By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
John Maynard Keynes was twitted with changing his mind. He replied, "When the facts change, I change my opinion. What do you do, sir?"
My favorite example of a change of mind was Norman Mailer at The Village Voice.
Norman took on the role of drama critic, weighing in on the New York premiere of Waiting for Godot.
Twentieth century's greatest play. Without bothering to go, Mailer called it a piece of garbage.
When he did get around to seeing it, he realized his mistake. He was no longer a Voice columnist, however, so he bought a page in the paper and wrote a retraction, praising the play as the masterpiece it is.
Every playwright's dream.
I once won one of Mary Ann Madden's "Competitions" in New York magazine. The task was to name or create a "10" of anything, and mine was the World's Perfect Theatrical Review. It went like this: "I never understood the theater until last night. Please forgive everything I've ever written. When you read this I'll be dead." That, of course, is the only review anybody in the theater ever wants to get.
My prize, in a stunning example of irony, was a year's subscription to New York, which rag (apart from Mary Ann's "Competition") I considered an open running sore on the body of world literacy—this due to the presence in its pages of John Simon, whose stunning amalgam of superciliousness and savagery, over the years, was appreciated by that readership searching for an endorsement of proactive mediocrity.
But I digress.
I wrote a play about politics (November, Barrymore Theater, Broadway, some seats still available). And as part of the "writing process," as I believe it's called, I started thinking about politics. This comment is not actually as jejune as it might seem. Porgy and Bess is a buncha good songs but has nothing to do with race relations, which is the flag of convenience under which it sailed.
But my play, it turned out, was actually about politics, which is to say, about the polemic between persons of two opposing views. The argument in my play is between a president who is self-interested, corrupt, suborned, and realistic, and his leftish, lesbian, utopian-socialist speechwriter.
The play, while being a laugh a minute, is, when it's at home, a disputation between reason and faith, or perhaps between the conservative (or tragic) view and the liberal (or perfectionist) view. The conservative president in the piece holds that people are each out to make a living, and the best way for government to facilitate that is to stay out of the way, as the inevitable abuses and failures of this system (free-market economics) are less than those of government intervention.
I took the liberal view for many decades, but I believe I have changed my mind.
As a child of the '60s, I accepted as an article of faith that government is corrupt, that business is exploitative, and that people are generally good at heart.
These cherished precepts had, over the years, become ingrained as increasingly impracticable prejudices. Why do I say impracticable? Because although I still held these beliefs, I no longer applied them in my life. How do I know? My wife informed me. We were riding along and listening to NPR. I felt my facial muscles tightening, and the words beginning to form in my mind: Shut the fuck up. "?" she prompted. And her terse, elegant summation, as always, awakened me to a deeper truth: I had been listening to NPR and reading various organs of national opinion for years, wonder and rage contending for pride of place. Further: I found I had been—rather charmingly, I thought—referring to myself for years as "a brain-dead liberal," and to NPR as "National Palestinian Radio."
This is, to me, the synthesis of this worldview with which I now found myself disenchanted: that everything is always wrong.
But in my life, a brief review revealed, everything was not always wrong, and neither was nor is always wrong in the community in which I live, or in my country. Further, it was not always wrong in previous communities in which I lived, and among the various and mobile classes of which I was at various times a part.
And, I wondered, how could I have spent decades thinking that I thought everything was always wrong at the same time that I thought I thought that people were basically good at heart? Which was it? I began to question what I actually thought and found that I do not think that people are basically good at heart; indeed, that view of human nature has both prompted and informed my writing for the last 40 years. I think that people, in circumstances of stress, can behave like swine, and that this, indeed, is not only a fit subject, but the only subject, of drama.
I'd observed that lust, greed, envy, sloth, and their pals are giving the world a good run for its money, but that nonetheless, people in general seem to get from day to day; and that we in the United States get from day to day under rather wonderful and privileged circumstances—that we are not and never have been the villains that some of the world and some of our citizens make us out to be, but that we are a confection of normal (greedy, lustful, duplicitous, corrupt, inspired—in short, human) individuals living under a spectacularly effective compact called the Constitution, and lucky to get it.
It is an awkward truth that totalitarianism can arrive under any kind of banner. It is also an awkward truth that that there are few things more illiberal than a liberal with the bit of truth between their teeth, but it doesn't follow therefore that Milton Friedman makes more sense than say JK Galbraith. This won't do David. The rule of law and the constitution are indeed powerful and vital for our political health and wellbeing and when the rich and powerful stop subverting it for the benefit of their bottom line and when the disparity between rich and poor stops widening, I'll be more inclined to feel persuaded.
