The Appalling Stance of Rand Paul

New York Times December 11, 2013

The Appalling Stance of Rand Paul


I don’t put much past politicians. I stay prepared for the worst. But occasionally someone says something so insensitive that it catches me flat-footed.

Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, said Sunday on Fox News: “I do support unemployment benefits for the 26 weeks that they’re paid for. If you extend it beyond that, you do a disservice to these workers.”

This statement strikes at the heart — were a heart to exist — of the divide between conservatives and liberals about whether the social safety net provides temporary help for those who hit hard times or functions as a kind of glue to keep them stuck there.

Whereas I am sure that some people will abuse any form of help, I’m by no means convinced that this is the exclusive domain of the poor and put-upon. Businesses and the wealthy regularly take advantage of subsidies and tax loopholes without blinking an eye. But somehow, when some poor people, or those who unexpectedly fall on hard times, take advantage of benefits for which they are eligible it’s an indictment of the morality and character of the poor as a whole.

The poor are easy to pick on. They are the great boogeymen and women, dragging us down, costing us money, gobbling up resources. That seems to be the conservative sentiment.

We have gone from a war on poverty in this country to a war on the poor, in which poor people are routinely demonized and scapegoated and attacked, and conservatives have led the charge.

They paint the poor as takers, work averse, in need of motivation and incentive.

Well, that is simply not my experience with poverty. I have been poor, and both my parents worked. I grew up among poor people, and almost all of them worked. The problem wasn’t lack of effort, but low pay. Folks simply couldn’t make enough to shake the specter of need.

Please read the rest here and my response below.

My response:

Media control is so valuable to the elites that they will do anything to gain hold and increase their power and reach. Why is this so important to them? Well, to maintain their standard of living, they know that it is mandatory to keep human beings at one another’s throat for superficial reasons like economic class, gender, color of skin, or religion.

This focus on the supposed evils of our fellow human beings distracts us from the continual manipulation to which we are subject. This manipulation mainly consists of stories about people in a disfavored group who are taking advantage of hard-working whatevers.

These people are in all sorts of groups, but they are never among the rich.

Somewhere today, someone wrote that we should forget about asking the rich for help and just pay people more. Trouble is, you can’t do that without taking it from someone. The moral dilemma is: do you tax the rich or the poor for this service? You can’t pull money out of thin air unless you are a government, eh?

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