The right-wing negativity critical of those individuals receiving food stamps and other welfare benefits irritates me. The recipients are always characterized by the political extremists as “lazy.” How could a great percentage of these citizens who are children, aged and disabled, be lazy? The apparent alternative for certain Republicans is to not fund services for the needy and let the young, old, unemployed and employed (oh, yes, many of folks on the public dole, WORK), just roll over and die of starvation and lack of medical care. I know that’s what the right wants because they keep voting in politicians who agree with them.
The bible is jammed packed with verses damning the “lazy”; too many verses to recount here. Here are but a few examples: The faithful have to love this one from 2 Thessalonians 3:10; “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” What a heartwarming read.
Here’s another goody from Proverbs 19:15: “Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.” This is the admonition, again from Proverbs, that binds the Christian right to the wealthy: “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.” Depending on the bible, the diligent could also be fat, or in King James 2000, made rich. This, of course, implies that all of those millionaires and billionaires, being rich, are the most diligent among us with their great material rewards.
Putting our bibles aside for the moment, let’s look at the real world of the current generation of “sluggards.” Stats notwithstanding, when the term ‘lazy’ is applied to an able-bodied worker, the right-wing target is inevitably, an African-American, especially a male African-American. Getting work, especially work that pays more than a pittance is a slog in today’s economy. And it’s not for want of trying by black job seekers.
Let’s start with the fact that over twice as many blacks are unemployed as whites. Would it surprise you that African-Americans stay on the job-hunting trail longer than whites? They do. And they walk into white run businesses and the creative rejections begin: “OMG my brother! We JUST hired somebody, not more that 3 minutes ago” or “Let’s see, I notice you were cited for double-parking back in 1984.” How about, “I’m sorry we need a Ph.D to stock those shelves.” Let’s address the real reason for much of black unemployment; the boss is racist and doesn’t want to be around black people. That’s how “sluggards” are born.
In the event a black man finally finds a job after wearing out two pairs of shoes, he can be assured that his pay for the same job will be about 75% of what his white counterparts make. Hispanics come in around 65%. Women, who are finally starting to be heard, are pushing 80%. But the white ‘good old boy’ still prevails. The actual wage gaps are so pronounced between white men and women, black men and women and Hispanics, as to be an embarrassment to an industrialized country. So our “sluggard” drives or walks hundreds of miles for months, and either finds no job at all and simply gives up to join the sluggardly life, or accepts the crappiest job on the board.
Now let’s examine privilege. Those diligent, fat and rich white males who run things in this country. Millionaires. Billionaires. Land sakes alive, they must work like the proverbial dog. Eighteen-hour days must be routine. Their hands must be laden with painful calluses from all that effort. Wandering factory floors, teaching, fixing, improving and innovating. Many hours later, exhausted, the “diligents” digest a tiny bit of gruel before kissing the kids goodnight, hugging the wife and collapsing into a deep slumber. The “diligent” repeats the process the next day, and most likely, a day or two of the weekend.
ROTFLMAO! You want lazy, pampered sluggards, stiffing the taxpayers by doing virtually nothing and earning millions, maybe billions in the process? And there’s no giveback in this guy. He and his company do everything in their power to avoid paying taxes while buying off politicians who will bow to his every tax-avoidance and subsidy whim.
Mr. and Mrs. America, meet the super rich. Lazier than welfare recipients by a factor of infinity. Let’s start with shelter. For the moneyed class, their main domicile is rarely smaller than 10,000-20,000 square feet. There’s the sun room, in-home movie theatres, indoor and/or outdoor pools, maybe even a bowling alley. Lawn care? Ha! That’ for our minimum wage Hispanic friends. Vacuuming? Puleeze! Dusting? Dishwashing? Making the beds? None of the above.
Diligent? The super wealthy make the highest percentage of their money from investments. Calling your stockbroker can be draining. Another major source of income for the super wealthy and just plain rich, is, of course, compensation for being a CEO and Chairman of the Board. Ask any worker in any manufacturing facility how much the top dog knows about the product and how much input he/she has into making that product. The near-unanimous answers will be NONE. ZIP, ZERO, NA DA. You want to see true pathos? Let a typical CEO loose on a factory floor. He not only can’t start, run, fix or maintain a machine, he doesn’t even know where to plug it in, what it does or what it’s called.
How much actual work do these diligent, biblically-favored and right-wing-loved folks do burning up those 60 calories? They SIT in on a bunch of meetings. Somebody else takes their notes, then enters them into the computer. The ‘diligent’ CEO’s LOOK at the books that somebody else makes entries into. They sit on the phone half the day, too lazy to even punch in the number: “Miss Bryant, call Charlie at the bank.” Drive their own car in downtown traffic? Hardly! Some don’t even drive to work and back. Many of them are driven to fancy restaurants for meetings or flown in private planes to resort gatherings with their own kind.
Who are the sluggards here? The richest guy in town who does little to nothing every day until he keels over from eating all that rich food at those pricey restaurants, or the guy or gal who take the bus and walk all over town seeking any minimum wage job (or two or three) they can find?
Republican church people, please get a clue. Become acquainted with the unfortunates in your community who are not up to your hypocritically holy standards. The vast majority of them are good, well-intentioned people who just want to get by and take care of their families. The right-wing media glories in picking and choosing from their number those stories that cast them in the worst light.
Or, we could just elect Democrats.
Raised rural & small town, then lived in N.Y., Chicago & LA. Widely traveled. Returned from world wandering to pursue media life of anchorman/reporter and major, medium and small market talk radio. Highly active in politics. Once worked as orderly & security in Mens Lock Ward for the Criminally Insane at a state institution. Much more rational population than current Teapublicans. Great concern for country run by and for the extreme wealthy. The inhumane current running through this country has no precedent in modern history.
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