With David Mamet's royalties and his ability to feel like the king in his own little fiefdom it's probably easier to believe that life is good, while also confusingly subscribing to the Hobbsian view of nature... He has crawled out of the pit, so ergo it's a fair result? Human nature, is more probably both a biological given and socially conditioned... the one doesn't preclude the other. I suggest that Mr Mamet spends a fortnight living in the same conditions and on the same income and with the same pressures as one of the "undeserving poor" his new friends on the right talk patronizingly about - say, a single parent adjunct professor with two kids, no health insurance, and a wage packet well below the poverty line, and see how long it takes before he reconnects to the idea that social justice is more than just two lazy words uttered by the brain dead. Social Justice does mean something David - but you can't understand what it means while being fitted out by the same tailor that the Emperor who wears invisible clothes, visits.
I will never watch his movies again the bourgeois pig.
He has lost his mind in his ole age.
No one with at thread of decency could support the capitalist war machine...
He will soon return to the fold in the same way the europeans will embrace Communism again. It is inevitable.
In the mean time discredit this class traitor at every opportunity.
Mr Mamet is still trying to figure it out. Perhaps he will now begin to move from the right to the center. The problem is how to define the role of government clearly (this is of course just philosophical - there is no clear path for reform anyway). People seek control of the improvement of their lives. Liberals see government as the means, conservatives the market. Both are correct. The market can work because you can vote with your dollars or start your own business, but not, for example, in the case of a monopoly. Government plays a good role in this case (well, not if campaigns are financed by corporations). It's like a basketball game that is well officiated. The players and spectators all benefit, but do get frustrated at times with the officials. The officials are a small part of the game, yet have a lot of control. They do try to stay out of the way, but if the ball hits them they are considered part of the game and the ball is still in play. This analogy is pretty good for domestic politics in an isolated society. But our society has competition in it, and is in competition with other societies! This is where the role of government becomes fuzzy and where government needs to be a lot more nimble by design (representative democracy is very cludgy). In some cases, under certain circumstances, government can do something more efficiently than the market (at least initially). This should be reserved for cases where the market fails to provide that which is needed for competing with other societies (what is necessary to compete is very hard to say, healthcare and education are on the list). Unfortunately, we can't just follow a clear policy of government does this, market does that, we have to watch out for other societies using government to do something to get the upper hand on us (militarily or economically - same thing really). Government should be small and powerful (Democrats make it bigger, Republicans make it weaker), but unfortunately we are neither good at creating or destroying it in a precise or timely manner. So far, our positions of wealth and power in the world have enabled us to absorb our vast inefficiencies in this area.
Yeah David, the market will solve everything. So says Milton Friedman, a man who needed to be pimp slapped but never was.
Wow! David managed to freak you libs out! It's just an opinion piece and he doesn't deserve the ad hominem attacks for expressing it. You're a fairly serious group. Please lighten up and remember: Stop searching for perfection--you'll be much happier. Cheers.
This is perhaps the most self-serving articles I've read in quite a while. The arrogance is dripping from Mamet's words. It's cool that his worldview has changed over ye years. But all he does is resort to the same kind of cheap name-calling, misrepresentation and opinion-as-fact nonsense. No logic and no objective evidence to support his newfound perspective. Just mindless drivel.
Mamet's Chicago School "wake-up" call certainly hasn't helped his creative work any, which is perhaps instructive. Presumably he produced, what many regard as, his most insightful and enduring work when he was a "brain-dead" liberal, while his recent work is widely regarded as turgid drivel. The latter we now know was written under the influence of all that Friedman and Sowell ("greatest contemporary philosopher? are you kidding me?"), which is useful to know, and may explain a good deal about an otherwise mystifying decline. Here we have yet more turgid drivel in essay form, in the trademark terse (or is that--now finally revealed to be--banal?) bursts, filled with the sort of whining and humorless "irritable bowel" self-righteousness that so often seems to typify this species of conservatism (Chaney's a classic example, Rumsfeld, definitely Romney and Ryan, the talk jocks Flush Limpdick and Sean Insanity). You need to have a colonoscopy, David, you may have ulcers. Hard to stomach (!) this sort of thing really, post-2008. Where exactly does Mamet live these days? On which particular planet? Can't be close to downtown Manhattan surely? Aside from the monstrous ethical failings of the "Lords of the Free Market" with whom Mamet now aligns himself, those same crooks and buffoons also proved themselves to be just about as "brain dead" as it is possible to imagine (a little like the salesmen in Glengarry Glen Ross--ooooh, who stole the leads, boys? That's a really hard one!). Still obscenely rich of course (and saved by a "free-market-interfering" government, no less--funny how they suddenly go all "non laissez-faire" at such times, eh?), but breathtakingly stupid for all that. Driving the whole world economy into the wall like men who got into Ivy League Business Schools because of family connections but really weren't all that bright (no prizes for getting that allusion)--how's that for certifiable "brain death"? And as if to confirm just HOW brain dead these "realists" are, they cling on to the ridiculous notion that the disease is the only cure for, well, the disease. Is it okay to conclude in the proper Mamet-esque style? I will anyway, and risk running foul of the moderator: David, you're starting to sound like a cock-sucking mothe-fucking idiot!
