Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Class Warfare

Republican's have been quick to play the "class warfare" card, though to date they are the most successful practitioners, having steadily pumped cash to the very rich for nearly two generations now. Chrystia Freeland, in her book Plutocrats, has some hints that Obama's counterattack is aimed at the wrong target.

Revolts elsewhere against the power of the super rich have originated mainly in the 1% that Obama targets (and belongs to). Although the 1% make about 15 times as much as the average of the bottom 90%, that pales compared to the factor of 125 multiple for the 0.1% and the much higher multiple for the Romneyesque 0.01%, not to mention the billionaires. The ordinary 1% no they are rich of course, but they are gnawed by envy of the really rich. They have enough money to be in contact with the big rich, but not to enjoy their unique perks. In India, Egypt, and Ukraine, rebellion of the 1% against the special treatment of the super rich oligarchs provided much of the impulse for more sweeping Democratic reform.

As long as the 1% identify with the plutocrats and crony capitalists, their power is all but unbeatable, but they mostly share the general public's anger over bailouts and privileges reserved for the fattest of cats.