Rick Perry and the hucksterism of the rich
Rick Perry’s announcement of his presidential ambitions marks the the triumph of fantasy over reality in American politics. Among our more pressing problems are global climate change caused by human production of greenhouse gases; religious fanaticism and interference in governance; and the structural deficit faced by the US government
It used to be that political divisions were about the different methods proposed to deal with social problems by persons with different political philosophies. Nowadays, politics is about which fantasy-land the politicians and their admirers reside in.
In the mid-to-late twentieth century, liberals wanted to address lack of proper housing for the poor by building tenements for them. Conservatives like Jack Kemp (Housing secretary under Bush Senior) argued that market mechanisms could be enlisted to get them housed. It is not clear that the conservatives were right, but the liberals definitely turned out to be wrong. The public housing had no stakeholders and it quickly deteriorated into a kind of hell. But all parties to the argument, including Republican Kemp, took the problem of housing for the poor seriously, and everyone learned from the success and failures.
Nowadays, Kemp’s analogues would likely just blithely deny that there are any poor people lacking adequate housing people.
Thus, Rick Perry not only denies global climate change but has sued to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from trying to curb emissions in Texas. Ironically, if anybody will suffer from global warming, it is Texans, and the warmer temperatures of recent years are hitting them especially hard.
Perry’s response to Texas’s drought? To pray for rain.
Read the rest of this post at Informed Comment.