Posts Tagged american dream
Source: The Onion
“[The minimum wage is] not the government’s business.” – Rick Perry
I could spend the next week detailing everything that is wrong and garbage about this classist, privileged, contemptible and rancid piece of mind vomit that left Rick Perry’s mouth and whose stench keeps lingering in the air as its contents are being ravenously gobbled up by the Republican leadership and voter-base, and there is nothing I can say here that I have not already said a hundred dozen times, but what I do want to point out is that entities who believe bullshit bootstrap narratives, who admonish people for not working “hard enough” or trying “hard enough” or put in the “effort” (as ostensibly wealthy people have done, hence the reward of blissful wealth) do so without a trace of irony because they not only subscribe to the false notion that we are all born with the same set of opportunities and access, but because it is those very notions of “it is not the government’s business to deal with minimum wages” that deny people the upward mobility the likes of Perry preach about, no matter how hard they work and no matter what kind of an entrepreneur spirit they have.
How much people earn does matter because every $1 raise to the minimum wage creates $2,800 in purchasing power according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Denying them that while in the same breath exclaiming that they should “work hard(er) already” so they can make it is colossally hypocritical.
Hard work means nothing, and it leads to nothing but a tedious existence to just meet one’s basic needs, if it is not accompanied by things like a steady paycheck, livable wages, healthcare benefits and paid time off – just to name a few of the things that, at a minimum, make a job an acceptable job.
These, in turn, are things that the government needs to legislate because entities, such as corporations, that have a profit motive and only care about the bottom line cannot, and should not, be tasked with governance. That would be like putting the fox in charge of the hen house.
The government exists not only as the entity calling in for and maintaining order but most importantly as an equalizer to level the playing field and protect consumers and to provide for the general welfare of the populace. It is a form of accountability because regulation creates accountability and transparency, which are indispensable for the functioning of a democratic, equitable and prosperous society.
If it was not for the government that had legislated things like the 40-hour work week, minimum wage laws and a host of other such provisions aimed at protecting wage-earners and consumers in general, things would still be the way they were during the gilded robber baron age and thus during the early start of the Industrial Revolution, whose exploits and excesses inspired Marxism and subsequently communism.
If it had not been for the government stepping in, people would still be living under abysmally bad social and living conditions with lives full of poverty, hunger and illness, as it is the case in many developing countries today.
In other words, we have already seen what happens in the absence of government regulations and when corporations are left to their own devises and tasked with governance and it doesn’t work, unless exploiting people for all they are worth to enrich yourself is what you want – which is, incidentally, the context within which Perry’s assertion needs to be seen.
Republicans don’t value work or hard work and they are only interested in the government with respect to the extent to which it can be used to transfer wealth from the masses, the 99%, to the top while disseminating prosperity gospels about bootstraps, trickle down, job creator and hard work.
The thing is, you cannot tell people they need to work hard and pull themselves up by their bootstraps, but then keep them systematically subjugated and exploited – and thus without the ability to buy those boots on whose straps they can pull themselves up, effectively barring them from moving upward the social class ladder you just gave them shit for not having climbed because they allegedly failed to work hard enough.
Republicans expect people to pull themselves up by ex-nihilo apparently; take these magic beans and hope they turn into a kingdom.
They refuse to understand, or do not want to understand, that poverty is a trap that creates and begets even more poverty and that if it had not been for the government stepping in (see particularly, but not only, FDR’s “New Deal”) things would still be like they were at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution where wages, labor laws and working conditions were not regulated and entire families, including children, had to work under harrowing working conditions for abysmally low wages that did not allow them to properly sustain themselves, much less move upward; where the only entities that reaped the wealth from production and sales were the wealthy owners who kept getting wealthier and wealthier without passing any of that newly acquired wealth down to the workers whose hard work led to the prosperity of the company. You know, the same thing that is happening in China today and India.
The middle class was the creation of governments as before it we mostly had very few wealthy people who owned lands, assets and later the means of production and very many poor people who were barely eeking by an existence.
Republicans do not value hard work or any work for that matter. They are not interested in helping you “become rich” or to be anything but just a source of tax revenue and unlimited supply of quasi-free labor.
Such is the gist of Rick Perry and his party’s agenda, which is astoundingly the most honest thing I have heard a Republican politician/leader say in a long time about the Republican party’s true credo. Note that while most Republican leaders at least try to wrap the bootstraps rhetoric in euphemisms, Rick Perry is just openly saying what those phonies are not. That is the only difference between Perry and some other “reasonable” Republican, such as Chris Christie.
Remember how during the last Presidential campaign, Mitt Romney and his phony wife went around telling everyone what a stand up guy he is with ethics, integrity and a love of god? That they should not have to apologize for being “hard working” and “successful” and that it was, in fact, hard work and Romney’s relentless honesty and integrity as a man, humanitarian and entrepreneur that had lead him to his success as a one percenter riding car elevators?
