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35 Responses

  1. Holly
    Holly January 7, 2009 at 11:22 am |

    It’s depressing, but I suspect that this simple, stupid equation (poor/brown=immoral) is what a whole lot of Americans believe. I just hope that there are more of us who get that this is totally fucked up.

  2. Lisa
    Lisa January 7, 2009 at 11:22 am |

    *lays head in arms on desk*

    Where have the standards of media gone?

    Free speech, fine.

    Idiocracy, hate, just plain ignorance on the air is…not fine.

  3. Personal Failure
    Personal Failure January 7, 2009 at 11:28 am |

    i love it when rich people tell me why i’m poor.

  4. Kristen (The J one)
    Kristen (The J one) January 7, 2009 at 11:31 am |

    Same bs the religious right spews. If something bad is happening to someone else…its because god is punishing them. If something bad is happening to you…god is testing your faith.

    Of course if I believed in a God who engaged in the whole Job fiasco…I might be slightly paranoid about his involvement too.

  5. William
    William January 7, 2009 at 11:41 am |

    Oh god, the stupid, it burns!

    Seriously, is this what non-leftist economic thought has come to? Why the fuck can’t anyone have a discussion about the unintentional consequences of welfare policy without at the same time using the discussion to push hate. The very next time I hear some disaffected conservative wonder aloud why their theory can’t get any traction I’m going to point them to that quote. Seriously, get your own house in order.

  6. emrez49
    emrez49 January 7, 2009 at 11:56 am |

    Bill Cunningham is probably the worst part about Cincinnati and it depresses me every time I have to admit I grew up in the same town as him. He’s got his own talk radio show on one of the AM channels and you wouldn’t believe how many people actually listen to him – it’s rather terrifying. He’s been spewing hate for years, but yet I’m still horrified (though not surprised) by this most recent gem of his.

  7. AshKW
    AshKW January 7, 2009 at 12:30 pm |

    Silly me. Here I thought poor people were poor because they didn’t have much money. I’m glad Bill Cunningham is here to set me straight.

  8. Personal Failure
    Personal Failure January 7, 2009 at 12:34 pm |

    AshKW: apparently, i can eat values. i never knew. i wonder exactly which value i can use to pay the electric bill.

  9. Jessica
    Jessica January 7, 2009 at 12:48 pm |

    You know, the wingers always make my brain hurt, but this one is especially bad.

    Living in Alabama though, it’s something I hear a LOT…

  10. Tom Foolery
    Tom Foolery January 7, 2009 at 1:00 pm |

    Seriously, is this what non-leftist economic thought has come to? Why the fuck can’t anyone have a discussion about the unintentional consequences of welfare policy without at the same time using the discussion to push hate.

    There are plenty of sources for serious, non-leftist economic thought (Here’s one: http://www.cato.org/). You just won’t find very many of them a) on TV, or b) representing the Republican party.

  11. Less Lee Moore
    Less Lee Moore January 7, 2009 at 1:09 pm |

    Seriously, is this what non-leftist economic thought has come to?

    Yes. It starts with FDR-bashing and then transforms into this horrible ugliness.

  12. Monetary Values
    Monetary Values January 7, 2009 at 1:09 pm |

    Poor people have been the oppressor for too long!
    It’s time the rich threw off the shackles of enslavement!
    We must act.
    Let us picket their soup kitchens and jump to the head of their welfare lines.
    Let us seize their second-hand and dollar store merchandise.
    Let us occupy their homeless shelters.
    Down With The Poor!

  13. BadKitty
    BadKitty January 7, 2009 at 1:15 pm |

    I didn’t use to be poor, so does that mean I used to have values, ethics and morals but now I don’t anymore?

  14. Rhonda
    Rhonda January 7, 2009 at 1:17 pm |

    1) Poor people are poor because they do not have sufficient income to support themselves or their families.

    2) Sometimes that lack of sufficient income is due to NO fault of their own, ie the economy, unforseen medical conditions that require unpaid time off from work and expensive medical care.

