Job Fair

The logic of the Republican view is inescapable…like toilet paper sticking to one’s shoe except more embarrassing and dirty. Just as we all know that the way to stop a child from being obese is to feed them more desserts and the way to promote world peace is to launch more wars, Republicans now seem united behind the concept that the way to help people get out of poverty is to make them poorer.

Now, to many, such a concept might seem unintuitive, completely ignorant and just plain dishonest and cruel. Some might also think the same about what it takes to be a Republican and though they might be right, no one likes a show off.

Republicans have stripped up to 2 million Americans, many in desperate financial situations, of extended unemployment insurance. They have demanded and achieved $8.6 billion in cuts to the food stamp Program, SNAP (though they had sought to make $40 billion in cuts). Republicans continue campaigning for the repeal of the ACA/Obamacare and strip poor people of the Medicaid they are now covered by due to it (nearly 5 million adults living in poverty in states with Republican controlled legislatures and Governorships are left uninsured because of these Republicans’ refusal to provide expanded Medicaid in their state under the ACA). Republicans strongly oppose raising the minimum wage and in fact, some support abolishing it completely so corporations can get wealthier and millions more Americans can be doomed to much worse abject poverty.

Republicans have been on a crusade to undermine Medicare and Social Security, to slash benefits and income (and delay them for years) and remove any guarantee of retirement income for seniors.

Republicans who are millionaires and billionaires are now taking their turns appearing on Bloomberg TV, CNBC and Fox channels pounding their chests about how they are being attacked like Jews in Nazi Germany by those who dare to criticize them for winning their class warfare against the rest of Americans and how the 99% should just shut up because the poor people here are far better off than they would be if they were in more torturous poverty in a third world nation (“You’re only scrounging for rent and money to feed your children and can’t afford a decent education or savings, you lucky, lucky bastards!”).

And Republicans have also taken to the airwaves to promote their underlying philosophy that the only reason people are living in poverty in America…is because they aren’t poor enough. The only way to lift people out of poverty, according to them, is to take away from the little they do have so they’ll stop buying their Escalades and going on their Bermuda vacations. If only we cut deeply into the inadequate lifeline people in poverty now have, they would instantly go from being unemployed or working as a greeter at Target to becoming a multimillionaire hedge fund CEO. All it takes is destroying the lives and families of the poor to make their lives better.

Oh, and only the wealthy work hard (let’s see Donald Trump pick strawberries for 12 hours a day). If you’re poor, it’s because you’re lazy (think of all the hard work it took for Donald Trump to be born so he could inherit his fathers fortune).

All it takes to believe this lunacy is embracing the following:

a. Completely ignore the documented and undisputed fact that millions of well-paying and not-so-well-paying blue collar jobs have been eliminated in the U.S. especially since the economic crash that occurred under Republican President George Bush. Also ignore that there is an average of at least three unemployed people applying for each available job.

b. People living in poverty are actually living lives of relaxation and luxury that anyone else would envy…unless they weren’t poor. Anyone who isn’t a corporation and wants money from the government, even those most in need due to their or their children’s health conditions, are greedy asshole takers (just like those people who receive $142 per month from SNAP to buy food, talk about a huge windfall with plenty left over to buy plasma tvs and jet skis!). Corporations however, that pay zero in taxes, giving back nothing to the government while taking billions in subsidies and tax breaks from the government/taxpayers, are the best kind of “people” and deserve more than they’re getting.

c. White people aren’t among the poor.

The sad but true facts about the racial breakdown of poverty explains a lot about why the Republicans feel so free to have such a war on the poor.

Graph of Poverty by Race

So, considering that white people are a bigger percentage of the U.S. population as a whole and that the percentage of white people in poverty is the lowest of all racial groups, that does support the Republican agenda of racism since 90.3% of the poor aren’t white.

The question to be asked of Republicans about the poor, aside from, “How can you be such complete assholes?!” is, “Really, there are well paying jobs out there just waiting for the poor to apply but the poor won’t because they’re way too comfy being poor? Name those specific jobs.”

There may be a percentage of poor people who may be resolved to living on a shoestring but if that was so rampant, why are there so many people applying for each and every job that comes up (aside from specialized jobs that can’t be filled by those without a Masters degree or PHD)?

No one needs further proof of the dishonesty of the Republican Party. Whether it’s racially targeted suppression of votes through Voter ID laws when no fraud can actually be found, the Death Panels and the end of America that Obamacare would bring or this fraud about people preferring to live in poverty because they receive too much money, the GOP is quite apparent in being a party that just flat out lies to harm those who aren’t wealthy to benefit the wealthy.

