Tuesday, May 13, 2008

There's always bread for the hungry rich

Food Pantries for Poor, Loans for Hungry Bankers - Common Dreams

The key passage:
[W]hy some conservative commentators focus on the purported moral or intellectual limitations of the poor is mystifying.* More media and public scrutiny should be directed toward the other end of the social spectrum. Wealthy financial houses and mortgage brokers have dragged the rest of us down even as they walk away with awesome severance packages.

*Not really: stoking contempt for the poor greatly advances their anti-decency, pro-misery agenda. Their ultimate goal, it appears, is to exempt the rich from contributing to the general welfare in any fashion.

(Anticipated objection #1: "But the rich provide jobs!" Response: In a globalized economy, how many of those jobs land in America? And of those that do, how many are good, living-wage jobs?)

(Anticipated objection #2: "But the rich pay a lot more in taxes!" Response: Not really.)

(Anticipated objection #3: "But rich people give a lot to charity!" Response: The conservative commentators in question would consider this a character flaw. [And whether the rich give more than others, as a percentage of income, is open to debate.])

(Anticipated objection #4: "Why should government get involved in this at all?" Response: Because the ability of private organizations to help is irregular and insufficient. The resources of charitable groups even now are stretched to the limit, and people do not contribute to them at consistent rates throughout the year. People don't need food, shelter, and medicine just at Christmas.)

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