Let Them Eat Cake

Off with the heads of the poor.
24
Posted June 18, 2014 by GRAYSON HARPER in News
wages

I guess the bullies will always be with us. Nowadays they’re targeting the poor. No surprise there. Bullies always single out those who are weaker, more vulnerable than themselves.

Dr. Annette Bosworth, a first-time candidate for Congress, recently posted a suggestion on  Facebook that the “Please do not feed the animals” signs in parks also be applied to food stamp recipients.

Meanwhile Rush Limbaugh and Fox News have relentlessly attacked low-income and out-of-work people who rely on food stamps and temporary government assistance.

The bullies include members of Congress, the Tea Party, and Speaker of the House John Boehner, who tells us he would commit suicide before raising the minimum wage.

Apparently, the Speaker hasn’t learned that no one can live on $7.25 an hour. Or that, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, an average one-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States is beyond the reach of someone earning minimum wage.

This means there are record numbers of people in poverty and going hungry. In this country, 3.5 million are homeless, 41 percent of them families with children. Many are employed — earning $7.25 an hour.

And yes, many of them rely on food stamps and other assistance. Yet the Tea Party (funded by billionaires) enthusiastically backed cuts to food stamps — $9 billion for openers, followed by $11 billion over three years. Now food pantries are struggling to fill in the gaps of a program that’s already insufficient to afford anyone a healthy diet.

To the bullies, it doesn’t matter that 76 percent of households on food stamps include children, seniors, or disabled people. Many who qualify for the program don’t even apply due to the shame and abuse heaped on those who do. In the land of the free, I suppose, starvation is manly.  It’s patriotic.

The bullies are supported by a lot of good, honest folk who may not be bullies themselves but who get a little jittery at the thought of their neighbors “getting away” with something.

They say things like, “I work hard for my money. Why should I give any to bums who don’t want to work?”

As there are now three people for every job, average income has stagnated, and CEO pay is 300 to 400 times that of the average worker, maybe it’s not unusual to see decent people turning stingy, nervously guarding what they have, or fighting over the scraps.

Perhaps they should direct their anger at the bullies, like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart, piling up billions in profits while fighting tooth and claw against raising wages to something their workers can live on. Former labor secretary Robert Reich tells us that had the minimum wage simply kept up with inflation, it would now be more than $10 an hour.

So people who attack the poor are not looking at reality.

Here’s a little reality: The Congressional Budget Office predicts the effects of the 2008 housing collapse will run long into the future and cost upward of $25 trillion or $80,000 for each person in the country.

So far, not one of the Wall Street crooks who brought us this horror show — the biggest shakedown in history — has spent a day in jail, nor has one red cent of the money they stole been returned to the people whose lives they ruined. Instead, they were bailed out with taxpayer money.

This was welfare to rival the wonders of the world, yet there’s more gnashing of teeth over the pittance dribbled out to the unemployed and underpaid who are struggling to get by.

And the elites are still raking in the profits.  Since 2009 the top 1 percent has captured about 95 percent of the income gains. The top 10 percent took more than half the country’s total income.

But bullies prefer easy targets. And the elites are happy to deflect attention away from themselves.

In a so-called Christian country, the image of people attacking and berating the least of us is not a pretty one. The Golden Rule, some version of which is found in most religions, is the basis of empathy, echoed by the admonition, “That which you do to the least of these, you do to me.”

And who are the “least of these”? Not the banks, not the CEOs, nor the billionaire owners of Wal-Mart or Apple or Monsanto. It’s not Wall Street, and it’s not the military (which now gets 60 cents of each of your tax dollars).

“The least of these” are the hungry, the impoverished, the sick, the homeless, and those in prison. For my part, I’ve never had much use for any religion that has abandoned that principle.

Don’t think much of bullies, either.

 

Fort Worth artist and writer Grayson Harper can be reached at poetreb49@gmail.com.


24 Comments


  1.  
    stoutimore

    Harper claims the Tea Party is funded by billionaires so he can imply they’re hypocrites for wanting to reduce the number of those sucking at the lower teat of government but endorsing those sucking at the higher teat. But where did Harper obtain the Tea Party’s donor data? Out of the thin air, that’s where. Typical Left pablum: If calling the Tea Party racists doesn’t work; try calling them billionaires.




    •  
      Benny

      Here’s the thing….Peckerwoods are going to be Peckerwoods. Baggers are going to be Baggers. Hammer-Heads are going to be Hammer-Heads….what else can they be? My bird-dog Roxy is smart enough to know that. Baggers tending to be square, normal humans? Data? Racist? Hypocrits? Did you hear about those hero’s shutting down the United States of America? USA locked down, couldn’t pay it’s bills? What do you eat Mr. Stoutimore? Who is on first? God help us.




