Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Insiders And Outsiders

Atrios linked to this post at Firedoglake:

Americans overwhelmingly rank jobs and the economy as the most important challenge facing this country, according to a new CBS News/"New York Times" poll. The disconnect between the Washington elites, who have been swept up in deficit hysteria, and the rest of the country couldn't be more stark.

CBS News/NYT Poll (PDF)
What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?

Economy/Jobs: 40
Oil Spill in Gulf: 13
Health Care: 5
Budget Deficit/Nat'l Debt: 5
War/Iraq/Afghanistan: 3
Immigration: 3
Moral Values/Family Values: 2
Misc. Foreign Affairs: 2
Misc. Government Issues: 2
Politicians/Government: 2
Other: 20
DK/NA: 3

The point is naturally that the politicians in Washington D.C. are out of touch with little people and their concerns. It's a valid point. The reasons for that out-of-touchness may be partly as illogical as the look, but partly they are based on the location of the moneybags. Political campaigns can be used later on to lure at least some voters, but to get those campaigns started you need money. And the strings of the moneybags are held by people who don't really fret over unemployment but might be somewhat concerned about deficits.

Why? Because they are Big Earners and pay more taxes and because Big Earners don't lose their jobs and if they do they can live off their savings. Likewise, Big Earners tend not to have family and friends who are Little People, what with social segregation and the like.

All this may not be as important a reason for writing about the deficit and the need to cut a few more needy children off the welfare rolls than the current desire for Sensational Writing, the need to Present The Other Side. You know, like the stories about journalists trying to find the golden lining around the oil clouds. We all want to be jostled out of our boredom with sex, lies and inane counter-arguments.

But even if that is the reason for the current sensational streak in almost everything it is still based on some type of insider-outsider thinking. The outsiders can be treated as so much fodder because they are outsiders.