Greenwald and Carlson show their true stripes.

“Hey, babes,” I said to my wife, Rena, “you buy things at the Dollar Store, don’t you?”

“Yes,” she answered, “why?”

“Because Tucker Carlson says that they’re degrading.

“Why does he say that?” she asked.

So I gave her this link of an interview he did with Glenn Greenwald.

Here’s close to a literal transcript:

Tucker Carlson: I think a lot of people have awakened to the now demonstrable fact that libertarian economics was a scam perpetrated by the beneficiaries of the economic system that they were defending so they created this whole intellectual framework to justify the private equity culture that’s hollowed out the country.

That’s my personal view and I’ve seen it up close my whole life, so I think it’s a fair assessment. I think a smarter way to assess an economic system is by its results so you can assign whatever name you want to the economic system of the United States. You could call it market capitalism. You could call it I mean you could call it a whole host of different things but I I don’t think any of that’s useful. Those are boring conversations. I think you need to ask does this economic system produce a lot of Dollar stores and if it does, it’s not a system that you want because it degrades people and it makes their lives worse and it increases exponentially the amount of ugliness in your society and anything that increases ugliness is evil. Let’s just start there. So if it’s such a good system why do we have all these Dollar stores. The Dollar store is the clear, I mean it’s not the only ugly thing being created in the United States but it’s the one of the most common and it’s certainly the most obvious so if you have a Dollar store you’re degraded and any town that has a Dollar store does not get better. It gets worse and the people who live there lead lives that are worse. So and and the counter argument to the extent there is one: oh they buy cheaper stuff. Great but they become more unhappy and the Dollar store itself is a sort of symbol what’s what’s a physical thing it’s a real thing; it’s not just a metaphor, but it’s also a metaphor for your total lack of control over where you live and over the imposition of aggressively in your face ugly structures that send one message to you, which is you mean nothing. You’re a consumer, not a human being or a citizen and so again I don’t know what we call our current system but its effects are grotesque. They’re grotesque. It’s wrecked. I’ve been here 54 years and I watch carefully. That’s my only gift is I watch and this has become a much uglier place, a much more crowded place, a much more hostile place, a place that cares much less about people so whatever system that produces that outcome is a bad system and you can call me whatever you want oh you’re a socialist I don’t care what you call me actually I’m beyond caring about name calling. It’s bad and I oppose it.

Glenn Greenwald:  Yeah, believe me, I know I got in a lot of trouble once for suggesting that you and Steve Bannon are a lot more socialist in a certain limited sense than a lot of people who claim that title and of course the nuance of that point got completely lost but I do think the fact that you are focused so much on kind of the welfare of ordinary people and you know, you go to anywhere in the world, you go to obviously you go to Western Europe and you see these structures that people spent 200 years building just for the sheer beauty of it and you go into nature and you see beauty like it never exists and you go to developing countries and you see a kind of dedication to buildings even that are designed to be inspiring and to kind of stimulate things in the human soul and then you go to the places in the United States where our infrastructure is falling apart where our new structures are designed to be as ugly as possible and it’s a very difficult thing to do to communicate these sort of spiritual components of our politics but ultimately politics does have no purpose other than to elevate the happiness of our citizenry and by every metric the happiness of our citizenry is declining: suicide, addiction, use of anti-depressants. All of that

So being able to buy things cheap is degrading. Notice something, though. This 54-year old who “watches carefully” does not bother to say why being able to buy things cheap is degrading. Are the buildings ugly? I don’t know. I go to the Dollar Store in Seaside once a year when I’m looking for stocking stuffers–I’m due in a couple of days–and I don’t really notice the building. What I like is the people inside. The customers are a real demographic mix, many of whom seem to be enjoying finding bargains.

Greenwald claims that Carlson is “focused so much on kind of the welfare of ordinary people.” I don’t see it. Carlson admits that people can buy stuff cheaper. My wife points out to me that certain kinds of soap she buys for our bathroom are much cheaper there than anywhere else. The term for the benefit she gets is consumer surplus. People who are focused on others’ welfare tend to be happy for them when they get consumer surplus. Tucker clearly isn’t.

Greenwald even ups the ante, talking about how people spent 200 years erecting buildings in Europe “just for the sheer beauty” of it. And did those workers who spent the first 150 of those years get to experience that beauty?

I do think Greenwald is on to something when he calls Carlson somewhat socialist. I’ve noticed this kind of fake concern for lower-income people in a lot of socialists I know.

I’ve been selectively a fan of Carlson and more frequently a fan of Greenwald. But these two showed their true elitist stripes.