By Dan Kervick
Part One of a four-part essay
Progressives might have been permitted a short respite from anxiety after the election of November 7th, 2012. They could find a measure of solace from the result: at least the country hadn’t fallen into the hands of an expert practitioner of one of the more barbarous styles of American capitalism, a man who had expressed open contempt for the 47% of Americans who receive assistance from the government he was seeking to head. Of course, Mitt Romney’s disdain for government assistance extends only so far, since he has no objection to the sturdy fortress of legislative, judicial and police protections erected to both institute and protect private property. He knows as well as anybody that without these government-funded protections many members of the propertied classes would not remain propertied. But let us not dwell on the past. We can move on knowing that at least there will be no Mitt Romney era. Romney can now go back to his former occupation of buying, selling, dismantling, dismembering, repackaging and reselling the enterprises built by other people, throwing many of the people who work in those enterprises out on the street, and stashing the proceeds in island banks, far away from the greedy hands of the democratic rabble whose votes he recently begged.
Alas, the desired respite has been all but non-existent, because Washington has moved on immediately to renew the flagellation of the American people. Continue reading