    •  

      Far from the grass roots organization it claims, The Tea Party was actually the brainchild of big tobacco and the billionaire Koch Brothers decades ago, and gets much of its funding from them. I guess I’m not too surprised to find you not knowing this, though I had thought it was fairly well known by now. But that’s one of the reason I wrote the essay was to try to combat some of he ignorance and bigotry. And bigotry is what we’re talking about in this case, the basis of which is always ignorance and just pure meanness. It’s as old as the hills and never seems to go away.




      •  
        skeptic

        Well in order to “combat” ignorance and bigotry– you might try pulling together some actual facts (and name calling really does not help).




    •  
      skeptic

      Harper and his ilk exploit and live off of the poor. They are the actual “bullies” who keep the misinformed poor in perpetual poverty via the media and liberal propagandist belief system that the Government and media will actually “help” them (how has THAT worked out for the last 50 years, BTW?). One of their favorite devices is to demonize the innocent who oppose or even question their liberal con artistry.




    •  
      skeptic

      In enlightened liberal paradises where the minimum wage is at least $10.00/hr–i.e. Seattle, Washington, (according to the WSJ) wage workers are upset that “well intention-ed” minimum wage economics has led to reduced jobs and overtime pay upon which they have previously depended. Has anyone but WSJ ever analysed the actual effects of Robert Reich’s useless theories when they are implemented in real life? (Another example of liberals exploiting the poor and middle class.) I’ll just bet good old Bob Reich doesn’t even personally know anyone on minimum wage, and he being the “elitist” he is has certainly never had to work at minimum wage rates.




  2.  
    Ambrose Delacour

    Here’s one of many sources from non-leftist media documenting the Koch brothers’ bankrolling of the Tea Party. But I’m sure that won’t curb Stoutimore’s relish for throwing insults. http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/peter-fenn/2011/02/02/tea-party-funding-koch-brothers-emerge-from-anonymity




  3.  
    Ambrose Delacour

    Article in 2/2/11 US News is one of many sources from non-leftist media documenting the Koch brothers’ bankrolling of the Tea Party. But I’m sure that won’t curb Stoutimore’s relish for throwing out insults.




  4.  
    Ambrose Delacour

    Article in 2/2/11 US News is one of many sources from non-leftist media documenting the Koch brothers’ bankrolling of the Tea Party. But I’m sure that won’t curb your relish for throwing out insults. http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/peter-fenn/2011/02/02/tea-party-funding-koch-brothers-emerge-from-anonymity




  5.  
    Ambrose Delacour

    Article in 2/2/11 US News is one of many sources from non-leftist media documenting the Koch brothers’ bankrolling of the Tea Party. But I’m sure that won’t curb your relish for throwing out insults.




  6.  
    skeptic

    Whew, more deliberate misinterpretation from a chosen few in the media propaganda machine. Somehow I can’t find out anywhere in the transcript of the Limbaugh show or Fox news programs online or anywhere else where they “bullied” or “made fun of” those individuals receiving food stamps. On an obscure program last November (2013) re: an effort to reduce the national debt (remember that small problem?) the origins and original intentions of the program as a “supplemental resource” were discussed as well as legislation to reduce the amount by $36.00 per month by congress. As for Ms. Bosworth –she is a politician evidently from South Dakota who came in fourth in a four man primary—hardly a relevant political “force” or in anyway relevant to Fort Worth. Do you guys EVER fact check your articles at FWW?

    Leave it to this publication to completely miss the biggest bully of them all: the out of control
    Democrat led Federal and selected Democrat local government “players” of the last 6 years. Did you miss the IRS “we lost the email” scandal? (note the “we’re above the law” look of sarcasm on the ghoul who runs the agency at any public inquiry) The selective persecution of individuals and businesses in the middle class, by the DOJ while Democrat crooks run amok? John Wiley Price,for example, has lined his pockets pretty well at the expense of his impoverished local constituency (and is closer to home than ms. Bosworth). Corzine? Menedez? Wiener? The -always in BS mode-”broke” Ms. Clinton? (of course the “broke one’s'” kid, Chelsea has no relevant occupation and a $10 million dollar townhouse in Manhattan plus a $30 million net worth — I guess being a “defender” of the underclass pays pretty well for liberals). Did you miss the dead people in the VA system? Those locals arrested for trafficking in food stamps for cash–are they being “bullied” too? How about he young liberal high tech millionaires/billionaires who are making San Francisco unaffordable for the average middle class resident? Why are the Koch brothers any different from Soros, Corzine, Buffett, Gates, Jobs and other liberal billlionaire Wall Street or high tech industry elitists who enrich themselves at the expense of the middle class and tout their political causes? The perpetual growing underclass only serves as an advantage to one political “cult” in America, and guess what –it isn’t Republicans, Conservatives, Wall mart or McDonalds. Liberals have and have always had an opportunistic parasitic relationship with the poor–which is a form of very sicko “bullying”.




