I stumbled into an unintended and upsetting FB conversation last night. It started with this:
So I commented that if you can’t afford food, you do.
What follows is the conversation that ensued. Much of the tone was expected, but some of it was a bit more… well, read on.
(The identities of the other commenters have been masked out, mainly to protect myself from being banned from FB for calling them cold, heartless, selfish, greedy bastards)
Ok, fair enough. Maybe she doesn’t understand that some people just find themselves in an unfortunate situations beyond their control. Although, I do abhor this whole “mooching off the taxpayers” crap. Doesn’t the U.S. Constitution say that one of the reasons that this government was created was to promote the general welfare? I’d think feeding those who need it part of the general welfare.
So I decided to pull from my own experience and give an example of why programs like Food Stamps are important.
She doesn’t seem to get the idea that I got laid off. I didn’t quite my job. I didn’t get fired for being a fuck up. I got laid off. That wasn’t a good enough excuse for her though.
Now the greed and avarice become plainly apparent. My comparison of paying taxes for food stamps to paying for fire departments didn’t fly. I guess if it doesn’t immediately benefit her, it isn’t a valid tax.
So I give a, sadly, too common example of how someone can find themselves and their children in a situation for which they have no responsibility at all. She never replied to my last point, but posted another pithy, pity-the-poor-tax-payer, image. Someone else, however, did respond. His response was as vile and repugnant as anything I’ve ever read.
Yeah. Read it again. If you aren’t angry enough to spit, then you better head off to Oz to ask the Great and Powerful Wizard for a heart.
I’m not going to go into why people feel like they can be such assholes when the have the anonymity of the internet to protect them, a recent article in Scientific America covers that topic pretty well. What really disgusts and, honestly, frightens me, is that even though this bastard might feel emboldened to write this due to not having to actually look anyone who needs assistance in the eye while saying it, he surely believes it.
People like this talk about entitlement programs like they are a plague out to bring ruin to them. They don’t like “entitlement” programs, but in reality, they are just trying to protect their own sense of entitlement. The feel that they are entitled to everything they have, which is fine, we all deserve to enjoy the fruits of our labor, but they also seem to think that they are entitled to tell others what they can and can not have.
Yes, we all pay taxes and none of us like everything our taxes go to. I don’t like that my taxes went to bail out a bunch of greedy fucks on Wall Street, but I think that the bail out was needed to keep us out of a depression. I didn’t like my taxes going to a completely unnecessary war in Iraq. We can’t just have our taxes go to only the things we like. Living in a democracy means that sometimes you have to accept things you don’t like. When one party controls the government by 51%, 49% of the people have to deal with a government that they didn’t vote for. This is the price of living in a free, democratic society.
But this example I’ve given here speaks to more than just the reality of living in a democracy, it highlights the uncaring, selfishness and cupidity that seems to permeate our society. The mood in our society is one of contumely and avarice. There is no sense of charity or caring for anyone but ourselves and our families. We have gone from a great society of Americans bound together by a shared vision of liberty and equality to a band of millions of small, insignificant familial tribes who care only for their own interests. We have become a society of cold, heartless, selfish, greedy bastards.