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On Moochers

If you haven't already, take a look at Paul Krugman's column of last Friday.

As everybody knows by now, Mitt Romney considers anybody who doesn't have a job to be a moocher, living fat off the hard work of honest taxpayers like himself. The same goes for people who have jobs in the public sector. But it goes farther than that: even if you have a job in the private sector, you're still a moocher. Remember all those heartwarming stories about people starting with nothing, founding a small business, and building it up to hundreds or thousands of employees? That person, the one who founded and managed the business, is the only one actually contributing to the economy; his hundreds or thousands of employees are just along for the ride, benefiting from his initiative and hard work. In other words, if you work for somebody else (as do, at a guess, at least 95% of Americans), you're mooching, not living up to the American Dream. You're not a job creator, you're a job recipient.

So what is Mitt Romney's vision of the ideal American economy? Is it one in which everybody lives the American Dream of founding and building a business? Where do all the employees come from if they're all busy founding and building their own businesses? Since that's mathematically impossible, the alternative is that the American Dream is not for everyone -- not even for the majority. The American Dream is for the few-percent elite with the gumption and initiative to found their own companies; the rest of us are cattle, necessary in order to allow those few to realize their dreams but not worthy of consideration in our own right. Mitt Romney, and much of the Republican Party leadership, actually wants to live in Metropolis.


Yes, this is the key problem. Our actual somewhat post-industrial society is unsustainable under the current Republican economic program -- especially if they actually mean it about not raising the debt ceiling again. On my darker days, I actually wish we would have a Republican landslide to see it happen. But I actually like living in this country and the disintegration of society is not pleasant to live through.
It's not just that you have to start and build a business.

That business has to be successful, and it has to employ many people.

If your business folds in five years, as most startups do (frequently at least partly because they are underfunded) they're not interested.

If you own a mom and pop store, or small restaurant being forced out by a chain, they are not interested.

If you are an independent contractor, trust me, they are not interested...

If you start with a good idea, hard work, *and* personal or family wealth (so you can start in a good space, with the best equipment, and an advertising budget - without worrying that failure will lose you your house...) then they think you are wonderful!