Thanks, Tom, for pointing out the disgusting ways of the Damnocrats that is hidden in the background by propaganda, lies, and “selective ignorance” by the Damnocrat loyalists.
The public is ignored by TPTB because a critical mass of the public either supports the status quo, fails to fight it, or simply doesn’t care. Now that the National Security State has solidified, it’s becoming a hellofalot harder to speak freely and act decently. We’re truly in deep shit, but we can’t afford to be starry-eyed about who’s on whose side.
Umm…that’s called 'victimitis." Basically not wanting to look at social paradigms that precipitate crises and pushing accountability to others. I am talking about deeply ingrained social constructions and institutionalized perceptions of “reality.” As a social scientist and teacher, I have studied this for 2 decades. It has nothing to do with “blame” and everything to do with “honest self-evaluation.”
That scene in the bar sticks. Pitt’s character was truly cold and unsympathetic until he reveals his governing " business model ". Quite American in its orientation, especially so in our foreign policy relationships, after WWII.
Now these chickens are coming home to roost in American domestic policy, as is evident in this latest Trump Adm. iniative. Only these chickens more accurately resemble harpys on steroids and meth. Hitler’s inner circle liked both, it is said. Some in our own military, during our own endless wars, find this a great combo. Is the smell of deep doodoo in the air?
It’s not just the GOP. Both parties have embraced neo-liberal economic policies since the 70’s. It’s basically a plan to rob Americans blind and enslaved to debt who have to work long and hard to just survive. If you get sick and can’t work, tough, you’re screwed and lose everything you might have had. The system’s been rigged that way for most of the US’s history. The post WW II era between 1945-1971 was the only golden age of the workers, those of course that had union jobs. Everybody else was in the same boat as they are today. Broke, no medical care, poor at best for those that are covered. Expect attacks on SS and Medicare, taxes we all paid for on our paychecks. These are NOT entitlements but will be said to so be in Congress and cut, mark my words.
Gandhi advocated non-violent " non-cooperation with evil" which he used to help kick the British out of India. America needs a similar movement to kick the economic, elite, fascist, oligarchs and their war mongering Empire out of the USA. The 99% have the power but fail to use it! Because, it seems to me, the majority of American citizens who cooperate with the evil empire do not realize it either for economic reasons like the millions of people who work for the MIC; the millions of people that are apathetic; the millions of sophomoric, people that support Trump; the millions of people that support the two war parties in Congress and the millions of people who pay taxes to support the two war parties… I cannot see that happening in the USA.
I got sick, was removed from work and granted SSDI in 1993 and yes, I lost everything. As you point out in your post and I Thank You for it. Few understand what it is to be marginalized into nonexistence.
Now I am faced with loosing the meager life I have left.
Many “meek” folks voted for Trump and other Republicans. And too many would do it again today.
In every wealthy first world nation, there are poor people who need help to pay for education, housing, and health care. Some are largely responsible for their poverty. Others are not. But if a young lady is lying in the street with a broken leg, you help her. You don’t stop to ask who pays. You don’t question her social paradigm. You don’t contemplate if she is an undeserving materialist. You help her. You don’t wonder if society at large is immersed in fetishism. You don’t check her caste or social rank. You help her. You don’t ask her to honestly evaluate how she may or may not have been irresponsible or reckless. Not now. You help her.
Poor people, being people, will make poor choices that result in crises. Good people, being good, will help them to the extent necessary to reduce or avoid pain and suffering.
And if you’re actually teaching classes that cover the topic of “victimitis”, I have one suggestion.
Thanks, Yunzer, for another of your clear-eyed realistic replies. The only practical way out of this mess is through involvement and commitment, to help the Democratic Party move in the right direction. They are much better than the Fascist Republicans already.
In the tweet posted by CD, Taher Spiro says:
“Trump administration is allowing states to terminate automatic, guaranteed Medicaid coverage for people with disabilities, the medically frail, and people who can’t find jobs. This is truly savage.”
Then he links to the CMS document. I guess he got bored reading by page 3, because on page 4 the document says:
“Excepted populations (e.g., pregnant women, primary caregivers of dependents, individuals with disabilities or health-related barriers to employment, individua ls participating in tribal work programs, victims of domestic violence, other populations with extenuating circumstances, full time students);
Protections and supports for individuals with disabilities and others who may be unable
to meet the requirements;
Allowable activities (e.g., subsidized and unsubsidized employment, educational and
vocational programs, job search and job readiness, job training, community service,
caregiving, and other allowable activities under TANF or SNAP ) and required hours of
participation (e.g., hours/week, including hours completed under TANF or SNAP );”
Your example was very touching but evidently, you have no clue what I meant, nor what I teach, so you’re excused for your rudeness. Let me give you an example of social constructions to help you understand the issue we are dealing with as a nation. One line of questioning I have asked my students goes (more or less) like this:
" Mark is a well-paid investment banker. One day as he walks home to his deluxe condo, he sees a young African American man lying on a park bench asleep. This young man is obviously very poor and looks sick."
Question # 1: "Does Mark have any responsibility to help this young man?"
The general answer is, almost 100% of the time: "No. he is not responsible for this young man, and doesn’t owe him anything."
I go on: "Okay, So, Mark stops to talk to the young man and finds out that he is 16, is homeless, and that his mother has recently died. He has nobody to help him and doesn’t know where to go."
