Friday :: Jan 28, 2005

Krugman Exposes Bush's Soft Bigotry


by Duckman GR

Somebody sent me over to Dr. Krugmanís column today, and well, heís really quite good, not the least bit shrill like everybody says.

I havenít been reading his columns lately, sort of taking him for granted I suppose, my bad, because what he has done is truly amazing.

I mean, jeebus, he was just supposed to add a little economics angle to the Times editorial page. And he does, the reality angle. Economics is not about theories and tax cuts stimulating this and GDP and percentages. Itís about life and death.

After laying out why Bushís arguments regarding African-American life expectancy and Social Security benefits are faulty at best, in just a couple of graphs, then he lays out the damning truth that knee caps the whole argument. (bolds and underlines mine-DGR)

What's really shameful about Mr. Bush's exploitation of the black death rate, however, is what it takes for granted.

The persistent gap in life expectancy between African-Americans and whites is one measure of the deep inequalities that remain in our society - including highly unequal access to good-quality health care. We ought to be trying to diminish that gap, especially given the fact that black infants are two and half times as likely as white babies to die in their first year.

Now nobody can expect instant progress in reducing health inequalities. But the benefits of Social Security privatization, if any, won't materialize for many decades. By using blacks' low life expectancy as an argument for privatization, Mr. Bush is in effect taking it as a given that 40 or 50 years from now, large numbers of African-Americans will still be dying before their time.

Is this an example of what Mr. Bush famously called "the soft bigotry of low expectations?" Maybe not: it isn't particularly soft to treat premature black deaths not as a tragedy we must end but as just another way to push your ideological agenda. But bigotry - yes, that sounds like the right word.

Could it be any more clear that bushco has no interest in making the country a better place, that the future is of little concern, that human decency is just roadkill to drive over, that the more bushco extolls our great policies and ideals of "freedom," the unending march of freedom that will make gwb the shining example of God's chosen instrument forever nailed to the iron cross of war's cleansing fire, the more reality fades from his vision, to be replaced by visions of Gabriel's mighty trumpet bleating the retreat, er, march of holy glory of a mighty army of the righteous and pure, with gwb at the head.

Meanwhile, on Main St, and Washington Ave, and King Blvd, we're on our own. Maybe we can scrape some drippings from the ceilings, rummage through GE's dumpsters for some morsels, or maybe join the Army. That's it, time to sign up.

Duckman GR :: 3:53 PM :: Comments (20) :: Digg It!