kill the poor (blog action day)

welcome to blog action day 2008. the subject: poverty.

morning in america has become the evening of the poverty of the soul.

those go-go 1980s, the ones which promised everyone mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money; the decade which started the true rise of the walmart-ization of the US [motto: you can have everything you ever wanted — you can pay less for it, and we’ll buy it all from china, where we can pay eight year olds to make this cheap, unsafe crap — damn the social, economic, political, health, or even environmental ramifications]; the era where we forgot all consequences of our actions — consequences, shmonsequences, a president teetering around 80 won’t need to deal with the consequences for more than a few more decades. remember them? the ’80s psychological fallout is present all around us.

in short, the 1980s, as fostered by ronald reagan, made it quite acceptable to bash the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. it made it okay to be mean to those less fortunate.

it made it okay to not care. period.

people on welfare? they all want to be on welfare, those lazy good-for-nothings. (i’m shocked that they didn’t bring back debtor’s prisons.)

damn taxes all around. the government shouldn’t be taking my hard-earned cash to pay for infrastructure. if it doesn’t affect me personally, i don’t need to pay for it. schools? i have no kids. elderly? i’m young. and those ‘special interest programs’? i’m a white male. no one’s looking after me. why should the government be paying special attention to minorities or women? we’re now a nation of knee-jerk, egocentric whiners: whatever it is, i’m against it.

sound familiar? these self-serving attitudes permeate the land to this very day. they’re even celebrated in places like Fox News, i daresay.

yes, the decade that made selfishness a G-d-given-right has helped to shape our current circumstances. the clinton era, while clearly not nirvana itself, attempted to swing things back some through failed efforts for the common good, such as the push for universal health care (though the flourishing tech boom reinforced the whole greed is good bit — believe me, i met my fair share of ’90s gordon gekko geeks), but somehow, americans then voted in droves for a president who would revalidate their selfishness about everything.

how patriotic can you be if you don’t wave a flag and affirm america the greatest country in the world?

how much can you possibly love this country if you spend time criticizing those in power, just because you wish the country to be a beacon to the world for freedom… and compassion?

we have become a nation where so many have lost connection with others. so many do not see themselves as part of a larger whole. so many only want what’s in it for them. they may sacrifice others in the short term for their profit; but eventually, they, too, will suffer.

and we’ll all be poorer for it.

Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.
Mother Teresa

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5 Responses to “kill the poor (blog action day)”

  1. MomZombie Says:

    As always, well said.
    –MomZombie

  2. Ooooooo you and I could debate a few points here. (yes I tend to lean conservative on many, but not all issues). Consumerism aside . . .

    In the aftermath of any tragedy, hurricane, tidal wave, whatever, foreign or domestic, see many millions of dollars of cash and donated goods are quickly raised by average Joes. Americans are probably the most generous people on earth, quick to respond and eager to help. I believe most people can and will ultimately do the right thing . Usually. On the other had, I’ve never known the government to be a responsible steward of my money. Never.

    Welfare? I care about hunger and poverty and the innate need for self-respect. No one can argue that the current welfare system has created a system where generation after generation of people became reliant on government handouts. And ummmm wasn’t it Clinton who made significant progress getting millions of people out of the cycle with his welfare –to-work program? Hey, sometimes people need a hand up. I don’t believe decades and decades hand-OUTS benefit anyone.

    Taxes? Sure we need roads and schools and bridges. I care about that. However I also care that every state, local and federal program is bogged down with copious amounts of nonsense, pet projects and pork? You well know that few of the tax dollars for schools actually go to the kids in the classrooms, most goes to administration and burocrasy. Of course people are going to balk when they see trillions of their hard-earned dollars wasted on “others”. On anything.

    I believe that people become selfish and “hoard” when they feel the need to protect themselves and their families, for example from a pending storm, and economic disaster and perhaps even from a burdensome, wasteful, government that has no respect for the people they are supposed to serve.

    To remain that “beacon of freedom and compassion” as you put it, freedom requires people to have the opportunity to choose. Freedom can’t be legislated or and compassion can’t be income-redistributed into existence. What we need is elected officials who are entrusted with the service to the people to first and foremost demonstrate fiscal responsibility.

    🙂

    Luv ya

  3. I love the title of your post! It reminds me of when Jello Biafra was on Oprah talking about the Tipper Gore music labeling project. There was a punkish-looking teenager in the audience who spoke up about how much she loved the DKs, and she specifically mentioned the song “Kill the Poor.”

    Oprah stopped and said with disbelief, “Kill the poor?” The teen fixed her with a withering glance and said, “Haven’t you ever heard of *sarcasm*?” Jello interrupted and started to explain that the song was about the Carter-era neutron bomb, and everyone’s eyes glazed over as they realized that underneath the attitude, he was a policy geek.

  4. I shun Wal-Mart.

  5. […] Mantras with The early voting experience Whiskey in my sippy cup with Just say no Wrekehavoc with Kill the poor Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)X-L Community Continued: Year in ReviewOctober […]

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