What The One Percenters Have Wrought
My working theory is that wealthy individuals bought themselves a radical right party, believing — correctly — that it would cut their taxes and remove regulations, but failed to realize that eventually the craziness would take on a life of its own, and that the monster they created would turn on its creators as well as the little people.
This is precisely what I postulated some time ago (see here and here). For years, wealthy conservatives have been running the Republican Party by successfully playing to racists and bigots and religious extremists. But then the nutcases joined forces in the so-called Tea Party movement, and as evidenced by today’s government shutdown, the inmates are now running the asylum that is the Republican party.
So now it’s going to be interesting to see how the One Percenters react to this Frankenstein of their creation. One would think that this government shutdown, along with the upcoming “fiscal cliff” crisis, would do some major damage to the economy, and thus ultimately would hurt them where it hurts most, in the pocket book. But I wonder if that will be the case. Remember that during the Bush Recession, the worst economic period in this country’s history since the Great Depression, the wealthy have actually prospered more than ever. Could it be that the overall health of the economy is irrelevant to them? What do they care if the size of the pie is shrinking, as long as the portion of the pie they get is increasing at a faster rate?
I would like to think that in a democracy, at some point the will of the majority of the people will prevail, and the tide will turn against the One Percenters. But that assumes we still have a democracy. With the power that the rich and their mega-corporations yield these days, that might not be a very good assumption.