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Mar 12 2014

Republicans never stray far from their racist roots

Former second place winner of the US presidency Paul Ryan reveals his understanding of poverty. It’s those black people.

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) previewed his upcoming legislative proposals for reforming America’s poverty programs during an appearance on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America Wednesday, hinting that he would focus on creating work requirements for men “in our inner cities” and dealing with the “real culture problem” in these communities. “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with,” he said.

Ryan also cited Charles Murray, a conservative social scientist who believes African-Americans are, as a population, less intelligent than whites due to genetic differences and that poverty remains a national problem because “a lot of poor people are born lazy.”

Don’t anybody tell him that he’s already got the white racist vote totally locked up, he doesn’t have to keep pandering to them.

72 comments

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  1. 1
    Gregory in Seattle

    Many Republicans like to describe the GOP as “the Party of Lincoln” and brag about how he freed the slaves (in the Confederacy; slaves in Union territories remained slaves) with the Emancipation Proclamation, and how he pushed for the 13th Amendment (while never mentioning his support for the 14th or 15th Amendments, oddly enough.)

    What they conveniently ignore is that Republicans funded the creation of countries like Liberia, and did so with the intent of rounding up people of African descent and shipping them back to Africa. From the start, the Republican abolition movement had the goal of creating a white-only United States. And that certainly seems to still be their goal, 160 years later.

  2. 2
    pocketnerd

    A libertarian with racist opinions? How shocking! How completely unprecedented!

  3. 3
    cswella

    Well, silver lining: Ryan’s mouth is so full of racist bullshit, he doesn’t say anything about the ‘inner city’ women.

    Maybe less a silver lining and more a “look on the bright side of life” lining.

  4. 4
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    Maybe less a silver lining and more a “look on the bright side of life” lining.

    Well, no. It’s just more sexism. Women are mere things that ought to be properly looked after by their owners, not people.

  5. 5
    Johnny Pez

    Nitpick: second place winner of the US Vice Presidency.

    Also, you may want to rethink the phrase “racist roots”, given that the Republican Party started out as a coalition of abolitionists in the 1850s.

  6. 6
    Enopoletus Harding

    A libertarian with racist opinions?

    -Paul Ryan is not a libertarian in any sense; he only plays one on TV. In real life, he’s an Ayn Rand villain.

  7. 7
    moarscienceplz

    @ #1 Gregory in Seattle

    They also conveniently ignore the Southern Strategy started by Nixon and really pumped up by Reagan to attract southern racist Democrats alienated by LBJ’s civil rights act.

  8. 8
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Johnny Pez 3
    a)The modern Republican party’s roots are in the Southern Strategy.
    b)The 19th century Republican platform was still racist as all hell, just marginally less so than the Democratic one. Remember that famous line of Lincoln’s about how he was”…not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races. I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people.
    Enopoletus Harding #6

    In real life, he’s an Ayn Rand villain protagonist.

    FTFY. And the difference between Randists and libertarians is as significant as the difference between the Eastern and Russian Orthodox churches, i.e. not at all to someone who’s not a part of them.

  9. 9
    irisvanderpluym

    I’m guessing he doesn’t want to do anything about the culture that disproportionately harasses, arrests and jails young Black and Latino men when it’s not murdering them with impunity, though. Or the one that relentlessly cuts funding for public education, affordable housing and basic nutrition resources for the poor, including children. They can all just eat their bootstraps, amirite?

  10. 10
    Enopoletus Harding

    @Dalillama, Schmott Guy #8
    -I don’t see what you mean. Ayn Rand villains are not Ayn Rand protagonists. Ryan belongs to the former. Or are you trying to uphold strawmen?

  11. 11
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Enoleptus Harding
    There was meant to be a strike through villain. Shows what I get for not previewing. I have no idea what your link is supposed to show, but Paul Ryan is well known as a Rand acolyte.

  12. 12
    Doubting Thomas

    If work is so valuable, why don’t we see more rich people doing it? They go on and on about this culture that doesn’t value work and they seem to think you can starve people into also valuing it. Like they do?

