Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.

Class Warfare and Free Stuff

My brother loves to forward such right-leaning e-mails as the one reproduced below. But seeing not much evidence of critical thought in it, I just had to respond. The full e-mail is quoted below with a few responses to break up and fact-check the bullshit:

About FREE STUFF

I AM FORWARDING THIS EMAIL THAT I RECEIVED TODAY.
IT REFLECTS THE FEELINGS OF A LOT OF PEOPLE

I have never heard this said as plain or as well. Class war at its best.

The folks who are getting the FREE STUFF, don't like the folks who are paying for the FREE STUFF, Because the folks who are paying for the FREE STUFF, can no longer afford to pay for both the FREE STUFF and their own STUFF. The folks who are paying for the FREE STUFF, want the FREE STUFF to stop and the folks who are getting the FREE STUFF, want even more FREE STUFF on top of the FREE STUFF they are already getting! Now... the people who are forcing the people who PAY FOR the FREE STUFF have told the people who are RECEIVING the FREE STUFF that the people who are PAY FOR the FREE STUFF, are being mean, prejudiced, and racist.

So... the people who are GETTING the FREE STUFF, have been convinced they need to hate the people who are PAYING FOR the FREE STUFF, by the people who are forcing some people to PAY FOR their FREE STUFF, and giving them the FREE STUFF in the first place.

Here’s my problem with such “conservative” complaints about “Class Warfare” (or “Class war”): they ignore the class warfare waged on the lower classes for at least a generation! If the tax code has become so distorted toward making the middle class pay more than the upper class – what the Occupy Protests call making the 99% pay for the 1% – how is that not class warfare?

As for the FREE STUFF, the complaint ignores the FREE STUFF the rich are getting.

1. Billion-dollar bailouts that allow banks and other corporate gamblers to fatten their bottom line without anybody doing a perp walk.
WHO PAYS? American taxpayers (mostly middle class)
WHO BENEFITS? The 1%

2. Pollution of the environment without anybody going to jail or paying more than a petty cash fine.
WHO PAYS? American taxpayers (mostly middle class)
WHO BENEFITS? The 1%

3. Use of roads, bridges, ports, dams, clean water, clean air, garbage collection.
WHO PAYS? American taxpayers (mostly middle class)
WHO BENEFITS? The 1%

4. Police protection, fire protection, 911 emergency services, a court system, zoning laws, prisons, weather reports, air traffic control, patents, copyrights, US currency, a US embassy abroad.
WHO PAYS? American taxpayers (mostly middle class)
WHO BENEFITS? The 1%

5. Public education, public universities, student loans, public hospitals, buses and subways – so business has an educated, healthy workforce capable of getting to the office.
WHO PAYS? American taxpayers (mostly middle class)
WHO BENEFITS? The 1%

As US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren famously said, nobody in this country “made it” on their own. Conservatives are happy to encourage self-reliance, and charge for services rendered, so this FREE STUFF provided by the American taxpayers should not remain free – if we want to end all class warfare.

We have let the FREE STUFF giving go on for so long, that there are now more people getting FREE STUFF than paying for the FREE STUFF.

In light of my comment above, I say “hear, hear!”

Now understand this. All great democracies have committed financial suicide somewhere between 200 and 250 years after being founded. The reason? The voters figured out they could vote themselves money from the treasury by electing people who promised to give them money from the treasury in exchange for electing them.

I can find no citation or documentation for this assertion, so I have to assume it is just made up. To which “great democracies” could the writer be referring? I think the only “great democracy” that preceded the United States of America would have to be, um, Greece in the time of Pericles (in the middle of the 5th-4th century BC).

Besides, the people are not getting all the FREE STUFF from the US Treasury: lobbyists for corporate interests are buying contracts and tax breaks for themselves under our electoral system of legalized bribery that was only enhanced by last year’s Citizens United decision (558 U.S. 08-205 (2010)) of the US Supreme Court, itself now become a leisure service of the 1%.

The United States officially became a Republic in 1776, 231 years ago. The number of people now getting FREE STUFF outnumbers the people paying for the FREE STUFF. We have one chance to change that in 2012. Failure to change that spells the end of the United States as we know it.

Boy, somebody needs to go back to math class: 1776 was 235 years ago! But this error is revealing: it indicates that this diatribe was written four years ago, during the Bush Administration, before Mr. Obama was elected (by a larger majority then either GW Bush or even Bill Clinton) – either that, or the writer was prescient!

ELECTION 2012 IS COMING

A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!

I'M 100% for PASSING THIS ON !!! Let’s Take a Stand!!!

Obama: Gone!
Borders: Closed!
Language: English only
Culture: Constitution, and the Bill of Rights!
Drug Free: Mandatory Drug Screening before Welfare!
NO freebies to: Non-Citizens!

Obama gone? In my humble opinion, the next election is Mr. Obama’s to lose. He has deeply disappointed me, but he is better than any alternative to date, which in itself is depressing.

Borders closed? And the writer says he/she is not racist?

Language English only? That’s the only part of this diatribe I can agree with. But I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t agree on how this is implemented. You see, I am in favor of English as the “official language” of the US – if you are unable to read the founding documents of this country, in what sense can you call yourself an American? – but not as the writer probably intends, that is, as the only language allowed in the US.

As for closed borders: ain’t gonna happen while business profits from cheap, cross-border labor.

Culture? It’s got nothing to do with the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights – I think the writer needs to study the definition of the word “culture.” Besides, if we really want to follow the Constitution, we might want to refer to the part that mentions equal protection of the law.

As for drug screening, that’s not in the Constitution, so the writer has a contradiction to resolve.

And no FREE STUFF to non-citizens? Just how many of the corporations getting this FREE STUFF I mentioned above have citizenship?

We the people are coming.

If only!

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Ronald Bruce Meyer

Our Fearless Leader.


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