Many of those on the right think that, as a rule, people are poor because they deserve to be, because they haven't "worked hard" or some other such reason. These Social Darwinist, Ayn Rand worshippers believe that the economic rewards of our society are distributed based solely on merit, that we each get exactly what we deserve. That's why they believe the rich are the best people in our country and the poor are the worst. This is the moral (cough) justification for conservative economic policies.
You know these people, the ones who talk about being a "maker not a taker," who bow down at the feet of corporations (they are people, so they must have feet) and ignore the fact that without consumers no one can create jobs.
Well, here's a fact and then a question for the aforementioned folks on the right. Ezekiel Emanuel recently noted in the NYT that:
Between 2000 and 2010, the number of children living in poverty in America increased by 41 percent, and now includes nearly one-quarter of our kids.Are our children 41% lazier than they were 10 years ago?
Let me ask that again:
Are our children 41% lazier than they were 10 years ago?Do you Social Darwinist/Randians really believe that's the case? Do you have any evidence to back it up?
Even if you want to make the absurd, ridiculous, amoral argument that all or even most children living in poverty really do deserve to live in poverty (I know, I know, just hold that thought), then that must mean that 41% more children deserved to live in poverty in 2010 than did in 2000.
'Cause if not, then maybe you'd have to entertain the notion that maybe children and, by extension, people who live in poverty don't actually "deserve" to be poor. And maybe you'd have to consider the idea that programs like, say food stamps or Medicaid or free meals at public schools so that low-income kids can learn rather than focus on being hungry (one of Limbaugh's favorites, just click on the link above), aren't simply "rewarding bad behavior" or some other such right-wing nonsense. And maybe then you'd have to entertain the notion that goodness and wealth do not actually go hand in hand in the real world, and that poverty does not, by definition, signal the immorality of a person.
In other words, maybe you'd have to open your eyes.
5:51 AM PT: Thanks for getting this on the Rec List!: Let's try to keep it on there for a while. We need to expose the immoral hypocrisy of the kind of ideology that opposes all help for the economically vulnerable.