Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Rich Live Larger And Longer Than You And Me

I read an interesting article at the Atlantic and it got me thinking...

The core philosophy of the Republican Party these days is that a problem only exists if you spend money on it, meaning tax dollars, meaning THEIR tax dollars.

If you stop spending money trying to solve poverty (or the healthcare crisis) the problem ceases to exist.

In the mind of the Republican Party, poverty is only a problem because solving it costs rich people money they’d rather spend on another home in another tropical tax haven or on another corporate takeover.

If you stop spending money to alleviate poverty or the ill health of poor people the poor will go away and die and solve the problem more cheaply and therefore more efficiently.

As Scrooge said “Let them die then and decrease the surplus population.”

Why the American public doesn’t find this repugnant is a mystery until you realize that vast wealth also buys a lot of PR, a lot of network time, or, in the case of FoxNews, a whole network. (The Koch Brothers now hold a partial veto power over programming on PBS because they help fund it.) The .1% own most of the media.

The rich are not necessarily fascists, but they benefit from fascist policies so they often aren’t inclined to oppose them. It takes time out of their leisurely existence. Those who donate to liberal and progressive causes are to be applauded. They are acting against their own financial interests, just as the rural poor are voting against theirs, but what use are so few in the face of so many?

There is a meme going around that suggests that poverty is caused by the poor. You hear this on right wing talk radio.

Oddly enough, it’s true. In a way not quite captured by the right wing meme.

The poor who listen to right wing radio and watch FoxNews and nod obediently are helping deepen their own poverty and ignorance and ill health, by cooperating with the rejection of ObamaCare and by disbelieving science, by obeying their masters, by voting for Republican candidates who perpetuate their powerlessness. They are not stupid people, even though they are behaving stupidly. They are ignorant, not stupid. They may not even be ignorant, just ignorant of their predicament. They have been conned and are now invested in that con game, too embarrassed to admit it, because admitting you were tricked is harder than losing what was stolen from you in the process.

You have to reach a very low point before you admit you did something dumb, and, luckily for the Republican Party, most of the poor people who vote for them would rather die first.

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