Although most Americans would deny it, a great number are actual employ one aspect of fantasy in their day to day lives, at least when it comes to their relationship with politicians and government. They employ “magic thinking” – the belief that one particular single “magic wand” will resolve the problems with government. For those on the left, in general, their magic wand is more government programs and more comprehensive government programs. For those on the right, their magic wand is lower taxes and less government.
Both sides, of course, are living in a fantasy world stranger than anything I’ve ever written, but any attempt to inject a strong dose of reality into their magic thinking results in violent rejection, and, with that sort of rejection, it shouldn’t be any surprise that those who represent them in Congress offer equally strong reactions to any legislative proposal that conflicts with their fantasy view of the world.
Those on the right continue to insist that all will be well if government just unleashes the power of “free enterprise,” but to which free enterprise are they referring? The free enterprise of the banking system that accepted something like a trillion dollars in government funding while using it primarily to build reserves while also finding ways to invest in anything except rebuilding jobs in the United States? Or the corporate free enterprise system that continues to automate and outsource jobs while reducing jobs to increase profits to record levels? Or the government free enterprise system that has implemented massive cuts in education and modified our tax system so that corporate farmers get subsidized and hedge fund managers pay a smaller percentage of taxes than do police, firefighters, and teachers?
On the left, those “magic thinkers” continue to insist that greater and greater deficit spending will create jobs through massive income subsidies when a huge amount of that spending is used to buy imported goods and foreign oil. They continue to insist that more spending on education will improve the system when they undermine it continually in a myriad of ways, ranging from blaming the teachers for everything to insisting that college-oriented education is the only way for every student. At the same time, they drive all too many good teachers out of the field through low salaries and outrage at those who insist on high standards for students. They want more government programs, but only if those programs are paid for by someone else, which has resulted in more than half the population paying no federal income taxes at all.
And all too many of them would believe [if they read my books, which most won’t] that my works, which shows costs for dreams and change, are just too fantastic to believe. And, come to think of it, in today’s United States… maybe they’re right.