Sunday, March 15, 2015

Hey, Conservatives. The Poor Don't Need Advice. They Need Money.

This moral degenerate has a TV, fer chrissake!

We've been subjected to a number of articles by conservative pundits, quoting their favorite expert on the reasons for poverty. The latest kick is same as the old kick: It's the poors' fault. The moral degenerates don't have the common sense to emulate the elites' mores.

The latest comes from Ross Douthat, who channels David Brooks and Charles Murray. His thesis can be summed up thus: The poor were ruined by the 60s and 70s. Yep, the hippies came with their sex and living together and disco and everything and now look at the poor. They should have listened to their betters, you know, the rich folks who have better values.

Douthat links to an article I'd already read by Jeff Spross in The Week, claiming it showed that conservatives views on poverty and morals "make some people on the left angry." Whaa? If we don't agree with the conservative approach to poverty -- don't give them any money, just tell them to behave better -- then we're angry? Wow, he's got us on the left all figured out!

Spross nailed the conservatives on this one. The thing they have in common is they don't want to give the poor any money. That would be too easy on them, the losers.

As I usually do, I read the comments thread, at least until I got the measure of reader response, and here's one that's pretty typical and right to the point. Here's gemli's note to Ross:
Only someone with no understanding of his fellow humans could write such a column. To think that millions of people decided to change their culture in the span of a generation is to attribute far too much malevolent intent to the powerless. If a quarter of the U.S. population suddenly twitches, it's more likely the result of a jolt from the outside rather than a coordinated upswell of anarchic behavior.
Whole swaths of society didn't decide to abandon their families, their children, stable homes and the comforts of community so they could watch Internet porn. It makes me wonder instead why sexual issues loom so large for some that they must project their fevered imaginings and religiously-motivated guilt on others.

As James Carville might say: it's the economy, stupid. The economics are devastating for the poor and middle class. A $4,000 increase in income over 30 years does not being [sic] to cover the $100,000 increase in housing prices. Of course antipoverty spending shot up over this time period, because cost increases far outstripped income for food, clothing, housing, education and medical care.

People have had sex in good times and bad, whether they could afford kids or not, even when they were likely to die in childbirth, or from starvation. They're not going to stop because the money's tight. But money promotes family stability because it ensures the future. That's what the wealthy really take from the poor, and the poor respond in the only way they can.
Ouch. You had it coming, Ross. Awhile back I Wikipediaed you, and you came from affluence and no doubt never spent a day in your life lacking for anything. No wonder you're the expert on poverty. Of course, here's what the research says, beyond proving you're a nit-wit.

But with great values! And a Christian. Suffer the little children. No, really. Suffer.

The poor have their hovels, and the wealthy have these
because they're better people! Why didn't I think of that?

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