Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Megan McArdle is a very fortunate woman. Her parents paid for a world-class education. Her relentless networking landed her two classy jobs. She and her spouse make around $300,00 per year. She has a new house and a kitchen full of pricey gadgets. Her husband can afford as many video games as he wants. She surely must be filled with gratitude for all the gifts that have been showered on her by life.

Or not.

After all, it's not like we've seen any verifiable increase in poverty in the last few years.

15 Shocking Poverty Statistics.

#1 Approximately 45 million Americans were living in poverty in 2009.

#2 According to the Associated Press, experts believe that 2009 saw the largest single year increase in the U.S. poverty rate since the U.S. government began calculating poverty figures back in 1959.

#3 The U.S. poverty rate is now the third worst among the developed nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

#4 According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on a year-over-year basis, household participation in the food stamp program has increased 20.28%.

#5 The number of Americans on food stamps surpassed 41 million for the first time ever in June.

#6 As of June, the number of Americans on food stamps had set a new all-time record for 19 consecutive months.

#7 One out of every six Americans is now being served by at least one government anti-poverty program.

#8 More than 50 million Americans are now on Medicaid, the U.S. government health care program designed principally to help the poor.

#9 One out of every seven mortgages in the United States was either delinquent or in foreclosure during the first quarter of 2010.

#10 Nearly 10 million Americans now receive unemployment insurance, which is almost four times as many as were receiving it in 2007.

#11 The number of Americans receiving long-term unemployment benefits has risen over 60 percent in just the past year.

#12 According to one recent survey, 28% of all U.S. households have at least one member that is looking for a full-time job.

#13 Nationwide, bankruptcy filings rose 20 percent in the 12 month period ending June 30th.

#14 More than 25 percent of all Americans now have a credit score below 599.

#15 One out of every five children in the United States is now living in poverty.

That was from the Economic Collapse blog, via The Big Picture.

Megan McArdle will never be stepping over starving children in the street because the police will not let their presence inconvenience the people with money. Therefore poverty doesn't really exist, and McArdle can continue raking in the cash from the corporations that support her and her husband's lying and manipulations in their service.

It takes a very special type of person to casually dismiss children begging Santa for a coat so their mom can be warm in winter. It takes the type of person who shrugs at torture and death. Who worships affluence and power.

This is the type of person that controls our freedom and financial security. This is our "elite," whom we trust to govern us, control our economy, safeguard our rights.

Rich people hate you. Don't ever forget it. They can and will and have mentally stepped over the fallen bodies of our soldiers, our poor, our children on the way to lunch. They read about suffering and they instantly dismiss it. It means nothing to them.

You mean nothing to them.

Yet we still give them more, more of our labor, more money, more respect, more benefit of the doubt. They take it and then they sign another paper or pass another law that will make them richer and us poorer and less free.

What cannot last forever will not last forever.


fish said...

Not to downplay suffering but...

That statement is the embodiment of her evil.

Clever Pseudonym said...

I wouldn't expect someone who thinks suffering is not being able to afford stylish clothes to downplay the matter at all. Besides, aren't stories based on anecdotes presented as evidence for an argument Megan's specialty?

Anonymous said...

Compare that to her honest fury at some lawsuit over Happy Meals:

One shudders to consider that when Patrick Henry stood up in St. John's Church and declared "Give me Liberty, or give me Death!", he was offering to exchange his life for a freedom that would then be passed down people like this . . . people who would gleefully toss that freedom away with both hands if, by so doing, they might protect themselves from the harrowing predations of . . . a cheap plastic toy. Presumably, had he known this was coming, he would have sat his ass back down and shut up. What would these lily-livered quislings say if Henry was standing before them today, glaring reproachfully.

I imagine her as a small-town woman, mid-50s, in her bathrobe at mid-day, glaring with puffy eyes through her McMansion blinds out at the world.

Modulo Myself

Jack Crow said...

We have to learn to hate back. They do need to be reminded to fear us.

nate said...

I think anytime you phrase something like, "Not to be X, but..." you are guilty as hell of X, and you know it.

For instance, when you have to start a sentence with, "I'm not a racist, but..." you are, in fact, about to say something racist.

She really is a petty, cruel person. I quit reading Attackerman and Ezra Klein because I can't stomach anyone who calls her a friend.

Kathy said...

Ignorant, a sloppy writer, a lousy cook, and obviously an empathy-free person; this woman can be called at best mediocre.

As Susan said, Megan is a real archetype of our "elites"; the people we're supposed to admire and emulate.

I suppose its always been so: the revered Royalty Of Olden Days: cowards, thieves and murderers of the worst sort. The glamourous Aristocracy in their silks and powdered wigs: lice & flea infested ignoramuses living high on the hog while 99% of people in their countries froze and starved. The glorious British Empire created with the labor of children and slaves on a scale hundreds of times vaster than the Roman Empire ... also built on theft and slavery.

