This is a yet fully formulated thought, but I wanted to throw some stuff up here…
Here’s a comment I left at NYC Weboy’s place this morning in response to this post on the bailout:
“There isn’t another magic solution, there’s nobody with a better idea… there’s this, or nothing.”
I agree generally, we have to do something. But I thought there were lots of better ideas being circulated – Sen. Clinton’s emphasis on reviving the HOLC, Galbraith had a well thought out plan in WaPo, no?
I was struck this morning by the brief remarks of 1 House GOP on BBC who voted against this bill, how it would give $$ to “undeserving” pp and that would make his constituents unhappy. It’s sort of mind boggling…remove “Wall Street tycoons” and insert “welfare queens.” (Wanda Sykes did the best riff on this on Letterman last week.) But really, it’s like this faux notion of us all being in the “middle-class” and being the only “deserving” bunch in this country has really triumphed, and that blunt concept combined with this notion that our “middle-class” lives are distinct from those at the very top as well as those at the bottom is really problematic.
Anyway, this is just the beginning of a thought that’s forming…not quite sure where I’m headed with this yet…
So yes, there’s an issue of trying to get the bailout “right.” And I’m the first to point out the problems of economic inequality and polarization in this country. Yet, I’m nonetheless surprised to see how people’s (conscious or otherwise) understanding of this plays out. I could be crediting falsely this GOP member (and his colleagues) with a responsibility to their constituents (“the voters” are always a good scapegoat), but I’m – naively, I suppose – surprised again and again with how we routinely invoke this notion of “deserving” vs. “undeserving.” Now, instead of false, racist, classist, sexist notions of lazy, immoral poor people (women and children) of color, we’re propagating less false but still stereotypical tropes of rich, ruthless white, male tycoons robbing us blind with the help of the government. Notice my use of the pronoun “we,” lest you think I’m excusing myself here.