Do Canadians and Scandinavians Really Not Work and Really Have No Children? (This is a rhetorical question for Kathleen Parker. Or maybe not rhetorical; you decide.)
Socialism has always appealed to the young, the cure for which isn’t age but responsibility. This usually comes in the form of taxes and children, both of which involve working and sacrificing for the benefit of others, the extent of which forms the axis upon which all politics turns. That Sanders never outgrew his own socialist-rebellious tendencies — We’re going to have a revolution! — is vaguely interesting, but not his best recommendation for commander in chief, among other presidential roles.
— What Steinem, Albright, and Clinton don’t get about millennial women, Kathleen Parker, Washington Post, today
Okay, well, taxes and children, and healthcare insurance premiums and healthcare bills not covered by insurance, and day care and college costs for those children—all of which involve working and sacrificing for the benefit of others.
The extent of which forms the axis upon which all politics turns. Well, post-trickle-down, Great-Recession, stagnant-wages, wildly-escalating-healthcare-and-college-costs, Citizens-United, politics anyway.
At least that seems to be the main message of this presidential primary election season. Although the message is encrypted and therefore indecipherable to a good many political opinion writers.
A fun parlor game for me (okay, I don’t have a parlor, so I play this game usually sitting in a rocking chair in my bedroom, laptop on my lap) has been reading the contortions that center-left or center-right political columnists employ by way of pretending that Bernie Sanders is a Communist, and trying to guess whom they think they will convince. Most fun of all to read are the Washington Post’s cadre, and Kathleen Parker has been especially prolific in the last week. A few days ago, in a column titled “The fight over Hillary Clinton’s speaking fees is ridiculous,” she wrote:
Unfortunately, the Democratic base has been electrified by the notion that the poor are poor because the rich are rich. To this zero-sum interpretation of income inequality, a friend always responds: How many poor people has Oprah created?
None, I’m sure. But if Oprah were currently taxed at the rate she would have been during the Reagan administration—not to mention the Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson or Nixon ones—there likely would be far fewer poor people in this country, some of them, for example, having been able to afford to get a college degree at a public university funded primarily through taxes rather than by tuition and legacy donations that dramatically impacted admissions into the freshman class.
Actually, the Democratic base has been electrified by the notion that higher taxes on the wealthy will give them (and many others) a shot at entering or remaining in the middle class. And of having access to health care without fearing bankruptcy or having to forget about paying their kid’s college tuition this year. And of being able to afford good child care and be able to get the roof replaced.
That Parker never outgrew her own Commie-baiting tendencies is vaguely interesting, but not her best recommendation for another Pulitzer Prize.
Then there is Ruth Marcus, a Yale University and Harvard Law School alum, who in a column about Sanders late last month said that the proposition that “helping Americans get ahead with more skills, more jobs and more wealth,” and the proposition that “the deck is stacked against everyday Americans and we need to focus on breaking up Wall Street banks and raising taxes on the wealthy,” are mutually exclusive. In referencing a recent poll by the self-styled centrist group Dumb Way—er, Third Way—she wrote:
Given the choice of a candidate who promotes “helping Americans get ahead with more skills, more jobs and more wealth,” or one who emphasizes that “the deck is stacked against everyday Americans and we need to focus on breaking up Wall Street banks and raising taxes on the wealthy,” voters chose the growth message over the deck-stacked argument, 66 percent to 21 percent.
Because of course proposals to break up Wall Street banks and to raise taxes on the wealthy have nothing to do with helping Americans get ahead with more skills, more jobs and more wealth. Those proposals are just for the sake of breaking up Wall Street banks and raising taxes on the wealthy. As a hobby. And if I had gone to Yale and Harvard I’m sure I would see this. But I didn’t, so I stupidly think proposals to break up Wall Street banks and to raise taxes on the wealthy have everything to do with helping Americans get ahead with more skills, more jobs and more wealth.
Shows you what I know. Silly me. I even thought that Scandinavians and Canadians work and have children. Instead it turns out that Scandinavians and Canadians are children. Who will grow up one day and finally begin working and having children of their own. At which point they will no longer need healthcare. Or want to avoid bankruptcy if they do.