Thursday, October 13, 2011

That's Tellin' 'Em!

Max Udargo, a blogger at DailyKos wrote a response to the 53 Percent tumblr, which despite its slightly condescending tone is reasonably sound. (And certainly a fine young specimen of American manhood like the boy he's addressing will be respectful to his elders and welcome condescending advice from them, right?)

One commenter, who billed himself a "conservative," had this to say in reply.
Those that receive government benefits (primarily unemployment, welfare or disability payments) should, with very few exceptions, be required to perform some sort of community service in exchange for those benefits. The type of community service should largely be left up to the individuals but with some sort of tie in to their local community needs. The amount of service could be debated and there is little doubt that liberals would probably want less of a requirement than I would but that can be debated and compromised on.
Well, the unemployed are supposed to be looking for work while they're on unemployment. Not picking oakum or cleaning the mayor's kitchen floor with a toothbrush as "some sort of community service." The unemployed, contrary to popular right-wing fantasy, are unemployed because they can't find a job, not because they don't feel like working. On the other hand, one popular proposal on the Left, even the Near Right where Obama sits (inching further Right by the day), has been to reinstitute the Works Project Administration or something like it, to provide worthwhile, constructive work to the unemployed. Much of the American infrastructure -- roads, bridges, public buildings -- is in serious disrepair, and such a program is needed.

Apparently this didn't show up on the Resident "Conservative"'s radar. As for people on welfare, the WPA II could employ them too, unless they're already working at raising children or caring for sick relatives, in which case they are already doing "some sort of community service." And the disabled? I don't like to imagine what he has in mind for them.

But wait! There's more.
We are on an unsustainable path and everyone should pitch in for their own healthcare, food and shelter. The private sector is not going to be able to create enough jobs in the upcoming years but that shouldn't mean that we should discard those unable to obtain one of these jobs nor does it mean that they should be able to "freeload". In short, it's possible to strengthen the safety net as long as all people help pitch in.
The "unsustainable path," if I were to try to identify it, would be the continued concentration of wealth in the upper ranks with government assistance. We saw in 2008, and are still seeing today, where that path will take us.

I like the admission that the private sector is not going to be able to create enough jobs, since it's a bipartisan talking point that only the private sector can create enough jobs, and even more I like the stirring declaration that those unable to obtain the nonexistent jobs should not be "discarded."

It might surprise the Registered "Conservative" to know that I, a radical leftist, and every other leftist I know, also believe that "everyone should pitch in for their own healthcare, food and shelter." It's called taxes. Which the Right doesn't want to pay, but it's okay because they don't want government assistance with healthcare, food, shelter, education, or many other things -- except for the already rich. Of course the people in the lower income ranks will be better able to "pitch in" if they have jobs. Jobs that pay a living wage. Jobs that they can rely on from week to week and year to year.

As an added bonus, someone else, "theotherside," commented on Registered "Conservative"'s comment.
I actually work in the disability community and work to employ people with significant disabilities. I see what these people can do and for the life of me I don't understand why some people (and as a generalization most of them are liberals) say that either people with disabilities, people on welfare or people that are not employed cannot contribute something to their local community in exchange for a "government" check and access to healthcare.
I too have worked with people who had "significant disabilities." They didn't "contribute", they worked for the same kind of paycheck I earned. Maybe because I'm a leftist, I think that instead of charity, disabled people should be able to get jobs. Which, I admit, is hard to do when there aren't enough jobs to go around because the private sector can't create them fast enough. Also, those disabled people got special training and supervision to do their jobs. The training was done by agencies that were funded by government at various levels. But that's the sort of thing that the Republicans and Obama are ready to cut in the name of lowering the deficit.

No doubt there are "some people" even among liberals who "say that either people with disabilities, people on welfare or people that are not employed cannot contribute something to their local community etc." But as far as I can tell, most liberals and certainly most leftists want what those unemployed people themselves mostly want: jobs with which they can support themselves and their families. It sounds like Registered "Conservative" and "theotherside" have something else in mind, more like the workhouses of Dickens's day than a real "safety net."

Sorry for all the italics in there; I tried to restrain myself. I have to remember that the longer the Occupation continues, the more the right wing will deploy its malignant burning stupid. It's only going to get worse.