By Ruben Bolling
Published 10:00 am Wed, Apr 6, 2011
Published 10:00 am Wed, Apr 6, 2011
So, Lucky Ducky is a volunteer in a psychology experiment in which Hollingsworth Hound will press certain buttons depending on his response to economic policy questions? And Lucky Ducky will receive an electric shock if the response would increase unemployment?
So, that flew right over my head, or perhaps to one side. Uncle Hollingsworth wishes to increase unemployment despite the pain to Lucky Ducky, or just enjoys shocking Lucky Ducky because he’s unemployed?
What am I supposed to take away from this?
We do what we’re told.
So anyone every notice that swap between Corporate Taxes, and Payroll Taxes?
Good link, reposted!
Subtle…. very subtle…. I can almost make out a message…. no wait, it’s gone. Shucks!
No matter the cost!!!!!
I don’t really see what statement this comic is trying to make. The obvious point seems to be, “the Republicans don’t care about poor people,” and it’s articulated by an archetype for the rich gleefully electrocuting an archetype for the poor. I get the reference to the Milgram experiment but it doesn’t make sense in this context; the people running the experiment aren’t manipulating the participants at all.
This comic (and many others in the series) is basically the same as saying, “Republicans like to stomp on puppies” and then showing a picture of a Republican stomping on a puppy. OK, that’s a statement, and one definitely worthy of attention, but it doesn’t exactly reveal any greater insight into our sociopolitical situation. It’s just sort of a mean thing to say.
There are plenty of things over which to criticize the right (and the left) these days. “They hate you because they hate you” is not a particularly compelling message. It definitely won’t win any debates.
The obvious point seems to be, “the Republicans don’t care about poor people,”
I think it’s that the wealthy in general don’t. That goes for Democrats and Republicans.
Isn’t that duck supposed to be a reference to Mallard Fillmore? Seems like he’s more than just an “archetype of the poor” but beyond that I’m not really sure what it means.
Lobster – the cartoon doesn’t mention Republicans at all. Don’t you think it’s interesting that you read it into the “message” the toon is delivering? Consider why you might have.
Meanwhile, the US is not a democracy (or republic) any longer. It’s a plutocracy, and has been for quite a long time. It’s just much more obvious now.
Party affiliation is irrelevant.
All right, since a number of people have called me on this…
You’re right, there’s nothing in the comic that says the rich guys are Republicans. However if you read OTHER Tom the Dancing Bug comics, including those that deal with the same issue, Republicans are usually the villains in Mr. Bolling’s work. Maybe that’s unfair of me and maybe he didn’t mean it that way this time, so that I’ll concede.
Personally I have no love for the Republicans or the Democrats (though I’ll also admit I do generally lean left), so when I mention parties it’s usually to point out that segregating people into parties does not actually help us to resolve our problems.
it doesnt seem that any elected official wants to win any debate. they just stand on a podium and spout whatever the people putting money in their pockets tell them…and those people arnt the tax payers.
there is no winning here. there is no debate here. there is only garbage politics which are stinking up the whole country.
throw out the dems. throw out the repubs. i say we just call the whole thing off.
I get the reference to the Milgram experiment but it doesn’t make sense in this context; the people running the experiment aren’t manipulating the participants at all.
Rather the point. They don’t have to.
Very well put “Lobster”.
I saw a protest sign that said the top 1% control all the wealth. Well according to Global Rich List, I’m in the top 0.62% of the world.
Imagine my surprise at being “Da Man”.
To me it appears the fringes on both sides have the most say. Celebrities vs Palin is on the news everyday. It is getting very annoying.
Like a jerk at a party. Everyone is too polite to just say shut up. The only way to make them go away is to ignore them.
Please cut taxes on the rich, they can’t afford their 1000 person birthday parties anymore without having to delay buying a new Bentley for a month. It breaks my heart!
I have enjoyed this comic for years and I’m very pleased to find that it is more humorous with the addition of concern troll comments.
Ruben, you’ve done it again. Just saying “all rich people are sadists!” isn’t just missing the point–it’s ignorant, even a little cruel. It’s no different, in effect, than the old axiom about all poor people “just being lazy.” Surveys show that most people in the top tax brackets in America do, in fact, feel they should be taxed more personally. Most of the lobby debate is surrounding corporate tax, which could be mitigated with a higher tax margin applied to America’s wealthiest citizens.
What’s more, the notion that any wealthy people ADVOCATE unemployment is garbage. Nobody likes seeing people fired, but if you’re in charge of a large corporation that is a pillar of your city’s, state’s, or country’s income and it can only be saved by laying people off, then you’re going to have a pretty narrow selection of choices. Besides, being honest here for a moment, if you have unpaid down payments that you need to keep up on, and you wouldn’t be able to unless someone else lost his/her job, would you even hesitate in getting rid of that person? Especially if you’ve got a family to support? No, I don’t think you would. I don’t think many of us would.
I’m not defending the current economic situation in the U.S.–I hope that’s clear, but I think it bears repeating–I’m merely saying that we shouldn’t blame wealthy people for being wealthy. Tax them more? Of course. Install better corporate oversights and controls? Yes, probably. But saying that the fact that they don’t pay more than they’re asked to with taxes and that they’re indirectly responsible for cutting off other peoples’ revenue streams makes them monstrous? That, good sir, is tripe which helps no one.
I’m merely saying that we shouldn’t blame wealthy people for being wealthy. Tax them more? Of course.
Very subtle, but I see what you did there, trying to inject your satire into teh Interwebs.
