So I've been following Yglesias for a bit, and I don't know how Kossacks or fellow leftists feel about him, but I am a big fan, and grow into a bigger and bigger fan as I read more of him on Slate.com. He's what I really feel has been missing on the left for a long long time: a sober, rational leftists who is willing to analyze economics from a rational, emotionless perspective to prove that we progressives are right. That's what I feel has been missing from our side. Yes, I know many of you have already got your daggers out for me for even saying such a thing. Yes, Medicare can deliver health care more efficiently than the private sector and Social Security is solid for a bazillion years despite what half-bald upper middle age wonky white people will say. Despite all of this, we need people at the bat to provide a sober economic perspective from a leftist perspective to hammer our ideas home in a manner which leaves even the most libertarian reader to say to himself "Well...that's just fucked up." His recent article on servicing the 1% is really what encapsulated his style for me, and it is the reason why I feel it is an effective strategy for the left from here on out.
His recent article on a woman who makes her living from dreaming up goofy ways to propose to your would-be fiancee left me speechless. What is a more evocative example of a service that by all accounts would be useless in any other economy but our gilded age economy! People have been proposing to each other since time immemorial, but only in the era where wealth inequality is at its highest would anyone think that someone had the spare cash to hire someone to dream up scenarios for them to propose to their would be brides. Sure, I think that this adds to the lives of those who could afford such a service, but is this the new model for our economy? Will those of us at the bottom have to come up with superfluous ideas that on their face have no real value like imagining unique ways to propose to your significant other? We already have dog psychologists and $39.000 backpacks made in China, so why not this? Is this going to further our civilization? Is this going to make humanity greater? Is this going to solve climate change, make us independent of the Middle East in terms of energy, or...anything of any significance? No, our economy and our society has entered into an age of decadence and we have yet to find our way out.
This is what I want to see more of from the left. We have the stigma of being radicals that want to burn America down to the ground, of people who are against corporations without knowing the reasons why. These are unfair stereotypes. I know that. But they are stereotypes we are stricken with when dealing with the general public, and with all of those independents out there we could really make our case. If we sound like we are for prosperity, if we sound like we have what it takes to unlock the door and at the same time sound non-partisan we can really get people to our side. Hell, in many ways we already have what most people want, yet we do not have their hearts on our side. Most people who get unemployment insurance think its great, but many of them will think that charity should pick up the slack when its clear that charity doesn't have the capacity nor will to provide millions of people with the thousands of dollars per month they need for basic sustenance. I watched an interview on Current TV with a Ron Paul supporter with unemployment insurance, food stamps, and WIC, and yet decrying it all while benefiting from it. How do we make our case clear to every person out there who has yet to really think about the issues, and how do we silence those arrogant voices that fill the airwaves and convince people that the check that they've earned each month is somehow bad?
I'm not saying this is a panacea, but Yglesias' voice is very welcome. He delivers a left hook and a right jab into the discourse which is all too needed. Independents are emotional creatures who see passion as a fault. I do not get it either, but these people half agree with us, and if we can get them off of their position in needing to feel super logical and above the fray, we can consolidate our holdings and march forward. There is no way the 53% movement should be met with anything but derisive laughter and parody.