Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Paul Krugman and the Ruling Class

Liberal America's favorite economist, Paul Krugman, had a few apt observations to make about politics and power in the US of A.

"The first thing you need to know about the very rich is that they are, politically, different from you and me,” Krugman explains. “Don’t be fooled by the handful of prominent liberal or liberal-ish billionaires; systematic studies of the politics of the ultra-wealthy show that they are very conservative, obsessed with tax cuts, opposed to environmental and financial regulation, eager to cut social programs.”

“The rich often get what they want, even when most of the public want the opposite,” Krugman asserts. 

“Why do a small number of rich people exert so much influence in what is supposed to be a democracy?” Krugman asks. “Campaign contributions are only part of the story. Equally, if not more, important is the network of billionaire-financed think tanks, lobbying groups and so on that shapes public discourse.”
Krugman continues, “And then there’s the revolving door: it’s depressingly normal for former officials from both parties to take jobs with big banks, corporations and consulting firms. And the prospect of such employment can’t help but influence policy while they’re still in office.”
Ideas promoted by the ultra-rich, according to Krugman, dominate the political discourse in the mainstream media — which is another reason why they often get their way.

So at long last it is recognised what Marx long ago learned:
 “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas.”

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