I suppose we should expect this from any Republican candidate running for President, but even so, it comes across as mean nasty and dishonest to blame Obama and the unemployed for their plight, and excuse the years of Republican sponsored deregulation and the fraudulent actions of the Big Banks for our current economic disaster, especially in light of the Republican who refuse to consider any measures to increase jobs at home other than tax breaks to Billionaires and Multinational Corporations who outsource their workforce overseas or eliminate jobs even as they make profits: Here's the video, courtesy of TPM and (cough, cough) the Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal:
Here's the transcript:
“I don’t have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated, to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration,” Cain said. “Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks — if you don’t have a job and you are not rich, blame yourself!”
Interviewer Alan Murray asked: “You don’t think the banks have anything to do with the crisis that we went into in 2008?”
“They did have something to do with the crisis that we went into in 2008. But we’re not in 2008 — we’re in 2011!” Cain replied. [...]
[After interviewer challenges Cain on responsibility of Banks for the economic mess we are in, this was his response]
“Okay. Yes, they had a big part to do with it. And obviously you could go back and say okay, what did the banks do, to do this? These demonstrations, I honestly don’t understand what they’re looking for. To me, they come across more as anti-capitalism. That’s basically what it comes across as.
“When I was growing up, I was blessed to have had parents that didn’t teach me to be jealous of anybody, and didn’t teach me to be envious of somebody. It is not a person’s fault because they succeeded — it is a person’s fault if they failed. And so this is why I don’t understand these demonstrations, and what is it that they are looking for.”
The key words are in his first sentence: “I don’t have facts to back this up ..." Well, we learned long ago that Republicans and their base don't care about the facts if it gets in the way of the
propaganda story they want to tell and/or hear. I'll give the WSJ interviewer a small dollop of credit for pushing Cain on his statement that the the Banks (who made massive profits after the bailout and paid massive bonuses to their top executives) bear little responsibility for the current state of the economy, but not much because he failed to ask him the hard questions regarding the Bush administration's policies of financial deregulation, non-enforcement of the Securities laws (a practice that has sadly continued in the Obama administration) and the failure of the Republicans in Congress to consider any legislation to increase demand for goods and services, even policies that Republicans formerly supported.
And the idea that Obama is behind the Occupy Wall Street protests is laughable, much less unsubstantiated. But, hell, that's what the Republican primary voters want to hear from their candidates -- that the protestors are all a bunch of Dirting F***ing Hippies, Slackers and Obama operatives! God forbid Cain should actually back up his "belief" with any evidence. And as for blaming the victims, well that's Standard Republican Operating Procedure, unless they are claiming to be the victims, of course.
As for not knowing what the protestors are complaining about, well since when do millionaires living lives of wealth and privilege ever understand what "the little people" have to complain about. They must be anti-capitalists and lazy bums, right?
New Yorkers and tourists at Zuccotti Park have varied reactions to the ragtag incursion. Richard Oranger, who said he worked in insurance, expressed contempt.
“Lazy bum Marxist freeloaders,” he said. “Their sign right there saying capitalism doesn’t work? Oh yeah, it doesn’t work?” He gestures sarcastically at the skyscrapers above. “Capitalism built this city up!”
Yes, that must be it. Well, not according to Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate in Economics, who predicted our current financial crisis long before it happened. This is what he has to say about our unfettered Disaster Capitalism that is shredding the world's economy for the benefit of a few at the top of the wealth pyramid.
In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has improved considerably. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent. One response might be to celebrate the ingenuity and drive that brought good fortune to these people, and to contend that a rising tide lifts all boats. That response would be misguided. [...] All the growth in recent decades—and more—has gone to those at the top. In terms of income equality, America lags behind any country in the old, ossified Europe that President George W. Bush used to deride. Among our closest counterparts are Russia with its oligarchs and Iran. [...]
Some people look at income inequality and shrug their shoulders. So what if this person gains and that person loses? What matters, they argue, is not how the pie is divided but the size of the pie. That argument is fundamentally wrong. An economy in which most citizens are doing worse year after year—an economy like America’s—is not likely to do well over the long haul. [...]
[M]ost important, a modern economy requires “collective action”—it needs government to invest in infrastructure, education, and technology. The United States and the world have benefited greatly from government-sponsored research that led to the Internet, to advances in public health, and so on. But America has long suffered from an under-investment in infrastructure (look at the condition of our highways and bridges, our railroads and airports), in basic research, and in education at all levels. Further cutbacks in these areas lie ahead.
None of this should come as a surprise—it is simply what happens when a society’s wealth distribution becomes lopsided. The more divided a society becomes in terms of wealth, the more reluctant the wealthy become to spend money on common needs. The rich don’t need to rely on government for parks or education or medical care or personal security—they can buy all these things for themselves. In the process, they become more distant from ordinary people, losing whatever empathy they may once have had.
I guess he's just a DFH, anti-capitalist Marxist, too. By the way, Stiglitz nailed it on why Herman Cain and other Republicans are so willing to blame the unemployed for their own plight: "[The wealthy] become more distant from ordinary people, losing whatever empathy they may once have had."