Sunday, July 27, 2008

On whining...

Thanks to Phil Gramm, whining is much in the news.  Lord knows many of my posts could fall into that category.  But Tyler Cowen points out whining is relative.
Some on the right wing will stress "individual responsibility" as a value when it lowers the status of the whiners (why whine when it was the victim's own fault?).  Some on the left wing will stress "individual responsibility" when it is time to punish corporate wrongdoers and thus lower their status.  Not everyone applies (or rejects) this value consistently.

Given this difference in rhetoric, the right wing will be identified with the monied class, even when the left often has more money.  And the left wing will be identified as the whiners, even though the right at times whines as much or more.  You might say that both sides are monied, high human capital whiners, on the whole.  And if you compare them to Burmese rice farmers, the two sides seem somewhat alike. [More]

Whining is a "loaded" word, of course, and is often applied to farmers during subsidy debates. As much of the grain farming sector continues to prosper immensely compared to colleagues, I could see the "whiner" accusation become a recurrent thread in farm policy discussions.

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