    3) Some people are poor because they lack the skills necessary to apply for and obtain employment that offers benefits and substantial pay.

    4) FEW people are poor because of bad life decisions and even tey deserve compassion.

    Many republicans and wealthy people have been caught up in a wave of lies, deceit and screw ups but few if any ever suffered or endured any real consequence of their decisions and actions. The reality of being poor doesn’t discriminate in any way shape or form but the way it is approached and addressed by others continue to be tainted with the filth of prejudice. I patiently await the day when those people clean up their act.

  15. Ellen
    Ellen January 7, 2009 at 1:19 pm |

    I think we need a discussion on why we need the poor. Those right wing assholes need to be thanking the poor for being desperate enough to make their .99$ hamburger.

  16. Rhonda
    Rhonda January 7, 2009 at 1:33 pm |

    Oh and I failed to mention that the way to obtain the education necessary to get higher paying jobs is through a college education that cost the same amount of money as a starter home? That the other way to get in is through academic merits and that the best academic merits can be gained by attending a private grade school which from Kindergarten to 12th grade can equal the cost of a luxury car or a starter house?

    And that the cheapest health insurance is subsidized by your employer but you have to first be employed in a high paying position that you typically need a college degree in which typically costs about 100K?

    Wait.. I forgot that you have to buy a nice suit or two, great shoes, groom well and oh if you have kids get regular *affordable* child care. OR if you’re a woman you could always know your place and stay home with the kids. -ouch-

    Yup, the picture is a lot more colorful now, out with the idea that its all black and white.

  17. William
    William January 7, 2009 at 1:54 pm |

    Tom: I’m well aware of Cato, but since they’ve been more or less excluded from the public discussion I didn’t really factor them in. I was more commenting about the fact that people like this asshole have become the face of the right, rather than people like Cato.

  18. Tom Foolery
    Tom Foolery January 7, 2009 at 1:59 pm |

    Maybe they’re the face of the right, but you shouldn’t cast them as the face of the non-left. ;-)

  19. kitadiva
    kitadiva January 7, 2009 at 2:11 pm |

    Wow. It is like this person did not know that father’s were forced to abandon their families because the gov’t would not help with them being there. It is like this person refused to look at the societal ramifications some of the rules of getting welfare or assistance had.has. I wonder what this writer thinks of those who are on welfare who are of other races, particularily white, who by the way are the majority in that system? Hah. I guarantee you that that to the writer THOSE folks actually just fell on hard times unlike those moral less fools.

    This writer is exhibiting ignorance at its best. I mean, poor folks do not REALLY want a better situation. Who doesn’t like existing on gov’t cheese? Especially when you examine all of the opportunities and chances that are set up in the poor communities. I mean, they can walk out their door and go to the best stores, get the best products, I mean they have Whole Foods and everything so they should have no complaints, really. I mean they can even find jobs and work in their communities because city and state gov’t really encourage businesses to open in their communities they don’t just encourage gentrification to make that neighborhood better. And the poor DO enjoy flipping burgers, living and raising kids in horrible conditions. The poor especially the black poor enjoy the way they live because it allows them to be immoral, sick and live dangerously- how they like it. Well, don’t they? Wouldn’t you? Yeah, this writer CLEARLY does not understand the subject they are attempting to discuss and therein lies the fallacy. Get knowledge and experience first THEN write.

  20. tps12
    tps12 January 7, 2009 at 2:43 pm |

    So LBJ and the Democrats and Republicans had the best of intentions to solve poverty by giving to poor people money, acting as if that was the resolution of their problem, when just the opposite occurred. By giving poor people money by acting irresponsibly, they incentivized more irresponsible behavior.

    But poverty predates the Great Society, so just being poor was evidently not sufficient to prompt responsibility: we need to actively dis-incentivize poverty, either by taking what little money the poor people do manage to scrape together (and giving it to rich people, natch, increasing the incentive to succeed) or perhaps by killing them for sport or something. Any idiot can see that.

  21. SarahMC
    SarahMC January 7, 2009 at 3:00 pm |

    Think about it wingnuts: If not for the poor, who’d fight in your wars?

  22. JPlum
    JPlum January 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm |

    Workhouses. We need to bring back workhouses-they were great for instilling work ethic, and there were actually no poor people back when we had them!

    Also indentured servitude.

  23. marilove
    marilove January 7, 2009 at 3:31 pm |

    This is a pretty typical thought among people who aren’t poor. Even people who ARE poor tend to think that you can just tighten your belt and with determination you can get “unpoor.”

    Today I had someone comment this to me on my livejournal (paraphrased because I don’t have access to it right now):

    “I saw a woman with her family buy eggs, milk, and some basics with WIC, then I saw her pay for a bunch of organic foods with cash, which I thought was absurd since she obviously can’t afford the basics!”

    I said that WIC is just supplemental and only pays for the basics which then makes it easier to purchase other foodstuffs, and I also mentioned that my sister gets food stamps and occasionally (GASP!) buys such frivulous things as wine and deserts she doesn’t really need with her own money, because, yes, even poor people deserve to treat themselves sometimes.

    She then came back with, “I wish *I* could buy something other than ramen to eat!!!

    Basically her thought process was that if you’re on governmental assistance, you shouldn’t be buying “expensive” (aka HEALTHY foods) because you can’t afford it.

    I explained to her that even poor people deserve to eat healthy! And even poor people deserve the occasional treat if they can budget it in! And I also said, “And you wonder why America has a problem with obesity? One reason may be because healthy foods are so damn expensive!”

    Thankfully she got it. “Oh … you’re right. Expensive foods DO tend to be the healthiest. I just didn’t think of it like that.”

    But anyway, this long rambling comment was basically to say:

    Innit interesting how the cheap foods “poor people” can afford are horrible for you, while the healthy foods are much more expensive? Especially if you live in certain areas where there isn’t much except fast food and Wal*Mart.

    Hell, my home town doesn’t even *have* a Wal*Mart and the Safeway there is one of the most expensive Safeways, and since it’s a tiny little town, there are no farmer’s markets, etc. So basically you’re stuck with cheap, horrible food.

  24. Sophist FCD
    Sophist FCD January 7, 2009 at 4:44 pm |

    Yup, we’ve got the classic lineup, classism, racism, sexism trilogy all here.

    Pfft, amateur. A talented radio personality would have worked in slights to the disabled, the left-handed and Swedes.

  25. Vera
    Vera January 7, 2009 at 6:10 pm |

    Let’s consider the inverse of the “poor people… [are] poor because they lack values, ethics, and morals” statement.

    How many rich people, especially the filthy rich, have gotten to where they are today because of their outstanding values, ethics and morals?

  26. exholt
    exholt January 7, 2009 at 7:00 pm |

    Obviously the author of that screed never met those I knew who attended and/or TAed/taught college courses at Ivy/Ivy-level colleges with a plethora of overentitled, lazy, arrogant, and academically mediocre legacy/trust-fund kids. They were the bane of my friends’/acquaintances’ existence. Only good thing about their presence for other students was that their mediocrity increased the possibilities of more generous grading curves and the satisfaction of ridiculing them for their idiotic comments in class.

    That the other way to get in is through academic merits and that the best academic merits can be gained by attending a private grade school which from Kindergarten to 12th grade can equal the cost of a luxury car or a starter house?

    Though I agree with your larger point, this part is not necessarily true as there are many public high schools, especially those of the magnet variety which provide just as good, if not a better education than one could receive at an expensive private school.

    Upon entering undergrad at a small private liberal arts college, I was shocked that there were expensive private high schools/boarding schools with far less rigorous graduation requirements than my urban public magnet….such as requiring only 2 years of “rocks for jocks” type science courses without lab whereas my public high school required 4 years of science courses….3 with rigorous weekly labs. This was underscored by the fact many of those private high school graduates struggled with their college courses….even some who had to take remedial coursework whereas many urban public high school graduates such as myself usually found the standard coursework to be quite manageable.

    I speak as someone whose high school class standing would be far closer to the college graduation rankings of Senators John McCain and Joe Biden than Senator/incoming Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or President-Elect Barack Obama.

  27. Peter
    Peter January 7, 2009 at 7:09 pm |

    poor people were not and are not poor because they lack money. They’re poor because they lack values, ethics, and morals.

    That’s the classic wingnut let them eat cake mental masturbation.

    Last I checked, this nations economy and moral standing in the world was driven into the ditch by primarily rich white men who lacked values, ethics, and morals and who were instead driven by greed, hubris, and a flagrant disregard for the law and common decency. I don’t think working class people of color had anything to do with greed on wall street, torture, and war mongering.

  28. Entomologista
    Entomologista January 7, 2009 at 8:07 pm |

    A lot of people who are white, middle-to-rich, and otherwise privileged don’t want to admit that the reason they are successful is due in large part to that privilege.

  29. ThickRedGlasses
    ThickRedGlasses January 7, 2009 at 8:40 pm |

    Was this fuckwad unconscious during the whole Enron thing? Or the whole Wall Street collapse thing? Or the whole Big 3 thing? Or the whole Bristol Palin thing?

  30. Bianca
    Bianca January 7, 2009 at 9:52 pm |

    I love that it is the rich white elite who tell me why people like my parents had to struggle to provide for me.

    People are not poor because they choose to be. It is the vicious cycle of welfare, lack of opportunity, and ignorance that keep people from having hope to become something more. I don’t have a lot of money but I managed to graduate at the top of my class, in a poor school who does not teach their students, and still manage to learn a lot of things that I did not learn from “simple” courses.

    This is why I can’t watch CNN or MSNBC. When people who have been through some actual struggles of life can be put on TV instead of some puppets, then maybe I would start watching.

    By the way, brown/black would only equal poor because that’s how it was from the start. It’s hard to get a race/ethnic group out of the poverty cycle when there were hardly opportunities before our generation.

  31. Angela
    Angela January 7, 2009 at 10:56 pm |

    As a woman of color and one who has witnessed many things that have transpired in her community, I can tell you some of the things that man spoke on have a “measure of truth” to them.

    What many here don’t realize is that welfare program LBJ implemented was designed as a deterrent, not a safety net. It was a means of getting rid of direct competition middle class whites had to face for jobs and for education against blacks, latinos and the rural poor. Welfare was not about helping one up, it was about holding you down and back. And the effects have been deadly. This one program alone has destroyed so many families.

    If you go back and look through the old civil rights footage, not once is there any mention of “welfare”. It was all about equality.

  32. Older
    Older January 7, 2009 at 11:54 pm |

    I remember some studies from the 60′s showing that giving extra money to poor folks really *did* help them, surprise, surprise. They used the extra money to take classes to improve their job skills, or buy better clothes to go job hunting in, or a cheap car in which to get to work, where there was no public transportation, and the next thing you know, they were employed and on the way to bettering their lives. Needless to say, these experiments were discontinued.

    I’m always puzzled by the “throwing money at the problem” argument. No, *throwing* the money doesn’t work, but not *giving* people the money definitely doesn’t help at all.

  33. Broce
    Broce January 8, 2009 at 2:48 pm |

    This reminds me so of a conversation I had about ten years ago. My then boyfriend and I had been invited to dinner at his upper middle class, very privileged sister’s home. Sis didnt work, she “managed” hubby’s career, which involved pushing him ever harder to learn more and progress more and stayed in touch with headhunters, and pushed for him to keep moving.

    Anyway, the conversation at dinner turned to poverty and inevitably to welfare. Sister’s claim was that “those people wouldnt need welfare if only they took better care of their real estate investments.” I thought boyfriends head was going to explode all over her nice clean white carpeting.

  34. KipEsquire
    KipEsquire January 9, 2009 at 2:06 pm |

    Two words: Jacob Riis.

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