PostScript has, and is, an odd job. PostScript is tasked with synthesizing the comment responses to Post Opinions op-eds, editorials and columns into a form palatable to those who disdain the actual comments section. But PostScript gets uneasy about some comments, which, as everyone familiar with the Internet knows, can very quickly get racist, misogynist and offensive. But the fact of these comments should not be swept under the rug, should they? Should PostScript just include an asterisk on particularly racist days? It is useless to seek the counsel of other or former PostScripts, since, solipsistically, there is and has always been only one PostScript, and she is not widely celebrated for her own taste or wisdom.
So, what PostScript wants to say is, today the comments to E.J. Dionne’s column got more racist (and a little more sexist) than usual. Dionne wrote about a recent speech by President Obama on the importance of economic equality, or at least the possibility thereof, and the need to boost the economic opportunity for people born into poverty or near poverty. Dionne’s examples were raising the minimum wage and ending the specter of crippling debt that, before Obamacare, could result from medical emergencies or chronic expensive conditions.
There was some question as to income inequality being all that much a problem:
A ladder to the middle class? The poor in this country enjoy a quality of life that far surpasses the quality of life had by 99.99999999999% of humans who ever walked on this planet.
But mostly, people wanted to talk substance:
codexjust1 says the tax rates are unhealthily slanted toward corporations (and, generally, large ones at that):
We have the lowest marginal effective tax rates in the industrialized world for corporations. As an individual, I cannot write off the cost of my upkeep or the depreciation on my goods and belongings. I can’t deduct what I pay for transportation; I don’t get a tax break on my property to stay in one city (in fact, I pay more in property taxes than Goldman Sachs does) and I can’t get low interest government backed loans to make more money. So my heart doesn’t break for the fat cats who get all those advantages, pay starvation wages and ask me to pick up the tab for the rest. And, the fact of the matter is that most corporations are sitting on piles of cash because there is no market for their goods and services.
FLWin agrees. The economy is growing, but really only for a small minority:
Conversely, in the last 30 years, income disparity radically increased. From 1978 to 2011, CEO compensation increased more than 725 percent, a rise substantially greater than stock market growth and the painfully slow 5.7 percent growth in worker compensation over the same period.
Is this good for the country or for our democracy? Is it good for our long term economic health?
This is when things began to get uncomfortable [though it got much more so]:
It’s time for Obama to stop using ‘children born in the bottom 20%’ as an excuse for class warfare, and to start telling us what he’s going to do about holding their fathers accountable.
What federal policy do you suggest?
Great question. Let’s start with requiring women who get benefits to identify the father of their child before they get paid.
Kurtmudgeon1 wonders why we are getting this speech now:
Hey. It’s worth a shot. Let’s see what this Obama fellah would do about inequality if he got a shot as president of the United States. What’s that? He’s been president for 5 years? Well then, we can see what Obama actually did do about inequality. He made it more unequal.
And finally, because PostScript has such peccable taste, a couple of weird ones.
Hermit1951 calls Obama a robot, which is a metaphor PostScript had never seen, except once, in an entirely different context, applied to then-president-elect George W. Bush by PostScript colleague Mr. Weingarten:
It’s not always like this. The libs haven’t stretched and yawned yet. They will be out in full force and support of their robot leader soon enough.
And abrooklynite attacks America where it hurts: our face.
Fretting over a website won’t even be a footnote in history, or remembered in five years. Same with government shutdowns. We have the most tremulous, flaccid upper lip of all nations. No patience, all bombast and high flying rhetoric.
And finally, PostScript has been trying to figure out why there seems to be a strong undercurrent of distaste for the notion of government fixes for income inequality in America, a concept that she believes should be popular since there are so many have-nots. She found an answer in an old quote attributed to Steinbeck: “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”