Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Conservative "Mind" at Work

Courtesy of Daily Kos, some tidbits from the sort of people you find flailing around the National Review, looking for a clue:

Are there even a thousand really poor people in all of America? Really poor. Dying-on-the-sidewalks-with-open-sores poor?

The so-called poor have cars and cable tv and free medical. They live in America in the 21st century, where school is free and libraries are free and a bus ticket to a better town costs less than a bag of crack. If they're "poor" it's because they were too lazy and stupid to a) finish high school and/or b) keep their pants on.


Advanced western democracies have delivered the most prosperous societies in human history. There simply are no longer genuinely "poor" people in sufficient numbers. As Miss Shaidle points out, if you're poor today, it's almost always for behavioral reasons - behavior which the state chooses not to discourage but to reward. Nonetheless, progressive types persist in deluding themselves that there are vast masses of the "needy" out there that only the government can rescue.

Yes, the conservative says, if you're poor, it's clearly a result of your choices, and besides, no one is really all that poor anyway - at least not the poor people they see on TV. One of the great things about this attitude is then nothing has to be done - poor people obviously have chosen to be that way because of their immoral lifestyles (we'll ignore the data, for example, about the preponderance of veterans among the homeless), so it's all their fault. And since we don't have, Ethiopian kids lying bloated and covered in flies on the street, no one is poor enough that they actually need help, so we're covered there.

I'm not going to bother to refute these arguments - those of us who actually have brains know poor people, from the truly extremely poor living on the street, or in constant threat of disaster, to the working poor - those with jobs (often multiple) but who still can't sustain a living and whose lives suffer every day because of it.

Schmidlap - is this an example of Evil, Greedy, or Stupid conservatives? I can see an argument for all 3.

1 comment:

schmidlap said...

I think we can call this a trifecta.