Being Poor Is Bliss?

You all know the catch phrase cliche, “Ignorance is bliss,” yes? From a philosophical standpoint, it’s one that is hotly contentious. At least among people like me that find discussing nuance entertaining. But the point of the phrase is to say that if you don’t know things that are bad or that might harm you, you’ll generally live a happier life. Think Leeloo from “The Fifth Element” before she got to “war” in the encyclopedia. First she was happy, then she was broken. Sad times.

Interestingly enough, however, there seems to be a potential addendum to that phrase: “Being poor is bliss.” You see, Mitt Romney has been going around trying to scrounge up as much money as possible from his fellow Richie Riches. Nothing wrong with that, of course. If he raises more money from less people, it kind of feeds into the viewpoint that he’s disconnected from the American masses, but whatever. Anyway, at one of these recent fundraisers ($25k per person… Good grief.), one of Romney’s supporters basically suggested that people on lower income are less educated and therefore less able to understand the intricacies of politics and economics.

So, being poor means being ignorant, being ignorant means being bliss… Being poor is bliss. Hooray equivalencies.

I suppose I can understand, somewhat, where she was trying to come from. Lower income people cannot afford the upper crusts of education. Their access to the more prestigious world of academia is often cut off, should their lower income be something they grew up with. Therefore, they are less likely to be as learned as the upper crust can be.

Now, despite my understanding, I still think it’s a load of crap. Lower income folks can still get an education. Or they can go to public libraries, read newspapers, et cetera. Lower incomes don’t mean lower intellects and reasoning skills.

The irony here, of course, is that the very idea that lower income people are more ignorant is something that Romney and the GOP don’t often mind. See, if they thought the lower income people’s ignorance were a bad thing, you’d think it’d be their party line to fix that. But the opposite seems to be true. With Romney swearing to slash federal funding to education, public education will suffer massively. And public education is what lower income families require for their children. It’s what they have access to. So, instead of offering to fix this perceived problem by giving money, time and effort to public education, Instead of helping the situation, it seems some feel content commenting on how the lower economic classes are just worse off in most every way.

It just seems, frankly, a bit ridiculous. And to make a further point, you can’t complain about class warfare if you perpetuate class distinctions. The way to eliminate “class warfare”? Stop defining people by their classes and pointing out what makes them different. Treat everyone equally.

Also, don’t be a snooty jerk. That may help things.

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