Tea Time

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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9 Responses

  1. Lev says:

    You know, a conservative protest against closeness between government and industry would be exactly the sort of thing that would generate news, because it would be novel. It would also have the virtue of making a valid point. Bush’s wasteful spending wasn’t cause he done gone liberal, but because his administration was corrupt along the lines of some of the greats of American corruption, like Roscoe Conkling and James G. Blaine. Medicare Part D did involve spending more money, but it was a ridiculously high amount because Bush wanted to help out the drug companies. Bush’s defense policy, including the warmaking, was a sop to defense contractors. His farm bill was a sop to agribusiness. And so on. Nobody wanted to talk about this during his term, but it was inescapably true. Since Republicans seem to think that every critique of business is evidence of left-wing sympathies it’s doubtful that such a message would carry with the tea party crowd, but it would be something specific and correct, and it might garner some attention from the public.

    But I guess they decided that it would be better to just say “fascism” a lot.Report

  2. Put another way – the most effective way of protesting the growth of Wal-Mart isn’t to picket outside, it’s to simply not buy anything from Wal-Mart. Similarly, the most effective way of protesting the growth of the federal government is to, well, not participate in the growth of the federal government.

    I’m not sure I agree with all your proposals here, but the main argument seems basically sound to me.Report

  3. E.D. Kain says:

    Exactly Lev – and that’s what I think we will eventually see rise from the ashes of this current cluster.

    Mark, I agree. Vote with your wallet – but also, if a community doesn’t want a Wal*Mart to come into town they should be able to keep it out, and not vilified as anti-capitalist for doing so…Report

  4. jfxgillis says:


    Great article.

    We accept Levithan in all its malign glory in return for the material prosperity it provides. The temptation, I think, is all but irresistable. Wish I could be more optimistic.Report

  5. Badger says:

    As best I can tell, the overwhelming majority of tea party goers pay under $10,000/yr in federal income taxes. More than likely, a good portion pay under $1,000 per year in federal income taxes. Roughly half of the tea party goers pay no income tax or actually receive the refundable portion of the EITC or Child Tax Credit. And that is probably overly generous given party demographics. This is Joe the Plumber America, outrage at the fiction of oneself might having some day to pay high taxes.Report

  6. E.D. Kain says:

    Thanks, Jack. It’s true, and it’s funny because the Tea Partiers find all that irresistable, too, they’re just in a funky denial.

    Badger – yeah, most people just don’t pay that much in taxes. And I still fail to see why taxes are so horrible. They suck, but we need them to function as a society. The goal should be getting those tax dollars to work better, locally, rather than bloating huge federal departments and funding stupid wars.Report

  7. Ada says:

    People who complain about taxes are some of the same individuals that scream their heads off when a disaster strikes and no government assistance is avalable to help. As long as it’s their party or their pet project were taken care of every thing is kosher. Let the tax money go somewhere else they scream like a banshee. If the money was not spent to try to turn the country around and EVERYTHING really hit the fan, you’d see all sorts of misery happening. They seem not to be able to see what is truly at stake. If we don’t spend that money and start job regrowth then the misery index will be very high. Their selfishness (and most of those individuals will see less taxes coming out of their pay) and self-centered actions over the last eight years has brought us to this point. They should shut up and lend a hand to help turn this economy and country around.Report

  8. Lee says:

    I didn’t see Buffett, Periot, Gates or any of those who will truly be hit by the new taxes. 100% of those few thousands I saw out there will be getting a tax breeak from the government. This is a true case of the uninformed fringe segment of our society and they will do almost anything to mug for the cameras.Report

  9. Jaybird says:

    Everybody there reminds me of Emmanuel Goldstein!Report