Monsters In Masks

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Memo to the New York Post and Rand Paul: YOU ARE WRONG.

It must be a new election cycle, because the Wheel Of Oppression the right uses to figure out who they're going to be the biggest dicks to in the coming year. Remember the War On Women? Well, the wheel's been spun, and this year, it's the poor.

I mean, don't get me wrong, the right have always kicked the poor. You see, the poor don't have any money, and if you have sympathy for them, you might try giving them some money, and then the people with the money would have less money. And they don't want that. So it's all about removing any semblance of sympathy, empathy, or caring for poor people.

Now, generally speaking, when you do that, you look like a FUCKING MONSTER. This is because doing this makes you a FUCKING MONSTER. And despite decades of ideological warfare's success in shifting public opinion, being a FUCKING MONSTER still doesn't poll well enough to win elections. So instead, they try to tell you they're making the poor suffer for their own good, and that's how you get Rand Paul's argument about limiting unemployment benefits.

"While it seems good, it actually does a disservice to the people you're trying to help. When you allow people to be on unemployment insurance for 99 weeks, you’re causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group in our economy."

Republicans love moral hazard. Moral hazard is what keeps them from looking like fucking monsters. It doesn't matter that there are still three applicants for every job opening. It doesn't matter that employers discriminate against you the longer you've been out of work. It doesn't matter what shape the economy's in. If you get money to stay alive and whole while you're unemployed, you'll just grow to like it and stop trying to find a job until the money stops. The only reason Republicans allow for people being unemployed is a failing on the part of the unemployed to just get a fucking job already.

It doesn't help that, in addition to the reasons stated above, whenever someone in the political class loses their job or gets fired due to incompetence, there's always some think tank willing to give them a salary. If it works for wingnuts, why doesn't it work for the little people? If Arby's cuts your hours, and you apply yourself, the National Review will pay you to blog for them!

This is all horrifying, of course, but sometimes, even this mask slips. The New York Times has started an expose on New York City's homeless shelters. They told the story of an eleven-year-old girl, one of eight children of a pair of recovering addicts, living in a mice- and roach-infested homeless shelter where they use a mop bucket as a toilet and dodge sexual assault on a regular basis.

And the New York Post editorial board responded thusly. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Yes, the family's housing has problems, including mice and reports of sexual assaults and other crimes. But the Times and Elliott, like much of the liberal establishment, seem to think it's the city's job to provide comfortable lives to outrageously irresponsible parents. In this case, that's a couple with a long history of drug problems and difficulty holding jobs. Something's wrong with that picture. If the city is at fault here, it might well be for having been too generous -- providing so much that neither the father nor mother seems much inclined to provide for their kids. That would be a story worth reading."

Yes, that's a story worth reading. The story of why two addicts on methadone with eight kids and no permanent address aren't being snapped up by the job market. They're just not "inclined" to provide for their kids, and if the city's attempts to keep them and their children from freezing to death on the street isn't sanitary or safe? What of it? They're irresponsible, and the kids are stuck with irresponsible parents. We're being generous enough.

You know what? I'm perfectly happy to have my tax money going to poorly-educated drug addicts to sit on their asses and recover and feed their kids. The New York Post editorial board can talk about these people getting entry level jobs all they want, but I'm the one going to Taco Bell, not them. It's bad enough that these jobs are going to grown adults with families, instead of high-school kids who aren't actually supporting themselves on minimum wage.

It's an ugly world out there. People get hooked on drugs, have too many kids, and end up homeless and in poverty. And even uglier people want to make it an even uglier world so that they can hang onto a few extra dollars of tax money they don't even need. And blame the victims of it so they can think of themselves as human. And we, as a society, have decided that's OK, and we'll just teach the controversy. Yay us.