This is a reply to Nippersdad who thinks he knows my life better than I do.
1.) Just because a term is used by political scientists in a certain way doesn’t mean that it will continue to be defined in the way it was intended. I think what you refer to as “corporatist” was called “fascism” in my day. This term has gotten away from those of you who coined it to mean a specific thing. Now it means any corporation that operates for any reason, and anyone who works for them, is evil. No? You know this is true. I went to YearlyKos in Chicago and got my ass handed to me at breakfast after Edwards gave his PT Barnum speech because I worked for a corporation. If people don’t mean to imply that every stakeholder in a corporation is guilty of being evil, heartless human beings, then they should be a lot more careful about how they sling that word around. Whenever I hear it now, I just write the speaker off as the most clueless person on the planet who has no idea how impossible it is to do certain things without the structure of a corporation. Yes, I know you’re going to say that’s not what the word means but I don’t think you are listening to me. That’s what your fanbase is interpreting it to mean and it is hurting people whose employers have pulled up stakes and moved to Chindia, as well as being insulting. Your word, not mine. If it was invented by political science establishment I have to wonder if the intention was to create a faceless, unresponsive enemy onto which people could fecklessly vent their frustrations. Congratulations! It worked and now those of us who work for them have absolutely no allies either within or without. It is a divisive and imprecise word. Stop using it.
2.) We obviously see welfare reform very differently. BTW, I was in college when Reagan came into office. Yes, I was in the first generation of Americans who were severely impacted by the Reagan years. It was under Reagan that Pell grants went under the ax and states started cutting back on funding and when tuition started to rise and when newly divorced mothers couldn’t get any public assistance if they were full time students. Yep, no food stamps, no rental vouchers, no childcare subsidies, nothing. You could only get those things if you were a part time student who also worked. I knew mothers in that situation who struggled more than you will ever know because of Reagan. They could barely feed their families on the lousy money they were getting and the restrictions on the number of classes they could take meant that they stretched out their educations far longer than was necessary or good for them and their families. They were failing in both areas. But that’s what Reagan brought to our national discourse- a meanspirited, hard heartedness where people had permission to look a women with 4 kids in the eye or a first generation student from a working class family and say to them, “What makes you think you are entitled to an education? Who told you that we had to help you get through school?”
I’ve been there, asshole. I’ve had relatives on welfare. They were anything but lazy freeloaders.
I’m the last person in the world who would accuse welfare recipients of being queens as Reagan did. But I also know that if the Clintons had gotten healthcare reform and all of the other welfare reforms, many lives would have been improved beyond description and people who are laid off now, like yours truly, wouldn’t be spending half of our unemployment benefits on COBRA.
As for NAFTA, I will once again reiterate that we are not losing our jobs to Mexico. We are losing them to Asia. Also, when Clinton came into office, the trade deal that was negotiated by Bush Sr. was almost completed. The labor standards were scrapped by Republicans.
Yes, Republicans raised taxes. Let’s see, it was about 1986 when they raised them on late babyboomers such as myself who as a new college graduate was among the first to pre-pay my social security benefits. Yes, Bush Sr raised taxes. IIRC, he wasn’t particularly selective about whose taxes he raised. It was Clinton who specifically raised them on the wealthy and down the road made sure that people on the lower end of the income ladder paid little to nothing. As I recall, Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky cast the deciding vote in the House. She was later targeted by the Republicans for removal and she lost her seat.
You give Clinton far too little credit. You continue to ignore the fact that the only two liberal justices on the SC were appointed by him. You ignore all of the work Hillary Clinton did on healthcare reform (not talking about SCHIP) and how she was shot down by members of her own party, some of whom may have been tireless promoters of Barack Obama. You forget about Lani Guinier. You forget that it was Bill Clinton who first announced that he wanted to allow gay soldiers to serve in the military and that he was forced to walk that back by the crazy religious right in the armed forces.
As for the Greens, I hold them partially responsible for the indiscriminate way they have attacked every faulty product as some kind of malicious negligence. As a pharma researcher, I have seen many drugs pulled off the market and companies sued by class action lawfirms who with the aid of somewhat naive federal courts have extorted billions of dollars from company coffers. Oh, they *deserved* that, right? I also know how emails and memos can be distorted and how PR campaigns can demonize and how what looks like an unintended or unknown side effect can permanently injure a company going forward so that it has to cut back on research or is forced into an unwanted merger or acquisition. I’ve seen 20 years of that shit result in the layoffs of hundreds of thousands of scientists whose employers decided to plunder what’s left of the company for the good of the shareholders and reduce costs by shipping our jobs overseas.
I don’t know who the hell you are but you haven’t been reading my blog for very long or you would know that I AM the working class that you are purporting to help. I am the college educated daughter of a military family, the first on either side to go to get a degree. I AM that future social security beneficiary who is going to get screwed. I lived through the Reagan years without the benefit of a family infrastructure who knew anything about higher education. I am that professional worker who got laid off in their middle age and can’t find a job anywhere. I am that person who pays a fortune for health care. I am that person who is currently living on unemployment and my savings. I am that person who worries about losing my house. I am that person who has to put a teenager through college. I am that person who has to deal with a deteriorating school system.
Do not come here from your lofty, detached poli-sci perch and preach to me the meaning of the word corporatist or presume to tell me the history that I lived through. I don’t use labels because I believe that thinking through thoughts without predefined shortcuts is the best way to understand a problem. If you don’t like it, there’s a whole universe of blogs you can visit that will pander to your secret desires to be flattered for your perspicacity and divine wisdom. I doubt you will find that kind of flattery here.