Everyone’s been egging me on to tackle Bobo’s latest. I’ll summarize: the librul arts types who are protesting Wall Street excess should instead focus their anger on all the Red State monosyllabic young bucks going back for seconds and thirds at the Applebee’s salad bar.
Today, college grads are much less likely to smoke than high school grads, they are less likely to be obese, they are more likely to be active in their communities, they have much more social trust, they speak many more words to their children at home.[….] [T]he fact is that Red Inequality is much more important. The zooming wealth of the top 1 percent is a problem, but it’s not nearly as big a problem as the tens of millions of Americans who have dropped out of high school or college. It’s not nearly as big a problem as the 40 percent of children who are born out of wedlock. It’s not nearly as big a problem as the nation’s stagnant human capital, its stagnant social mobility and the disorganized social fabric for the bottom 50 percent.
Dean Baker (via) points out that the college/non-college socioeconomic divide began around 1980 and has not widened much recently (Bobo conveniently quotes stats from 1979), but my point is a different one: what the fuck are OWS supporters like me supposed to do about people whose diets and parenting techniques Bobo dislikes? Go lecture them on his behalf?
Bobo — if I’m reading him right — says that the problem is that there’s too many non-college-educated fly-over country people and that they’re not eating right or raising their kids right. Isn’t this a natural place for government to expand access to education, health-care, and programs like Head Start? And isn’t it reasonable to ask that the wealthiest Americans, who surely make a lot of their money off these oh-so-tragically dumb, fat, poorly raised fucks, help foot the bill for it?
Also too, I can no longer understand who the real heroes and villains are for conservatives anymore. I gave up long ago with foreign policy, I can’t tell who’s Hitler and who’s a brave Churchillian protector of freedom, but I thought I knew a hawk from a handsaw within the confines of Our Republic. I can’t tell anymore. I know that college graduates from “blue states” are lazy, trustafarian slime, but now I know that non-college graduates from “red states” are fat, lazy, chain-smoking slime. Maybe this isn’t so complicated, maybe in Real Murka, a college degree makes you good, in the decadent enclaves on the coasts, it makes you bad.
I suspect it is a good deal more complicated than that though.