So Mr Mamet is now an economist, and can judge who is 'the greatest contemporary philosopher' to boot, although said philosopher is more of an economist than a philosopher, which I guess makes it easier. Maybe he should devote more of his energies to his plays, seeing as they haven't exactly been wildly successful of late.
He might also tell us where he has found those liberals who endorse the slogan 'Business Bad, Government Good', and who believe human beings are all basically good at heart. Except for President Assad and his henchmen, plus Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, obviously. And the Nazis. And the Fascists. And Lenin, Stalin and Beria, and a whole bunch of Communists. And King Leopold's administrators in Africa. Oh, and then there were those guys in the Inquisition, whom no-one expects, admittedly. Some of the Roman Emperors too. In fact, there's quite a long list of Really Not Very Nice People, and we've only just got started.
But of course liberals don't read Thomas Sowell, so they have these crazy ideas that, just as one branch of government should not be given all the political power, so government needs to let businesses do their thing, but, given that the sole purpose of businesses is to make money, they need to be regulated, to some extent, by all three branches of government, because otherwise—and this may come as a shock to Mr Mamet—they will, like Grünenthal, Enron, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Bros., the BCCI, or Koch Enterprises, not come to a nice negotiated arrangement with us, though they might do so with each other, producing, not a compromise, but a cabal. No: they will capture government regulatory bodies and (as Mr Mamet might put it) exploit the f•ck out of the rest of us.
Seems like Mr Mamet has lived long enough to start seeing some truth. Good to hear and good to read about this conversion from fantasy to reality. I wish more on the left would stop for a moment and examine their belief systems as he has. Moreover, I would like to see some on the left pick up a book by Sowell, Friedman, or Steele and see how the other half lives and breathes. For them it may prove to be a breath of fresh air.
This editorial was incredibly ponderous. I wonder what a free market playwright reads into the fact that his latest play, The Anarchist, closed only one day after the official opening. Your time is past, David. Accept it.
His name escapes me, but I recall hearing a liberal publicly say that on one thing he had to admit, and that is from his observations, "Conservatives have a better understanding of human behavior". Coming to that conclusion makes me think that he too, may be at the beginning of his journey to becoming more of a conservative. The deeper you think about it and the more you observe mankind the more you understand how much of liberal philosophy undermines the very hard wired subconscious essence of who and what we are. Humans don't only need to be fed and kept warm. We have a certain pecking order that we establish subconsciously with each other just like other animals do. We need purpose in our lives and we have through tens of thousands of years developed transactional skills between us. We instinctively have give and take attitude and each of us has something we can take away or offer to the other that usually keeps things in balance. We al have egos, and we all have roles to play.
Related to all of this, while watching Book TV this morning, a very liberal author was plugging her new book titled "The End of Men: And the Rise of Women". I thought about how different I interpret the same information. Much of what she discusses is true, but she can't see how big a role our government now has in our lives and the impact this has. The government has not only become the elephant in the room in every household in America, but in truth it's now the Alpha Male in every home. It has separated us all into groups and it, not the husband and father is the one who has to be negotiated with. I first saw this happening when the state got more and more involved in separation and divorces. There was no longer the balance of power that keeps both parties reasonable and sane with each other. This argument goes on and on, and and the consequences manifest themselves in many ways to each and every group we are divided into. None of them service our needs as free individuals with hopes and dreams and aspirations nor our need to work and love and be loved and simply do our job as a free human being.
If you're not a liberal at twenty you don't have a heart . If you're not a conservative by 40 you don't have a brain..........Churchil.
