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Mitt Romney doesn't understand what it means to honor a contract. People with the kind of money he has often don't need to. They have lawyers for that, and the people they employ exploit do not.

In America, Romney doesn't believe that our citizens have a right to housing, food, or a whole host of other basic human needs. He thinks Americans only earn those rights by working for an employer.

He's wrong, and his disdain for and ignorance of America's social contract with its citizens is telling. Mitt Romney is a global citizen, a jet setting member of the 1% of 1% who don't seem to think the American Dream entails holding true to the social contract all Americans have signed.

All American citizens are in fact entitled to housing, food, and other forms of government aid. We don't need to work for the wealthy in order to earn those rights. We earn them simply by being Americans and by abiding by the many laws the wealthy have written over the years to protect and enhance their wealth.

In many parts of the world, they don't have the kinds of laws we have here in America that restrict the rights of the poor. For example, people are free to simply take unused or neglected land and build their own homes with found materials. Families build them and live in them. Entire communities and even neighborhoods can be constructed in this informal way. In America, the poor are not permitted to build their own housing. They need permits, licensed builders, etc. Without the permission of the wealthy via these restrictions to basic human freedom, any housing built by the poor would be torn down and the violators of the various laws fined and possibly imprisoned. In America, the poor abide by the laws regarding the construction of permanent housing, and in return for this very obedient restraint of behavior by the poor (providing housing for one's family is the most basic human impulse), our social contract seeks to guarantee them via government programs some form of housing, even if it isn't particularly safe or desirable.

Likewise, with food, in many parts of the world where Romney's brand of country club Republican simply doesn't exist to restrict human freedoms via the laws they write, people are free to squat on historically (not legally) delineated lands in order to grow and/or raise their own food. In America, this isn't possible. Ever since rich cattle ranchers parceled up and fenced off the free ranges of the American West, all citizens (poor and otherwise) have been forced to abide by a new and special set of rules written by the wealthy when it comes to feeding one's family. We buy our food from the rich, and as a part of our social contract, and in return for this special modification of natural human behavior to provide food for one's family by any means necessary, if the poor are unable to purchase the nutritional sustenance they require to survive, then the government steps in to provide food assistance, especially for poor children.

These are the trade-offs the poor live with, according to the social contract every American signs by accepting citizenship in this country. Mitt Romney's family signed it when they decided to become American citizens again. They rejected some of the ideas they held in Mexico, and accepted a new set of ideas here in this country. They made a promise, and in exchange for the special rights we guarantee for the owners in this "ownership society" (put generally, the public protection of what they own by taxpayer funded law enforcement and the restrictions to freedom this entails), they agreed to help fund programs to care for those their special rights would otherwise exploit and then totally abandon.

No American must work for a man like Mitt Romney in order to secure the right to food or housing. They secured that right by being Americans, and by sacrificing the basic human freedom to build their own homes and grow their own food (a freedom mankind has enjoyed for millions of years) to a system that tells them these things will be provided by other means (either via commerce or public aid).

If Mitt Romney wants Americans to agree to third world working conditions (and he does), then he and every rich person like him must recognize that they have abandoned the social contract they promised would be honored, and the security they have in their property and the hold they have over the laws and regulations that restrict the poor from providing for themselves are also forfeit.

Throughout history, Mitt Romney's extremist aristocratic thinking ends with pitchforks and angry mobs, because that's the natural progression of a society where the basic social contract has been abandoned by the wealthy elite in a way that makes it impossible for poor families to survive. If the wealthy feel threatened now (which is of course absurd, take a look at the DOW), just wait until Romney makes good on his promises. Because once they shred the social contract that has defined America for generations, they will unleash the tidal wave of poverty induced rage that was only held in check by that social contract and the laws it represents - laws that actually protect the rich from the poor and the middle class (not to mention themselves).

Originally posted to snowcity on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 02:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by Promote the General Welfare, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Community Spotlight.

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