Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Opposite Day

I was going to write something about David Brooks', professional idiot, latest monstrosity, but stopped when I realized that his evidence derived from "history Web sites that track such things" as rampage killings is almost assuredly Wikipedia and that all of his actual experience in "read[ing] through the assessments that have been done by the F.B.I., the Secret Service and various psychologists" is slighter than his regard for facts, intellectual honesty, and careful reading. So decided not to.

Instead lets consider the "you didn't build that" controversy.  Obama recently pointed out the obvious about the social nature of personal success and the right went nuts. Madison Wisconsin and other college towns have lower unemployment because bosses and investors know that they can get a highly educated work force. And they did not build the University or the fine public schools, the parks, and recreational infrastructure, etc.

Romney knows this, and I don't mean his remarks on the socialized nature of athletic success.  I don't  mean his borrow 20k from your folks to start a business to start a business notion; although, so one, so far as I know, picks their parents; therefore, those who can borrow succeed because of the luck of the draw.

This last point, I think, explains the virulence of the Right's response to Obama's bland truism. If success is a combination of luck and socialism, in its broadest sense, than failure is a combination of luck and socialism, or its lack, which -- in turn -- vitiates the whole of the Reactionary/Conservative/Neoliberal ideology. This fact of the matter means that the Right would have to disband, which they can't do. So they deny it even as they accept it as true.

Update, of sorts from Fox News more evidence that success grows from the efforts of others and ourselves:

Kilmeade: Clara, how do you feel about the President saying that you needed help to start this business. And just speak from — speak from within. All right, you know what? Let’s switch over to —
Younger sister Eliza yawns. Clara begins to speak.  
Kilmeade: Why don’t you answer that one?
Clara, age 7: I would say that’s rude because we worked very hard to build this business. But we did have help.
Kilmeade: And your help came from?
Clara, age 7: Our help came from our investors, our dad and stepmom, along with other friends and family.
And that says nothing about the roadway without which they would get no foot traffic.

I just watched The Daily Show in which Louis Black made more or less the same argument. Great minds, or something, think similarly.

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