Billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett controls a mobile-home empire that promises low-income borrowers affordable houses. But all too often, it traps those owners in high-interest loans and rapidly depreciating homes.
4 Hear this, you who trample upon the needy,
and bring the poor of the land to an end,
5 saying, “When will the new moon be over,
that we may sell grain?
And the sabbath,
that we may offer wheat for sale,
that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great,
and deal deceitfully with false balances,
6 that we may buy the poor for silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
and sell the refuse of the wheat?”
7 The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
“Surely I will never forget any of their deeds. (Am 8:4–7).
Meanwhile, this distraction technique from the class warriors on the Right continues working like a charm:
Here’s the sleight of hand: It turns out that the working poor don’t control the wages of soldiers, police, EMTs and other grossly abused and exploited workers. The rich for whom FOX acts as propagandist and court prophet do. But instead of directing their fire at the people who send our troops into harms way, or the people who promote the gun culture that keep our police and EMTs so busy, FOX and similar organs of propaganda for the rich always direct middle class rage toward the poor as though they are selfish for wanting a living wage and are somehow guilty of underpaying our troops, cops, and EMTs. Their message is clear, consistent, and a complete lie: “Let us all hate the Bad French Fry Slinger! He is selfishly demanding pay that is nearly the same as–or even more than!–these great heroes! Let us all take up torches and pitchforks and be very angry at this poor slob in his low-paying powerless job because…”
Because what exactly? Because he’s responsible for depressing the wages of underpaid cops, firefighters, soldiers and EMTs? That’s rubbish. He has no power. He doesn’t sign their paychecks. He (and just as often she) is often on public assistance because the company he works for won’t pay him a living wage and pressures him to go on the dole to supply what they refuse to pay him (which means that, yes, you and I pay taxes so that the company doesn’t have to pay wages–effectively putting companies like Walmart and McDonalds on welfare). But the worker getting ripped off by his company and at the very bottom of the corporate food chain? He and she are struggling to get by on two or three jobs. Such people have, quite simply, nothing whatsoever to do with whether cops, firefighters, soldier, and EMT’s are not paid a living wage.
On the other hand, the McDonald’s exec has everything to do with how much the French Fry Slinger makes and a vested interest in ginning up public hostility to his attempt to raise his income. Which brings us back to the real purpose of such memes. For as long as you are heaping scorn on the French Fry Slinger for his imaginary greed in desiring a living wage, you are not heaping it on the exec for his real greed in denying it to him. Likewise, as long as you are aiming your outrage at the French Fry Slinger for somehow being mystically to blame for the shameful treatment of the cop, firefighter, EMT and soldier (and their families), you are not aiming it at the people who cheat them out of their just wage and neglect them to death in VA hospitals.
In short, it’s the old strategy of “Divide and conquer.” Don’t get played.
My brethren, show no partiality as you hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man with gold rings and in fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while you say to the poor man, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brethren. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you, is it not they who drag you into court? Is it not they who blaspheme that honorable name which was invoked over you? (Jas 2:1–7)