Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Who has skin in the poverty game?

The first paragraph in the comment section following Paul Krugman's latest NY Times rant Big Fiscal Phonies is telling:
I am very afraid that, as of today, this election is a toss up! The GOP has not changed its fiscal policy of tax cuts for the wealthy being financed by the destruction of those safety net programs that have made this country great.

That narrative, while nothing new, sure seems to be the mantra of the (I distinguish) "hard left" these days. I.e., the right, and their benefactors (the "wealthy") would have people starving in the streets, and that this country somehow owes its "greatness" to its "safety net" programs. Krugman went so far as to say that Republicans and their financial backers are willing to "snatch food from the mouths of babies (literally, via cuts in nutritional aid programs)."

Among partisan economists, Krugman is as aggressive as they come. But to suggest that anyone, wealthy or otherwise, is out to starve babies is beyond ridiculous.

Think about it:

Would the wealthy somehow benefit from starving babies?

Before welfare, etc., did wealthy Americans simply sit back and watch those of lesser means die in the streets?

Would today's wealthy American just sit back and watch?

Are the wealthy better or worse off when an individual emerges from poverty?

Are today's social programs working?

Do today's social programs exist for their own sake?

Who's more likely to facilitate a legitimate plan to employ the poor; a wealthy employer or a bureaucrat?

Who, to a greater extent, resides in the "safety net"; the recently fallen or those born within it?

Do government programs support the victim or do they support the safety net entangling him?

Does making the safety net more comfortable in any way inspire the entangled to free himself?

If we were to win the war on poverty, what would happen to the troops?

Am I being ridiculous (suggesting that those who make their living [or devote their political careers to] "caring" for the poor would at some level [subconscious even] wish for the perpetuation of poverty)? Am I as egregious in my (albeit subtler) assertion as Krugman is in his? Perhaps, but who---the wealthy or the bureaucrat---has more skin in the game?

P.s. Speaking of ridiculous; were you appalled a year or two ago by the commercial showing a Paul Ryan look-alike wheeling a little old lady off a cliff? Well apparently some on the right are no better; there's a sequel on the way featuring a President Obama look-alike doing the same... Whether you lean right or left, you have to find this sort of political shenanigan (Krugman's comment included) to be utterly tasteless... And utterly insulting of our intelligence...

1 comment:

  1. I agree Marty. Two wrongs do not make a right. Our best strategy should include integrity. Portraying Obama in the same way as the left portrayed Ryan does not promote our cause.