… And LEARNING TO LOVE THE MASTERS’ BEATING:
Why do people do what they do? An old question that keeps on moving always, as introspection gets ever more refined.
Krugman feels that Republicans want poor children to go hungry because they are meanspirited (the Republicans, according to Krugman, and the children’s parents, according to some Republicans). However, there is a more sinister explanation: we are all been conditioned. Stealing from the mouths of children is not just a passion, it’s training for greater marvels to come.
The food stamp program’s proper name, is the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). In his editorial Krugman recognizes that:
“But, say the usual suspects, the recession ended in 2009. Why hasn’t recovery brought the SNAP rolls down? The answer is, while the recession did indeed officially end in 2009, what we’ve had since then is a recovery of, by and for a small number of people at the top of the income distribution, with none of the gains trickling down to the less fortunate. Adjusted for inflation, the income of the top 1 percent rose 31 percent from 2009 to 2012, but the real income of the bottom 40 percent actually fell 6 percent. Why should food stamp usage have gone down?
I am going to say more shortly about that recession which never ends. SNAP goes mostly to children, or families with children. Krugman concludes that:
“SNAP, in short, is public policy at its best. It not only helps those in need; it helps them help themselves. And it has done yeoman work in the economic crisis, mitigating suffering and protecting jobs at a time when all too many policy makers seem determined to do the opposite. So it tells you something that conservatives have singled out this of all programs for special ire.
Even some conservative pundits worry that the war on food stamps, especially combined with the vote to increase farm subsidies, is bad for the G.O.P., because it makes Republicans look like meanspirited class warriors. Indeed it does. And that’s because they are.”
Here is a variation of my comment that Krugman posted right away (I am writing a scathing critique of a fellow NYT editorialist’s love-for-billionaires; that will come later):
Properly measured, what we are going through is a Greater Depression, nothing less. GDP measures how well fracking and the hyper rich, and the financial sector, are doing. They are doing great. However, as the later two are not too invested in the real economy, their fortune has no impact on normal people.
If one measures it according to employment, especially valuable employment and according to median income, this is an unprecedented downturn.
Some will say: OK for the USA, but what of Ms. Merkel’s wonderful Germany? Are not things looking up there?
Well, contrarily to the pundits’ sing-song, the situation in Germany is actually terrible, arguably the worst in Europe: the demographics are atrocious, the state of education is abominable (especially in light of what Germany used to be), and, finally, selling luxury cars to China is going to work splendidly for, just, another four years, or so (after which time the Chinese will long have learned to drive on… the Moon, and may feel they can build luxury cars on Earth too; don’t laugh, especially if German, or, in general, European).
Hopefully a grand coalition with the German Socialists will orient Europe’s out of Merkel’s snail-vision policies (aggravated by Socialist Hollande next door, who is also playing, one toy at a time).
Obama’s capitulation to Assad and general pusillanimity does not help, as it further the timidity of the spirit. The West is sinking, 1938 style. But there is worse; at least in 1938 (but for France), the economies of the West had mostly recovered.
Here now the recovery systems are themselves exhausted: we can’t lower interest rates, and augment deficit spending wildly, and no plans are in place to lift the economy.
How did we get there? By design. By plutocracy unchained. Starving the People, teaching the less fortunate, and most innocent, of the People to go hungry, is just part of the plot. Once they get used to the abuse, and proud to have survived it, the People will be ready for more. And thus more will come their way.
It does not look like it, but the party of plutocracy unchained is craftier than it looks. Sometimes, the more brutal, the smarter. All forgers know this. One has to beat the iron when it’s hot, and malleable, just as one has to beat the People when it’s dispirited and confused. In the end the People could well not just tolerate the meanness, but want it some more.