Yesterday, it was Thomas Friedman. In his column he surveyed the world-wide protest outbreaks, ranging from those against the Arab autocrats (his word) and Israeli oligarchs (again, his characterization) to European and American plutocrats (this time, my word; I guess Tommy didn't have his thesaurus handy). There was not the slightest suggestion that the cause of the protests and rebellions might be laid at the door of these sundry odorous ruling elites. No, it's all because of technological innovation. He claims that "routine" work has disappeared and occasioned some sort of new and modern form of structural unemployment. This is the same argument, believe it or not, that was made by apologists for the rich during the Great Depression. Well, we know what happened to that nonsense once we all had a great cause to go to work on, like whipping the Nazi menace. All we lack today is a sufficient unifying social imperative to undress this dressed up drivel. But for now, Friedman goes on pushing working people to work smarter, study harder, compete more fiercely with cheap foreign labor, and with what he is pleased to call foreign genius. He may have a small point in that if all we had to compete with were the home grown genius of intellects like Friedman's, we would all be economic gold medalists.
Then today, we find the pious Cal Thomas demeaning the poor and working people. He asserts that all the lawlessness and other bad behavior here and abroad can be ascribed to the crumbling of moral values, and lack of adherence to the teachings of a higher power. Surely one can be forgiven for lamenting the failure of saints like the reverend Mr. Thomas in not applying the same standards to the corrupt practices of abuse and abandonment of the social contract by our rich and ruling elites. After all, they are the ones who endlessly claim that God is on their side.