Worthwhile Reads: A random assortment

Worthwhile Reads: A random assortment July 16, 2012

I love hearing Lisa’s excitement as she sets about fulfilling her dreams in Germany after growing up in a particularly oppressive (American) Christian Patriarchy/Quiverfull home.

 A few days ago Daniel’s Mom invited us over for afternoon coffee and cake in her garden. It’s actually a very common thing to go for coffee and cake at 4 PM. Many do it every day. Mrs Daniel’s neighbor was working in her garden and came over for a quick chat. Daniel’s Mom introduced me and the neighbor asked me what I did for a living. When I told her that I just finished high school, she looked at me, nodded and said “Oh my, you went back to school? That’s great!” Then she told us the story of her nephew who did the same at 26 and is now an engineer. She finished by padding Daniel on the back and saying “Smart one you got yourself there!”. I smiled, simply happy that she didn’t know, didn’t ask about the past.

The Slactivist writes about the complete lack of compassion by right wing politicians:

Speaking of plutocrats and of really dumb people … Rick Perry has “proudly” rejected federal funds to provide health insurance for 1.2 million poor people who have the added misfortune of living in Texas.

The ideological explanation for that is a tortured claim that in Perry’s ideal dreamworld, Medicaid would be replaced with a hypothetically preferable conservative alternative. That alternative doesn’t exist in the real world (it barely even exists on paper — the alternative conservative vision for health care was signed into law two years ago as the Affordable Care Act). But if Perry can’t have his ideal dreamworld, then he figures the least he can do is kick poor people while they’re down — 1.2 million poor people.

Sierra asks why libertarians don’t just set about creating their dream world in which the poor are somehow magically all provided for by private charities:

Libertarians: If you want private charities and churches to step in and save the families you kick off welfare, why haven’t they begun? Why is anyone on welfare at all, if private individuals, churches and charities are waiting with open arms? Why aren’t churchgoers going out into the street and gathering up all the homeless people, offering to pay their rent and medical bills and help them find jobs (or better yet, employ them themselves)?

I suspect it’s because libertarians know that human altruism is never strong enough to eradicate poverty. If it was, we’d have done it already, many times over. When libertarians trot out private charities and churches as the obvious sources of aid for a welfare-free society, what they’re doing is plugging the hole in their sinking argument because it’d be just too crass to say, “Let them eat cake.”

Don’t let them get away with it.


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