    •  

      “Skeptic”, to respond to all your points would require me to attempt to educate you just a little, not just in the facts themselves, but in our own history beginning after WWII, at a time before Walmart began to spread like a cancer, driving out small businesses, eroding wages, before we ran all our manufacturing out of the country, a time when unions were strong, workers were well paid, corporations were taxed at a much higher percentage than they are now, when lower income people had greater access to a higher education; hence there was a far smaller gap between rich and poor, and a far stronger middle class. But alas, I don’t have the hours to spend and you don’t seem interested anyway.

      Your revulsion of liberals–whoever they are–seems almost to have a religious fervor about it–and I find it’s usually not worthwhile to try and reason with someone whose beliefs seem to be based less on something rational than on just pure raw emotion.

      At least we agree on some things. I’m not a big fan of the Clintons, either, nor of Obama. I don’t think it’s right to attack and kill people with drones or put them away indefinitely without due process. The Constitution seems quite clear to me on that. I’m not crazy about Obamacare–while it’s helped some, it’s still beyond the reach of others. I think it’s a half-measure–a massive gift to the insurance companies, and we should have gone for single-payer, like every other advanced country in the world. I also agree with you (if I understand you correctly) that so-called liberal Democrats are just as capable of being corrupted as anyone, that they’re as much to blame for many of our country’s problems as Republicans. There’s really not much difference in them, and why should there be? They’re all bought by the same people!

      Hence, I have no doubt that if Hillary is elected, she will simply pick up where Obama left off, thus, we will continue to have pointless wars that eat up all our wealth, the economy will continue to stagnate, and poverty will increase accordingly. With only an 800-word allowance, I didn’t have the luxury to put everything in that you would like to see. In fact, I started with about twenty pages of notes, but in that small window, you’re forced to pick and choose.

      My philosophy, such as it is, causes me to believe that our first duty as loving human beings is not to side with the rich and powerful, but with the scorned. Thus, my point was to offer some defense of those who I think have been unduly mistreated, while the real culprits appear to be getting away with murder. You seem to have a lot to say. Perhaps you should write your own essay and submit it.

      I appreciate your thoughts and good luck to you.




  7.  
    skeptic

    So you are questioning the governments’ ability to care for the poor through government programs and yet you want the government to have complete control over your health care via single payer? (BTW you might want to investigate what REALLY happens to tax dollars under most single payer systems)…




  8.  
    Benny

    When you grow up skepic, I am confident you’ll learn to think and compose something worthwhile. I’m praying for you. Best of luck.




  9.  
    Giant Sperm Whale

    In journalism school, I learned to back up all claims by quoting a source. If I make claims without citing sources, I am writing propaganda. This is a great propaganda piece.




  10.  
    Benny

    Mr. Skeptic, if I may inquire, what is your age? Why don’t you get a decent job and amount to something? Why do you work at that gnome of a newspaper and spend half your time reading and reproving the Weekly? You should be ashamed. Are you a Mormon? Mitt Romney is a Mormon. He ran for President of our country a short while back. I have a small farm in Upshur County, east of here, that contains the largest Mormon community outside of Utah in the U.S.A. Most of my neighbors there are Mormons. They’re pretty starchy, but fine neighbors. Are you aware than grown Mormon males wear Magic Panties? It’s true, I’ve seen them, but I don’t much believe they’re really magic, they just think they are. Anyway, It’s a free country by golly, but I am convinced the Repugs should be ashamed to be that Hammer-Headed, but there you go. Do you suppose Mr. Romney is a comprehensive reader? Do you really believe the Baggers have a full string of lights? I’m not a troll, Slick. I was reading the Weekly when you were jumping off yellow school buses.




    •  
      skeptic

      You seem to be unduly upset by those with opinions different from yours, and you have a tendency to babble on incoherently. Are you so clueless as to misunderstand that using “dirty language” insulting monikers for your fellow citizens (who you imagine threaten you in some paranoid way) is inappropriate? You seem to be intolerant of other religions as well. The ONLY thing I know about Mormons is that the ones I have met are educated, hard working, decent, sober, stay married have large families which they take care of themselves-without whining about increased support from the government. The poor in America could do worse than use most Mormon families as an example… (you are a bigot and a troll-BTW)




  11.  
    Jake

    The poor need to do things to support themselves. Education is one, but without that, more hours and sacrifices are needed. Minimum wage can easily support a person, but to make that money stretch, will need to share an apartment and do without luxuries. In the end, it is their problem to solve.




    •  
      Benny

      Easily support a person? Sacrifices, stretch the money, do without, their problem??? What do you eat? What is the basis of your black-heartedness? ‘For it is in giving that we recieve’…you suggest Jesus Christ is a liar? You are a real piece of work Jake. You are the loser.




      •  
        Anonymous

        I can’t tell if you are a troll, or just another idiotic individual who has a hard time reading material that differs from their own point of view… Who knows? Maybe it’s both…





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