Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Paul Ryan's Case Of Affluenza May Be Terminal

AFFLUENZA: noun

Also called Sudden Wealth Syndrome. The lack of guilt or motivation experienced by people who have made or inherited large ammounts of money.

A condition which occurs in Rich People (tm) whereby they have an unwarranted sense of entitlement.

There is something deeply wrong with Paul Ryan. He can't stop talking about poor people. That might be okay, except he is so wrong, so ignorant about the causes of poverty one suspects he actually doesn't know one single poor person.

Making national headlines last week with his "full stomachs - empty souls" rhetoric, Ryan upped the ante yesterday by this further illumination:
“We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with...”
Where did Ryan get that POV? From Charles Murray, a social scientist who believes African-American people are less intelligent than white people - in case you weren't already picturing people of color in Ryan's words.

Ryan isn't alone in this opinion, shaming poor and handicapped people is a popular past-time among people like Ryan. Like any benevolent master, Ryan thinks salvation for the poor comes in the form of tough love.

Cut them off from the teet of dependency and they will prosper.

Except Ryan's notions about poverty are totally false. The "generations" of poor he ruminates upon is but a fraction of poor people in the U.S. In fact poverty is a largely transient situation for most people.

The majority of people who fall below the poverty line stay there less than a year. The same goes for food stamps - they don't dwell there hypnotized by government disablement - they get employed, finish school and move on.

The problem is for Ryan, the truth about poverty doesn't match his excuse to do away with assistance programs. The truth is: Assistance programs do what they are designed to do for the majority of Americans who use them.

What causes poverty? Economic inequality such as minimum wage jobs, bad education and health care disenfranchisement. All the stuff Ryan doesn't want to talk about or fix.