How 2008 Crash Caused Trumpism: The Thing We Don’t Talk About
Of all the deconstructions of “How the FUCK did we get here?” - this series picking at the scab of the 2008 financial meltdown aka the Great Recession aka Great Depression II - this one hits on several truths (even if it is led off by Frank Rich, whose fingerprints are on a lot of the leadup to the meltdown):
This graf, though - it explains why we’re seeing Brexit and Jobbik and UKIP and all the other right-wing movements spreading like a cancer all over Europe:
Dead and buried as well is the companion assumption that over the long term a rising economic tide would lift all Americans in equal measure. When that tide pulled back in 2008 to reveal the ruins underneath, the country got an indelible picture of just how much inequality had been banked by the top one percent over decades, how many false promises to the other 99 percent had been broken, and how many central American institutions, whether governmental, financial, or corporate, had betrayed the trust the public had placed in them. And when we went down, we took much of the West with us.
While I do lay a lot of the blame at the feet of the goddam fucking quasi-religious loons preaching FREE MARKET! INVISIBLE HAND! FREEDOM! over and over again …
… right up to the point that their theories were PROVED TO BE UTTER BULLSHIT …
… they are now back in charge of the national economy, and mostly they seem to be holding the country down and spreading its legs so as to better facilitate the mass fucking by the 1% Plutocrat class.
There is a point to be made that the Accepted Wisdom Amongst Establishment Democrats - that all we need is for a government-sponsored jobs retraining program, and all those Rust Belt workers will toddle off to become C++ coders and get gigs at Google - that trite solution just doesn’t work.
We have this fallacy that normal people should be able to save for retirement. If public pension funds, which can invest at the very lowest possible fees, can’t make this work, how is Joe Mom-and-Pop America gonna be able to do this? Again, it’s back to the stagnant worker wages. So, great, we’re not paying people enough, housing prices are very inflated. We’ve got this horrible medical system that costs way too much, and how are people supposed to put any money aside when their real estate and their rents and their health costs are going up?
Why do you think we have Trump? I mean, even though he did a big bait-and-switch, as we all know, there were a lot of people that lost their homes, their community wasn’t what it used to be, particularly if they lived in the Rust Belt. And then you have these people on the coast saying, “Oh, they should go get training. It’s disgusting.” I mean, let them eat cake is let them get training
This is why so many people are flailing around, trying to find a solution - any solution - that makes sense to them. They’re not deep thinkers. They just buy the thing that their TV tells them to buy.