Everyone’s been egging me on to tackle Bobo’s latest. I’ll summarize: the librul arts types who are protesting Wall Street excess should instead focus their anger on all the Red State monosyllabic young bucks going back for seconds and thirds at the Applebee’s salad bar.
Today, college grads are much less likely to smoke than high school grads, they are less likely to be obese, they are more likely to be active in their communities, they have much more social trust, they speak many more words to their children at home.[….] [T]he fact is that Red Inequality is much more important. The zooming wealth of the top 1 percent is a problem, but it’s not nearly as big a problem as the tens of millions of Americans who have dropped out of high school or college. It’s not nearly as big a problem as the 40 percent of children who are born out of wedlock. It’s not nearly as big a problem as the nation’s stagnant human capital, its stagnant social mobility and the disorganized social fabric for the bottom 50 percent.
Dean Baker (via) points out that the college/non-college socioeconomic divide began around 1980 and has not widened much recently (Bobo conveniently quotes stats from 1979), but my point is a different one: what the fuck are OWS supporters like me supposed to do about people whose diets and parenting techniques Bobo dislikes? Go lecture them on his behalf?
Bobo — if I’m reading him right — says that the problem is that there’s too many non-college-educated fly-over country people and that they’re not eating right or raising their kids right. Isn’t this a natural place for government to expand access to education, health-care, and programs like Head Start? And isn’t it reasonable to ask that the wealthiest Americans, who surely make a lot of their money off these oh-so-tragically dumb, fat, poorly raised fucks, help foot the bill for it?
Also too, I can no longer understand who the real heroes and villains are for conservatives anymore. I gave up long ago with foreign policy, I can’t tell who’s Hitler and who’s a brave Churchillian protector of freedom, but I thought I knew a hawk from a handsaw within the confines of Our Republic. I can’t tell anymore. I know that college graduates from “blue states” are lazy, trustafarian slime, but now I know that non-college graduates from “red states” are fat, lazy, chain-smoking slime. Maybe this isn’t so complicated, maybe in Real Murka, a college degree makes you good, in the decadent enclaves on the coasts, it makes you bad.
I suspect it is a good deal more complicated than that though.
It’s not more complicated than that. A college degree is good provided it doesn’t make you vote Democratic. If it does, it’s bad.
Bobo is NOW attacking fat people, after his love affair with Christie….
I’m not sure either. I mean, FREEDOM! and PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!, right? All the icky red staters are that way because they want to be, right? And we wouldn’t want Big Gummint to tell them how many deep-fried Mars Bars to have for breakfast, would we? So what’s his problem?
Sometimes the contempt for the marks just pops out, I guess.
So there’s inequality, and then there’s inequality.
How dare he attack Bristol Palin and Dick Cheney’s gay daughter for having children out of wedlock.
I like a man who can slip in a Shakespearean allusion whilst ripping Bobo a jagged new one.
Yes, we are just all slime to him and those of his ilk.
So let me guess, the 1% are all svelte, smart, educated, handsome and virile, just like Bobo.
wealthy people who behave and vote the right way are good. everyone else is The Problem.
Charlie‘s on a tear with this one.
I think you are overthinking it. I think this is just another example of “You plebes don’t know how good you have it.” Like how the poor people aren’t poor because they have colour TVs, or how the hipsters on food stamps aren’t poor because they buy rabbit at the farmer’s market.
This is “You OWS college-educated losers think you have it rough? You should look at the methheads down at Applebees, then you’d be grateful for your $4 job at Starbucks.”
Bobo doesn’t even have any children. He doesn’t know the first thing about raising kids.
The point is to sow dissension so no one notices as the oligarchs walk off with everything that’s not nailed down.
Nothing would make Bobo happier than having coastal liberals tell uneducated red staters they’re fat and stupid and the cause of all of America’s problems.
Yeah, he covered that. Took a whole book. Also they have a distinctive odor.
Villago Delenda Est
Brooks doesn’t know jack. Or shit, for that matter.
The problem, DougJ, is that the Republican party and the conservative movement themselves are fracturing.
The rich Koch conservatives don’t give a shit about abortions among the unwashed masses and they never have.