Remember the infamous 47% speech in which Romney, behind seemingly closed doors, declared and dismissed nearly half the US population as nothing but lazy, unmotivated free-loaders who lack both work ethics and a desire to lead better lives and instead are just waiting to get handouts from crooks like him? Remember how he refused to release his tax returns of the past decade because he did not feel that he should have to apologize for his “hard work” and “success”? Remember how he thought that paying 15% in taxes on a $100 million dollar income a year was him being just like the rest of us, doing his share?
Well, I guess if you consider conning people out of their jobs, benefits and retirements hard work, Romney certainly has a point. At any rate, the man who believed himself to be the epitome of the American Dream and hard work and bootstraps narratives is currently being sued in federal court for criminal racketeering.
Steven “Laser” Haas is the owner and sole shareholder of Collateral Logistics Inc. (CLI) the firm which was retained to oversee the liquidation of assets in the bankruptcy of eToys in 2001.
During the process of liquidating the company Haas came across irregularities, unethical practices and outright criminal acts originating from the top at Bain Capital (Mitt Romney’s asset management firm), Goldman Sachs, Kay Bee Toys and Stage Stores, all of which were involved in the machinations to sell eToys for mere pennies to Bain through its interest in Kay Bee […] Haas alleged in his affidavit to the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 3, 2012 that after he had uncovered numerous irregularities, he had been offered $850,000 by Bain to keep silent about what he had discovered. When he attempted to report the bribe, he was told that since he had not accepted it, he didn’t have a case. Bain of course denies that the offer was ever made.
The American Dream (and Jesus and Joseph Smith) hard at work. Well it is a good thing that Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, atheists and community organizers are a threat to this country and not someone like Mitt Romney.
That is a huge understatement, Mr. President. I mean, for a second there I thought he was so passionate and enthusiastic about this, he would momentarily break down and yawn.
Shutting down the government so that millions of Americans don’t get health care is not just a bad idea – you pudding of a man – it is callous and contemptible and speaks of a peoples who lack compassion and empathy.
I am always amazed, and with that I mean shocked to my core and appalled, at the ease with which conservatives/Republicans take comfort in the idea of denying health care to millions of Americans.
But that is the running, concurrent theme in a country where its people go marching for gun ownership and against health care for people. Just as it was the case with the bail out: of course students and us mere middle class 99%ers were not, and never will be, worthy of a bail out. That is reserved for the crooks who got us into this. Decent, law abiding people do not get bailed out, the white collar criminals, the robber barons and the politicians who support them do. Why forgive student loans or keep interest rates low for everyone at all times when you could give all that money to Wall Street, oil companies, the military industrial complex and Israel.
The sad reality in this, of course, is that as long as Congress-members are in bed with the likes of Koch Brothers as opposed to mistresses, everyone is fine. Screw over the entire country, you are good, you get bailed out and called an example of the grand American Dream, a hard worker. Text a picture of your dick to your mistress, it is a scandal and you are a scum, wreck sex addict who deserves to crawl into a cave to never return.
Yeah, priorities. We got them.
LOLZ Forever: Foxnation – “Join the Community that believes in the American dream.”
Ahh, there is indeed nothing worse that an unembarrassed hypocrite from the Right. These people and their sheep followers really believe that the robber baron policies they stand for, perpetuate and support lead everyone to vast riches when in reality the only people they serve are the architects of this lie, the robber barons themselves.
The American Dream was the creation of a solid middle class after WWII where people had well paying jobs, women finally began entering the work force with a steady income so that people could lead a middle class lifestyle, such as own a home, drive a car, send the kids to school and be comfortable.
It was not, contrary to the propaganda spewed by the Right, becoming a millionaire. It was about upward social mobility in an unprecedented manner and extent where a stable class of peoples who are neither poor nor rich, as in millionaires, can thrive. And that was achieved through government policies directed at creating and subsequently protecting the middle class – and thus the very things that the GOP and their lobbying arm Fox Nation/”News” are fighting against everyday under the guise and lie of The American Dream where supposedly everyone should be a millionaire and if they aren’t, well then they are losers and lazy assholes incapable of achievement and uninterested in something better.
Just look at where all the cuts are supposed to come from everytime there is a debt crisis and the government needs to raise revenue: “entitlements” – food stamps, social security (which is a system that is paid into and not part of the government budget funded by tax dollars), medicare, medicaide and other such middle class protecting policies and institutions (oil subsidies and giving rich people tax breaks they don’t need are not called entitlements, of course. See, rich people taking money from the poor is just them getting rewarded for all their hard working. But the other way around, in the from of a social safety net, is called entitlements).
The wealthy are not to be taxed more and the loopholes through which they evade paying their fair share also not be closed, because you know they are the job creators blah blah yawn, even though the only thing they do create with all that excess money are fatter and bigger bank accounts.
Instead let hard working people who are struggling more and more everyday carry the burden so the privileged can remain privileged. Let them subsidize the privilege of wealthy people.
That’s what Fox “News” and the Republican party at large stand for: greed and hate. Nothing else and especially not The American Dream.