Thursday, January 27, 2011

No, but…

There’s a mild brouhaha brewing, Dear Gentle Reader(s), over a passage or two by a writer in the the U.S.  It seems a woman named Barbara Ehrenreich wrote this:

Why are Americans such wusses? Threaten the Greeks with job losses and benefit cuts and they tie up Athens, but take away Americans' jobs, 401(k)s, even their homes, and they pretty much roll over. Tell British students that their tuition is about to go up and they take to the streets; American students just amp up their doses of Prozac.

In response, Conor Friedersdorf, subbing for Andrew Sullivan this week, wrote this:

Is someone taking away the 401(k)s of Americans? Would street protests somehow salvage the jobs of those who've lost them in the recession? For that matter, have street protests done anything to improve the lives of the Greeks engaged in them?

We’ll probably never know if the lives of the Greeks have been improved by street protests, but we’ll also never know if the very people who caused the mortgage mess here in the U.S., which, arguably, caused the Great Recession, would right now be looking forward to enjoying the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts which they should, in the name of fiscal prudence, never have been given.

We can certainly imagine the scene if the tens of thousands who did not vote for Representative Mary Whitaker-Bono-Baxley-Mack in November of 2010 would’ve shown up in front of her offices in downtown Palm Springs in protest against her promised vote for the tax extension.

Maybe the U.S. would be hundred of billions ahead on deficit reduction today if we’d marched in all the Republican House districts in December.

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