Paul Ryan: The Don Bernaldino of 2011?

Diego Rivera's depiction of the arrival of the conquistadors

Reading a 1573 letter from the Licenciado Matienzo to the King of Spain documenting the abuses of the  Peruvian landowner Don Bernaldino this morning, I came across a passage I had to share. Following a detailed description of the unreasonable demands Bernaldino placed on his indigenous laborers in order to fund his lavish lifestyle and meet his debt obligations to the Crown, Matienzo says of Bernaldino and his ilk (in fantastic 16th-century Spanish), “lo que peor era…que querian agrauiar a vnos y rrelebar a otros y esto lo hazian tiranicamente cobrando todo lo que podian de los pobres de vno treinta y de otro veynte pesos y de los rricos y poderosos muy poco o no nada.” (“The worst was that…they wanted to relieve some and make others worse off and this they did tyrannically by taking all they could from the poor, from one thirty and from another twenty pesos, and from the rich and powerful, very little or nothing.”) The 1573 edition of Paul Ryan’s “debt reduction” plan, perhaps?

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