The Elmira Star-Gazette has recently run opinion pieces by George Will, John Stossel, and Kathleen Parker promoting some bizarre ideas:

  • Government can do no good.
  • Public spending for social justice is wrong.
  • Poverty is inevitable and not a public concern.
  • Laissez-faire solves all social problems.

It seemed like a coordinated effort to sell the public on these ideas, which after Citizens United is entirely possible.  Today we see some blowback — the rest of the story.

Joe Conason’s column is titled “Fear leads rich Catholics to threaten Pope Francis.”  Conason asks “would a person of true faith stiff the church and the poor?  A person of true faith might not, but according to Conason some big funders might do that.  Conason discusses:

  • excesses and cruelty of unleashed capitalism
  • gross and growing economic inequity
  • self-serving greed of Wall Street’s elite
  • outlandish grasping of the super-rich

There’s more, but this gives the flavor.  Conason concludes that the “Pope’s wish for a church that is poor and for the poor might not be a bad thing for those, Catholic or not, who love justice.”

In a second article, Dana Milbank chides Chief Justice Roberts for his doubtless reasonable complaint about inadequate funding for Federal Courts.  Noting that Roberts and his fellow conservatives have done much to give business interests clout and voice for small government, Milbank observes that “the bulk of super-PAC cash goes to electing candidates devoted to shrinking the federal government,” and part of that government is the Federal Courts.

Milbank notes that those who “bankrolled the Tea Party may be beginning to have buyer’s remorse.”  That may include Tom Reed who, sincere or not, has professed a renewed interest in the plight of those finding it difficult to pay for fuel for heat.

© William Hungerford – January 2014

About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
This entry was posted in Congress, Economics, Political, Reed's Views, Sequester/Fiscal Cliff. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Blowback

  1. philebersole says:

    Governments, churches and corporations are neither good nor bad in themselves.

    They are structures in which people can operate either for good or ill (although some structures are better suited for some purposes than others).


  2. whungerford says:

    Governments are formed to serve the people — to promote the general welfare. One would hope and expect they would do much good. Corporations (other than non-profit corporations) exist to make a profit. Corporations do good by providing employment and by producing needed goods and services. But when corporations work against the public interest by diverting profits from stockholders to influence public opinion in ways that promote narrow corporate or upper class interests, I see no commensurate good that they do to balance that. We need to live with corporations, but we mustn’t neglect to regulate their activities.


  3. Deb Meeker says:

    Well said. I agree


  4. philebersole says:

    Abuse of power is something we need to be concerned about by people within governments and corporations, and especially by people who move back and forth between government and corporations.
    Government, not corporate, officials are generally the ones who wage wars, have people put in prison, and authorize killing and torture. Which is not to say that government is bad and corporations are good!

    When writing this reply, I found it difficult to avoid saying that “corporations” do this and “governments” do that. Corporations aren’t people and neither are governments. They are structures within which people act, and it is those individuals who should be held accountable, not the fictional corporate person or the governmental structure.


  5. whungerford says:

    What about Edward Snowden who worked indirectly for government? Should he be regarded as a hero as Amy Goodman contends, or as a goat (or worse) as those government officers responsible for our security believe? And what about the corporation that polluted the water in West Virginia? Is the corporation responsible, its officers, or no one?


  6. philebersole says:

    Corporations are not people, and are neither good nor bad in and of themselves.

    The officers of Freedom corporation are criminals.

    Edward Snowden, who worked for a private company contracting with the government, is a hero.


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