This basically sums up it up. And for whatever reason, it seems applicable today.
Your average working American looks around and sees evidence of government power over his life everywhere. He pays high taxes and can’t sell a house or buy a car without paying all sorts of fees. If he owns a business, inspectors come to his workplace once a year to gouge him for something whether he’s in compliance or not. If he wants to build something in his backyard, he needs a permit from some local thief in the city clerk’s office. [...]
This stuff happens. It’s not paranoia. There are a lot of well-meaning laws that can be manipulated, or go wrong over time, or become captive to corrupt lawyers and bureaucrats who fight not to fix the targeted social problems, but to retain their budgetary turf. Tea Party grievances against these issues are entirely legitimate and shouldn’t be dismissed. The problem is that they think the same dynamic they see locally or in their own lives – an overbearing, interventionist government that seeks to control, tax, and regulate everything it can get its hands on – operates the same everywhere. [...]
The insurmountable hurdle for so-called populist movements is having the nerve to attack the rich instead of the poor. Even after the rich almost destroyed the entire global economy through their sheer unrestrained greed and stupidity, we can’t shake the peasant mentality that says we should go easy on them, because the best hope for our collective prosperity is in them creating wealth for us all. That’s the idea at the core of trickle-down economics and the basis for American economic policy for a generation. The entire premise – that the way society works is for the productive rich to feed the needy poor and that any attempt by the latter to punish the former for their excesses might inspire Atlas to shrug his way out of town and leave the rest of us on our own to starve – should be insulting to people so proud to call themselves the “water carriers”. But in a country where every Joe the Plumber has been hoodwinked into thinking he’s one clogged toilet away from being rich himself, we’re all invested in rigging the system for the rich.
- Matt Taibbi, Griftopia