This Doesn’t Have to be Hard

Obama, to win the election, needs to point out that you’re being screwed blind:

Obama needs to extend the Democrats’ historic concern for fairness beyond racial minorities, women and gays to an abandoned working class. His proposal to offer tax credits to employers that create jobs in the United States is a step in the right direction, and it’s even better that he spoke of it yesterday to a group of southern Virginia workers who’d lost their jobs in plant closings. It’s their story he needs to tell and their concerns he has to address — not just to win the White House, but, should he win, to rebuild a nation in which broadly shared prosperity is fast becoming a distant memory.

Which, yeah, guys. I mean, come the fuck on. I don’t buy the subtle thread running through this piece that Obama has an elitism problem, or a white folks problem, but I do very much buy that it’s about time we stopped talking about how best to coddle CEOs so that they can not really very much “pass on” their good fortune to their employees, and started talking about how if you can embezzle, for example, a couple million bucks, or pay for your limo rides with your leftover lunch money, you should maybeshut the fuck up about how your employees need to kick in for health insurance. The problem with class warfare is that it’s been so one-sided.

A.

11 thoughts on “This Doesn’t Have to be Hard

  1. What I don’t get is why class warfare like that–like what John Edwards was talking about–is perceived as “shrill” not only by the chattering class, but apparently by a lot of average Americans, too. It’s like a really, really bad case of Stockholm Syndrome.
    But then again, those are the same people who think that Obama’s a bigger flip-flopper than McCain.
    Was there a Free Lobotomy Day that I just missed?

  2. “We’ve tried trickle-down for the last eight years, and all we got was Katrina and some Paris Hilton videos.”
    or
    “Trickle-down, means all we get, is a trickle. The oil companies that support Bush and McCain, got a gusher.”

  3. How about
    “Trickle down happens when someone’s pissing on you.”
    “Trickle down economics: paying off people who piss on taxpayers.”
    “How come ‘trickle down’ always means ‘gushing up’?”

  4. plus, obama needs to know that being screwed blind can be a lot of fun in the right circumstances…i’m just saying…

  5. My yella dog boss keeps shaking his head and saying, “Please god, man, just ask them: are you better off now than you were four years ago? eight years ago?”

  6. I came across a blog via an ad in google gmail. This blog attracts a lot of right wing people. They aren’t trolls because the author wants them to post and is happy to argue with them.
    I know these people and these attitudes. I was raised in this world. These attitudes are what drives a lot of the hate and attacks on liberals. This is the Rush Limbaugh audience. Note who he makes out at the “boogie man”. Welfare moms. If you wanted to change his views what would you say? Could you?
    ——————-
    I came from a lower-middle-class family. My (divorced, alone, without child support or alimony) mother worked three jobs to put me through private school and into college. Now I’m in my mid-thirties and have an excellent paycheck. Living in San Diego, I’m not wealthy by any means, but I am extremely comfortable and happy. I work 12-hour days, and have since I was 21. I have earned every single dollar that I have, every car that I drive, and the house in which I live. I didn’t get an inheritance, I never got a handout. My success is a direct result of the example of good work ethic and priorities set by my mother. Why is it fair to reappropriate my hard-earned money to the “disadvantaged” when they have the same opportunity I did? If you’re a welfare mom with eight kids, certainly you can’t do what my mom did. But how about not having had eight kids? Oh no – that’s a discussion we can’t have because having kids is a “basic human right”, no matter who ends up paying for them. Break the cycle: Focus your energy on building a base for the future. Manage your money and credit wisely. Do whatever it takes not to be in a relationship until you yourself are stable and successful. Do whatever it takes not to have children until you’re in a stable two-person relationship (be it m/f, m/m, or f/f). When you do have children, maybe stop at one or two. Do all that, and whatever happens, be it divorce, disability, or death, and you’ll be comfortable. All it would take is for one generation to do this, and we’d be out of this “disadvantaged” fallacy forever. I’m tired of the excuses, and I’m tired of my effort going to “equalize” people who don’t deserve it. Yes, I said “deserve”, because they don’t even try to break the cycle. My effort, my money. Not yours.
    P.S. I give over $20k/yr to charities. The difference? I CHOOSE to do so; I don’t have the money ripped away from me and given to people to whom I’d never choose to give it myself.
    Comment by Anonymous in San Diego | July 24, 2008
    http://leftsolutions.wordpress.com/2008/06/14/1-now-owns-40/#comments
    Oh and this tail end of a comment is also precious.
    “I intend to be in the top 5% of earners anyway, so maybe I should just support socialism and strive to be in that 5% of the population that decides how YOUR paycheck should be spent, instead of worrying about my own paycheck”
    How many people have the movement conseratives conned with this one?

