Steve Benen finds a bunch of wingers on Fox fantasizing about all the pain the downgrade will cause the American public. I’m not surprised by this, the pundits feel the same way, David Brooks is always telling us the only way forward is to “make everybody hurt”.
Here’s what I don’t get. As I understand it, the basis for contemporary capitalism is convincing people to buy stuff they don’t need. I’m cool with that, I enjoy buying stuff I don’t need, and furthermore the whole enterprise seems relatively benign to me, at least compared with slavery, cannibalism, pillaging, and other such possible bases for economies. Where does pain fit in with convincing people to buy stuff?
I understand that if the government has a large deficit, eventually taxes will have to be raised or spending will have to be cut, that if a company goes under, people will lose their jobs, but the “pain” is supposed to be a bug, not a feature, right? One of the most curious things about contemporary discourse is the way both Villagers and wingers have decided that other people’s pain is an end in itself.