Dave Ramsey blames victims and preaches a false gospel of Anti-Jubilee.
I understand he speaks in churches. I picture him walking to the pulpit, turning to the same words of Isaiah that Jesus preached from, reading the same passage Jesus read, and then saying, “Today, this scripture has been renounced in your hearing.”
But then maybe, besides all that, he’s a nice guy on some kind of compartmentalized personal level. And maybe there’s no such thing as karma, and so he’ll never have to pay a price for promoting odious crap like Tom Corley’s “20 Things the Rich Do Every Day.” Corley might as well have called this list: “A Rich Guy Finds 20 Different Ways to Accuse the Poor of Being Lazy.” Or maybe, “20 Reasons I, Tom Corley, Should Be First Up Against the Wall When the Revolution Comes.”
In the spirit of that nasty little kick-’em-while-they’re-down manifesto, here’s an extension of that list from Corley that Dave Ramsey likes so much:
8 More Things the Rich Do Every Day
21. Collect debts owed to them, with interest. (99.99 percent of wealthy people collect interest from those who owe them money. They do this every single day. Nearly all poor people lazily fail to do this.)
22. Fully exploit every tax break, government subsidy and taxpayer-handout available to them. Wealthy people don’t leave money on the table by failing to take 100 percent — or even 150 percent — of every penny available to them through corporate tax breaks, investment subsidies, the home-mortgage deduction, loopholes and the like. Wealthy people even take the responsible step of hiring professionals to ensure that they’ve milked every cent that an expansive reading of the law might technically allow. Poor people almost never hire such professionals. Participation rates for things like SNAP, Medicaid, Head Start, and even unemployment insurance show that poor people tend to be utterly irresponsible when it comes to efficiently exploiting all the taxpayer money they’re legally due. Lazy.
23. Withhold wages. It’s been estimated that about 20 percent of employers — i.e., wealthy people — routinely practice some form of wage theft. Poor people, on the other hand, almost never take advantage of the free labor available from their workers due to lax regulation, an unlevel legal playing field, and blatant corruption.
24. Take sole responsibility for their financial status. Ask any wealthy person who is responsible for their wealth and most of them will tell you that no one is responsible other than they themselves. Poor people never step up like that. They’re always looking to blame somebody else for laying them off, or ripping them off, or they’re whining about not being paid a living wage or about being charged more because poverty makes for a lousy credit score. Failing to take full personal responsibility for your personal financial status is just lazy,
26. Declare bankruptcy. While only a small percentage of wealthy people declare bankruptcy personally, many have learned that it’s often quite profitable to purchase a company, drive it into the ground, run up its debt, lay off its workers, sell off its parts, and then dissolve it in bankruptcy. Poor people never bother to learn this technique. And whereas some billionaires, like Donald Trump, have enjoyed bankruptcy multiple times, the vast majority of poor people have been too lazy to put together the kind of vast personal fortune that would allow them to do so legally or quasi-legally.
27. Lobby lawmakers to rig the game in their favor. Do you know what you call a lobbyist who works to skew legislation in favor of the wealthy? “A lobbyist.” Do you know what you call a lobbyist who works on behalf of poor people and their interests? That’s a trick question — there’s no such thing.* Wealthy people take the personal responsibility to hire lobbyists to protect, pursue and privilege their interests — not just in Washington, but in every statehouse, city hall and county office building in America. Lazy poor people just sit back, never spending a penny on such advocacy.
28. Oppress widows, orphans and strangers. Wealthy people know that while there doesn’t seem to be much money to be gained from exploiting those who have the least, the secret to such success is volume. Poor people lack the self-discipline to exploit the powerless. They’re too busy lazily being exploited themselves.
* Actually, there a several awesome lobby groups that champion the interests of the poor. Some, like ACORN, have been destroyed as punishment for doing so, but groups like Bread for the World and Network are still alive and kicking. They leverage a lot of bang for the buck, but still, if you compare the total budgets of groups like that with the total lobbying budget for the other side you’ll come up with a percentage that looks like a rounding error for zero.