Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Krugman: The cruelty of a Dump Christmas

Continuing today's theme, Krugman's subtitle to the above article is "Republicans aren't scrooges: they're much worse." Some excerpts:

“It’s common, especially around this time of year, to describe conservative politicians who cut off aid to the poor as Scrooges; I’ve done it myself. But if you think about it, this is deeply unfair to Scrooge.”

“While Dickens portrays Scrooge as a miser, he’s notably lacking in malice. True, he’s heartless until he’s visited by various ghosts. But his heartlessness consists merely of unwillingness to help those in need. He’s never shown taking pleasure in others’ suffering, or spending money to make the lives of the poor worse.”

“Many conservative politicians only pretend to be Scrooges, when they’re actually much worse — not mere misers, but actively cruel. This was true long before Donald Trump moved into the White House. What’s new about the Trump era is that the cruelty is more open — not just on Trump’s part, but throughout his party.”

“I suspect that this mentality is part of the explanation for the seeming paradox of strong Republican support in places like eastern Kentucky, where large numbers of poor whites depend on programs like food stamps: those who aren’t receiving aid actually want to see their poorer neighbors hurt. What Trump has brought to his party is a new willingness to be openly vicious.”

“I’m going to stop calling today’s Republicans Scrooges. We’d be in much better shape if Trump and company were merely heartless misers. What they really are is much, much worse.”

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