We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It's about greed and the Blue Food Bowl. The middle class of America is increasingly dependent on government money, directly or indirectly, rather than on private industry - and the financial industry is in with the whole program. There are good reasons for the financial industry to be almost entirely Democratic and in political alliance with the government food bowl.
What all three groups share is a burning desire for more: a hunger and demand for ever larger amounts of government revenue and power. Money and power for the government enable the upper middle class good government types to dream up new schemes to help us all live better lives and give government the resources for the various social, ecological and cultural transformations on the ever-expandable goo-goo to-do list that range from a global carbon tax to fair trade coffee cooperatives and the war on saturated fat. All these programs (some useful in the Via Meadia view, others much less so) require a transfer of funds and authority from society at large to well-socialized, well-credentialed and well-intentioned upper middle class types who get six figure salaries to make sure the rest of us behave in accordance with their rapidly evolving notions of correct behavior.
That is, in accordance with our betters.
The cops, the teachers, the firefighters, the sanitation and transit workers: these are most of what remains of the backbone of what used to be the organized working class. Many who don’t work directly for the government work for the health care industry, where government and private insurance payments have kept the blue model alive for employees. Others work for infrastructure and construction companies – much of whose business comes from government. Their ranks were once swelled by reasonably well-paid manufacturing workers and other private employees in what was once a job-rich metropolitan environment. A few private bastions of the middle middle class remain (workers in the cooperative buildings where the überrich live, for example), but these days the purely private sector middle middle class is in full scale retreat in cities like New York and public and quasi-public sector employees take the lead.
This group doesn’t get paid as well or enjoy the prestige of the goo-goos, but they have built structures and institutions that secure them a middle-middle class existence. In the public sector at least they have done surprisingly well at passing their jobs and connections down to future generations. As the urban middle middle class shifted from a largely private sector group to a group primarily dependent on public sector spending and jobs, the political balance also changed. Like the goo-goos, the urban middle middle class needs more revenue from the rest of society: people in this group want the number of jobs in their institutions to grow and naturally enough they want to be better compensated: more take-home pay, better benefits, a younger retirement age with a more generous pension.
Threats to the food bowl both unite and divide the Party of Blue. All of them agree that federal revenues should be higher and that much of that money should flow to the cities and states. This preference helps hold the Democratic Party together and – combined with other groups (like big agriculture) that get fat subsidies – helps the Party stay competitive at the national level.
But when cuts must be made, or when limited resources must be divvied up, the groups divide. The goo-goos are willing to cut middle class entitlements and government pensions to fund upper middle class social priorities. Which, they will argue, is more important: to pay (excessive, irrational) pensions to superannuated firemen and cops. or to build a pathbreaking carbon cap and trade system that could save the planet? They are ready to sell state unions down the river, as Democratic politicians ranging from California’s Jerry Brown to Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel to New York’s Andrew Cuomo are doing as I write. But they prefer a peaceful and gradual approach that does not reduce the Democratic Party to a state of civil war and can present themselves to the unions as a lesser evil than Republican red staters who want to kill the unions altogether.
Government employees have a simpler point of view: they want the money and they want it now. They want it without reforms and they want it while they continue to enjoy their traditional privileges and perks.
It's not a Big Tent, it's a giant food bowl provided by a shrinking base of taxpayers. See Greece...
Thoughtful. but I am impressed with the stunning amounts of monies earned by these funds people -- who produce little more than their own wealth. And they are supported by mostly middle class taxes (i.e. paying for the last two wars, etc...).
this is obscene amounts of funds.
If Buffet thinks that the super wealthy should be taxed more , I agree. Further, cutting back on the gorging of gov't workers makes sense, although I want my food to be safe and the CDC to protect me and necessary wars fought to defend my children.
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Ben Franklin
I too am for keeping the banks and money-changers on the up\up, but that also applies to everybody else - there's a lot of supposition of irregularity out there, and it doesn't focus just on Wall Street. I fear that reclaimed Swamp on the Potomac has its hand in the mud too.
When I was much younger, the communists, socialists, and other lefties were called the reds. Now they seem to be designated as blue and the sane people get the red appellation. How and when did this happen?
I saw a youtube video of Ronnie winning the presidency - I think it was the second - and his states were blue and the lefty states were red. I have no idea when they changed it, but it strikes me as more than a little ironic that the marxism-lite (maybe not really lite) states are blue and the more freedom loving states are red...
I thought it was odd when the shift started, I think a little over a decade ago. I'm thinking blue-blood has something to do with it, as the Blue terminology was not originally about Democrats, but that subset of them that are liberals.