  13. 13
    Forrest Phelps

    So let’s see . . .

    a) The Criminal Justice System unfairly targets young black and Latino males from beginning to end (from stop-and-frisk, to who gets arrested, to who gets charged and with what crime, to who gets community service versus jail time, etc.).
    b) Once in the “system” it becomes increasingly difficult to get a job of any kind, let alone one that would do much more than support yourself, let alone a wife and child.
    c) Yet it’s their “culture’s” fault.

  14. 14
    davidnangle

    Won’t be long before some Republican suggests “motivation wands” with lots of leather straps that can be brought down swiftly onto the lazy in order to motivate them to work faster at agricultural endeavors.

  15. 15
    David Marjanović

    A work requirement?

    What work?

    Ryan seems to believe there are spare jobs lying around on the streets or perhaps growing on trees.

  16. 16
    screechymonkey

    Yes, but Ryan’s argument is a secular one, so I’m sure Hemant will want to host a guest post on the subject.

  17. 17
    Enopoletus Harding

    @Dalillama, Schmott Guy #11
    -Yes, and Kim Jong Un and Fidel Castro are well-known defenders of democracy. Snark intended.

  18. 18
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Enoleptus Harding
    Show me a Randist in public life who acts differently and your No True Scotsman might hold a bit of water.

  19. 19
    smhll

    Does he think there is no hiring discrimination? Does he think the ‘solution’ is even lower wages in the inner city?

  20. 20
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Enopoletus Harding

    I’m confused. You appear to be trying to argue that Paul Ryan is not a Randist. Could you clarify?

  21. 21
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    smhill

    Does he think there is no hiring discrimination? Does he think the ‘solution’ is even lower wages in the inner city?

    Yes, and not quite. He thinks the ‘solution’ is lower wages everywhere.

  22. 22
    Enopoletus Harding

    @David Marjanović #15

    Ryan seems to believe there are spare jobs lying around on the streets or perhaps growing on trees.

    -You are correct that there are no such spare jobs:
    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=t0d
    I think this is how conservatives imagine the labor market:
    http://againstjebelallawz.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/garynorthlabormarket.png
    I suspect they think that Federal and State benefits and unemployed people’s preferences for higher-paying jobs have distorted the market for labor, keeping employee compensation rates at above market-clearing levels. As you can see in the FRED chart I linked to, this is not something that is readily apparent from the evidence.

  23. 23
    Enopoletus Harding

    @Dalillama, Schmott Guy #21
    I strongly suspect you are correct.

  24. 24
    Enopoletus Harding

    @Thumper: Token Breeder #20

    You appear to be trying to argue that Paul Ryan is not a Randist.

    -I am.

    Could you clarify?

    -Politicians lie. George Bush II and Reagan weren’t fiscal conservatives, but they occasionally played ones on TV. If you even read a Wiki summary of Rand’s views, you can readily see they are totally inconsistent with Ryan’s actions in Congress.

  25. 25
    Enopoletus Harding

    @Dalillama, Schmott Guy #18
    1. It’s not a No True Scotsman because Ryan is, both literally and figuratively, not a Scotsman. What do you mean by “acts differently”?

  26. 26
    BinJabreel

    He ‘a right though; until Paul Ryan rapes an otherwise independent woman until she falls in love with him, he won’t be a Rand protagonist.

  27. 27
    Enopoletus Harding

    @BinJabreel
    -Good one! :o)

  28. 28
    unclefrogy

    great now if he can be kept talking about the “problem of our inner cities” and his ideas for fixing the problems once and for all we will get there. Maybe there will a competition between all of the republican hopefuls to see who can come up with the best ideas to solve the “problems with the inner city”
    it would be better than listening to all the vague generalities and BS they usually spout trying not to reveal too much to the general public and alienate them.
    Because obviously the problems we are having are the fault of the illegal aliens and the inner city taking our tax dollars for handouts! They are not paying any taxes. It has nothing to do with the 1% not paying their fair share (any) of the taxes nor the 2 ruinous wars we have been engaged in on credit nor the lax enforcement to none existent regulations. They have been advocating for the last 40 years.

    uncle frogy.

  29. 29
    gog

    @smhill #19

    Does he think there is no hiring discrimination? Does he think the ‘solution’ is even lower wages in the inner city?

    Three fifths minimum wage for black people inner-city poor people.

