Sunday, March 15, 2020

#75 / Cut Left

The lovely knives shown above range in price from $185 to $1,850. The image comes from an article in the March 7-8, 2020, edition of The Wall Street Journal. The article I am talking about is titled, "Why pay $24,000 For a Kitchen Knife?

Why, indeed, when you can get a perfectly servicable knife for $1,850?

"Income and wealth inequality," as a political issue, revolves around the fact that there are a very small number of people in the United States who actually don't have to think twice about spending $24,000 for a really nice kitchen knife, at the same time that 500,000 Americans are sleeping out on the street every night, and while millions more are in a state of "precarity," in which they are right on the borderline of losing everything they have (which is not very much). 

I have just told you where I got my information about the price of high-end kitchen knives. I got the 500,000 "sleeping out on the streets" figure from listening to Bernie Sanders.

CNN says Bernie Sanders' figures check out.

The disparities just mentioned only make sense if we truly believe that the only unit of analysis that counts is the "individual." If we believe that we are "together in this life," as I contend (and you know I am right), then we must find ways, collectively, to get people off the streets, make health care and educational opportunities more available to everyone, repair damage to the natural environment (including dealing with global warming), and fix the infrastructure that supports our community life. 

The money to do what we absolutely need to do, collectively, has to come from somewhere. Willie Sutton, the famous bank robber, may or may not have actually said that he robbed banks because "that's where the money is," but the principle is indisputable. A proper politics would respond to the inevitability of the formula that "them that has, gets" with what might be thought of as a political corollary, an "equal and opposite" political reaction:

Them That Has, Gives!

If we want to respond to the imperatives listed briefly above, then we need to make some political and policy changes. To continue with a further reference to knives, since a knife-based sports term does seem appropriate, it's time (and I do mean this November) for our politics to "cut left."

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