In a week in which Rich Lowry, editor of National Review opined on Bernie Sanders:
Headline: Bernie Is Not Normal
Sanders does indeed have his charms. He’s sincere, consistent, and inarguably himself. He now has a step on frenemy Elizabeth Warren in the leftist lane in the primaries because he’s not as painfully calculating as she is. But make no mistake: Sanders is a socialist continuing his takeover attempt of the Democratic party to forge what he aptly calls a political revolution. He may be more polite than Trump, but he’s wildly outside the mainstream and a clear and present danger to the public welfare.
I have skipped to the final paragraph, in which Mr. Lowry resorts to the moral/political argument against Sanders, that cites him, as a ‘a danger to the public welfare’ , which is utterly out of character, for an American Conservatism marinating in the ‘Free Market Ideology’. That scorns the very notion ‘the public welfare’ as an utter irrelevance: in fact the Trinity of Neo-Liberals Hayek/Mises/Friedman, assisted by Political Romantic and dull-witted pamphleteer Ayn Rand, are the natural enemies such bourgeois conventions.
David Brooks offers this refracted paranoia, as a legitimate critique of Sanders in The New York Times:
Headline: The Bernie Sanders Fallacy
Sub-headline: No, Virginia, there is no class war.
This is a golden age for “Theyism.” This is the belief that there is some malevolent, elite “they” out there and “they” are destroying life for the rest of us.
There is Donald Trump’s culture-war Theyism: The coastal cultural elites hate genuine Americans, undermining our values and opening our borders. And there is Bernie Sanders’s class-war Theyism: The billionaires have rigged the economy to benefit themselves and impoverish everyone else.
Note the puerile rhetorical framing of the sub-headline! Journalistic Kitsch! From the Economic Collapse of the Neo-Liberal Swindle in 2008, and its issue The Gig Economy. Readers don’t need self-proclaimed Political Prophet David Brooks, to revert to type as Capitalist Apologist: protege of Wm. F. Buckley Jr.! Nor to quote American Enterprise Institute hack Michael Strain, to provide tutelage to we lesser beings – That 2008 Collapse and that Gig Economy are the starkest of object lesson about Capitalist Greed!
As Michael Strain of the American Enterprise Institute puts it, capitalism is doing what it’s supposed to do. It’s rewarding productivity with pay, and some people and companies are more productive. If you improve worker bargaining power, that may help a bit, but over the long run people can’t earn what they don’t produce.
The final paragraphs of Mr. Brooks’ Capitalist Apologetics reverts to Public Moralizing in the manner of Mr. Lowry. With the caveat, that when all else fails, we must cede to the wisdom of ‘successful executives’.
But if you want to deal with our real problems, stop the us/them warfare and start dealing with productivity inequality.
Successful executives are doing what’s best for their companies, gathering as much talent as they can. This isn’t evil. It’s not exploitation.
The job of public policy is to make it easier for everybody to do what successful people are doing. Productivity is the key to national prosperity. Every time we increase productivity for one person, we all thrive a little more, together.
Those successful executives: Tax Evader Tim Cook of Apple, Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein, and a host of other thieves and liars: whose unslakable greed brought the Collapse of 2008 to fruition, and were ‘bailed out’ by the American People. While millions lost their homes, and life saving to these thieves. Obama’s de facto pardon of these crooks establishes his status as a Neo-Liberal opportunist! Mr. Lowry and Mr. Brooks are the political callobos, not to speak of dull-witted apologists, for these Plutocrats: who attack a Left-Wing Social Democrat Bernie Sanders as a political aberration!