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To all those rich people who think they are the most productive people on earth

Don’t flatter yourselves.  Dragons are not productive.

Every school kid knows this.

Just sayin’.


Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz have a chat:


2 Responses

  1. Here’s a more comforting observation. I have a couple hundred or so cans of sardines. I like sardines. I notice that all through this Era of Rolling GoverBank Crimewave, not one of the Banker/Goverperps
    or one of their little minions has been able to suck even one sardine out through the side of even one of my cans of sardines.

    I think there is a lesson somewhere in that.

  2. We have circled around this truth for well over 100 years.

    The most famous political speech of all time was William Jennings Bryan’s “Cross of Gold Speech” at the Democratic Convention in 1896. The speech was made at a time much like ours. An inept Republican President stumbled the country into a long depression with five years of real double digit unemployment and declining prices. Wealth became even more concentrated in the hands of a banker class, what Teddy Roosevelt called “malefactors of great wealth.”

    The inept Republican who made changes was succeeded by a conservative Democrat (Grover Cleveland) who was anti-labor, pro-bank, pro-hard money, and pro-big business, The wealthy in particular, attempted to divide the country , especially the South, along racial rather than class lines. Black and poor voters were being greatly and openly disenfranchised by new voting laws.

    Bryan made a number of key points in his speech. The businesman of the time was more than the financier or the trader and speculator in commodities or stocks but really included the farmer, the factory worker, and the miner.

    American fiscal policy should benefit everyone, not just the financiers and should certainly not be constrained by the austerity and hard money policy of other countries, especially in Europe.

    If hard money and austerity were followed to its logical extreme, said Bryan, the results would be awful. Without the productivity of the 99%, the streets of the big cities would become empty and covered over by weeds. With the full scale production and reward of the workers and farmers, the entire country would prosper.

    Bryan, of course, ended the speech with the famous closing that became his trademark. “Do not press down upon the brows of labor, this crown of thorns. Do not crucify mankind upon this cross of gold.” It combined class-conscious politics and early fundamentalism in a weird blend. Bryan, then 36, was nominated for President. He was nominated (unsuccessfully) three times (in 1896, 1900 and 1908) and became Secretary of State under Wilson. He quit because Wilson was too war-like.

    During the Progressive era, the New Deal and the Kennedy-Johnson era (plus to some extent Eisenhower, Nixon, and Ford), we made real progress. Karl Rove’s stated goal has been to take us back to those bad old days of the late 1800s.

    It is time for a real dragon hunter. Not someone who talks a good game (Bryan) or semi talks a good game (Obama) but the real thing. I tried to find a nice metaphor to go with the old story about St. George and the Dragon but the Bryan speech is actually much closer to the mark.

    The power of the gold is felt most behind closed doors and intimidating glares. In the open, it shrivels and shrinks. It is simply amazing how many Americans are willing to sacrifice their own earned benefits for the amorphous good of the golden few. It is enough, at this point, to block and to do some things by stealth but not to succeed in the bright light of day.

    Sunshine. That’s the gold we should honor; not the cold, hard metal.

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