Let them eat canapes, as new left leaves Americans behind

Let them eat canapes, as new left leaves Americans behind. By Adam Creighton. The great realignment, thirty years after it began:

A decade ago the Occupy Wall Street movement was born, fuel­led by outrage over damage the “masters of the universe” had wrought to the global economy at little cost to themselves.

The global financial crisis and ensuing bailouts by taxpayers against a backdrop of huge bonuses sickened many. Today banks are even bigger, more oligopolistic, the justification for extreme remuneration even more ridiculous and inequality far worse as the real economy continues to shrink, yet the Occupy movement has fizzled.

The left is no longer interested in arguably the biggest source of unjustified inequality, the structure of the financial system, which remains riven with unfair advantages that make a mockery of a free market. To the relief of Wall Street and the corporate world more generally, the new activists prefer the identity politics of race and sexuality, which the corporate class has embraced.

It’s a convenient diversion from awkward questions about the growing dominance of the economy by a handful of gigantic companies and increasing disparity between income and wealth, which has blown out to the highest level since the 1940s in the US.

AOC, the brave social justice warrior in the $1,000 designer dress, unburdened by facts or moral friends:

What better symbol of the change in priorities than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the far-left Democrat congresswoman from New York who dressed in an Aurora James ball gown emblazoned with “tax the rich” at a recent New York society event? Her highly publicised attendance at the Met Gala, supping on canapes with the fabulously rich and vacuous, would have left an early generation of social activists nauseous.



Many Democrats, it seems, are more interested in attending the Met than occupying Wall Street, whose banks donated more to Joe Biden’s campaign than to Donald Trump’s ahead of last year’s presidential election. …

The Democratic Party has become soft on the rich because increasingly it is the party of the rich and the establishment in the US. In 2018, half of the top 10 richest members of congress, including the wealthiest, Mark Warner, were Democrats, according to the Centre for Responsive Politics. Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has a net worth of $US120m.

Lockdowns, championed by Democrats, have enriched Silicon Valley billionaires while destroying jobs for low-income and low-educated Americans. Almost 18 months on from the start of the pandemic, US employment remains five million lower, overwhelmingly low-paid jobs. …

Angus Deaton, a Nobel prize-winning economist who in 2015 revealed life expectancy was declining among working-class white Americans because of skyrocketing drug overdoses and suicides, argues in new research that “less-educated people have abandoned and been abandoned by the Democratic Party”.

The party “represents an alliance of minorities, who working-class whites see as displacing them and challenging their once solid if unperceived privilege, and an educated elite that has benefited from globalisation and from a soaring stockmarket based on rising profitability of the firms that have increasingly denied them jobs”, he writes. …

Biden never talks about the surging stockmarket, unlike his predecessor. It’s probably as much from embarrassment from overseeing such an extraordinary increase in inequality as any desire to shift the focus to “ordinary Americans”, for whom democracy hasn’t been working all that well for at least a decade.

Jim Treacher:

This is socialism in microcosm. Socialists all want to be AOC, bravely standing up to capitalism in her $1,000 designer dress. But they’re more likely to be among the lowly retinue of masked servants at her beck and call. It’s just feudalism with cameraphones.

I wonder how long before it gets this bad in Australia? Strong trends that start in the US usually spread in some form to the rest of the west, with a lag of between five and 20 years.