Hold Fast

A Blog by Matt Browner Hamlin

Hold Fast - a blog by Matt Browner Hamlin

Krugman on the Republican hatred of workers

September 21st, 2012 · 1 Comment

Paul Krugman gets seriously shrill in his dissection of Mitt Romney’s revealing 47% comments and how they reflect what the contemporary Republican party thinks about workers. The whole thing is worth reading, but this passage stands out:

For the fact is that the modern Republican Party just doesn’t have much respect for people who work for other people, no matter how faithfully and well they do their jobs. All the party’s affection is reserved for “job creators,” a k a employers and investors. Leading figures in the party find it hard even to pretend to have any regard for ordinary working families — who, it goes without saying, make up the vast majority of Americans.

Am I exaggerating? Consider the Twitter message sent out by Eric Cantor, the Republican House majority leader, on Labor Day — a holiday that specifically celebrates America’s workers. Here’s what it said, in its entirety: “Today, we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success.” Yes, on a day set aside to honor workers, all Mr. Cantor could bring himself to do was praise their bosses.

I’d missed that Cantor tweet, which is pretty damned outrageous. How hard is it to just say we appreciate who work, be it in a skilled trade or a service industry job or behind a desk in businesses owned by other people?

Krugman goes on:

Where does this disdain for workers come from? Some of it, obviously, reflects the influence of money in politics: big-money donors, like the ones Mr. Romney was speaking to when he went off on half the nation, don’t live paycheck to paycheck. But it also reflects the extent to which the G.O.P. has been taken over by an Ayn Rand-type vision of society, in which a handful of heroic businessmen are responsible for all economic good, while the rest of us are just along for the ride.

It’s also worth noting that Romney is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and most politicians either enter Congress millionaires or have easy pathways to become millionaires through lobbying or high level jobs in industries like finance or defense. Promoting policies which help the super rich now will lead to opportunities to become super rich for these Republicans.

I’m not convinced that as an institution the Democratic Party is particularly good on helping workers out. No progress on workers rights has been made under the Obama administration. But at least the Democrats pay lip service to workers.

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Tags: Mitt Romney · Republicans

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Paul Day-Lucore // Sep 21, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    This is the natural consequence of our political system skewing ever more to the right: we end up with one party in open disdain of workers and the other with a great number of their elected members only paying lip service of support for workers. The Democratic party is the Republican party of the 50’s, while the Republican party is the John Birch Society.