The shut-down of our government, and the extremism that lies behind it, is a direct result of America's surging inequality. When almost all the gains of economic growth go to a small group at the top, most Americans – working harder than ever just to keep what they have – become anxious and angry. That fear and anger is easily used by demagogues, bankrolled by a handful of billionaires, to distract attention from what's really happening – and put blame instead on the poor, who are accused of being "takers," and on government, which is accused of encouraging idleness. So food-stamp funding is slashed, red state governors and legislators refuse to expand Medicaid, and many in the middle see the Affordable Care Act as a giveaway to those who don't deserve it. Meanwhile, tax loopholes for the rich become steadily larger.
It has happened before in history: Economic fear and anxiety are directed at scapegoats, while a handful of super rich pour money into big lies that entrench their privileged position. The savage inequality America is experiencing is pulling us apart, and giving the purveyors of hate exactly what they want.
– Robert Reich
October 5, 2013
October 5, 2013
Related Off-site Links:
How Would We Report on the Government Shutdown If It Were Happening in Another Country? – Joshua Keating (Slate, September 30, 2013).
Why Conservative Vitriol Against Obama Goes Over the Top – Myles Spicer (MinnPost, September 30, 2013).
Catholic, Other Religious Leaders Decry U.S. Government Shutdown – Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter (October 1, 2013).
Quote of the Night: This Is Why Our Government Has Shut Down – Chez Pazienza (The Daily Banter, October 1, 2013).
The Reign of Morons is Here – Charles P. Pierce (Esquire, October 1, 2013).
Americans by 72% Oppose Shutdown Tied to Health Care Cuts – Greg Giroux (Bloomberg.com, October 1, 2013).
More Up Is Down From The GOP Leadership And It's Evangelical Supporters – Colleen Kochivar-Baker (Enlightened Catholicism, October 3, 2013).
GOP Biggest Fear Occurring – Republicans Loving Obamacare – Egberto Willies (EgbertoWillies.com, October 3, 2013).
The Rise of the New Confederacy – Colbert King (The Washington Post, October 4, 2013).
The Government Shutdown Survival Guide: Why Laughter Always Wins – Ryan Honick (The Daily Banter, October 4, 2013).
UPDATES: After the Shutdown, Maybe a Little Equality? – Sam Pizzigati (TruthOut.org, October 6, 2013).
GOP in Grave Danger of Losing House in 2014, Polls Show – The Huffington Post (October 6, 2013).
How the Right Wing Manipulated the Government Into a Shutdown – Scott Martelle (TruthDig.com, October 6, 2013).
Obama to Boehner: Just Let Congress Vote – Luke Johnson (The Huffington Post, October 7, 2013).
Republicans' Handling of Shutdown Increasingly Unpopular – Ariel Edwards-Levy (The Huffington Post, October 7, 2013).
The Most Irresponsible Officials in Washington DC Are the 'Moderate' Republicans – Josh Barro (Associated Press via Yahoo! Finance, October 8, 2013).
The Role of the U.S. Catholic Bishops in the Shutdown: Holding Government Funding Hostage in Battle Against Contraceptive Coverage – William D. Lindsey (Bilgrimage, October 10, 2013).