For every post I make, there’s probably 5 in the hopper that, for one reason or another, I never post. Here’s a excerpted year in review of posts I didn’t finish (reverse chronological order). Two/day for the next week.
3. Inflation for the rich. Citizens United, McCutcheon and political influence purchase.
Lots of people are freaking over McCutcheon v. FEC, “the super-rich can now unfairly influence elections!” All this means to me is that rich people have to pay more for their influence. Good. Whatever. Who cares. A democracy of 300 million people is a joke anyway. Laugh.
4. Coates v. Chait, discussion on race in America.
There is a great back-and-forth going on between Coates and Chait over the last couple weeks concerning race in America. Well, Coates has been great. Chait’s proven a reliable foil by erecting a fence along the limits of acceptable criticism by the left. Shitting on America’s reprehensible past is acceptable among progressives, but only if it proves the point that America is capable of becoming more just, more equitable; only when it buttresses the story of America coming ever closer to its mythological ideals and the stories which it tells about itself and its white people. In short, it’s acceptable only to the degree that it’s in service of a lie.Chait says that “what interests [him] is a real and vital public-policy debate over the culture of poverty.” A culture of poverty? In America? Sorry, no. If there is any common strand that runs across that great expanse of land called the US and might bridge all of its disparate cultures together, it is the love of money. A distant second is vacuous fame. We all want to be adored, but first, rich. The idea that some defeatist virtue of poverty has taken hold anywhere in America is laughably stupid. People take pride in what they, or, as the case may be, don’t have.
Chait and progressive America also believe every child needs an opportunity. The black children of America, like all people, don’t need an opportunity, but opportunities. And not the kind most people think of. Sure, they need opportunities to better themselves, but also, and perhaps more importantly, they need the opportunity to fuck up, get in trouble, piss off the police, and still have a future. That is, they need the same opportunities given to whites.
You want policy? Here’s a start: stop criminalizing poverty; stop criminalizing black; allow poor people to avoid prison and lifelong record stains as easily as rich kids can cut checks; forgive instead of punish; free education; dismantle private schools and seize their endowments as a means to equalize quality of education across the board. For the richest country in the history of ever, this start would be easy. It would be easy, unless of course, “white supremacy was the central organizing force of American life.” Then, not. Chait and others are troubled by Coates fatalism. Coates fatalism isn’t unwarranted, it’s necessary. Like his street code, it’s a shield. A shield that protects against the endless disappoint that must inevitably arise whenever progressives speak about race in America.