  30. 30
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    I find it incredible that someone can get away with saying something so blatantly racist and not be disowned by everyone.

    The only thing about racism in the US that’s changed is the way the racists voice their racism. It’s not even subtle, but it does seem to fly completely under the radar of most.

    How could Paul Ryan get away with being so racist if racism weren’t still rampant and in a majority state?

    He couldn’t. There’s a problem.

  31. 31
    unclefrogy

    @ 28 I also for got to mention that we have lost our dependance on god
    we are bring corrupted and persecuted by those who are anti god
    uncle frogy

  32. 32
    robro

    Maybe Ryan can help inner-city Black men and women get jobs driving Wienermobiles, like he did and look where he is today. Of course, many of these inner-city Blacks are poorly educated, thanks to Republicans on both sides of the aisle gutting public education, but obviously you don’t need much education to sell hot dogs…I mean look at Ryan.

    Now I suppose the folks at Oscar Mayer might do background checks on potential employees and…oops! Arrests and convictions! Sorry, no jobs here. We’ve got insurance to pay.

    Well then, maybe we can get them jobs sweeping street, filling pot holes, or digging ditches for the cities. Now you might be concerned that such jobs fall under various trade unions, but there’s the upside to the plan…it not only demeans the poor but also undermines the unions. Win! Win!

  33. 33
    bodach

    Good old Charles Murray being quoted again: “a lot of poor people are born lazy.” Social science like this gives science a bad name. Chuck obviously has never tried to keep an infant on a changing table or run after a toddler all day long…

  34. 34
    anuran

    And just the other day Ann *spit* Coulter said the demographic changes in America are “not natural” and are “like being raped”.

    I thought I was just being paranoid, maybe reading too much bell hooks while taking bad acid or something. But no. Most of the conservative headspace really does come down to Fear of the Big Black (or Brown) Dick one way or another. It will rape or entrance Our Precious White Women or make so many little Black babies that there won’t be room for White babies.

    I despair for this country

  35. 35
    robro

    bodach @#33

    Good old Charles Murray being quoted again: “a lot of poor people are born lazy.”

    If that is a Murray quote, then he stole it from the South. People there often said, and still do, only it’s more like “Black people are born lazy”…but same thing to them really.

  36. 36
    monad

    Ayn Rand villains are not Ayn Rand protagonists.

    I think there might be some overlap. Didn’t one of her protagonists rape someone and destroy a building?

  37. 37
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Monad #36
    Galt and his chums went on a terroristic rampage of infrastructure destruction, leading to a total economic collapse. Paul Ryan and his chums are a little less direct about destroying their own country’s infrastructure (although they’re very enthusiastic about blowing up other people’s), but that’s still a pretty good capsule description of their behavior. Enoleptus Harding, the above is why I point out that Paul Ryan is behaving exactly as a Randist or Rand protagonist would be expected to act; he performs actions with similar outcomes, and justifies them in the same way.

  38. 38
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I’m not sure he’s “angular” enough, though.

  39. 39
    sigurd jorsalfar

    Instead of creating ‘work requirements’, which sounds a helluva lot like a former institution that people like Ryan created for the ‘benefit’ of blacks, and instead of dealing with the ‘real culture problem’, which always means more drug testing in the minds of Ryan and his ilk, how about creating more jobs and legislating an end to widespread drug testing?

    I know Ryan would probably be shocked to hear that a black person has ever applied for an actual job, but I’m willing to bet that if he did the above, people of all colors would turn out in droves eager to take these jobs, and the other problems would start to take care of themselves.

  40. 40
    aarrgghh

    Don’t anybody tell him that he’s already got the white racist vote totally locked up, he doesn’t have to keep pandering to them.

    of course (as both mccain and romney found to their chagrin) ryan and his party have to keep pandering to the racists; as a shrinking core demographic with even faster shrinking social acceptability, racists are intensely insecure — for good reason. if the racists stay home on election day, republicans are doomed.

