Monday, February 22, 2010

Mocking Seattle Times Readers: An Ongoing Series, Part II

I don't know about "blaming the poor." The larger problem is that those who would label America a heartlessly judgmental place cannot account for an entire class of people who are simply working the system rather than taking advantage of the most meritocratic nation in the world. I can hear it now..."but these people have been kept down by their social situation"...but here's the truth: no matter how much baggage your crappy background produced, there are really two classes of people: Those who move forward and make the best of it and those who live in the past and expect everyone to agree that they can't work because of various grievances they have with life. YES, there are many people out there who are in dire circumstances, and those people MUST be helped. But how do you tell the difference between them and the shirkers? The shirkers are NOT fictional, and people are angry at THEM, not the poor. The shirkers are the people that are killing the unfortunate poor because they are posing as impostors, the better to milk the system, overwhelming it and embittering those who hold up the social safety net with their taxes.

(1) When somebody begins a sentence by writing, "There are really only two classes of people," you can be 99 percent certain that, logically speaking, a sack filled with bullshit is about to be dropped on your head. In this case, the writer would have you believe that the only people to receive government assistance can be divided into two categories: (a) People who will escape poverty to get high-paying jobs or valuable college scholarships based on pluck, just like that guy in The Pursuit of Happyness, or (b) cheating scofflaws who use their food stamps to purchase paint to huff. This is an easy way to justify loathing those who receive government assistance, but it's simply not true, as anyone who pays the slightest bit of attention knows.

(2) I like how the shirkers are "posing as impostors." If you posed as an impostor, everyone would instantly know you're an impostor because that's what you're posing as.

(3) Did you know there are only two classes of people, those who love my blog and those who beat adorable penguins to death with ball peen hammers? TRUE STORY.

(4) The author refers to "those who hold up the country's safety net with their taxes." The implied argument, which you encounter frequently, is that poor people do not pay taxes. That is untrue; even poor people who do not work - and there are, incidentally, lots of poor people who do work - pay sales and excises taxes, and therefore should have some ownership and voice in our government and country.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mocking Seattle Times Readers: An Ongoing Series

True that there are many different reasons that one becomes homeless, but making it easy and relatively comfortable does nothing to inspire one to better themselves. I am all for a hand-up, but not for a hand-out.

I love it when people argue that homeless people are not "inspired," as if the only thing standing between them and success is one of those motivational posters with an eagle on it, and underneath the eagle it says something like "Only when you spread your wings can you truly fly." The implication is that if you give a homeless person a sandwich, they will immediately trade it for crack cocaine; if you, however, make them dance for the sandwich, they will go on to open their own chain of dance studios and name them after you.

Homeless people are typically homeless because of a complex web of problems that can include alcoholism, mental illness or disabilities. Treating those problems is difficult to begin with; it's impossible when the person being treated does not have a place to live, nutritional meals or basic medical care. Giving them those things will not make them lazy; it will make them more healthy. It's the smart thing to do, and the decent thing to do.