If Mr. Mamet at one time truly believed that “everything is always wrong” then indeed he truly deserved the self-imposed title of “brain dead liberal”. He goes on to illustrate that Washington politicians who are perfect beings willing to work tirelessly and perfectly for the common good are an abstraction (which of course, such beings are) without admitting that the Constitutional provisions for checks and balances to promote stasis don’t amount to much more than a historical abstraction when taken from the modern perspective. His viewpoint is a gross over-simplification, and as abstract to the modern reality of politics as an airplane made out of donut holes; so simplistic in fact that I find it difficult to locate a single opportunity to acknowledge any of his claims. He even throws in the term “Marxist” as if that term has any sort of functional value to anyone except for some babble-mouthed, McCarthyist pundit looking to use emotionally laden catchphrases to scare up some ratings. “Marxist” is as anachronistic a term as “Whig”; it has absolutely zero bearing on modern policy, and as soon as someone utters the word, I have to wonder what they are up to. Static vs. mobile class systems? In stating that most Americans “probably will change status more than once within [their] lifetime” Mamet is dead wrong. The reality is that Americans think of themselves as far more mobile than they factually are. Research shows that most people start life in a specific income bracket and then stay there, the single biggest determinant of one’s class identity as an adult being his father’s occupation and income, not their education level or job. This isn’t to connotatively suggest that “everything is always wrong”—the connotation here is simply that relevant and complex social factors are at play and it is worthwhile to examine them in order to find solutions that fit the complexity of the problem. The solutions do not always call upon ever more zealous government interventions any more than they always call upon ever freer markets, and a real solution likely lies somewhere cooperatively in between the two. Mamet is “hard-pressed to see an instance where the intervention of the government led to much beyond sorrow”? Do the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution mean anything to him? The Social Security Act? The intervention of US military in fascist Italy and Germany (and the subsequent massive government trade deficits that bore us out of the Great Depression)? To hear Mr. Mamet make such base generalizations is truly disappointing to me since I have such a great deal of respect for him as an intellectual and consider his social commentary to be typically peerless. Unfortunately, in this instance, Mamet gives himself exactly enough rope to hang himself with—marking himself as out of touch in the process—but what is even more egregious and counter-intuitive given his history is that he isn’t even slightly sophisticated, original, or deeply critical in his approach to being out of touch, which is why I label him a “brain dead conservative”. All this Paul on the road to Damascus, scales falling away from the eyes, sudden conversion story leaves me with is the impression that Mamet is politically naïve and should stick to what he knows best; crafting socially relevant stage productions with snappy dialogue—which apparently would sell more tickets if it weren’t for that pesky director fouling everything up…
I am also late to the conversation which I found mentioned in one of the online conservative magazines. I was looking for an enlightened reaction to Obama's victory and not the "God sucks" response that babbled out of Glenn Beck's blazing mouth or other similar belches. However, after reading Mamet's epiphany, I realized I just stumbled upon another simplistic, historical moron. Over-simplification and blatant generalizations make me wonder, about the depth of his transformation. Milton Friedman!!??? Paul Johnson? Mamet must be hanging with too many American buffaloes and growing fat with lucre. You don't have to be a liberal to realize Mamet is looking through the large end of the telescope.
1. This is what happens to many young liberals as they grow older and become wealthy.
2. I don't know many liberals who believe everything is wrong.
3. Most people do not have the opportunity to experience more then one class in a life time.
4. This article is a severe case of projection as generalization for a whole society.
@TrojanHorace I'm poor and I'm a libertarian. There goes your argument.
Meanwhile, Mr Mamet has reached 3 crucially important conclusions:
1. People can generally get along with one another
2. The government is not full of angels wielding power for selfless reasons
3. We're all Americans, one and all, and we all deserve the time of day
In truth it is the 'conservative,' who is actually a 'liberal' as it was always understood before 20th century America, who believes in people.
@MAO24 What David has said here does not conflict with the fact that there is indeed a corporatist war machine that writes anti-liberty laws and steals our money to go kill other people on the lands of their fathers.
@MAO24 Can't stomach the truth, eh?
@dave_fullerton Sure. What's not to love about forced association in a mob of unfettered naked sweaty apes? The concept of pure democracy works so well at a gang rape, why shouldn't we target a small and powerful government?
