Our Ruling Class Hard at Work

Our Ruling Class Hard at Work January 3, 2013

No help for Hurricane Sandy victims (which really is a legitimate function of the state in helping secure the common good).

Plenty of money for our moneyed class, which is to say, themselves and their buddies.

These people do not see America as a country to love. They see most of their fellow citizens as marks to be fleeced. They are citizens of Mammon, not the US.

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  • kenneth

    Say what you will about their excesses, but the Khmer Rouge had some excellent programs for re-acquainting a nation’s entitled classes with the virtues of old-fashioned hard work and the plight of the working poor!

    • TMLutas

      This is disgusting. The killing fields are not a pilot project that got out of control. They were evil, start to finish.

      • kenneth

        Naturally, we don’t want to kill these folks. As maddening as they are, we need people with education, capital, and the skills to use it. As bad as they’ve mishandled our economy, revolutionaries really suck at economics. Giving an economy to illiterate trigger pullers is like giving the controls of CERN’s accelerator to a chimp.

        No, what we need is just to help these folks attain a new perspective, with a firm but loving hand – like the wilderness “tough love” camps for miscreant teens or Scrooge’s long night before the dawn. Mark had an excellent idea he’s expressed in several iterations of having some of these officials cleaning latrines in forward combat areas. It would do them, and us, a world of good if they were forced, for just a year or two, to experience life from the bottom half of the heap. You know, the 47% of us who just want a handout.

        Let them try to keep a roof over their heads for $7.25 an hour, part time, with zero job security or health insurance. Let’s see how they do working three jobs and still having to perform the monthly triage of deciding whether to pay rent, food or medicine. Let them experience the financial sector from the tooth end as they get on the treadmill of 200% interest payday loans to fix their 12-year-old car so they don’t lose those three jobs the one day they can’t make it in. Put some of them in hurricane flattened areas with just the clothes on their backs to wait for months so political maneuvering ensures the other party doesn’t come out looking too good….

        It shouldn’t be that big of a hardship. I mean, these folks tell us they all pulled themselves up by bootstraps and rose up from the undeserving poor by their work ethic. Surely they could do it again easily enough.

        The Khmer Rouge bit of course is tongue and cheek and absurd, but I think the exercise I have in mind is a good gauge of justice in a society. If even temporary “reassignment” to live in the bottom castes is considered a possible death sentence and grotesque human right violation, that speaks volumes about the sort of society we’ve created and allowed the elite to enforce. I think most elites in third world countries would rather slit their wrists rather than spend a day at the bottom of their food chain. At the other extreme, CEOs in the Nordic countries would probably see it as a quirky vacation. Where do you suppose we fall on that spectrum?

        I don’t think the exercise even requires dumping someone at the absolute bottom rung of wretched poverty and homelessness. The concept works by putting anyone from the top 5% down to anywhere in the lowest 2/5ths, even 3/5ths of the heap.

        • You would make an excellent commissar right up to the point where you walk past a doorway and somebody steps out behind you and puts a bullet in the back of your head. You don’t have the dead soul needed to really excel at the work. I suggest a change in your approach to avoid that dead end.

          Me, you’d be putting me in your camps early on, though if I’m smart enough and lucky enough, I’ll outlive you and dance on your grave, if you get one.

    • Mark Shea

      I greatly fear a day could come when the madness of such people could engulf our country. Evil breeds evil reactions. As we eat away at the moral buffers provided by the Christian tradition against extremist reaction, it is entirely possible that our country could slide into bloodshed on an epic scale. Fallen man is a drunk, falling off the horse first on the one side, then on the other. We could easily go from this rapacious crony capitalism to some sort of insane revolt that will kill millions and achieve nothing but the destruction of what good remains in our culture. Without the guidance of the Faith (and Christians will be first up against the wall), a second American Revolution will be a useless bloodbath.

      • TMLutas

        People do game this sort of thing out. The first to the wall will be assassinated functionaries of generally low level and on the other a Russian roulette random pick of the ruling class’ favorite scapegoats.

      • Andy, Bad Person

        Evil breeds evil reactions.

        You would think we’d have learned such from the French Revolution.

      • “joe”

        “(and Christians will be first up against the wall)”
        *smacks forehead*
        i told myself not to come back to this site …

  • TMLutas

    I do not know why the vote was pulled until the new Congress. I do know that we have been mishandling disaster relief in ways that encourage future tragedy for decades. I suspect that both sides of this kerfuffle do not adequately address the perverse incentive problem. We reward dumb decisions on vulnerable site choice by making people whole and so behavior does not adjust and more people build up the flood plain and infill the Hudson. If we had a decent political class, the details of aid would make sure that we do not start a new round of this foolishness. I should give the benefit of the doubt and dig in to the details to see if this is indeed what is happening but I am so discouraged by the fiscal cliff roll over that I can not manage the energy to do it.

