BY TIM WU
The defining political fact of our time is not polarization. It’s the thwarting of a largely unified public.
We are told that America is divided and polarized as never before. Yet when it comes to many important areas of policy, that simply isn’t true.
About 75 percent of Americans favor higher taxes for the ultrawealthy. The idea of a federal law that would guarantee paid maternity leaveattracts 67 percent support. Eighty-three percent favor strong net neutrality rules for broadband, and more than 60 percent want stronger privacy laws. Seventy-one percent think we should be able to buy drugs imported from Canada, and 92 percent want Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices. The list goes on.
The defining political fact of our time is not polarization. It’s the inability of even large bipartisan majorities to get what they want on issues like these. Call it the oppression of the supermajority. Ignoring what most of the country wants — as much as demagogy and political divisiveness — is what is making the public so angry.
Some might counter that the thwarting of the popular will is not necessarily worrisome. For Congress to enact a proposal just because it is supported by a large majority, the argument goes, would amount to populism. The public, according to this way of thinking, is generally too ill informed to have its economic policy preferences taken seriously.
Continue Reading at nytimes.com
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RE: Tim Wu’s NYT Article: The Oppression of the Supermajority: We need to be constantly vigil in the world of “equality of the sexes” in the secular arena to ensure that our legislation is just that- “equal”. Therefore I would suggest that Tim Wu change his discussion about support for ” guarantee paid maternity leave’ to ‘guarantee paid parental leave’. Obviously, this would be gender inclusive.
Dear Frank Schaeffer:
Of course the working class wants the wealthy taxed! Whatever drives the deficit higher if not decades of tax cuts to the wealthy!
But do you anywhere rally the one force that can stop this – the working class?
Do you demand immediate measures to promote social equality and a radical redistribution of wealth?
Do you call for a progressive income tax that places the burden of taxation on the rich, while lowering taxes for the vast majority of the population?
Do you call for a sharp increase on the profits of all major corporations?
Of course not!
In the past 30 years, both parties have superintended an immense growth and concentration of personal wealth. Laws and regulations that once restrained the exploitative activities of the corporations are deserted without protest. As US social inequality surpassed every other advanced capitalist country, democrats no less than republicans raked in wealth.
Balzac’s adage that behind every great fortune stands a great crime is certainly true of today’s aristocracy. From Enron to the subprime mortgage racket, vast sums were garnered through thoroughly destructive and outright criminal means. A handful of insignificant figures side, the most culpable corporate criminals get off scot-free.
What leading democrats have demanded the investigation and prosecution of those involved in speculative activities and criminal misappropriation of social and corporate resources? Can you name any?
Why SHOULDN’T the US proletariat abandon the Democrat Party? The Party long ago abandoned the working class.
A blessed, Lenten walk with Christ.