Democrats make it bigger and stronger. Republicans also make it bigger and stronger. No idea what nation you are talking about since JFK's mere $100B, over half of which was for defense, paid for by 180M people. Today, 320M poney up close to $4000B soon enough. JFK's $100B only population and inflation adjusts to maybe $1500B/yr today(productivity gains over 50 yrs should lower that adjusted number, but feel free.) That isn't a little more spending, that is a huge amount of additional public spending, and yet it was JFKs America with the economies that roared. Feel stimulated yet? Any day now....$2.5T/yr in 'stimulus' over JFK's America, and ... yikes. There is no comparison in the optimism and pride of the graduating class of 2012 and 1962 in what its nation was doing. The class of 2012 must shake its head at this hot mess it was delivered into, and rightly so.
Nobody grew government more than Nixon, Reagan and Bush 43, though Obama is giving them a run for other people's money. That optimistic class of 1962 totally failed at fettering its federal government, which found a way to burden the class of 2012 long before it was even born.
Government should be small and fettered by a governing principle: the defense of free association, the inhibition of forced association, especially by itself as an agent of forced association. A properly sized and missioned definition of government would fall from that.
When seen through the filter of forced association, the proper role of government is easy to discern. Clean Air laws are a justified example of inhibiting forced association(with the consequences of the commerce of others.) As well, the total lack of justification for fatfingering the mortgage market, or ACA, is also readily seen. We've allowed the pure courting of power via pandering to be the only guiding principle fettering our state. It is an unsightly mess.
@applemask83 If I had to pick the retard, between you and Mamet, well, sorry, but you're the retard.
@applemask83 Goes to show you even liberals break their own rules by using demeaning terms that are considered un-PC by the Left and calling those who are mentally challenged "retards". Not even me, as a former Liberal, would use that word. Then again, I've met plenty of socialist pigs who used "fag" and "homo" in my company.
@ajshinn Just because you don't understand something doesn't make it drivel.
@occupyconsciousnessn Amazing how open and logical the knee jerk liberal is? No? George Orwell warned us of creatures like you.
@morrissey11 I think the entire array of juvenile, scatological huffing and puffing in your own unhinged rant pretty much establishes you as being unworthy of bringing any reasonable criticism to Mamet's essay. The fact that you've barely created a single cogent point in all of those words confirms it.
@leslieann If a failed attempt means so much to you, who do you listen too? Look up the list of great playwrights and count their failures,.......if you can count that high.
@leslieann Antisthenes, you seem to be making it up as you go along.
His popularity waned after the late-90s. His Pulitzer was awarded for his works in the 80s, which he rode to get work until the late 20th century. His only 21st century work of note, Anarchist almost closed out of town, but absolutely came down for good in its first week.
No doubt his early work was pimp, and his associations with his first wife, Lindsay Crouse, William Macy and Joe Mantegna led to some amazing synergies. His unique approach to dialogue inspired many modern screenwriters and playwrights. That was then. No doubt he wrote a bit in this century, but nothing approaching the level of critical appraisal of his earlier works. Indeed, his most popular writing of recent note was the 2011 screed announcing the history of his early 21st century discovery of conservatism.
Unless you mean that his earlier classic works, like Glen, remain popular, there is no support for your proposition that HE is popular as ever.
Can you provide any evidence to the contrary?
@leslieann I guess Mamet will get the last laugh, he's as popular as ever. You best get your hand out for your government cheque!
@ronbr2 two Ls in Churchill... who was a reactionary at twenty and a closet liberal at 60
@clive.younger If you needed to impress, you could have used fewer words, but people of liberal bent need many words to allow for the nuance when challenged with actual events or facts.
This was simply about a man who sees things more practically as he ages. You seem either young or attached to your need to seem relevant. All liberals experience this, and some come to see how elitist is really is.
@MysticMan Oh, yes you do. ("have to be a liberal) But like all liberals you have this need to think every one actually agrees with you. We don't.
@MysticMan If you are really looking for enlightenment, then you would do well to re-read or at least review and understand all of the "great" or notable economists from Adam Smith to Marx, Keynes, Hayak, and yes, Friedman. There are others as well, and they have engaged in an ongoing dialogue, each building on the works that their predecessors left behind. Dismissing Friedman without logic or explanation makes you look as foolish as Phil Donohue did when he thought he had trapped Friedman in a logic corner, and then Friedman deftly sidestepped the trap and turned the trap on Donohue -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76frHHpoNFs
In fact, find a youtube clip of Friedman that you can logically or factually disprove, if you can; I've watched over 20 clips and have yet to find one that I have a serious problem with.
@miltonb1 I am 65 years old, and while I don't know of and studies to confirm this or prove otherwise, from what I've seen I'd have to say it has always been common in America to experience more than one class in one's lifetime. I will agree with you this may be far less common now and in America's future. It's very difficult to leave the plantation.
