Wednesday, November 29, 2006

More on Class War, the Yuppanzee...

Some information relating to this week's 'toon, on everybody's favorite materialistic monkeys:
  • Lots from Paul Krugman, including a lecture aired on Democracy NOW, and columns on class war politics, on "tax farming", on the education/income myth, and on the history of economic inequality in America. His most commonly made argument is that we are currently witnessing levels of economic inequality and elitism that have not been seen since the Gilded Age of the '20s and '30s. As an example, he points to the Gilded Age mansions of Greenwich, Connecticut, which had been given up after that period to become museums and government buildings because people could no longer afford them as private homes, but are now being knocked down to build even bigger modern-day mansions for the uber-wealthy.

  • Two articles from Mother Jones on "the subsuming of the political process to the corporate agenda" (quoting Thom Hartmann from his book on "corporate personhood," Unequal Protections).

  • A really fascinating article on "slum ecology" by Mike Davis, which I have been trying to work into a cartoon, but still haven't really been able to do it. The piece talks about large cities in third-world countries (such as Buenos Aires, Johannesburg, Caracas, and Rio de Janeiro), where conditions are such that millions of impoverished residents are forced to relinquish all acceptable standards of safety and health in favor of a place to live:
    They are pioneers of swamps, floodplains, volcano slopes, unstable hillsides, desert fringes, railroad sidings, rubbish mountains, and chemical dumps —unattractive and dangerous sites that have become poverty's niche in the ecology of the city.
    Reading this article, the one thing that kept coming to mind was "New Orleans"... in other words, this is the answer to people who asked after Katrina, "how could this happen in the United States?" The answer is that things were not so good in New Orleans before the storm, and, just maybe, on the whole, this country is not so "great" after all...

See also some late articles on similar topics by Louis Uchitelle, William Greider, and Matthew Rothschild, which may end up as inspirations for the next episode of "Yuppanzees"...

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