The poor cultural conservatives first hated the blacks and now the messicans (and always teh ghey) but even they are starting (just barely mind) to see that the guy who drives by in the chauffeur-driven Cadillac and gives money to pastor Simspson doesn’t stay for the prayer meeting. And little Hank Williams Jr. Smith told his daddy, JimBob BillyJoe about how Pastor Simpson pulled down his pants to make sure the sign of the devil wasn’t on him and that just don’t seem right. JimBob BillyJoe liked his time in the Marines, but he didn’t make a lot of money and they wouldn’t let him roll a splif every so often like a good ole boy should, so he got out. Of course, that journeymen’s electrician skill he picked up isn’t needed back home in Cowshit Hollar since they stopped building houses, so he keeps having to go on relief.
Meanwhile, the Defense Hawks just don’t give a shit if there are gay servicemembers just so long as killing the brown people can continue, but they’ve noticed that the cost of bullets and missiles keeps going up and up and up and that new plane seems designed more to line the pockets of the board and shareholders of Lockheed Martin than to actually kill the enemy and defend Israel.
So the problem for you is to figure out which Republican to whom you are addressing your questions, and then the answers will begin to make sense.
@RossInDetroit: Oh, he is so good.
That adds up to 76%. So anyone want to guess who the other 24% are.
His post on the upcoming Romney speech is devastating, as well.
not really. There is even a name for this phenomenon in Conservidom. Its called Salam-Douthat Stratification on Cognitive Ability, invented by Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam in their book Grand New Party.
Its on page 154.
From my perspective it is, however, fairly complex. It has to do with red/blue genetics, rubberbanding, Right Wing Authority tendency, conservative backfire effect and the Savannah Principle.
@RossInDetroit: You mean that new fragrance Eau de 1%?
Short Bus Bully
Shorter Bobo: “The animalistic virility of the lower classes is stopping the economic recovery.”
He has a bunch of kids. I hope the FBI is tracking them, because we could have a Boys From Bethesda situation on our hands.
They are all clones of Edmund Burke.
@Short Bus Bully:
Shorter Shorter Bobo: “OMG! They’re breeding!”
Methinks it is time to build the guillotines. This shit is getting tiresome.
Raven (formerly stuckinred)
And from right here in Georgia”
Huntsman has a really good attack ad on Mittens
Actually, he isn’t making any point at all. The whole piece can be reduced to “Hey! Look over there!”
@Raven (formerly stuckinred): We’re fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here.
O.K. I’ll give it a try. “Red people, hear me! You Quit being so unequal.”
I’m thinking they’ll be forming a think tank next to work out their policy preferences that will suitably protect their interests.
To synopsize SD Stratification, liberal academic “bias” against the IQ-challenged religion-saturated spawn of fly-over country ensures that redstate youth never get invites to the elite ivies from whence cometh the most of our elite governance.
Periodically McMegan and Chunky Bobo propose some sort of IQbussing for the children of Real Murrica.
never comes to anything.
@lacp: Yep. When push comes to shove, blame the girl in the flour sack dress.
The 99% should be fighting each other, rather than focusing on the 1%.
@Jenny: Bobo doesn’t know a lot about most things.
@jwb: That’s too true.
@Raven (formerly stuckinred):
I’m sorry, but that’s just lololol.
I keep having images of them falling asleep in their “planning meetings” and a couple of them pissed off about the gubmint interfering with their Medicare. I hope they charged their hoverrounds before they went to the buy. It would be a shame if they had to be carried to the squad cars.
Sorta unrelated but it appears Glenn Beck’s buddies at Goldline are in trouble, they’ve been charged with misdemeanor fraud and conspiracy …
Raven (formerly stuckinred)
@soonergrunt: Yo, couple of them are just a bit older than me!
Doug, you know I love your Brooks takedowns. But I’m afraid even you have to take a backseat to what Charles Pierce did to him today. If Brooks reads Pierce, he better have a fainting couch nearby.
WTF?! I’m supposed to take an article that uses 30yr old stats seriously? I’m surprised Bobo doesn’t just go ahead and say that this Ronald Reagan fella’ should be elected next year. (I think I earn bonus points for this since President Obama is ‘the black Jimmy Carter.’)
Bill E Pilgrim
This is what jumped out at me when I read his piece this morning:
What amazed me is that he doesn’t get that these multiples are nothing compared to what most people with college degrees make and what the people at the top make.
If the people making $20 million were making “75% more” than most college graduates, then the graduates would be making more than $11 million a year, and does he think they’d all be complaining about that?
There is no such thing as reading Bobo right. He writes wrong; you can’t make it right.