Oh cumon, polls show rich people want to have their taxes raised? That’s just hooey. The rich by and large want corporate taxes aaaand their personal taxes lowered, just look at the policies in Washington. Or is it just Big Government forcing massive tax cuts on the rich? Riiiight.
And corporate taxes are unfair? So the zero in taxes General Electric, Bank of America, Exxon, and 72% of all foreign corporations and about 57% of U.S. companies doing business in the US between 1998 and 2005 (according to the GAO) is too high? Hmm! $0 is way too unfair, something must be done about this outrage.
Sigh. The point is, that even though the Repubpig pushed the “increase unemployment” button time and time again, the Lucky Ducky beat the Repubpig by *being employed.* That’s the point.
@earwicker: no, the Wall Street Journal, for a time, called people who made too little money to owe any Federal income tax “lucky duckies”. That’s where Tom the Dancing Bug gets the character from. The idea is to make fun of the notion that people who are out of work, or barely getting by, are lucky.
Ah ok thanks that makes sense! I just assumed since it was a mallard, and this was a political cartoon, that it was Fillmore.
There should be more B responses other than “Increase Unemployment”. Stuff like “Cancel educational programs”, “make people live in the slums”.
Or if you wanted better good vs. evil decisions, go with Fable III: Turn this orphanage into a school or a whore-house. (That really is a decision you get to make as King in that game).
Could just be my interpretation, but it seems like Hollingsworth claims to be sympathetic to ducky, despite his vindictive shocking, but is just as appalled that ducky still gets paid for being shocked – the equivalent to getting unemployment pay, food stamps or other welfare benefits?
surely at least part of the point is not really that the rich might choose to act against the best interests of the poor, but that it is the rich who have the power to MAKE the choices. and they’re still not happy! lucky ducky, on the other hand, has to be content with whatever humiliating and dangerous work he can get.
he said he was going to ask him some questions… but he didn’t ask any questions!
Au contrair! The US is not a plutocracy, because it’s a kleptocracy.
There it goes again, trickling down.
Goddamn that Lucky Ducky! Why doesn’t that philosopher-king Uncle Hollingsworth put that spineless relativist in his place once & for all?
Oh, for Christ’s sake, people. He’s saying the Rich will always go for the option that actively hurts the poor above the option that slightly inconveniences them or holds them accountable for anything. And then there’s the secondary gag about how the Rich believe that the poor getting literally anything at all is quite frankly astonishing. For the love of God, it’s not difficult.
There’s two problems with this. One, Keyensian economics is not an exact science. The examples given are not so cut and dry.
Increase inflation or unemployment? But, inflation functions as a highly regressive tax, that slams the poor, middle class, savers, those on fixed incomes; and enriches borrowers and the financially savvy.
Similarly with deficit spending. It’s economically incoherent to say that deficit spending leads to any sort of long term prosperity. If you don’t mind the moral implications of borrowing money with the earnings of your children and grandchildren as collateral, it can temporarily reduce unemployment. But in a poor business climate, it’s not even good at that. This last round showed terrible results. There are better ways of creating prosperity – unless the only tool you have is a hammer.
The other problem with this is that it cuts both ways.
What if these were the choices:
A) Increase business regulation B) Reduce unemployment
A) Increase minimum wage B) Reduce unemployment
A) Increase government provision of services in areas where no natural monopoly exists B) Reduce unemployment
Well? How many people on this board would get jamming away on that ‘B’ button?
I have no problem with raising revenue to deal with the long term deficit problem. Cuts-only deficit reduction (especially cuts in programs for those who need them most) actually lacks humanity, and I don’t think Hollingsworth Hound laying on the shock button is really that far off the mark.
Also, if we are in such a “poor business climate” then why are US company’s profits literally better than ever? http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/24/business/economy/24econ.html
That’s the thing. We aren’t in a poor business climate, not by a long shot. Deep cuts now to programs that help main street while simultaneously cutting taxes for the rich and their corporations (who are doing great) is exactly what is on the table, and the attitude that makes such a thing even possible is what this cartoon is addressing.
It’s economically incoherent to say that deficit spending leads to any sort of long term prosperity.
That would be a shame, since a quick look at any graph shows the New Deal did exactly that.
The New Deal was started in ~ 1932. The Depression lated until 1946 – a year, coincidentally, when government shrunk radically and many existing regulations were stricken from the books.
Go look at your graphs again, because that’s a pretty awful example of success. 14 years is a long damned time.
The Depression lasted till 1946?
Did you get that from the distinguished historian Jonah “I love welfare” Goldberg, or that noted historian Glenn “Too much cocaine will make you talk like me” Beck?
I think the message here is that by buying into a certain ideology it is pretty easy to ignore or add to the suffering of others. The message “we can’t saddle our kids with more debt” did not seem to hold much water when the war drums were pounding, nor when the banks needed money. Now that its ordinary people who need their government to help its suddenly a moral imperative that we reduce debt. And if people are suffering because of this moral imperative whats wrong with taking a little pleasure in that suffering: its for the greater good is it not?
I read the bit at the end as since Lucky Duck is, like many Americans, no longer considered part of the unemployed and is now in the underemployed camp and is thus ‘lucky’, epically for all the sympathy (second to last panel) he received from Hollingsworth. While in reality the underemployed are just as screwed, if not more screwed, then the unemployed
You’re also oversimplifying. To suggest that a change in minimum wage or business regulation will necessarily result in higher unemployment is ridiculous. It’s like when a TA in my first-year econ class tried to use a simple supply-demand curve to show why the best way to have 100% employment is to abolish the minimum wage – it only makes sense if you don’t think about it.
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