Saturday, January 29, 2011

Stupid Big Things

Alexander Cockburn, second only to James Kunstler as politically and delightfully sarcastic, writes about the SOTU, and concludes this way:
All three [Obama, Ryan, and Baughman] ignored the export of jobs and the destruction of American manufacturing and the pauperization of American families. Obama seemed to trying to stage a replay of his own, of the US economy in the 1950s. “We do big things.” No we don’t. We do Stupid Big Things, dating back to that last heyday of Stupid Big Thing Thinking – dam constructon in the 1930s, surging to the disaster of the Glen Canyon dam and Lake Powell in the 1950s, the same decade freeway construction – Big Concrete -- destroyed city after city the same way – albeit more permanently -- Big Bombing destroyed Germany and many countries thereafter. Mr President: Big Thingishess is pass√©, like the new tunnel to Manhattan from New Jersey. It’s an unfinished Tunnel to nowhere, like the Bridge to nowhere in Alaska; boondoggles so swollen in their porkerish immensity that even their boosters run out of hot air trying to justify them. Is it $350 billion for the F-35? Let’s hear $400 billion. Give me $500 billion!

Nothing about the costs of war in Iraq and Afghanistan – without which there would be no deficit right now. Nothing about the costs of that Big Thing – the American gulag and its three million unproductive denizens. It’s not just that none of Tuesday night’s speakers had any sort of a sane plan. None of them had a map of America’s recent history, to help them figure out where the ship of state has drifted, sails in tatters and parrots perched on the yard arm, squawking about America’s singular greatness.

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