Some dude had his right-wing propaganda piece published in the Chicago Tribune today, all about how he had a chat with one of the Chicago Occupy Wallstreet folks, and totally convinced them that government is the problem, not the solution, and that multinational corporations totally had nothing to do with our current crap economy.
You know, Paul Krugman, Matt Taibbi, and others do a much better job of addressing that argument than I can. What I want to focus on is this line:
I asked what it is they were upset with and why were they vilifying corporations, noting that their umbrellas, cardboard signs and the ink used to write their anti-corporation messages all were made by corporations.
GAHHHH!! I can’t tell you how tired I am of this smug, ignorant, non-argument. It gets trotted out constantly, the “how can you possibly criticize corporations, when you are garbed in corporate attire, and use corporation-made tools?” And “if we don’t let corporations make obscene profits at the expense of workers, infrastructure, and the environment, then they have no incentive to invent new stuff!”
Really? Because first of all, you know it’s totally possible for me, in a world where large, multinational corporate interests control the means of production, to handmake all that shit in my basement. Yeah, I totally know a bunch of small business owners who are able to run paper mills and make umbrellas at a cost that can compete with a corporate factory in Mexico where they can employ 8 year olds for a dime a day and dump all their toxic waste into the groundwater without having to treat it first.
And second, yeah, humans would totally never have invented the wheel if there hadn’t been a profit in it.
Fuck you, John Tillman of the Illinois Policy Institute. You lie when you say you’re an advocate of a free market. There is nothing free about our current market conditions.