Friday, January 10, 2014

Rich vs poor - moral hazards and money immunity

I know I've been posting a lot of these, but Jon Stewart has really been on a roll this week.

Can you believe that 99% of these moochers have a refrigerator? What's next, running water? Must be nice, huh?

And if you've got a refrigerator, where's the incentive to work? Of course, rich kids can handle their trust funds. That's different, right? I mean, if you inherit money, that doesn't sap your ambition at all.  They've got "money immunity," built up from a lifetime of having everything they want.

That's why we need to eliminate welfare, unemployment benefits, and health care for the poor, yet we also need to eliminate estate taxes. Because the rich can handle getting money for nothing. The poor can't. Right? Right?

These unemployment benefits were always supposed to be temporary, just like the Bush tax cuts for the rich. The difference is that these benefits are still going to be temporary. It's just that, with Republicans dragging their feet every step of the way, it's been slow climbing out of the economic collapse they gave us.

We bailed out the banks - we used tax money to rescue the rich from the results of their own folly - so the investment class is doing great. (Trust me. I'm not rich, but I do live on my investments. The investment class is doing great.) Yes, that was the right thing to do, but it was still rescuing the rich from the disasters they themselves created. But rescuing the poor? Oh, we wouldn't want to do that, would we?

Finally, as Stewart points out, welfare fraud means that we need to eliminate social safety nets for everyone, but bank fraud is just a few bad apples making honest bankers look bad. Double standard, anyone?

But I've got to say, as angry as I get at all of this stuff, what really burns my butt is to watch that smug asshole Stuart Varney talk about how people with little education don't deserve more money,... while right-wingers like him fight to make education as difficult, as ineffective, and as expensive as possible for the poor and even the middle class.

I'm glad that Stewart shows just brief clips from these people, because two seconds of them is about all I can stand!


Dan Keim said...

so if welfare and public assistance get taken away, what are people supposed to do that cant work? You have no more right to a shelter and food than i do just because you are physically or mentally better than i am. Might as well just start destroying children that show any signs of autism or mental instability. I do agree that alot of people abuse the system, but alot of people are forced into it. I personally WANT TO WORK, i feel like it gives me purpose in life and it makes me feel good to be earning my keep. "So why dont you go find a job?" is what many people think, It isnt that easy.... i was institutionalized in a state hospital..... i am worse off than a convicted felon when it comes to finding a job now. There are lots of programs that help mentally challenged people find work and i have used and worked for them. The problem with them is that it is usually work that pays less than minimum wage and is so mind numbing that an untrained monkey could do it. "Well a job is a job", no it isnt. How would you feel if you had years of training and education and the only job you can get is to put put stickers on products (they dont have to be straight just attached), while you are doing this people are looking over your shoulder and talking to you like you are an idiot. Makes you feel really good about yourself huh? Then to add insult to injury every person you talk to has something to say about how people on welfare are so worthless and you are tired of paying their bills...... your tax dollars may be paying for my public assistance but my lower than minimum wage job is doing the job that nobody else feels is worth it.

In short, do people abuse the system? YES! Humans will abuse anything if it makes their lives easier, having quarterly renewals or check ups on the situation should be mandatory imo and more research done into the persons life and background to determine if they really need the help more than 3 months.

I am no where near smart enough to come up with a solution to the problem, but hopefully when they start the euthanasia of people that cant work hopefully my body in the oven keeps some fat cats warm for awhile.

WCG said...

Thanks for the comment, Dan.

You know, we're a rich country. We're a fabulously rich country. Most of the people who've ever lived would find it hard to believe how rich we are. (And there are millions of people all over the world who'd love to live here. That's not because we're poor!)

Throughout most of human history, starvation was a very real threat. Disease, of course, was rampant. (The problem wasn't the cost of health insurance back then!) Indeed, we're better off than ever today, despite the rosy lenses the right-wing uses when looking backwards.

But all you hear from Republicans is how poor we are. That's drummed into us from the right day and night. We're poor. We're hopelessly in debt. We just can't afford to feed poor children or keep paying our contractually-obligated Social Security payments.

They're lying, of course. We're not poor at all. They just don't want the wealthy (primarily) to pay taxes. And since few people really like paying taxes, that's what a lot of people want to hear. (Of course, most of them aren't very smart if they think the Republican Party cares about them. It's the wealthy who get the real benefit.)

This is a rich country. We can well afford social safety nets. And we all need them, because you never know when disaster might strike. We're far from poor, but the gap between rich and poor in America is becoming enormous. And the rich don't want to see that change.

PS. Speaking of employing convicted felons (OK, you weren't, really, but you mentioned it), I was just reading about a study the other day which found that employers were more willing to hire white men with criminal records than to hire black men without criminal records.

Incredible, isn't it? The world isn't fair, and I know that I've been very lucky. As a straight white man with no disabilities (and raised Christian, in a stable home, in an overwhelmingly Christian society, to boot), I've had every advantage. I know that.

That's not an excuse for anyone else to give up, of course. But it infuriates me to hear healthy straight white Christian men complain about how bad they have it. To hear some of those idiots, they suffer horrible discrimination, just because they're not automatically on top anymore (and because they're actually expected to pay taxes).

Argh, don't get me started! :)

Thanks again for the comment, Dan.