Monday, 10 October 2011

panicking plutocrats

Paul Krugman has written a great piece at the NYT about the crackers reaction to the Occupy Wall Street protest, which has been terribly well-behaved, on the whole. Basically, it's the latest moment where the response from the right to any kind of criticism is to go hysterically batshit. Some telling paragraphs:

...there has in fact been nothing so far to match the behavior of Tea Party crowds in the summer of 2009.

Nonetheless, Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, has denounced “mobs” and “the pitting of Americans against Americans.” The G.O.P. presidential candidates have weighed in, with Mitt Romney accusing the protesters of waging “class warfare,” while Herman Cain calls them “anti-American.”


The way to understand all of this is to realize that it’s part of a broader syndrome, in which wealthy Americans who benefit hugely from a system rigged in their favor react with hysteria to anyone who points out just how rigged the system is.

Last year, you may recall, a number of financial-industry barons went wild over very mild criticism from President Obama. They denounced Mr. Obama as being almost a socialist for endorsing the so-called Volcker rule, which would simply prohibit banks backed by federal guarantees from engaging in risky speculation. And as for their reaction to proposals to close a loophole that lets some of them pay remarkably low taxes — well, Stephen Schwarzman, chairman of the Blackstone Group, compared it to Hitler’s invasion of Poland.

Seriously, I want to post it all here, but go and read. The only bit I query is where he says it's that these people 'realize, deep down, how morally indefensible their position is'. I genuinely think most of them live in such a deluded bubble of entitlement that they honestly don't understand that they sold crap most of them didn't understand which undermined society and the taxpayer bailed them out for it. And I still believe they're mostly just these guys and not intrinsically evil, just doing a really bad thing they won't query because their lives are so unfairly great. But until someone calls them on it, they'll stay in the bubble.

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