Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How dum r we?

It is no secret that Americans read little and none too well. American computational skills have necessitated the development of the modern cash register, which requires only that the human being be sufficiently competent to scan in a price, punch in the amount of cash presented, and count out the correct amount of change. (The operators of such machines generally earn more than minimum wage because of their superior skill sets.)

Hence, it comes as no surprise that there is a lot of support, out there, for assorted Republican candidates for the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. If you've had a look at Paul Ryan's latest budget proposal, you will understand that Ryan — like me — does not hold American intelligence in high regard.

Just two tax brackets?!!! Are you kidding?!!! (No.) Letting American corporations repatriate their foreign profits for free, forever?!!! (I know! Let's ship even more jobs overseas!) Let's not even bother to consider the extreme reductions to high income and corporate tax rates.

(Well, maybe we ought to at least think about them, because we Americans are not too bright. The justification for tax breaks to the rich is that they will invest more in our economy and, therefore, create jobs. Sounds good, except that when they got tax breaks under Bush, they invested their extra money in derivatives — not new business — and brought down the Western World. Derivatives represent fast money. Investments that create jobs represent slow money. Don't bet on the tortoise against the hare. You'll lose.)

I won't get into Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, Pell grants, and the rest of the proposed Ryan cuts right now — suffice to say that the plutocrats grow fatter and grosser at the expense of the far more ordinary. Romney implies that the ordinary deserve to struggle all their lives, because they're dumb — and he deserves to be President because he embodies the "meritocracy."

Well, the ordinary are pretty dumb, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve decent lives — with decent incomes, decent health care, and what used to be very ordinary hopes for the future of their children. If we really had a meritocracy, Paris Hilton would be whoring out on the Tenderloin, and Romney's vast brood would have no greater opportunities than some very nice, bright kids who are growing up in East Harlem.

Watch Obama move even further to the right. Here, in the 21st century, money moves all mountains — and it makes me sick.

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