The Republican “vision” for the future of America, if they were to be able to accomplish all their goals, is to have our country regress into a feudal society where the majority are peasants who are economically enslaved to their wealthy Lords and have no power to change that. Look at the latest howling by Republicans over the CBO’s report on the ACA which recognized that 2.3 million Americans by 2021 could leave the workforce to retire or pursue other ventures thanks to their not being dependent on their employer for health care. If one thought the GOP was somewhat rational, one might think that they would applaud this new freedom people would have to become entrepreneurs and “job creators” but freedom when it comes to anything but corporations and guns is not something Republicans believe in. They pointed to that report to complain that it would be immoral for people NOT to be trapped in a job because they needed health insurance…supporting the idea of a continuation of a type of slavery for American workers.

At the same time that they fight for government to keep subsidizing corporations, they attack Americans who receive Unemployment Insurance, health insurance subsidies, Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid as “living off the government”. Someone needs to get them to sit down with one of their insurance corporation donors to get educated about what “insurance” means. When Americans pay for insurance, whether unemployment, life, medical, etc, they are investing in the security of being covered if they run into an issue. Is it immoral to file a claim on your auto insurance? Does that make you a “taker”? You paid for coverage in case something bad happens and its okay for you to pay but not for you to get what you paid for? Social Security and Medicare, while not exactly insurance, are also programs that insure Americans will have income and health coverage when they are seniors. Paying into those your whole life is fine but getting the benefits from them is being a “taker”?

The bottom line is that the GOP, as the political arm of corporate America, believe that taxpayer money should only be funneled to them and every penny spent on Americans, whether it’s in return for payments made to government over a lifetime, is a penny not going into their pocket. So, they oppose ALL spending for the 99% and demonize different segments of Americans to turn other Americans against them and in favor of cutting them out. A cynical game of self-interest, always cloaked in a contrived morality.  That’s what this fraud about their obsessive concern over the deficit is, elevating it as a horrible threat to convince people to support their dismantling of the flow of tax money back to society and tax payers (ever wonder why the billions in subsidies to corporations has never been addressed by Republicans who claim the deficit is an existential emergency and government spending needs to be slashed everywhere?)

It’s doubtful that Republicans will back off of their War on the Poor since ultimately, it’s a war on those more likely to vote for Democrats and winning that war means the ability to carve out more tax money for their corporate backers. It will be interesting to see if their theory works for their party as well, if the best way to overcome a majority of Americans disliking your party for being dishonest and destructive, is to do more dishonest and destructive things.

For those of you trying to overcome gambling addictions, I’d suggest aggressively and frequently betting against them.

30
Leave a Comment

Please Login to comment
8 Comment threads
22 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
10 Comment authors
pinkpantherozKillgoreTroutfunksandsSallyTchoicelady Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
pinkpantheroz
Member

Excellent Article and comments, AdLib and all. One thing I can’t get my head around. Many, many of the 1% channel their wealth into philantropic programs in Africa, Asia and South America. Can anyone explain why this spending of zillions is not targeted at the disadvantaged in this country? I don’t mean all aid abroad should be curtailed, but why is it that the 1% sneer at our less fortunate in the US, when they crow about all the stuff they’re doing abroad. Or is this yet another example of GOP selective blindness.
Well, here’s an idea. All those God-fearing 1%’ers shouldnt be taxed. However they SHOULD be obliged to part with 10% of their earnings as a Tithe ( flat tax under a different name)! Isn’t that what the Bible tells ’em to do? Well, then, cough up, ya bastids!

Report this comment

KillgoreTrout
Member

Very well written Ad. And sadly true. The Python video reminded me of this one from The Holy Grail. I think it fits nicely here;

Report this comment

funksands
Member

Ad, really great article. You probably could of stopped with “why are you such assholes?” and explore that theme, but lets just assume it is a given law. Perhaps we’ll call it “Newton’s 4th of Thermodynamics: A Republican that is an asshole tends to stay an asshole”.

The key to all of this is to dehumanize the poor. Once that’s done, its very easy to come up with reasons to neglect them. I think that many Americans have a knee-jerk psychological revulsion to the poor and then back-fill the reasons why that it is appropriate to feel that way.

When times are good and most are flush, this is easy to do. Witness the 80’s and 90’s. When times are tight or when a very very few are doing well, this creates a need for all sorts of gymnastics to rationalize public attitudes and public policy.

This is not new. This is almost identical to the Victorian-era attitudes of the British government (almost all wealthy Britains in the 1810’s – 1830’s. Give the poor too much and they’ll lead lives of idleness. They’ll have babies for the sake of having babies, they’ll distort labor costs, they’ll wreck the very “laws” of supply and demand, for god’s sake, they’ll take us all down with them!!!

What’s really frustrating is how the the GOP has managed to set different segments of the poor against one another. Having the poor in their base as their most fervent supporters and most scornful of other poor people has to be especially delicious for them.

Report this comment

choicelady
Member

Excellent analysis, AdLib! This is the rebirth of Social Darwinism that began with Reagan. It’s covered with a religious pastiche born of the ‘sheep v goats’ assessment that if you’re part of The Elect, you will prosper, and if you fail, well you didn’t love Jesus enough.