Question # 2: " Now does Mark have any responsibility to help this young man?"
General answer: "No. He didn’t cause the kid’s problem, he doesn’t owe him anything."
I go on: " As it turns out, the young man’s mom used to work for the bank, but was one of many low pay employees laid off so that Mark and other ambitious young bankers could get a raise. She couldn’t find other work and they lost their home because they couldn’t pay the rent. Being homeless, she became sick and died, so the young man now has nothing."
Question # 3: "Does Mark have any responsibility for this young man?“
General answer:” No, it was not his fault that she got laid off, so he doesn’t owe him anything."
There is no right or wrong answer to that exercise, but it gives one a good idea of the social constructions of responsibility of a certain group and their ideas on what constitutes a community, their sense of mutuality and collective wellbeing. We are a very individualist society and we are conditioned to think in terms of taking care of ourselves without giving much thought to how our acts affect others. So–to blame a group of people (the elite and wealthy) for our greater social problems without examining the roots of their attitudes and choices and how many of these we share with them, is…ummm… refusing to take accountability. And yeah, people hate that word, but there you go.
A work requirement for the office of President should be required to read, “In the first year of office, one week vacation is allowed with pay, in the second year, two weeks vacation is allowed with pay, etc.”
You live in academia where unicorns and leprechauns are studied for their symbolism, historical power as icons or fantasy objects, usefullfulness in early child development, etc. Please stay there wiith your other creative thinkers.
The academics, with their no right or wrong answers, gave us eugenics, trickle-down economics, Native American ( Indian ) Schools, white privilege as normative, the nuclear age, gmos and … well, you get the point.
The Ivory Towers, like the bi, shining house on the hill, is an elistist construct benefiting white patriarchal racists poising as enlightened thinkers. Whose wealth and position came from murdering and looting the property of indigenous people, pretty much. Nice job with that individualist, can do spirit. Just don’t start writing children’s books. Thanks in advance.
Thom talks about issues, but continues to blame our economic situation on Reaganomics, without acknowledging the role Democrats played in this unfettered capitalistic scam. I cringe when he says Hillary would have made a good progressive President.
Well, as usual, people who make assumptions…ummm…well you know the rest. I don’t deny having spent 22 years in study and earning 4 degrees including a doctorate, as a lifetime pursuit of knowledge. But to dismiss those who are academics as somehow out of touch is presumptuous and condescending. Those of us who study human behavior and how that translates into cultural and societal norms generally don’t make black and white assumptions, hence the 'there are no right answers." To say we have the “right answers” is to be absolutists, which BTW the so-called “eugenics” folks are and anyone one else who presumes to “know” what is correct or not. We prefer a more humble and open approach. Finally, I have worked with both the wealthy elite and at-risk / poor children my entire career. My goal has always been to teach critical thinking, and analytical skills, where they come to their own conclusions and are open to discussion with others. I would hope they would know better than to post an offensive put-down like yours was. have a nice day.
By saying it was very touching, I’m quite sure you mean it wasn’t very touching.
As for not having a clue, I studied philosophy in grad school (my favorite American philosopher is John Rawls) and my father was a Baptist minister for 40 years. I grew up with these questions. Unlike you, I believe there is a wrong answer to each of your questions and your general answers reflect an original position that is conspicuously libertarian.
When discussing the obligations that strangers have to one another, do you tell your students that the US is the global outlier in terms of social safety net? That is, do you tell them that the US provides the weakest social safety net of any first world nation, especially with respect to health care? And do you discuss how US history may make sense of that?
Regarding your last two sentences…
So–to blame a group of people (the elite and wealthy) for our greater social problems without examining the roots of their attitudes and choices and how many of these we share with them, is…ummm… refusing to take accountability. And yeah, people hate that word, but there you go…
So if someone is suffering, subject them to a moral worthiness test and then, if worthy, administer medical services. Become Santa Claus and decide who has been good or bad. If someone is bleeding to death in front of you, first find out if he or she is to blame for his or her injury, dating back to his or her childhood and if still unclear, drill down the family tree, check for insurance, and then render care if and only if he or she is worthy and if and only if you find a card in good standing.
And yeah, to borrow your colloquialism, most people I know do not hate the word accountability. Most people I know hate that we only hold certain people accountable for certain things. If you are wealthy and wreck the environment, it’s an externality, no accountability. If you exploit workers in a foreign country with bad to no labor laws because you can, no accountability.
There is no question that many poor people have made poor choices and are, to some extent, often to some large extent, the authors of their own fate. Indeed, there is no question that the responsibility to care is not without limits.
But I don’t want to live in a society that rates people on a moral scoreboard before it decides to provide basic care.
Thankfully, at the risk of providing too much identifying data, I live in Canada.
Don’t break your arms patting yourself on the back. Your attachment to your Phds is understandable. Very much so considering your response. I’m reminded of the comment of one of my professors, " the definition of a Phd is someone who knows more and more about less and less. The (capital p)iled (h)igher and (d)eeper among us know so much they are barely able to get out of our, or their, own way. "
Oh for pity’s sake. This conversation is sliding toward the infantile. I am
not going to waste any more time trying to have a conversation with someone
whose spite infects every word.
Basically, then, your response tells me you still don’t get it. That’s
okay. My students did, and that’s what counts since they’re the future.