Friday, October 18, 2013

Let's Punish Those Who Punish the Poor

It's long past time to make poor-bashing as socially unacceptable as shoving a blind man into traffic.

From Divine Irony:

"When wealth is passed off as merit, bad luck is seen as bad character. This is how ideologues justify punishing the sick and the poor. But poverty is neither a crime nor a character flaw. Stigmatise those who let people die, not those who struggle to live."

 - Sarah Kendzior, A government shutdown, a social breakdown (via randomactsofchaos)
Sasha Abramsky at The Nation:
Despite the disproportionate amount of media attention paid to shuttered national parks, the bulk of the pain has largely fallen on programs like Head Start, WIC, Meals on Wheels, drug treatment and mental health services, loans to low-income homebuyers, job training programs, workplace and environmental inspections, and so on.
That so many political figures can blithely say that a shutdown is no big deal speaks to a catastrophic failure in our institutions: increasingly, our political classes have become unresponsive to the needs of those lowest on the country’s economic ladder. That absence of empathy is one of the great scandals of our age.

It's not a lack of empathy; it's an outright war on the poor.
The anti-government mob running the House Republican caucus knows this. For forty years, this crowd has sought to create such public hostility to the concept of taxation, the social safety net and regulation that Americans revolt against the very idea of government. Now this right-wing anarchism is getting its way. As basic services go undelivered, public confidence in Congress is all but nonexistent, and public rage at dysfunction in Washington is at an all-time high.

How contemptible is it to use hungry infants, destitute men and women, and dilapidated communities as political pawns? How warped is a set of priorities that says “no big deal” as the schoolyard bullies pummel the skinny kids? It’s one of the most cynical, vandalistic moves in modern US history. And, as usual, it’s the poorest who are getting hammered.

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