The Republican Party makes much of the idea that people can be “dependent on government.” Whether their target is blacks (where we’re often told that, entitlement” handouts to blacks keep them “dependent” on the government), Latinos (where we’re often told immigrants are only coming to the United States for “free stuff”), or women (where we’re told they want free contraception to subsidize their slutty behavior), we are told that these people are motivated solely by the lure of “entitlements” and hand-outs.
Never mind the government hand-outs rich Republicans get in the form of tax breaks and subsidies.
As Deborah Foster explained in 2012,
[Republicans] have come up with the phrase, “entitlement society,” and have spent a lot of money trying to get “Real Americans” (particularly White, Christian) to worry that we have one, and that it is ruining the country. They have preached that entitlements are going to bankrupt the nation and doom its children and grandchildren to lower living standards, debt, even some form of slavery. In short, they promote what Jeffrey Sachs has called “entitlement hysteria,” the irrational fear that social programs will wreck the country, encourage dependence and sloth, and benefit unworthy groups who don’t deserve them, despite a considerable amount of available evidence to the contrary.
You remember the 47 percent argument; the idea that 47 percent of the people are economically dependent on the other 53 percent. You surely remember that rich white guy Mitt Romney said these 47 percent of Americans don’t matter. You should. It made #1 after all on Yale’s list of most notable quotations for 2012:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it — that that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. … These are people who pay no income tax. … [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
Funny that Mitt Romney has no problem representing the rich white people like himself, and corporations that pay little to nothing in the way of income taxes.
This obsession with liberals and free stuff runs deep and wild. Supposedly, the Democrats won in 2012, wrote Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post, by “feeding its base cotton candy.”
Better than the steady diet of hate and fear fed its base by the Republican Party, I’d say.
And not to be too obvious or anything, but when Bill O’Reilly said on Election Night 2012 that…
It’s not a traditional America anymore, and there are 50 percent of the voting public who want stuff. They want things. And who is going to give them things? President Obama.
…He was talking about blacks, Latinos, and women.
But this argument is being pushed by the Red states, which are economically dependent on the Blue states. I’ve always liked cats, because cats have the misguided notion that they are the masters and that we somehow exist to serve them. But what I find charming in cats I find obscene coming from Republicans.
What the Republican Party does not advertise is that Republicans are “dependent on corporations.”
What Republican politicians get for being dependent on corporations is money. We imagine that we are paying them to do their jobs, which from our perspective entails representing us in the halls of government. But their real pay is that they receive from corporations in exchange for their votes. Stop talking about your Republican congressman. He is not yours at all, but the wholly owned property of one or more corporations.
And all your average Republican receives from these corporations which own them, directly or indirectly, is, well, what everyone else receives from corporations: nothing. Generally, not even a living wage, and that’s if you work for them. To see the truth of this, you have only to look at the example of McDonald’s, or Walmart.
And trickle down? The more money Walmart makes, the fewer benefits it passes on to its employees. Walmart wants to destroy so-called “safety net” yet increasingly expects its employees to depend on this much-maligned “free stuff” in order to subsist.
The calculus here is as brazen as it is horrifying, and points to the worst abuses of the Gilded Age: work till you drop. You think you’re important to them? Look how they treat the soldiers they send to war after they’re no longer of use to them.
Abraham Lincoln wrote “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” but it is perishing. It is being devoured before our eyes by greedy corporations, which have bought politicians are courts and are now buying the government itself through what Republicans call “privatization” but which is really “corporatization.”
That is exactly what stripping powers from government, and handing it to the public – in other words, for profit – sector is, as the complete disaster of the GOP-led charter school scam demonstrates. And it is easy to see why.
What matters to corporations is the bottom line: profits. What matters to government, say in the matter of public schools, is outcome. The education of the children sent to attend those schools. But the corporations which run these charter schools don’t exist to teach the children. They exist to enrich the entities running the schools because that’s why corporations exist.
Seen in that light, does privatization really seem like such a good idea?
Think about this for a minute: we can elected our governments. We can also un-elect them if they go to far, through recall campaigns. Ultimately, we have control over who serves in our government through the democratic process.
The democratic process does not exercise control over who runs a corporations. We have no control over a CEO or over a board of directors. We can’t recall what we can’t vote for in the first place. It is difficult to imagine a government every being as terrifying as a corporation.
Sure, you can point to the Founding Fathers and their distrust of big government, but you have to remember that they were writing only on the cusp of the Industrial Age, back in a day when manufacturing was still largely a cottage industry.
You also have to remember that when the interests of freedom-loving colonists collided with the big corporation of its day, the East India Company, the colonists were no more enamored of corporate power than they were of royal power. They were witness first-hand of the unbridled power of regulation-free corporatization. It is difficult to believe they would be big fans of it today.
The Founding Fathers bequeathed us democracy, the idea that political power derives from the will of the people. Increasingly, that power derives from the pocketbooks of the wealthy, and of corporations. It is increasingly evident that if we are to speak of democracy, that we are not speaking of the Republican Party.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.