“The Simpsons” takes on capitalism, by Tim Graham


Fox’s cartoon “The Simpsons” just wrapped up season 33 on May 22 with a heartbreaking attack on capitalism and how the middle class has been torn apart. It featured a singing janitor played by actor Hugh Jackman and a professorial cameo by socialist Robert Reich, who was once Bill Clinton’s secretary of labor.

Before we get into the details, let’s make fun of the pose they strike. Everyone associated with the “Simpsons” all these years is rich. In 2015, the show’s main cast earned $300,000 per episode. Series creator Matt Groening is even richer.

It’s like Seth MacFarlane, who did evil episodes of “Family Guy”, etc. on Fox and backed socialist Bernie Sanders for president. Suppose MacFarlane would move all his money to the Cayman Islands if his leftist dreams were to come true.

Fox Entertainment, now owned by Disney, never acted like a Murdoch bullhorn. Their cartoons repeatedly tore Fox News and conservatives apart. A few years ago, “The Simpsons” compared Kellyanne Conway, former adviser to President Donald Trump, to Joseph Goebbels (which makes Trump Hitler, ha ha ha).

The last show was called “Poorhouse Rock”. It was billed by the ‘Den of Geek’ website as “the most punky episode ‘The Simpsons’ has offered in a long time. It’s like Johnny Rotten narratively crooning a ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ with the ultimate lesson : there is no future for you. They correctly explain that this series “started out as an equal opportunity offender of political sensitivities” but now “has become firmly committed to progressive parody”.

Even before coming to capitalism, they laughed at Christianity. At church, the Simpsons and their community sing a hymn: “Lord, you’re so great / We’re miserable but devout / Your hair’s really great / And did you practice?” Lisa Simpson suggested that God “thirsty” for praise.

Bart Simpson made fun of his father Homer in church, so Homer took him to work for a day at the nuclear plant. Just when Bart was beginning to imagine getting his father’s job when he grew up, Jackman the janitor interrupted him with some notions of musical economics.

He sang, “Your daddy and his homies got it pumped up / But little by little it all went to hell / Factories were closing, unemployment was skyrocketing / There to explain it is Robert B. Reich!”

Reich gave a lecture to upbeat music: “The decline of unions, rampant corporate greed, Wall Street malfeasance and the rise of short-sighted politics have all contributed to rising economic inequality, real unemployment widespread, stagnant wages and a lower standard of living for millions of Americans.”

Then Jackman and Reich teamed up to claim, “The tax breaks went to the CEOs, never trickling down to the average Joes.” We never had a tax cut? Already? Then Jackman sang “And it happened,” and Reich rapped “Greedy rich men kicked our a—.”

They did it ? Google suggests that Reich has a net worth of $4 million. In 2014, Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute noted that Reich taught at the University of California, Berkeley, with a salary of $242,000 – and only taught one class in the fall semester. which met for two hours once a week. This equates to a salary of approximately $2,500 per teaching hour. On top of that, Reich was commanding a fee of $40,000 for a one-hour lecture on the public speaking circuit.

So who is the greedy rich man kicking the middle class?

This is no joke: this cartoon was a terrible (and shamelessly hypocritical) attack on the American economy. No “fact-checkers” will rate it, because it’s not politically incorrect, like The Babylon Bee.

Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and editor of the NewsBusters.org blog. To learn more about Tim Graham and read articles by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: Rollstein on Pixabay


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