Flash! Matt Forte Raise Proves Founding Fathers Right.

Sports fans can debate the new deal between the Bears and runner Matt Forte. But to political science fans there’s no debate. His $31 million proves our Founding Fathers were right. They anticipated confrontations like management & labor…Democrat & Republican…church & state…rich & poor. The Founding Fathers called them “factions,” and created checks & balances to keep confrontations from turning into rebellions.

Right about now it’s safe to assume Matt doesn’t give a damn. I mean, he got his; let the other classes work it out for themselves. But when you hear about class warfare, hasn’t the rich class already won the war? They say: not necessarily. While the poor class can talk about the 99:1 %, the rich class has their own target: Entitlements.

A pretty explosive term, focusing on those factions of the population who are getting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, disability checks, and public pension checks. [The dreaded Welfare State]. No lack of infuriating headlines to make the case. Every day poor people falsely getting Social Security, cheating Medicare & Medicaid, not to mention those outrageous teacher/cop/firefighter pensioners raping the system with their ill-gotten, double-dipping payments!

The headlines should make anyone angry. Only the headlines are referring mostly to the 10% who cheat the system, not the 90% who earned their modest monthly checks via years of modest public service.

We’re witnessing another prickly chapter in our democracy’s history of class confrontations. Matt Forte is just fine, folks. Really. It’s the rest of us who need to sort this out to find whatever disinformation is coming from both sides. Until then, here’s a question for you: Is Matt Forte as “entitled” to his $31 million/year as the 85 year old widow in Florida is to her $3100/month….?

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  • Labor management postdates the founding fathers by about 100 years. Theirs was an agrarian society. On the other hand, the founding fathers who were Virginia planters and owned vast estates and slaves were certainly the 1% compared to the frontiersmen, maybe first represented by Andrew Jackson. The Whiskey Rebellion proved that.

    I'll bet that the entitlement society only goes back to the 1930s, as, prior to then, most of those programs were considered a violation of substantive due process, a concept the courts no longer recognize.

    People like Dennis Byrne saying that the Affordable Care Act IS unconstitutional only indicate that the debate is over new programs. Supposedly, it was conceded by conservatives that the government had the power to tax to institute health care, and like Medicare, could have socialized medicine if it wanted to. You don't hear anybody today saying that they want to give their Social Security and Medicare back. On the other hand, you don't hear anybody saying that they want to make them solvent.

    The other issue is how these programs are relevant to the 1%. It was said at the time Medicare was enacted that it would lead to price escalation and fraud, and, by gum, they were right. Food Stamps (or whatever it is called today) is not a poverty program--it is an agricultural program. For claiming to be capitalists and Republicans, I could never figure out how farmers could advocate for subsidies (other than crop insurance for years like this).

  • In reply to jack:

    You're right, there were not the same "factions" then that there are now. But taking the concept of "factions" generically speaking, the Founding Fathers were envisioning some of the clashes we find today. Checks & balances were their answer. Sometime the answer works, often it doesn't. I guess that 's why we call democracy "messy." Dictatorships are much "neater." But then what...?

  • In reply to Jack Spatafora:

    As I indicated in my comment on the Sputnik-Elvis thread based on The Economist, when you get to Daley-Madigan-Putin methods, there isn't that much difference. At least Assad isn't calling out the artillery onto our streets.

    As Hugo Chavez did, the first thing despots do is eliminate term limits. After doing that, maybe he can outlast whatever colon problems he has.

    Factions in democracy are inevitable, but the main issue is that the vast majority is effectively disenfranchised, and that leaves those on the fringes to fight it out. Then the discourse is left to publius calling everyone else left wing fascists and haters.

  • In reply to jack:

    Ahh the Daley-Madigan-Putin connection! I hadn't considered that one....

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