Monday, September 17, 2012

Romney's Nation: Is Poverty Now Un-American and Immoral?

There's a popular clip of Mitt Romney talking privately to donors

The belief is that half of the country doesn't pay federal income tax and, therefore, are freeloaders and portray themselves as victims.

The math doesn't work. Over half of America doesn't pay taxes for a variety reasons.

1. many are children
2. even more are elderly who have worked their whole life and now are in retirement
3. many more are homeless and/or are so poor that they have no income that can be federally taxed
4. and finally even more are working poor: which means these are families who usually have one or two people who are working jobs that are so bad, that they don't even qualify for taxes. These are millions of Americans who work and still go hungry.

It's often been stated by socialists, that American remains oddly independent even as the wealth gap explodes. That's because a significant amount of the working poor have been convinced that they're poor but are going to get rich real soon.  Yet, upward mobility has been stagnating for a generation which means the more likely you are to have the misfortune of being born poor, then more likely you are to remain there.

The logic is beyond Republican and Democrat, conservative vs. liberal. It's a belief that half of the people are leeches, which means the concept of giving is doused in condescension. The poor are to be pitied at best but mostly ignored because they are illogical and immoral.

The greater concept is that poverty is now being equated with being 'Un-American' and unethical, similar to how being a Communist was considered un-American or how being gay is un-Christian. This fits in with the trajectory of the culture: wealth makes right. Corporations are people, and freedom of money is equal to freedom of speech. Therefore the wealthy have more freedom of speech than the middle class.

The logical conclusion of this ideology has been growing for half a century and now comes to light in this video. But it's not shocking. It's completely logical within the Rand-ian concept of rugged individualism and corporate capitalism. Mitt Romney is merely carrying out the philosophy to its dead-end suicide pact.

We are watching a philosophy implode on its own cruelty, craven power lust, and un-Christian, un-religious, utilitarian talking points. The question is how much longer will we endure the death throes of politicized hatred and demonization of the poor? It wasn't long ago that poverty was considered a social problem to be fixed, not to be condemned.

No comments: