Okay. This news is just a bit old now, by at least a week… I’ve even already written one or two posts about it. But, if you’ve somehow missed out entirely, the crux of the 47 percent issue is this: In a private fundraiser held in Florida in the month of May, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney kind of demeaned 47 percent of the nation by saying this:
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what […] These are people who pay no income tax. […] And so, my job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
People have exploded over these comments. Romney at first doubled down on the comments, and since then has had to clarify that he supports 100 percent of America. But he’s still doubling down on the philosophies this statement is rooted in, and is thus perpetuating a rather dangerous and false narrative, an ugly class war far more hateful and brutal than that of the Occupy Wall Street crowd, where so many derided their class warfare against the 1 percent.
Actually, an example pops to mind. Back during the height of the Occupy Wall Street movement, there were stories of disdainful and rude people going around and dumping McDonald’s applications on the OWS crowds. The emotions behind that disrespect for fellow Americans are the same emotions behind Romney’s statements about the 47 percent: You have to contribute a certain amount to society, in job creation and in tax collection, to be considered worth anyone’s time.
See, Romney associates anyone in the 47 percent of people not paying income taxes with people dependent on government. Apparently, if you’re not paying income taxes, then you’re irresponsible. You don’t take care of your life. You’re on government assisted living. You’re on welfare or getting free health care or living in government housing.
And the implication is that you’re worthless to society.
Now, as we should ALL know, this isn’t even remotely true, although now there are people pretending that 47 percent of Americans don’t work despite our unemployment rate being around 8 percent… I can’t really make that up. For those of us that aren’t total idiots, though, it’s easy to figure out this isn’t true. Much of that 47 percent works. Most of them do, in fact. It includes families of five making $50k, individuals earning less than $20k and active soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and other countries.
See, I’m in the “makes less than $20k” category. As is anyone with a minimum wage job, even if it’s full time. And if you mention this to supporters of Romney’s philosophy, they’ll simply say: “Get a better job.” Ignore that simply “getting a better job” isn’t something one walks out the door and just does. There’s a deeper problem here. And that’s a disdain for the minimum wage workers.
The Romneys will tout the job creators day in and day out, talking about how amazing they are. How they’re the most important thing to the American economy. But what good is a job creator if no one takes it?
Hey, I just created a new job: My personal maid! Any takers?
Let’s pretend, for a moment, that every single person working for $20k or less a year got a better job. What would the result be? No more fast food restaurant workers. No more Walmart associates. No more paid interns at office jobs. And then what happens? Those big companies collapse. What is Walmart without its associates, McDonald’s without its burger flippers, O’Charley’s without its waitresses? A failed business.
So many have talked about the government and its welfare checks and how those keep people in the lower classes… yet the big companies, these job creators, keep creating minimum wage jobs. Those crappy jobs are the most easily attainable things on the job market these days. So people take them. And get enough money to skim by, to pay the bills, buy some groceries and maybe see a movie or two a month.
And then, the Romneys of the world condemn them as though they are lazy, as though it’s THEIR fault they don’t earn enough money. Hey, why don’t you just go work four crappy jobs, even though it was hard enough finding one? Meanwhile, Romney earns enough to pay extra in taxes despite his earlier saying that doing EXACTLY that would make someone unqualified to be president.
All this talk of the rich paying so much in taxes and the job creators creating so many jobs (that apparently 8 percent of the nation can’t seem to find) is a load of crap. Making them to be the pillars of the economy, the things supporting and keeping America going, is wrong. Because the ones that truly keep America aloft? Well, in truth, it’s all Americans working together. All 100 percent. But, apparently, according to Romney and his beliefs, anyone not paying income tax, anyone receiving government assistance to get support in troubled times… they’re not worth any attention.
And that’s the real problem of Romney’s 47 percent statement. He’s written them off not only as votes he’ll be unable to get, but also as undeserving Americans, not worth being considered in the American dream.