Raven (formerly stuckinred)
More from the big city paper:
@Bill E Pilgrim: The perverse philosophy of these people is that, because there are so few super-wealthy people, they aren’t worth paying attention to. Hence, the “crucial inequality” in Bobo’s world is between different classes of the masses.
Cute weather vane! I like pigs.
Goddamn. Just fucking goddamn.
This assclown has been the main stumbling block in this state for several years, and is the true face of the white conservative activist side of the GOP. I’ve had the displeasure of dealing with him on a professional level before, and this is, unfortunately, a solid display of his basic personality.
Mitch “The Bitch” McConnell has been campaigning for this toad. His commentary needs to get plastered to every fucking goober GOPer that has made a campaign stop with him.
i.e. an NYT newspaper columnist’s envy of the 1% he cultivates relationships with but is much poorer than and can’t go to the Essque Zalu with.
The 1% are the man behind the curtain and the government is The Mighty OZ. They just don’t want anyone to know they’re back there pulling the strings. Thanks to the SCOTUS CU decision they just got a whole lot more leverage to pull with.
Are the aristocrats reduced to throwing their base out of the sleigh as it races across the frozen taiga on a moonlit night, hoping to distract the pursuing wolves?
Too bad the Occupy movement isn’t accomplishing anything, huh?
K-Thug does the beatdown so you don’t have to.
That was a good one. Money quote:
Pretty strong for a NYT blog. Good for him.
Okay, I refuse to read the Bobo piece but I just checked out Charlie at Esquire and some horrendous excerpts.
I’d like to know what city he lives in that he benefits from low tax rates. I won’t even touch the other bull. Okay, maybe I will. There has been study after study showing how a very small percentage of the population living in the flyover states actually has more political say in our Congress. And where the frak does he get to decide that the people in the cities contribute little to the social good.
But it gets better.
Okay, I know Naperville. WTF is he talking about. I just checked census numbers. 66% of the Naperville population 25 and over have at least a bachelor’s degree. 66 frakking percent. The city of Chicago? 33%.
I see Bobo gets his facts the same place every other Republican does, his ass.
That’s a very good point!
Bill E Pilgrim
@Baud: Oh I know that his “point” was “there are so many more of these people that this must be where the real problem lies”, or, to turn it around the other way, “Oh come on, there are so few people in the top 1% that they couldn’t possibly be taking in enough money to be causing the problem!”
Uh David, that’s the whole point….
ETA: In his 2006 piece that he links to in the blog entry above, Krugman makes the “inequality” argument more explicitly: if it were just a matter of going to college, we would have seen college-educated people’s incomes go up over the last 30 years at a much higher rate than others’. In fact, this did not happen. What did happen is that the top 1 percent’s incomes went way up, and the top 0.1 percent’s incomes went way, way up. How does Bobo explain that?
Krugman (from 2006):
And Krugman also demolishes (in today’s piece) Bobo’s “red state/blue state” argument, too.
Suck on it, Bobo.
Villago Delenda Est
He would explain it, but he’s busy.
He’s got David Koch’s member in his mouth.
Well, it’s official. Conservatives have been widening their circle of shame-blaming–from dark welfare mamas, to private sector union members, to cops and firemen, to their voting (if not their funding) base–red state citizens. They are now eating their own seed corn. I guess they figure if voting restrictions are tight enough, blaming their own constituents won’t matter much, because qualified voters might narrow down to the Koch brothers and stockholders in Walmarts.
Isn’t that the problem with every major Republican policy position? They’re all incredibly impractical. Even the most intrusive ones–anti-abortion, anti-gayness, etc. You can’t legislate that stuff…no matter how hard you try.
as an excercise in pedantry, for those who do not know the difference between a hawk and a handsaw…
I’ll bet the hawk was new to you, wasn’t it? :-)
Honestly, I’d rather the New York Times just re-hire William Kristol to deliver the real goods – reminding us unequivocally that current “conservatism” is an instrument of the Devil. That would be much more of a public service than Bobo’s gibberish.
@Raven (formerly stuckinred):
The ones who brag about it…well, some stereotypes ARE true.
The prophet Nostradumbass
how do you define “everyone”?
Is Bobo trying to claim that graduating college makes you less likely to smoke? How does that work? Is there an anti-smoking class that I missed?
I don’t think so. But it appears that Bobo missed some lessons explaining the difference between correlation and causation.
Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937
I’m guessing that “tens of millions of Americans who have dropped out of high school or college” and the “nation’s stagnant human capital, its stagnant social mobility” are related to the “zooming wealth of the top 1 percent”.