@miltonb1 RE: 3:) and under socialism no people will have any oportunity to experience more than one class.
@miltonb1 you know your number 3 item there? That kind of emo/tragic sounding lament about something high-falutin'ly called "lack of class mobility" or whatever? I would bet that THAT is precisely what Mamet was referring to in your item 2, how there's always some systemic problem that's forcing people into the status quo.
Actually your 1 is probably also an example. This tragic thing where people start out young and liberal and then they get old and wealthy. This is Something Wrong. and then you follow it up with your number three how it's bad that that doesn't happen.
Everything is wrong. See?
@miltonb1 This is what happens when young liberals try to join a conversation beyond their years and experience.
Incidentally, I'm not wealthy and yet feel exactly the same way Mr. Mamet does. As for having the opportunity to experience more than one class in a lifetime: in this country you have the option of making your own opportunities -- or at least, you did up until now.
When you're as good a writer and thinker as Mr. Mamet, try again.
@Frediano I agree it is an unsightly mess.
Would wikipedia's definition of free association be the one you would recommend?
I did not mean to imply that pure democracy would be better than representative democracy. My apologies if it came across that way. I intended not to suggest any particular changes to our democratic system. I don't have any answers for fixing that.
I get your point about government getting bigger under Republicans and Democrats. They do it in different ways, and as power passes from hand to hand, each hand weakens the work that was done before by the other. You are correct, through the lens of spending, government has been getting bigger and bigger no matter which party has had control. I was aiming mainly at the domestic side of political policy and perhaps over generalizing a bit to make my writing palatable. The main gist is that a completely free market won't work. It must be very well regulated. Perhaps you are suggesting that neither of those options will work.
@alabastard I agree that his remarks were not written with balanced advocacy, but to say he didn't make a cogent point (without a single specific argument on your side, I will observe) isn't true. Still you shouldn't dismiss them:
1) Mamet's most widely acclaimed works were written at the outset of his career, and were indictments of the cynicism and consequences of naked capitalism. For those, he earned his Pulitzer. His more recent works, inspired in part by his new conservative faith, have not been well-received.
2) Considering Sowell 'the greatest contemporary philosopher' is a clear ideology smell -- there is no serious way this point can be sustained. Sowell is not a serious philosopher, and while he writes about philosophers' ideologies (the book on Marx being a keen example), his writings are not even serious philosophical criticism, let alone independent works of philosophy. Sowell is a brilliant, well-educated and articulate man, a widely acclaimed columnist and economist. But he is at best a wannabe as a philoospher.
3) The use of the phrase "brain dead" is unfortunate, and not an adequate substitute for non-argument whether by Mamet or the OP. I believe the OP was trying to make that point.
@bflake You're right. So let's make sure that the middle class starts to grow again and people in poverty are given a better opportunity to rise out of poverty.
@michaeljsouth @miltonb1 another confused southoner won't surprise many. Class, as in bucks and politics be two different things, Bubba.
If I understand your reply to my comment you are under the impression that I am a young liberal. Your reply is exactly the projection I'm talking about. Hoping to not reveal too much of my identity I will give you some idea as to how off base your assumptions are. I am 64 years old and the son of immigrants who came here in 1947 penniless. I have spent my entire adult life in the corporate world, most of it as a highly paid senior executive. As far as being a good writer is concerned, I am a published writer who has won a few awards but gave up writing many, many years ago. I certainly did not get close to the success of Mamet. I never tried. But I'm sure we can agree that today's successful artist could very well be forgotten tomorrow. So if you are going to comment at least cut out the assumptions and insults.
@w96ladypilot A lot of the economic data indicates that the best way to help people out of poverty is to raise taxes on the rich... not for the sake of adding that money to government coffers, but because if a rich person has a choice between paying a sum of taxes to the government or using it to grow his business in a manner that functions as a tax write-off, he will generally grow his business, and that will create jobs that can put people in poverty to work.
@w96ladypilot People who rise out of poverty become taxpayers. It's called investing in the nation.
people in poverty will never rise out of poverty on the backs of the taxpayers, no matter how much they are taxed.
@miltonb1 @bflake Really, it would be just as good a title to say "cold hearted liberal" as it is to have "brain-dead liberal" [I realize, though, that the context in the article is a phrase Mamet jokingly applied to himself in the first place, and I don't know at all whether he came to the same conclusion I'm pointing out here]. My main objection to what liberals advocate politically is the profound and long lasting damage it does to the people they think they are trying to help.