Three cheers for Sister Simone Campbell, who appeared on The O’Reilly Factor tonight, and went toe to toe with Bill O’Reilly over helping the poor. O’Reilly tried to argue that because poverty has increased, that’s proof that social welfare programs haven’t worked. Sister Simone wasn’t buying it. She told O'Reilly in no uncertain terms that the problem is stagnant wages.
Sister Simone’s best line was at the end:
If it’s because of flat wages then it’s about time we addressed the issue of wages. That’s what Jesus would say: pay to the laborer what his worth is. Let’s do it.
The problem I have been noticing amongst politicians from both sides of the aisle, as well as a LOT of average Americans, is that they want to run the country on IDEALS instead of realities. And, as Alexander Tytler is misquoted as saying, "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury.
“From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising them the most benefits [ideals] from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.”
This is evident RIGHT NOW, with the skyrocketing deficit. I hate to take people off of cloud nine, but as the old adage goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
âI predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of themâ
This is a very important quote and should be duly noted.
sometimes correctly identified as greed. Sister Simone is one who correctly identified some of the problems to be faced. The choice to be made in November is which isthe lesser of the two evils? More
power to the government (OBAMA) or more power to the already rich and powerful (ROMNEY). There is a genuine need to find and elect honest men to the
political arena. Is there an honest man in any branch of government? If so please stand up and begin doing what is right for the American people and not yourself or your party. Is there an honest man left in Washington? It is doubtful. DISGUSTED
Note that I did not say BOR was for the “elimination” of government programs that provide assistance. Even BOR isnât cold-hearted enough to demand that societyâs safety nets via government assistance be eliminated. But, as his pronouncements against the “entitlement society” show, he’s crusading against government assistance programs as they currently exist because he wants to have these entitlements/aid programs redesigned and cut back (or, more gently put, get entitlement spending “under control”). Heâs said that spending on entitlements has to be cut which would possibly include âwelfare payments to the poorâ and that those who have received government assistance should âhave to pay back a portionâ of it when things turn around for them. Heâs called for age of Social Security and Medicare qualification to be raised and he has said that heâs for privatization of SS. Now, having noted that I didnât use the word âeliminationâ, there is a place where it would have definitely been appropriate to have used that word as thereâs no doubt that BOR is in favor of eliminating federal funding for Planned Parenthood despite the fact that PP provides vital health services for low income women in our society.
As Ellen pointed out âthe question is, who does that include?â and those who watch BOR have heard plenty of disparaging remarks made by him characterizing a good portion of those receiving government assistance as being âslackersâ, drug users (which is why BOR favors the idea behind drug testing welfare applicants), people who just get by instead of âputting in the hard work necessaryâ to become âindependently successfulâ and just plain “weak” and “irresponsible” people who want âfree stuffâ
One thing I find disturbing is the divisive manner in which BOR goes out of his way to pit Americans against each other when it comes to government assistance. He learned well from Reaganâs âCadillac-driving welfare queensâ and âstrapping young bucks using food stamps to buy steaksâ rhetoric. In his FOX ânewsâ role as a âtraditionalâ populist, BOR knows that this aspect of the right-wingâs version of class warfare (the hard working vs. the so-called lazy mooches) works well to rile up the viewers to his (and the GOP’s) POV.
Too bad BOR canât manage to get himself this worked up over all the corporate welfare being handed out…
And one more thing:
“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them”
I judge people by their Rolex watch, or lack thereof.
BTW my name is Joshua. I do like joseph though.
That’s what Adam Smith would say, too, Bill:
" Is this improvement in the circumstances of the lower ranks of the people to be regarded as an advantage or as an inconveniency to the society? The answer seems at first sight abundantly plain. Servants, labourers, and workmen of different kinds, make up the far greater part of every great political society. But what improves the circumstances of the greater part can never be regarded as an inconveniency to the whole. No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable. It is but equity, besides, that they who feed, clothe, and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labour as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed, and lodged."
Wealth of Nations, Book I, chapter 8
@d d —I don’t watch BOR or know him that well, but I doubt he campaigns (or “Crusades”) for the elimination of social safety nets. I would think he is voicing problems he has with the administration of welfare, of which many think could be improved.
Clearly those with the money/power realize that far too many Americans have financial needs/are in debt up to their eyeballs and that they need the jobs even if they are at the lower wages with less benefits. They can crow that they are being good patriots because they are giving jobs to Americans but downplay (ignore?) the fact that they are able to stuff more $ into their own/shareholders’ pockets since they are now paying out less in wages/benefits. Those in these positions of power can take full advantage of the situation because America’s blue collar workers will have no choice but to keep working the low wage jobs because they can’t afford to quit even these low-wage jobs, to get more education/job training or to start businesses of their own (which requires that one be able to afford your own healthcare since, in America, healthcare is stupidly tied to one’s job).* But then, maybe that’s what the powerful want – millions of Americans who feel that they have no other choice? Neo-feudalism and/or Plutonomy? After all, it’s much easier to control the masses when they have less choice. Of course, if this keeps on in the direction it’s heading, Americans won’t even be able to afford to buy the products they make and, if history is any reminder, it’s not healthy for a country to have a discontented middle/lower class. Heads could roll…
As per Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz…
“Median wealth fell 40 percent from 2007 to 2010, bringing it back to where it was in the early â90s. For two decades, all the increase in the countryâs wealth, which was enormous, went to the people at the very top. It may have been a prosperous two decades. But it wasnât like we all shared in this prosperity.
The financial crisis really made this easy to understand. Inequality has always been justified on the grounds that those at the top contributed more to the economy â âthe job creators.â
Then came 2008 and 2009, and you saw these guys who brought the economy to the brink of ruin walking off with hundreds of millions of dollars. And you couldnât justify that in terms of contribution to society.
The myth had been sold to people, and all of a sudden it was apparent to everybody that it was a lie.
Mitt Romney has called concerns about inequality the âpolitics of envy.â Well, thatâs wrong. Envy would be saying, âHeâs doing so much better than me. Iâm jealous.â This is: âWhy is he getting so much money, and he brought us to the brink of ruin?â And those who worked hard are the ones ruined. Itâs a question of fairness."
*btw, why aren’t those in favor of Obamacare pointing out that it will allow the folks more freedom with regards to their job situation in that someone can more easily become an entrepreneur if they can get healthcare via Obamacare instead of staying at a job they dislike because they need the healthcare via their employer?
There is a simple solution to the right wing whine about entitlements. Raise the minimum wage so that someone working full-time at minimum wage earns more than the level needed to qualify for food stamps, Medicare and Housing. Its just that simple! By keeping the minimum wage low it is the right which has created dependency on the government. But the real beneficiaries of this dependence are the employers-like Walmart who can afford to pay more but don’t have to and don’t want to.
Sadly the right doesn’t want solutions, they just want talking points and low taxes for the hell-bound rich like O’Reilly.