Is Paul Ryan's 'class war' lighting the fuse for social explosion? | WisCommunity

Is Paul Ryan's 'class war' lighting the fuse for social explosion?

Roger Bybee, longtime editor of Racine Labor newspaper, now a freelancer, has been covering labor issues in Paul Ryan's district for decades. Writing for In These Times, uncorks a devastating  analysis of what Paul Ryan sees as class warfare.  Highlights:

In his severely distorted view of the “class war” currently splitting America apart, House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who represents southeastern Wisconsin’s crumbling factory towns, reflects a juvenile embrace of the view of his heroine Ayn Rand (required reading for his entire staff).
Like Rand, Ryan interprets any move toward easing America’s crushing inequality as showing ingratitude toward those he worships as the “job creators.” 

... A vast torrent of dollars, rapidly shooting upward in a jet-stream, has given the top 1% more political power than at any point in the last 90 years. The super-rich have gained more surplus wealth to contribute more massively to candidates who serve their interests and to hire lobbyists to advance policies of tax-cutting, deregulation, privatization and “free trade. "

These are all policies that detach the ruling class further from a commitment to strong public institutions (e.g., schools, healthcare, access to higher education), American workers and the nation itself.

On the other side of the class divide stands a fragmented, atomized, and—until the Wisconsin labor rebellion earlier this year—badly demoralized majority of working families. They face a constant and totally one-sided bombardment by corporate and government policies that undermine their economic security, take away rights to unionization, and make their survival ever more precarious.

 Without cohesiveness and organizations, families scramble simply to survive, with political involvement often falling as a priority despite its potential for relieving their suffering...

Of course, Ryan is opposed to increasing the minimum wage, in the same way that he has voted to oppose extended unemployment benefits, foreclosure assistance and expanded S-CHIP healthcare to children. He's been pushing to on the overseas operations of U.S. corporations.

With a lifestyle reminiscent of Marie Antoinette and his contempt for the plight of workers and the poor, Ryan and his allies may well be lighting the fuse for a social explosion.


September 29, 2011 - 7:45am