Monday, May 21, 2012

Romney, Obama and the Cult of Divine Right of Wealth

Paul Krugman today writes that Romney's defense of Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase suggests cluelessness.

Romney isn't clueless — he's malicious. Huge difference. Like all of the advocates of Wall Street, including Timothy Geithner and Barack Obama most of the time, there is a deep, profound, dangerous streak of maliciousness at work. These are people who want to transfer wealth from the average to the rich, from labor to capital. These are people who firmly, devoutly believe in the divine right, the divine of superiority of wealth.

As conservative economist and Romney adviser Gregory Mankiw made clear in his blog a few years ago, conservatives (including most Democrats, like Obama) believe that the wealthy are genetically superior. These statements are made explicitly so there is no point pretending that this is a misinterpretation.

It is commonplace now to hear assertions of the genetic coding of morality, or every aspect of human behavior. The cult of reductionism to genetic, pseudo-Darwinian explanations is fully embedded in the popular discourse. Obama, Geithner, Romney, Mankiw, Dimon, Blankfein, Bloomberg all hold the absolute conviction that the wealthy are genetically superior. This is a profoundly dangerous state of mind. We have seen i it before. We know where it leads.


UPDATE

Krugman also has a blog post commenting on the blind, mindless ignorance of economist Edward Lazear (at Stanford and that right-wing haven of war criminals, the Hoover Institution).


As in his op-ed essay today (May 21), Paul Krugman is very generous to conservatives (and the many Democrats who follow their lead, as Obama does). Mitt Romney, Edward Lazear, Gregory Mankiw, David Brooks, Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein, and others like them are malicious, mean-spirited advocates of the transfer of wealth from labor to capital, from average and poor to rich. Worse, they are convinced of the genetic superiority of the wealth, convinced that the poor are genetically pre-disposed to stay poor.

It cannot be overstated how dangerous their thinking is.

1 comment:

Hugh Sansom said...

If you accept that Obama, Romney, and others believe in genetic determination of behavior, then it is no surprise that they are so devoted to the narrow testing cult of grade school education. They believe that the average can do no better. The only task of the educational system in the eyes of Bloomberg, Obama, Rhee, Duncan and others is to slot automatons into task-machines. The educational system merely identifies which slot is best. No better can be done because, as genetically deterministic reductionism tells us, people can do no better than their genetic code allows. It's all numbers to figured into other numbers.

This is the Obama-Romney cult. They dress it differently, but they are in essential agreement.