Tea Party favorite continues class war against the poor

I write a lot about how certain elite (pundits, politicians) have made it their quest to criminalize poverty. David Walker, a lackey of billionaire and Social Security pirate, Pete Peterson, openly pined for the days of debtors’ prison, which is actually already a reality in six states. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) proposed an amendment that would demand mandatory drug tests for welfare and unemployment beneficiaries. A particularly enlightened commenter on my blog summarized the logic behind the amendment thusly: “you gotta make sure they’re not on the crack pipe.”

Previously, I have also written about hiring practices that act to preserve America’s permanent underclass, and how some employers are now making it a practice to check potential employees’ credit scores. Poor people are buried under extravagant loans, which they might never fully pay back, simply for attempting to pursue higher education. Some students actually resort to killing themselves to escape debt, but these are isolated instances that shouldn’t overly concern anyone.

Then there was the embarrassing spectacle of the ruling elite dangling the carrot of unemployment relief before the noses of millions of jobless Americans. There were actual lengthy debates about if the country could really afford the lavish benefits ($300 a week per person) to help people survive the recession during a time when the U.S. is engaged in two separate tremendously expensive military occupations – not to mention the shadow wars in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, etc. – and after taxpayers spent trillions bailing out the crooks on Wall Street.

Now, a Tea Party favorite Carl Paladino has thrown his hat in the poor-bashing ring.

Paladino said he would transform some New York prisons into dormitories for welfare recipients, where they could work in state-sponsored jobs, get employment training and take lessons in “personal hygiene.”

Don’t worry. The program would be totally voluntary.

As we all know, the only reason the undesirables are poor is because they don’t know how to correctly use a loofa. It has nothing to do with institutional racism, archaic and racist drug policies, the prison-industrial complex, stagnate wages, corporate outsourcing, or a government more interested in waging war than properly funding schools.

No, all we need to do is lock away poor people in far away buildings where the normies won’t have to look at them. Really, nothing kills a day more than having to see one of those beggars.

Unsurprisingly, Paladino has a problem with New York social services benefits. He promises a 20 percent reduction in the state budget and a 10 percent income tax cut if elected. Of course, by reducing benefits for jobless people, the underclass will expand, but then we can just throw all those losers in a warehouse and go back to worshipping at the feet of the Aqua Buddha.

Paladino is in good company. Fellow teabaggers Rand Paul and Sharron Angle place the onus of unemployment on the unemployed, and of course this has been the territory of Conservatism for years: it’s your fault you’re unemployed. Intellectual giants like Rush Limbaugh constantly say things like unemployment benefits “do nothing but incentivize people not to find work.”

Paladino is just taking that dehumanization of the poor to its logical conclusion. If it’s their fault they’re jobless, then it follows that the unemployed are somehow lesser beings – not really like us. We should just lock them away, throw away the key, and hope we never inherit the same fate.


  1. The fact that you don’t have to be physically fit nor have even a minimum of intelligence probably makes class war attractive to the American right. Why go to Pakistan or die in Afghanistan when you smite an enemy from the comfort of couch using your Twitter feed.

  2. redheadedbuddha

    So, History Punk, you thought you’d see their classism and raise them some fat hatred and ableism. Perhaps it’s best to check your privilege before checking others’.

    Moving on, I’m so sick of this “incentives” trope that Conservatives blurt out faster than their knees can fly. It is willfully simplistic.

  3. So, History Punk, you thought you’d see their classism and raise them some fat hatred and ableism. Perhaps it’s best to check your privilege before checking others’.

    Fat hatred? I once had a kid come up to me, jab me in the stomach, and yell out loud that I was “such a ho” that I “didn’t know who my baby’s daddy” was.

    I’m a guy. You know why they did that? Because I am fat and because I yelled at the kid for acting out.

    Later, on a trip to the zoo, a student stated that I was “still the fattest thing” he had “ever seen.” You know why he said that? Because I am fat and he was acting up again.

    Eventually, I will work up the gumption to take personal responsibility to lose some weight, but like many people I am too lazy to do so now. Like them, I choose not to care.

    As for ableism, I cannot walk/fuck/jerk off/run without pain thanks to my time in the Air Force. My multiple learning disabilities give people the impression I’m an idiot or careless with my work because I miss words when I am writing. This meant lost opportunities because I was dispatched to special education and lower-level classes. Not to mention my ADHD, seizure disorder, my muscle coordination problem, my exposure to lead paint, and so forth.

    So, in conclusion, I stand by my comment. Do you have any other privilege/ conspiracy theories to explain one’s failure in life to throw my way?

  4. So, let me get this straight, John Boner: to save the economy, we have to lower taxes on the rich and corporations because THEY CREATE JOBS. But when my next door neighbor is laid off, it’s his fault. In your world, corporations create jobs, but never eliminate them. Workers eliminate their own jobs because they want the taxpayers to buy them crack. Yummy, yummy, crack.

  5. Jil

    What baffles me is WHY they get away with this rhetoric. Have non-wealthy Americans internalized this argument to such an extent that they don’t see through this bullshit? Why aren’t people outraged and calling for these assholes to resign? If public sentiment isn’t loudly on the side of the social contract when everyone outside the richest 5% has someone close to them who’s out of work, what’s it going to take? Bread lines? Okie-style caravans of homeless families? Formerly middle-class Americans dying in the streets from hunger and preventable diseases? I genuinely don’t understand this. Where’s the outrage?

  6. enjoyed this writing!

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