Tuesday, June 07, 2005


I never did feel like posting on the Times articles on the "hyper-rich"*, but one of the (many) stupid comments on the article's discussion thread just... well... you'll see:

"I find it absolutely amazing how vitriolic the attitudes are towards the wealth holders. As if making poor decisions that create your poverty are virtuous and noble! Why is it hard to understand that whether your condition is favorable or unfavorable, you have created it for yourself through your decisions. No person, organization, corporation or government is responsible for your poverty unless you are in a communist nation. In the United States, anyone can be rich if that is their decision. If you chose not to go to college, to remain uneducated and thus not likely to earn much money you have no one to blame but yourself. Quit pointing the finger at others and be accountable for your poor decisions."

I'm sure all the babies born into abject poverty in the U.S. would just love to hear that, had they not made such bad decisions, they would not be poor. Guess they should've chosen to be borne by upper-middle-class folks.


* but you should read what GeekyMom has to say about it.


Anonymous Andrea said...

Ugh. I hate it when people talk like that. I used to get that kind of crap from my mom all the time--despite that she came from a solidly working-class family and became upper-class mostly by luck (marrying a guy who would move up the executive ranks). So frustrating.

7:50 AM, June 08, 2005  
Blogger LibraryCrunch said...

isn't that EXACTLY what right wing talk radio wansts everyone to believe? it does not matter that class movement, the ability to move up, has been getting more and more difficult, unatainable. what is even more astounding -- and this speaks to the brainwashing that is holding this country hostage -- is that the people who say things like jackass, who believe that the poor are where they are because of some personal fault, these people like jackass are NOT the wealthy, they are simply the lower and middle class drones defending the wealthy, defending the rightwing puppetmasters.

8:37 AM, June 08, 2005  
Blogger timna said...

so many of my students at the community college deeply believe this message. at least, the young ones do.

9:26 AM, June 08, 2005  
Blogger Mieke said...

I am so angry, after reading that, that I cannot respond with any grace or eloquence. That kind of thinking is so simple, not to mention contrary to the "what would Jesus do" Christian way of thinking so many on the right cling to validate so many of their other values. It just infuriates me.

9:51 AM, June 08, 2005  
Blogger liz said...

There are a lot of people who took advantage of free or nearly free public colleges and have gone far because of it. And they are ignoring (or ignorant of) the fact that there is no such thing as an inexpensive college education anymore.

How does she expect a kid from an impoverished family with good but not scholarship-worthy grades to go to college in these days of high tuition even in the public colleges?

10:24 AM, June 08, 2005  
Blogger Yankee T said...

Best not to mess with the Yankee on issues of poverty and personal fault. I so agree with Michael that Jackass and the millions of other Jackasses out there are frequently "lower and middle class drones defending the wealthy, defending the rightwing puppetmasters." Or they are the obnoxious, self-impressed privileged who have had their fortunes handed to them by daddy who was fortunate enough to make a lot of money for himself. I would like jackass to take a ride with me through the poor neighborhoods in my city and explain to these fifth-generation impoverished exactly what they did wrong. I HATE this shit. It's the underlying common thread in racism, classism and sexism. Probably all the other isms, too.

10:40 AM, June 08, 2005  
Blogger Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

"...for the love of money.
Don't let money fool ya"

10:54 AM, June 08, 2005  
Blogger SuzanH said...

It is exactly this kind of crap that makes me incoherent with rage.

You just can't explain until people in those situations find themselves mired in an untenable situation, at which point my uncharitable self wants to stand over them and say, "GOOD! You deserve it." instead of lend a helping hand.

9:11 PM, June 08, 2005  
Blogger SuzanH said...

And then I'd lend a helping hand.

Stupid liberal guilt.

9:11 PM, June 08, 2005  
Blogger Laura said...

It drives me nuts--obviously. When all the statistics point to the fact that it can't be done on your own, how can anyone say that. All they have to do is look at some of those fancy graphics and see what's going on. Of course, they probably have no idea how to read those graphics and Rush is telling them differently anyway.

11:48 PM, June 08, 2005  
Anonymous LisaV said...

You know I was once driving down the street with a doctor's wife, in her beautiful Mercedes, and we see a homeless man screaming at a billboard. I comment how sad it is. She says "yeah, but you know, it's like I tell my kids, you have to make responsible choices." I guess he should have chosen not to have mental health issues.

I know so many people, educated and uneducated, who worked their asses off and never ever achieved 30K a year. What happened to everyone gets what they work for?

1:08 AM, June 09, 2005  
Blogger Suzanne said...

I think it must be an easier way of life to espouse such opinions --if poverty is strictly the result of personal failings, then you needn't spend one second of your time helping to fix the problem. Of course, that does leave you plenty of free time to excoriate the poor for making such bad decisions!

11:50 AM, June 10, 2005  

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