  7. If you wanted to change his views what would you say? Could you?
    Well, I would point out that nobody is on welfare for life: most families go on welfare or other public assistance for less than 3 years–basically just long enough to can get back on their feet.
    I would tell them about my sister who left an abusive marriage with 2 pre-school children and no prospects, and how she went on welfare while she finished school and got her life together, and how she’s now got a master’s degree in nutrition, a sucessful career as a dietician (including a stretch where she worked with dialysis patients), one child in college and the other in the military. And I would ask them whether they think that the US taxpayer got a decent return on their investment 20 years ago.
    I would tell that first commenter that his mother sounds amazing, and he’s very lucky to have that going for him. But not everyone is that fortunate. What if, god forbid, his mom had gotten sick or injured in an accident? What if he had to drop out high school to take care of her? Wouldn’t he rather have some kind of safety net there to catch his mom (and by extension, him), just in case something happened?
    Depending on his response, I would ask him why he insists on belittling his mother’s great achievement by assuming that anyone could do it if they just weren’t so lazy. I mean, is it so hard to believe that his mother is just an exceptional and talented person, and you know, not everyone can be as good as she is.
    I would point out that the most common cause of bankruptcy is medical bills, so until we can get health care and insurance costs under control, we simply can’t assume that anyone on public assistance is lazy or on drugs or whatever. Statistically, they probably had a catastrophic illness in their family, and it’s pretty damn cruel to kick someone when they’re down.
    I would point out that way, WAY more of my paycheck goes for the Iraq war than has ever gone to all the social programs combined. Do they think that “helping the Iraqis” (which I think is the current reason we are in the war…) is more important than helping our fellow Americans? If so, why?
    Would any of that convince them? Probably not.

  8. Regarding the “Anonymous in San Diego” quoted by Spocko: “Now I’m in my mid-thirties and have an excellent paycheck. Living in San Diego, I’m not wealthy by any means, but I am extremely comfortable and happy. I work 12-hour days, and have since I was 21. I have earned every single dollar that I have, every car that I drive, and the house in which I live. I didn’t get an inheritance, I never got a handout. My success is a direct result of the example of good work ethic and priorities set by my mother. Why is it fair to reappropriate my hard-earned money to the “disadvantaged” when they have the same opportunity I did?”
    Waitaminute. . .he’s worked 12-hour days since he was 21, and yet, he’s “extremely happy”? He’s “not wealthy by any means”, yet he’s able to “choose to” donate “$20k/yr to charities”?
    I can smell the Cheetos from here!!!

  9. Thank you Dorothy and Blank. I really do appreciate this. Someone in my family uses these arguments all the time and I often go blank responding to them.
    I also realize that is why Rush is so powerful. He uses the same “logic” talking to people. My mom used Rush’s words to support this world view and I really don’t want to get into an argument about it because, as you said, it won’t get him to change his mind, but I *do* want to know how to do it. And I think your choice of using personal stories is key. The underlying theory of this guy is also interesting, he focuses on the welfare people because I think he resent them. And he has been presented the image of someone who got what HE wanted and didn’t get, even it it was only one person, he feels ripped off. But interestingly he doesn’t feel ripped off by the war or by corporations that steal money from the public. Why? Because their story isn’t told as a cautionary tale.
    Those stories of the execs who run the company into the ground and get gold parachutes are told as something to be ADMIRED. “Wow! I wish *I* could have done that!”

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