those authorities were the “locusts” who “ate,” or wasted, those precious years).

      In our time, these are years wasted repeating leftist experiments that failed two generations ago. The similarity of global warming to L:ysenkoism is striking.

      Lysenkoism was “politically correct” (a term invented by Lenin) because it was consistent with certain broader Marxist doctrines. Marxists wanted to believe that heredity had a limited role even among humans, and that human characteristics changed by living under socialism would be inherited by subsequent generations of humans. Thus would be created the selfless new Soviet man.

      The similarity is eerie.

    10. lew Says:

      We in the 99% share one important thing, which our distract-divide-and-rule political masters on both sides of Progressive politics wish us not to notice : we are all very much exploited by our oligarchy + deep state rulers for their benefit, not ours.

      Progressives of the left, who wish to use gov power to do good in domestic arenas and are willing to use any any coercion of citizens ‘for their own good’, focus on the inequality, the supposed racism, … Progressives of the Right, who wish to use gov power to do good in international arenas and are willing to use war as their tool to coerce foreign citizens ‘for their own good’, focus on threats to the US.

      Neither left- nor right-Progressives want us to inspect their records. What social engineering project here at home has produced the expected results? Even some results that are not swamped with very negative side-effects? What predictions of our neocons, Progressives of the right, have turned out to be true? And have the predicted costs of either group of Progressives ever been within 2 orders of magnitude of the actual costs?

      There are quite profound reasons in mathematics, physics, computer science that make those outcomes inevitable. Our Constitution is a technology of government that allowed us to avoid all of the problems produced by these activist-gov Progressives. We abandoned it, and voila, here we are.