Anatomy Of A Libertard

Will Wilkinson: Libertard With Sadditude

Mark Ames writes in The eXiled:

Ever since Yasha and I first broke the story about the Koch brothers financing the Tea Party Campaign in February of 2009–a scoop that the New Yorker plagiarized from us a mere 18 months later, waytago fellas!–ever since then, I’ve been wondering: Have all those billions that the Brothers Koch invested into their libertarian brain-washing project paid off?

The answer: You betcha.

Let me demonstrate how the Kochs’ investment into libertarianism has paid off by way of a near-stroke experience I just had a couple of days ago. There I was, just wasting time on Reddit, when I came across one of those beyond-idiotic-and-evil headlines that bite you if you’re not careful: “Is rising inequality in America exaggerated?” The headline linked to an article in The Economist.

H’m, is inequality exaggerated? Gosh, let me get my ol’ chin-scratching machine out for this one…

Naturally, I did the exact wrong thing and clicked the headline, which brought me to an Economist article titled, “The Inequality Myth: Is Rising Inequality in America Exaggerated?” It was an oddly meat-headed headline for The Economist–usually that magazine’s formula is to zap the reader with somewhat more nuanced right-wing shock value, counteracted with elitist irony and know-it-all charm. Not this time:

SLATE’S Timothy Noah has just wrapped up a ten-part series on the rise of economic inequality in America. Most of Mr Noah’s instalments are devoted to examining the impact of one of the usual suspects—immigration, trade, de-unionisation, education, executive pay, etc—on the level of inequality in the United States. I found Mr Noah’s series disappointing from the start because he failed squarely to confront recent findings that challenge the premise of his exercise.

Many popular narratives about inequality are grounded on the alleged fact that wages and incomes at the middle and bottom of the distribution have been stagnant for decades. It appears that this, too, may be an artefact of insufficiently sophisticated methods for building the price indices used to calculate rates of inflation.

The author of this Economist blog post, identified as “W.W.”, sounded nothing like one of those sly Economist correspondents I’ve known in the past, and everything like a typical ham-fisted right-wing libertarian, the sort that are a dime a dozen in this country. So I wondered: Are the Kochs debasing even their own natural propaganda ally, The Economist, by dumbing it down with one of their own Koch-sponsored libertard meatheads? Who was this “W.W.”? ...>more