Sunday, May 26, 2013

Michael Kinsley is a Colossal Jerk (as well as an Idiot)

Pretty much everybody has weighed in on Michael Kinsley's offensive and spectacularly ignorant column on austerity - see Krugman and DeLong for some of the detailed follies, but I like Jason Linkins exposure of its contemptible immorality:

Kinsley: "The problem is the great, deluded middle class -- subsidized by government and coddled by politicians. In other words, they are you and me. If you make less than $250,000 a year, Obama has assured us, you are officially entitled to feel put-upon and resentful. And to be immune from further imposition."

Linkins points out that it is exactly this group that has paid, not for their own sins, but those of the megacapitalists and bankers who created the great recession.

Linkins:"The group of people who Kinsley refers to as the "great, deluded middle class" happen to be the people who have already paid a huge price for the profilgacy of those who personally took actions that specifically tipped the economy into a downturn. And there's a dollar figure you can put on the price they paid: $4.7 trillion. That's how much taxpayer wealth was "disbursed by the U.S. government in an effort to aid the financial services industry," after the financial services industry cocked up the economy of the whole damn planet. The middle-class has also paid for that error by being subjected to a massive unemployment crisis."

I don't take his numbers at face value, but the notion is certainly correct