Sunday, July 16, 2017

This is not a book review, but if you want to know what got me thinking about this sh*t, I got it from the book below.  I recommend it, of course.  The writer takes shots at people, and he crosses both parties.

But it is obvious he is a liberal.  So what?  Well that will assure about 46% of Americans would not have any inclination to read it, and that's a shame, if true.

But it had me thinking as I drove around the past couple of days since I finished the book.  Got me thinking of how "Drain the Swamp" is nothing like the necessity as other reforms, or reversals are in this country.   Whatever the swamp is in D.C.  its the particular over-run tributaries that need work on first around this country.

I don't think "Drain the Swamp" is the answer to the practical problems facing the Americans who actually need a reset, or re-invigoration.  Putting in place a 2 1/2 month federal hiring freeze does nothing for Des Moines, nor do enforcing the laws more vigorously make life easier in the Bronx, NY.  Tax cuts for the wealthiest among us is not going to make the broth in Union City any heartier after Meals on Wheels is cut.

I'm backing up a bit, to draw an analogy to history that I just thought of.   There are theories and there are practicalities. Ideals and pragmatism.   Communism has its theories,  but the Soviet Union defined its actualities.  No one thinks of the failures of communism without allusions to the Soviet Union debacle. 

"Drain the Swamp" has its intentions,  and a million people will give you a million different definitions,  but Trump and his administration will ultimately characterize what the reality of its empowerment becomes.

If I were to match up the needs of the Matt Taibbi, the author of "Divide", subjects with the production of the Jeff Session's Department of Justice and the Steven Mnuchin Treasury Department, I may as well exclaim that the cake is going to be delicious, and everyone will have a slice.  You just wait and see.
I'm being sarcastic there, alluding to Marie Antoinette's "Let them eat cake" response to the hungry peasants, as she dined in luxury at the Palace of Versailles.

The draining of a swamp in D.C. really has nothing at all to do with making life on the low end of the opportunity ladder any less difficult.   It is increasingly evident that Trump and his cronies are out to exacerbate the obstacles of one class of people while giving more to another class what they already have -- wealth and power.

What I specifically have in mind is Jeff Session's law enforcement tact and Steve Mnuchin's tax priorites.

As Taibbi, and many others, takes pages to note, law enforcement in this country is predicated on how much money one has.   In short, billionaires are pampered, while the poor are punished.

But its deeper than that.  There is just a huge disconnect between perspectives, and from my point of view, Trump is not even draining the right swamp.

I think it goes back to the differences between philosophy and reality.   Understand that I see Trump parroting lines that he hears from radio and his sycophants,  and what is said is a mix of old and new.

The old is old,  its "conservative" by-lines and adages.  Ideals and positions that haven't evolved for generations.   That doesn't make the ideas and positions bad, or wrong,  it just make them susceptible to being anachronistic --  just not applicable today.

Explore welfare fraud.  You'll find its not as costly and widespread as "conservatives" would have your believe.  Now I'm not saying it doesn't exist, or that we should cease scrutiny.  But what I'll point out is that since Reagan much has been done to root it out, that much difficulty lies in obtaining welfare, that the cost of further endeavors to accomplish that last mile of fraud eradication maybe more expensive than it is worth.

I'm saying that we can move on from that as a voting issue, because there is an apparatus working on it, and doing an effective job.

Its penny wise and pound foolish to suggest as a priority it ranks higher than, say for example, financial fraud.

Speaking of financial frauds,  has anyone meaningful been arrested or sentenced after the great banking collapse of 2008?

Right.   Just a small reminder that in the year of 2017, we face issues much larger, and more expensive, than what the 1980's presented us with.

Except today,  money buys you power at a scale and opportunity un-imagined generations ago and the trend is not moving in a favorable direction.  Unless you are on your way to becoming a billionaire.

The last thought is just to echo that cliche that the rich are getting  richer, and the poor are getting poorer.   With a new observation that businesses in particular have seldom been so profitable, and flush with cash.   To offer them a tax cut in the guise of them using that savings to hire more people is quaint, and obviously not true.

Maybe all that liquidity the wealthy and big businesses have is a swamp that doesn't need anymore water?


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