Monday, April 25, 2005
Krugman points out the reason for Republican self-satisfaction: when the only groups you see, hear, or talk to are the ones exactly like you, it's hard to notice a problem:
"...President Bush and other Republican leaders honestly think that we're living in the best of times. After all, everyone they talk to says so.It's like polling a room full of millionaires at a stockholders convention about how they view their economic future while ignoring the Hooverville growing around the edges of town. He goes on to make that point:
Since November's election, the victors have managed to be on the wrong side of public opinion on one issue after another: the economy, Social Security privatization, Terri Schiavo, Tom DeLay. By large margins, Americans say that the country is headed in the wrong direction, and Mr. Bush is the least popular second-term president on record.
What's going on? Actually, it's quite simple: Mr. Bush and his party talk only to their base - corporate interests and the religious right - and are oblivious to everyone else's concerns."
"The administration's upbeat view of the economy is a case in point. Corporate interests are doing very well. As a recent report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out, over the last three years profits grew at an annual rate of 14.5 percent after inflation, the fastest growth since World War II.He goes on to mention, gratifyingly, that Bush's Social Insecurity plot is fast washing up on the rocks, and (especially good news for us Pennsylvanians) Rick "Man-on-Dog" Santorum is falling further and further behind in the polls. And, Mother Mary on French toast!, half of Americans polled now believe Bushco deliberately misled us into war! It's a hard rain a gonna' fall.
The story is very different for the great majority of Americans, who live off their wages, not dividends or capital gains, and aren't doing well at all. Over the past three years, wage and salary income grew less than in any other postwar recovery - less than a tenth as fast as profits. But wage-earning Americans aren't part of the base."