Skip to main content

will explain a lot -  about the mindset of many who are Republicans (and unfortunately more than a few who are at least nominally Democrats, including those in the group Democrats for Education Reform), and will most certainly help you understand the thinking of the likes of Mitt Romney.

That is the title of this columnby Steve Pearlstein of The Washington Post, appearing in today's dead-tree edition, and online since last night.

It is brilliant.

It is also almost impossible to excerpt, although below the squiggle I will offer a few selections with commentary.

To whet your appetite, perhaps you might consider this:  

I am the misunderstood superhero of American capitalism, single-handedly creating wealth and prosperity despite all the obstacles put in my way by employees, government and the media.

I am a job creator and I am entitled.

And who are these people?  According to Pearlstein they include corporate chief executives, business owners,and private equity managers (and that may not be an inclusive list).

Each of the paragraphs after what I have block-quoted begins with the telling words:

I am entitled

What are some of the things to which these folks think they are entitled?

How about

...to complain about the economy even when my stock price, my portfolio and my profits are at record levels.
How much more wealth do they think government policy should shift into their pockets, I wonder?  How much more does the political system need to be tilted in their favor, just because "corporations are people, my friend."

These people think they are entitled to government provided services without paying the taxes that provide those services, and to be able to complain about and demonize the government workers who provide those services.  Believe me, as a retired teacher this is one I have experienced first hand.  Remember, corporate executives do not want to pay local taxes (the primary funding source of schools) and will play off local jurisdictions and states one against another in seeking the lowest tax burden, then insist upon imposing upon those very same schools their agendae.

And then there are taxes.  The sense of entitlement makes these people believe that thay are entitled

...to complain bitterly about taxes that are always too high, even when they are at record lows.
  That's right, boy-o: our taxes, for corporations and for high earning individuals have continually dropped, having the effect of shifting ever more of the burden for government and for the social safety net onto salaried individuals, while moving to abandon the poor.  But these folks think they are entitled
...to have my earned income taxed as capital gains and my investment income taxed at the lowest rate anywhere in the world — or not at all.
As a percentage of income, total American taxes pale in comparison to those in other nations, especially the social democracies of Scandinavia, where in fact folks by and large do not complain about their taxes because of what they get from their governments, which is far more than a bloated military-industrial complex, endless wars, and ballooning debt - that might be why on any measure of happiness people in those countries do far better than Americans.

This is getting lengthy.

You should be getting the point.

You need to read the Pearlstein.

You absolutely should be passing it on.

I can imagine turning this into viral youtubes.

Why?

How about this:

I am entitled to pass on my accumulated wealth tax-free to heirs, who in turn, are entitled to claim that they earned everything they have.
.. or this:
I am entitled to fire any worker who tries to organize a union. I am entitled to break any existing union by moving, or threatening to move, operations to a union-hostile environment.
or this Mitt Romney / Bain Capital Management special:
am entitled to load companies up with debt in order to pay myself and investors big dividends — and then blame any bankruptcy on over-compensated workers.
There are these obnoxious statements:
I  am entitled to all the rights and privileges of running an American company, but owe no loyalty to American workers or taxpayers.

I am entitled to confidential information about my employees and customers while refusing even to list the company’s phone number on its Web site.

But even with all he lists, Pearlstein realizes he has not exhausted the sense of entitlement of folks like these.

Which is why he ends with this:  

I am entitled to everything I have and more that I still deserve.
Like, if you are Mitt Romney, your belief you are entitled to be President of the United States?
EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Alumbrados, Sylv, PrahaPartizan, Chi, Upper West, filkertom, emal, Emerson, simaramis, freelunch, bookbear, eyeswideopen, NoisyGong, tyler93023, bronte17, mollyd, Noodles, Bluehawk, lcrp, zerelda, parryander, Marianne Benz, Leaves on the Current, bibble, Gowrie Gal, Ohkwai, Dirk McQuigley, SherwoodB, KnotIookin, grimjc, techiechick, Dobber, Sun Tzu, jimstaro, where4art, GreyHawk, GregGilman, Burned, most peculiar mama, CompaniaHill, Blu Gal in DE, xanthippe2, Alan Arizona, soyinkafan, fhcec, xaxnar, Nowhere Man, K S LaVida, esquimaux, Kingsmeg, Clytemnestra, dopper0189, Gorette, The Wizard, slampros, philipmerrill, Preston S, ER Doc, hlsmlane, BB10, cherryXXX69, bstotts, One Pissed Off Liberal, Ken in MN, Loudoun County Dem, weneedahero, Dartagnan, yoduuuh do or do not, Mary Mike, HCKAD, millwood, pioneer111, leonard145b, bewild, Keith930, ferment, mamamedusa, Americans for a Republican Irrelevancy, tofumagoo, smartdemmg, icebergslim, triplepoint, envwq, mofembot, bakenjuddy, luckylizard, emidesu, sagansong, Lucy Montrose, oldliberal, LaFeminista, multilee, arendt, nchristine, be the change you seek, susanWAstate, Zotz, Tara the Antisocial Social Worker, delillo2000, elziax, papahaha, stevenwag, astral66, vtgal, kayhag, brentbent, coppercelt, flitedocnm, cindiloohoo, catwho, Batensmack, BenderRodriguez, NM Ray, batchick, gulfgal98, DiegoUK, sharonsz, nosleep4u, kerflooey, Catherine R, swale44, fishboots, OhioNatureMom, BirdMom, jakewaters, slooterdam, Grandma Susie, sound of progress, VTCC73, disconnect the dots, BlueZ, Sunspots, zenox, DRo, googie, Only Needs a Beat, stormicats, Siri, IndieGuy, ahumbleopinion, a2nite, deweyrose, Mike RinRI, reginahny, MartyM, restondem, Margd, wxorknot, OooSillyMe, maf1029, Phoebe Loosinhouse, countwebb, Eric Twocents, SandersRavilyn, Vienna Blue, topazOR, missquested, Jacoby Jonze, JKTownsend, memester2012, Michael Chadwick, progressivist, pianogramma

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site