The Donkey Is Sleeping Today

Beck U 2: Hope (In The Name Of Wealth)

In Economics, Idiocracy, Message/Framing, Propaganda on July 15, 2010 at 11:46 am

The pseudo-intellectual beatings continue

First rule of Beck U: you do not learn at Beck U. Second rule of Beck U: you do NOT learn at Beck U. Third rule of Beck U: even if you yell “stop,” the pseudo-intellectual beating continues.

Last night’s faux intellectual was David Buckner, adjunct assistant professor of psychology and education at the Teachers’ College of Columbia University. Now I’m sure Mr. Buckner is an excellent instructor in his field of expertise, teaching courses in “Functions of Organizations” and “Special Topics in Organizational Psychology,” but when it comes to economics, Buckner’s visual aids and real-life examples make the “Dick and Jane” books look like “War and Peace.”

But what can you expect when passing out on the Glenn Beck’s show is your biggest claim to fame (no doubt from the overwhelming stench of the bullshit Beck was peddling).

Last night’s “lesson” started with a rambling seven-minute diatribe (I swear to God, it was seven minutes) about a horrible experience he once had with a gate agent in a busy airport terminal. The punchline of the story seemed to be that we needed to ask ourselves the “why” and not the “how” to get to our “purpose” in life.

The lesson I learned was that the persnickety Buckner would make a horrible traveling partner.

At the ten-minute mark, Buckner finally launched into his kindergarten-esque lecture on economics (pitched to the intellectual level of the average Beck viewer). Terms such as prosperity, profit, efficiency, investment, and corruption were thrown around without much context, meaning, or thought.

Buckner also kept referring to the “rules of the playground” throughout the lecture. But there was no explanation of the “why” or the “purpose.” So, I thought I would help Buckner out.

The school bullies (Republicans) constantly frighten (fear-monger) the other children (the middle and working class) with threats and lies (socialized medicine, the free market is self-correcting, the wealth will trickle down… I could go on) in order to steal their lunch money (tax cuts for the wealthy) so that they can spend it on candy (yachts, mansions, hookers and blow).

But perhaps I missed Buckner’s point.

Buckner then spent the last ten minutes riffing on planned versus market economies and how any government “investment in America” has no value (why do conservatives hate America so much?), creates monopolies that can’t compete in the global marketplace, and results in a transfer of wealth that creates a loss of control, freedom, and efficiency. In short, hope = purpose = wealth creation.  Yeah, I’m confused, too.

Of course, I could go on and on about the transfer of wealth from the middle and working class to the rich over the past 30 years or the corporate monopolies that have been created through deregulation or the loss of control over our democracy due to corporate money in politics, but I think I’ll let the gang from Monty Python explain how government investment works with their brilliant “What Have The Romans Done” scene from Life of Brian.  Simply insert the word “government” for “Romans” and enjoy.


UPDATE: Here are the other installments from my time at the “U”: Beck U, Beck 3, Beck 4, and Beck 5.

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