The USA is no different.

Kathy said...

... the USA is no different, but we managed to keep our theft and slavery in other countries- while Americans remained "free" and had some money. Now our Elites have started in on Us: we're being robbed, stripped of our freedoms, ground under their $5,000 shoes. And sneered at for our commonness.

Thor said...

Just found this site by doing a search for "Megan McArdle is a shill"

One word - BRILLIANT! :-)

Anonymous said...

I've always been interested in the fact that so many well-off people think "it's cool to be cruel"--Megan obviously being one of them.

Maybe it's the "I'm alright, Jack" syndrome. Maybe it's because they live in a world so insulated from suffering and privation, they refuse to believe it actually exists--or that if it does exist, it's Your Own Fault.....

Or maybe it's a way to cover for a guilty conscience, knowing--in Megan's case--that she had everything handed to her on a silver platter from birth, because of who her family is...

Any way you look at it, it's enough to make you hope Jesus was right about it being harder for a rich person to get into heaven, than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle....

At least as far as Megan goes.

David in NYC said...

Just as her calculator doesn't do billions, her heart (assuming she has one) doesn't do empathy and compassion.

But I would bet she thinks -- of herself, of course -- that the milk of human kindness runs by the quart in every vein.

Kathy said...

My brother used to install cable tv in rich gated communities. Usually they wanted every room to have cable. He mentioned once to me that he really hated running cable to the kid's -especially teen's- rooms, because so many had the (famous in the 80's) poster of a rich guy leaning against a ferrari or some super-sport car holding a champagne glass, with the motto at the bottom of the poster:


That's rich folks idea of witty and clever. Megan probably had a couple of them.

He often had the urge to rip the thing off the wall and shred it.

Anonymous said...

The "poor people are poor because they're less good/hard-working than non-poor people" is an incredibly, um, liberating? belief. It liberates people from social responsibility, from compassion and empathy, and apparently from gratitude.

Now, the other side would say that the "rich people are rich because they're more lucky/well-born than poor people" liberates people from personal responsibility, but I don't think that is the case. First, the evidence (the real evidence, not the "look at Bill Gates!" (who was quite privileged himself) evidence), is pretty clear on the luck/parental SES influence on outcomes. Second, it is just not true that social responsibility precludes personal responsibility. And finally, and more important to me but perhaps a harder claim to make, it is a morally bankrupt position.

The result is people like Megan, ostentatiously preoccupied with morality, but morally void and empty.


heydave said...

My favorite Xmas tree ornament is an iPod stuck up Megan's ass, both hanging from the tree.

Mr. Wonderful said...

The irony--did I say "the irony"? I meant, "the fucking crime"--is that those fifteen statistics are what should appear in her blog, along with elucidations.

She literally believes that her job is, not to explain to a lay audience something of which she is ostensibly an expert, but to justify: to justify why the afflicted are afflicted, and why the comfortable are comfortable.

Julia Grey said...

Or maybe it's a way to cover for a guilty conscience, knowing--in Megan's case--that she had everything handed to her on a silver platter from birth, because of who her family is...

Actually, I think one of the reasons Megan tries so hard to demonstrate this kind of morally bankrupt sang-froid is because she thinks of it as emblematic of the class to which she aspires, but of which she is not yet a member.

The woman has a lot of anxiety because she's not rich enough, and she suspects that the Old Money people she really wants to run with are still laughing behind their hands at her the way they did at school (which they are). So, trying desperately to fit into their culture and gain entrée to social milieus she can never genuinely enter, she feels she has to keep her nose so elevated that she can't even see her feet.

Hence the regularity of her spectacular pratfalls.

Whale Chowder said...

It's fine that she's a morally bankrupt idiot who doesn't understand the subject upon which she is supposedly an expert. I don't care about that.

But why does she have a voice?

How is it that the Atlantic publishes her dreck, that NPR invites her to spout her nonsense?

How could anyone give her that kind of platform?

Syz said...

Megan is the classic example of someone who is born on third base and thinks they hit a triple. =p

Kathy said...

My conservative family & a couple of friends think Megan is knowledgable, intelligent and best of all, witty! Gah.

fish said...

My conservative family & a couple of friends think Megan is knowledgable, intelligent and best of all, witty! Gah.

Courtier flattery is often confused with wit.

Halloween Jack said...

I was actually a bit upset when I read recently that the Atlantic is turning a profit, simply because I knew, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Megan would take credit for it, in her heart if not publicly. She really thinks that she's doing a good job.

Susan of Texas said...

The Atlantic is doing a great job; they used to lose millions and now they're a million plus in the black. That's a lot of quid pro quo!