Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Rush and Me

Yeah, you guessed it. Rush Limbaugh. From time to time I listen to his show, mostly for laughs. But sometimes it gets downright scary. Scariest of all is when I find myself agreeing with him. He wants our President's economic policy to fail. So do I. How embarrassing!

It's still good for a laugh, however, because the outcome he says he fears the most is the only outcome that makes sense to me. He's against Obama's policies because he's convinced that, if they succeed, they will lead us to socialism. I'm against them because I'm afraid that, if they succeed, they will re-instate the same phoney, "market-based," "private-sector," "free-market," bubble-driven, cut-throat, free-for-all of corruption and out of control greed that produced the current crisis in the first place.

Obama's misguided attempt to "jumpstart the economy," if successful, would also re-instate the power of the oligarch/plutocrats (plutogarchs?) and along with it, the subjugation/exploitation of the working class (yes, you heard me right -- the "c" word!), struggling for far too long (well before the current financial crisis) on 7 to 9 dollars an hour, no benefits, "independent" contractor, part-time, whatever, anything at all to get by, pseudo jobs. No one paid much attention at all to the hourly or day to day workers, the struggling adjuncts, "office managers," data entry clerks, "associates," substitutes, security guards, crossing guards, free-lancers, temps, etc. (I'm in there somewhere, by the way), not to mention the zillions of ghetto kids with not much hope of anything better than grocery bagging or drug dealing, etc., etc. -- no one paid much attention to the needs of the millions being nickled-and-dimed to death in the "global economy" until the whole thing started unravelling, and suddenly they need us to shop shop shop, spend spend spend. With what, may I ask? Once that credit card was maxed out, there was no more to spend. Because 7, 8, 9, or 10 dollars an hour on its own won't buy much, let me tell you.

Restoration of such a thoroughly unfair, undemocratic, and out of control financial system into the hands of the "private sector" is an outcome only someone as thoughtless, insensitive, selfish and vulgar as Rush and his well-heeled patrons could love. So why doesn't he?

Two possibilities. Either he's as clueless as Obama and his team of recycled "Masters of the Universe" and actually sees some possibility of success for this seriously flawed scheme -- and fears that it could bring with it some degree of social and economic reform. Or he realizes, as so many are now coming to realize, that it is doomed to fail, and, when it does, some form of socialism will be the only remaining recourse. It would be interesting to learn whether Limbaugh has any alternative proposal to offer, other than simply "letting the market take its course," with no government interference, which would immediately cause the world economic edifice to collapse into dust. What would you propose we do at that point, Rush? Leave it to the "private sector" to bring us back? What private sector? All that wealth will be gone, caput, vanished into the same hot air from whence it emerged.

Please don't get me wrong. I voted for Barack Obama, I believe in him still. I think he's the most promising American politician to emerge since Roosevelt, and also I just plain like him a whole lot. I want very badly for him to succeed. But not on the basis of the lame, half-hearted and doomed economic policy he is now promoting, which can never work and will only weaken both him and the Democratic party.

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