Am I half stupid if I start to agree with half of what Ann Coulter says?
I’m afraid that I’m losing my ability to think critically. See, I sign up for all these right-wing email lists (part of my job as social critic), but today’s missive from Ann Coulter actually made sense. Well, half of it did. Does that mean I’m now half stupid? Maybe, but listen to what the Coulternator is saying:
Dear Fellow Conservative,
“Somehow we just missed that home prices don’t go up forever.”
No, that’s not your idiot brother-in-law explaining how his four home equity loans eventually landed him penniless on a futon in your rec room. It’s the billionaire CEO of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon.
Dimon was explaining to Congress’s Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission how he and his fellow Magic Men crashed the entire U.S. economy and then turned to taxpayers for a bail out.
Really? So Dimon’s defense to Wall Street’s utter recklessness with other people’s money is to claim that Wall Street doesn’t really understand how the market works? Again: Really?
But no one on the Commission challenged Dimon because, while the Commission’s stated purpose is “to examine the causes of the financial crisis,” its actual purpose is to conceal those causes — especially the federal government’s own central role in creating the housing bubble.
Further proof that the Commission isn’t serious…
See what I mean? She’s kinda making sense. Of course, after this the letter devolves into a typical Coulter tirade where our current economic woes are blamed on Obama, the census, and a lack of commitment to Reaganomics. Saying Reaganomics will save us from the effects of, well, Reaganomics, is the sort of Alice in Wonderland, nothing makes sense that comes out of the Mad Hatter Coulter’s mouth nonsense with which I find it easy to disagree.
Over at the Nation, Robert Reich makes far more sense when he argues that the current Recession and coming Depression is the result of the rising economic inequality created by the Neoliberal policies of Reaganomics in the first place. In other words, when you stop taxing the rich, take away the ability of workers to represent their interests, drastically cut the social safety net, and deregulate everything with a fetishistic belief that “the market knows best” you create the circumstances the US is in now and was in in 1929. According to Reich:
in 1928 the richest 1 percent of Americans received 23.9 percent of the nation’s total income. After that, the share going to the richest 1 percent steadily declined. New Deal reforms, followed by World War II, the GI Bill and the Great Society expanded the circle of prosperity. By the late 1970s the top 1 percent raked in only 8 to 9 percent of America’s total annual income. But after that, inequality began to widen again, and income reconcentrated at the top. By 2007 the richest 1 percent were back to where they were in 1928—with 23.5 percent of the total.
Each of America’s two biggest economic crashes occurred in the year immediately following these twin peaks—in 1929 and 2008. This is no mere coincidence. When most of the gains from economic growth go to a small sliver of Americans at the top, the rest don’t have enough purchasing power to buy what the economy is capable of producing.
Get it? Rising inequality creates economic downturns. The greedier the rich are the more we all suffer, except of course for the rich. In fact, the rich are making a killing off the current Recession/Depression Era. That’s right. The rich are getting richer.
Millionaires in the U.S. and Canada saw their wealth increase 15 percent in 2009, to a total of 4.6 trillion dollars.”
So given that there is widespread agreement among many of the country’s leading economic experts that rising inequality hurts nearly all of us, why can’t the radical right that Ann Coulter represents get on board and start clamoring for worker representation, rebuilding the social safety net, and taxing the wealthiest among us?
That’s where “class” gets complicated, because although Coulter’s followers are primarily the working and lower-middle class whites who love her brand of vitriol, they are a class of people more interested in protecting their racial privilege with anti-immigrant sentiment and their sexual privilege with traditional marriage rhetoric than in protecting their economic interests.
And that’s too bad. Because when the likes of Ann Coulter start making half sense to the likes of me, we’re halfway there to a broad-based coalition of Americans who want a distribution of wealth that reflects fairness and opportunity, not selfishness and greed.