Yes, they have tarred and feathered social supports, rationalized that people don’t deserve to be self sufficient by being paid decently, and posited that social equality removes the motivation to ‘Come to Jesus’ who will make you wealthy but without whom you should starve.

Back in about 1982 Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman wrote of Reagan’s new ruthless dismissal of the poor, “Why do the rich need incentives but the poor need desperation?” It’s because of this attitude – the rich are different and better because, well, they just ARE.

Democracy and political ‘Affluenza’ are totally incompatible. We are in a war to see whether the founding principles of equal opportunity survive. The Tea Party’s win will usher in both massive and growing poverty AND theocracy that shores up that breech. We cannot tolerate any of this within a democratic republic founded on he principles that every human being is equal. It’s a fight to the death. The Tea Party or America.

Report this comment

Nirek
Member

CL, I’m glad you put the blame where it belongs!
Reagan started our problems with his “trickle down” economics. His theory has failed to help anyone except the richest !

Report this comment

kesmarn
Admin

Wonderful, wonderful article, AdLib. This whole “are there no workhouses, sir?” attitude of the Republicans is just so repulsive.

You may have seen the article on TO/OT recently in which it was revealed that a county in Florida had eliminated a third of its polling places — all of them in poor/minority neighborhoods. The explanation given went something like: “I want these people to want to vote… want to vote so bad that they’re willing to walk 200 miles to do it, like those people in Africa did. This should not be easy.”

In other words — they want to see the poor work for it, sweat for it, beg for it, suffer for it. Not just for the vote — but for everything: jobs, education, food, health care, everything. “Show me how much you want that school lunch, baby!”

Unless — ? Maybe they were referring to blue-haired, wealthy, elderly GOP ladies walking 200 miles to vote?

Ya think? 😯

Report this comment

choicelady
Member

Riiiiiight.

Report this comment

Dbos
Member
Dbos

Great post !!!!; the sad part is they are succeeding in their buying of America ;most in the America of today are being treated to a revolution with the Birchers winning this round . Our fault was to allow entities such as Fox and the bought off MSM propagandize our Democracy away; their comeuppance will come but not soon.

Report this comment

choicelady
Member

Dbos – I think actually they are not. Their acme was 2010, and they’ve lost ground ever since. Passing both the Farm Bill that restored food stamp cuts (the cuts came in November 2013) and the recent vote on the debt ceiling shows that even internally within the Capitol, they cannot prevail.

This has been 35 years in the making since Reagan. Even back then some of us who’d studied history could see that the Tea Party was the logical outgrowth of the virulent, racist anti-democratic nature of the GOP. Undoing it will take some time, but people are finally galvanized. One has only to look at the Moral Mondays marches in NC, the sweep of localism across the nation, the pushback from millionaires such as Warren Buffet, Nick Hanauer and Tom Steyer among quite a number of others to see that even the well to do know that these things are very wrong.

The Kochs through hundreds of millions into the pot to elect Mitt and lost. They lost several key Congressional races. They will throw MORE money – but it’s counterbalanced by a growing activism. VOTES by us, the people, count AS MUCH as the money they toss around.

it may not be obvious at the moment, depending on where you live, but people are no longer passive. It’s not the Occupy flame outs – it’s the wresting of local control that matters, and that’s happening across the nation.

We are pushing back. As long as we do -and don’t give up as we did in the 80s and 90s- we will make huge changes that matter. President Obama is correct – democracy is not about him. It is about us.

Report this comment

Dbos
Member
Dbos

Heres hoping ; I am concerned with the growing control of the States and their move to limit voting rights; we as a people are very reticent in protecting everyones rights they on the other hand are very aggressive in their their taking rights away ; even States such as Wisconsin and Michigan are facing voter suppression not to mention Ohio and Pennsylvania ; next election is set up for them to win back the House and take over the Senate ;look closely and you will see my concern ; if that happens it’ll take decades to undo the damage they will do in a short period of time;witness “citizen United”.

Report this comment

Kalima
Admin

When you summarise the GOP and their attitude towards the poor like this in one excellent article, they come across as insanely evil. Many of them are, so when they bring God or their faith into the equation, they should be publicly mocked.

They accused the President of “Death Panels” when this is exactly what they are hoping to introduce. They decide who lives or dies, who eats or starves or you know what, they will cause another government shutdown, take their small, shrunken balls and go home. Has a meaner bunch walked this earth, yes, but not in a real democracy. unless you figure in the U.K. Tories. Something is very wrong with the people who vote for them.

Great article AdLib.

Report this comment

Nirek
Member

Ad, by their “logic” we should send all our money to the richest folks and then we wont be poor any more!????!!!!

Tea Party logic is illogical !

Report this comment