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Reprise: To the Manor Born

Dan Froomkin and Jeff Faux have recently written about the new Servant Economy.  Ha! Once again, I scooped them by three years.  Here’s my post on the subject from 2009: To the Manor Born. Enjoy.

My dearest reader,

This letter hopes to find you and your family well and that the fortunes of employment bestowed upon you are sufficient so as to alleviate your most strenuous anxiety that frequently attends the lack of an income.  The news daily importunes a great degree of future distress and depression on that front but I beg you leave off such ruminations.  For it is a truth universally acknowledged that bailout recipients of great fortune must be in want of retainers.

Gentle reader, take heart.  We shall all be wanted to serve our masters most diligently.  There shall be need of cooks, chauffeurs and gardeners. And we will simplify the need of our betters to have to remember our names, we shall be called “Cook”, “Foote” and “my own Gardener”.  We shall see the world too as we will be required to set up the many houses upon which our masters will depend for their amusement.  Verily, our cares will be few as we will be relieved of even the details of our costume with the new livery we shall be required to wear.  Musicians and cookery artists may gain full employment now by attaching themselves to one houshold or another, thereby ensuring a modest steady income that will make tolerable the lack of taste that is the failure of good understanding in the ruthlessly fittest.  Is there a felicity in the world superior to this?

Indeed, such a change is already taking place and it will not be long before we entertain ourselves with the arrangements of the nuptials of the gentility.  How much merry  we will make over the sport of alliances between houses of many billions and poor connexions indeed will the girl have who will settle for less than $5 million a year.  Of those of us who cannot go into service but will be left among the professional class, it is true that we cannot all benefit half so well,  But those among us with a natural inclination for the sciences will by necessity attach ourselves to the billionaire biologists who live on their interest and can dabble at leisure on the cure for cancer.  Meanwhile, there will be no further need of scientific inquiry that does not directly benefit our betters and what financial interest they have in the area of innovation will find it thought of by those few remaining who can afford it and carried out in the Indies by those whose lives depend upon it.

Be of good cheer.  Your degrees will not be for naught as diligence in improving ones mind must always find employment in entertaining the spirit during a lifetime of artless routine.  There will always be an opportunity to move up in the world for your daughters, so take care to educate them as well as you can and guard their excesses lest they be thought below the station of the company they intend to keep. As for your sons, the militia is an honorable profession.

I beg to take leave of you now but I hope this missive has had the effect of good persuasion and that you will in every way endeavor to exert yourself to optimism and hope.  It can not be long now before we shall be required to adjust to our reduced circumstances, which will affect in us a discipline to such an extent that will in time reduce the surplus population.   To be sure,  pliancy and resiliance of spirit will serve ourselves and our future masters well.

Your most humble and obediant servant, etc.,

Riverdaughter

Krugman on Froomkin: If you’re right, you’re not a serious person

Dan Froomkin, dismissed for unseriousity

Dan Froomkin, dismissed for unseriousity

It’s odd that peopleon the left, like Krugman, can see the right-left dynamics so clearly but sometimes can’t see what’s going on within their own party.  Nevertheless, this blog post by Krugman is worth reading.  He lays out the unspoken laws of American journalism dynamics for the past decade.  Movement Conservatives were in and they were not to be mocked.  Lefties?  Ehhhhh, not so much.  Froomkin was an apostate.  He was a real journalist who did his job and exposed the follies of the Bush admin.  He was useful, for a time, as a sort of WaPo version of Alan Colmes.  The token liberal.  But Froomkin turned out to be right and that can’t be tolerated.

Now, you might think that the way things turned out — the total failure of movement conservatism in government, and the abrupt, humiliating end to the Permanent Republican Majority — would lead to some soul-searching. But that’s not how human nature works. Instead, it became more urgent than ever to assert that those who didn’t get with the program were flakes and moonbats, not worthy of being listened to, while those who believed in the right to the bitter end were “serious”.

Thus we still live in an era in which you have to have been wrong to be respectable. You’re not considered serious about national security unless you were for invading Iraq; you’re not considered a serious political analyst unless you spent the last 3 years of the Bush administration predicting a Republican comeback; you’re not considered a serious economic analyst unless you dismissed the idea that the Bush Boom, such as it was, rested on a housing bubble.

That’s why the firing of Dan Froomkin now makes a perverse sort of sense. As long as the right was in power, he was in effect the Post’s designated moonbat, someone who attracted readers but didn’t threaten the self-esteem of the self-perceived serious people at the paper. But now he looks like someone who was right when the serious people were wrong — and that means he has to go.

Yes, there’s nothing that will get you shunned so quickly as being right, even by your so-called friends. Heck, Krugman himself still cites Digby, even though she’s lost all credibility to those of us who were right from the beginning.  *We’re* still perceived as “flakes and moonbats” instead of way ahead of the pack.

We feel your pain, Dan.


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