    • Glenn

      The Sandy relief bill that the Senate provided and that Boehner withdrew from a floor vote was for $61 billion. To give some perspective to the enormity of that amount of money, the 2013 budget for the entire state of New Jersey is $32 billion. The Senate bill is bursting at the seams with pork that has nothing to do with Sandy relief. The House will vote on a Sandy relief bill tomorrow for $9 billion that will, no kidding, provide funds for relief to the storm victims. The remaining $51 billion will be considered in a separate bill.

      For once I think Boehner did the right thing, although once again, it sure plays terribly in sound bites and on the news.

      • Michael

        I hope no one takes Christie seriously after this. He spends most of his time acting like a spoiled and petulant child. The press laps it up because it makes Republicans look even worse and he is not smart enough to realize how his actions and words are being played in the PR war that the media is playing.

        • carlamariee

          Is he being a spoiled child to stand up for his constituants? New York and New Jersey get little back from the federal gov’t for what they pay in, now that they are in need they get shafted? Like an abused wife he’s supposed to keep up appearances so the party will still look good in public? Oh yeah, the Violence Against Women Act died in the House without being funded. Shameful.

          • Michael

            Being a spoiled brat is expecting his issue to be addressed RIGHT NOW and complaining to the press that the Speaker of House is not taking his calls during the fiscal cliff bruhahaha and his own re-election battle. Being a spoiled brat is also not realizing that there might be other reasons not to vote for that particular bill and being willing to accept a markedly different and better one.

            Yes, Christie is a brat.

            • Mark Shea

              Weird how demanding and petulant victims of gigantic natural disasters can be. Imagine the effrontery of poor people who have been wiped out by Sandy actually *daring* to think that their stupid needs for food, shelter and medicine take priority over some rich guy’s demands for more power and money.

        • Mark Shea

          Yes. The most important thing in the world is pretending the GOP looks good and smart after saying “Screw you” to Sandy victims. Clearly Christie’s first responsibility is to supporting the party of heartless idiocy, not the people he is sworn to govern.

          • Glenn

            Really Mark? The GOP said “screw you” to Sandy victims by not authorizing $61 billion of non-Sandy-related pork? Like I said in my earlier post, I’m actually glad Boehner chose to put a separate $9 billion bill up for a vote that contains specific relief for Sandy victims. I understand what you were saying about Christie and his being taken to task for seeming party disloyalty, etc., but I’d rather Congress authorize the correct amount of money for people who need it, as opposed to stuffing a bill full of handouts to who-knows-what/whom by taking advantage of an urgent need, i.e., Sandy relief.

          • Mark B.

            Mark, I agree that congress is corrupt. But in this case, Boehner was correct to separate the legislation into 2 votes. Congress does this all the time. They come up with a sad name, like ‘Money for Poor Starving Children’ and then indeed include some funds for the title purpose. But then they load it with money for GE, Goldman Sachs, bridges to nowhere in Alaska, etc. Imagine the nightly news when it’s reported that Joe Congressman voted against poor starving children, when in actuality he voted against a pork-laden mess. Unfortunately, the news does not accurately report why someone votes against it, so everyone eventually votes for it because they need to be reelected and don’t want to be known as child haters.

          • Michael

            Seriously, Mr. Shea. You act as if it had to be this bill right now or nothing. You seem as impatient and petulant as Christie is. $60 billion, Mr. Shea. Do you have that on you at the moment? Do you know how much that is? Are you satisfied and content to saddle the Cuteness’ grandchildren with the debt and all the accumulated interest for that paltry sum?

            • Mark Shea

              No. I act as though I am sick of the fact that when it comes to prioritizing the common good over the demands of the rich, our ruling class’ behavior is absolutely predictable. They are vampires who do not give a crap about anything but power and money.

              • Eric the Read

                I completely agree! That’s why I think it’s a good thing Boehner didn’t pass legislation that helps out NASCAR track owners and movie and TV producers who were hopping a free ride on a bill that should’ve helped the truly needy.

  • Ed Pie

    But if we all belong to the government, aren’t we all entitled to some pork?

  • michaelp71

    Thank you Glenn for saying what I was having a difficult time saying on my small hand-held.

  • ivan_the_mad

    Let us pray that those involved will be inspired with charity and wisdom to act as statesmen and direct aid to those who need it.

  • Observer

    So, kind of how the firefighters during the tragedy which befell people on Sept. 11th were denied water because the worker was correct to have them purchase first? In a serious emergency and tragedy which follows after, you get immediate aide first, and then work out the budget requirements.

  • Elmwood

    There is little trust in our society that we can assume the best with our government or even our neighbor. We are so full of ourselves we leave no room for God as our Holy Father has said. No God, then man is dimished and we are left choosing between the stupid materialism of the GOP (Mordor) or the hedonistic culture of death with the Democrats. Either way, we loose.