  41. 41
    barbyau

    What’s alarming is that the party of “business” doesn’t seem willing to acknowledge what has happened with business in the last 40 years. Here’s a hint: lots of jobs got shipped over seas. It’s bad enough that they won’t acknowledge that capitalism REQUIRES unemployment (or else how do businesses hire new workers and grow without leading to horrible inflation?) But when we’ve implemented policies that exacerbate the natural rate of unemployment in a capitalist economy, you can’t simply require people to work. There needs to be work for them to do and someone willing to pay them. And, here’s the crazy part, that work ought to pay a living wage or it isn’t worth doing.

  42. 42
    scienceavenger

    Galt and his chums went on a terroristic rampage of infrastructure destruction, leading to a total economic collapse.

    Not true. Galt and his indispensable (in Rand’s fantasy world) chums merely withdrew their necessary talents (with the notable but insignificant exception of Ragnar Danneskjold), allowing the cannibalistic socialists (again, Rand’s fantasy version) to do the destroying. You might be confusing them with Howard Roark, hero of The Fountainhead, who blew up a building he designed because those who built it dared make alterations to the design. Rand was big on violence from her heroes against their lovers, and those who refused to behave as they desired.

  43. 43
    Enopoletus Harding

    @monad #36

    I think there might be some overlap.

    -There is overlap, but it’s with the Ayn Rand protagonists and apparent villains.
    @Dalillama, Schmott Guy #37
    -The Atlas Shrugged villains help destroy the country, too. You can tell Ryan’s one of the villains because he voted for the TARP. No Ayn Rand protagonist would ever vote for the TARP. Also, don’t misspell “Enopoletus”. I think you understand the existence of “copy” and “paste”.

  44. 44
    Enopoletus Harding

    @barbyau #41

    It’s bad enough that they won’t acknowledge that capitalism REQUIRES unemployment (or else how do businesses hire new workers and grow without leading to horrible inflation?)

    -Which is why the 1960s and 1990s with their “full employment” were such a disaster for capitalism, right?

    you can’t simply require people to work

    -You still can; it would just be disastrous for real wages.

  45. 45
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Enopoletus Harding:

    I think you understand the existence of “copy” and “paste”.

    Depending on how one accesses the net, copy/paste is not as easy as you think. When I was stuck using my phone for internet access for a year, it was difficult to copy/paste from some sites (every blog I read at FtB for instance).

  46. 46
    dean

    Rand appeals to those who find thinking about complex issues difficult, as the answer is always “screw everyone else and watch out for yourself.” Ryan fits in perfectly.

  47. 47
    keinsignal

    I didn’t listen to Ryan’s whole speech (because why would I do that, why on earth would anybody do that) so to be fair it’s entirely possible I missed his point, but this struck me as either incoherent, or, well, monstrous. Either of his claims above sound racist by themselves, but taken together they can only lead to one solution for unemployment, and I’d say what it was but I don’t want to Godwin this comment into the ground right at the outset here.

    Lemme back up for a second and explain what I mean. Call me naïve or old-fashioned, but it seems to me that when a politician calls attention to a problem, and outlines a cause, it is generally because they think, and would like you to think, that they can address that cause and fix the problem. High unemployment, most people agree, is a problem. And so certainly we would like to know what causes it, and how we can address those root causes and get people working again.

    Now, if you think the cause of unemployment is some cultures do not value work, you might have some solutions on how to address this, because, after all, cultures can change, and people can free themselves from cultures they find intolerable. You could hang up billboards, you could have educational initiatives, social programs, pay Hollywood to make more Horatio Alger movies, I dunno, I’m not gonna do Paul Ryan’s job for him, but these are ideas.

    If you think the cause of unemployment is some people are genetically unsuited to work, well, that’s something entirely different. That sounds, to my egalitarian ears anyway, like maybe we need to find out what’s up with these people, and try to help them out. Maybe they simply need better access to jobs that take into account their disability, via part-time work, flex-time, work-from-home… Maybe some kind of medical intervention is called for, although historically speaking that kind of thing has seldom worked out well. But, again, just blue-skying here.

    It seems to me that when you put those two together, though – that an entire culture is dysfunctional because of the genetic makeup of the people in it – then that is just straight-up racism of the most toxic variety possible; the implication is that there is no solution short of mass deportation, mass imprisonment, or genocide.

    I’m just curious… Not curious enough to listen to the whole speech of course… but did Ryan state, or did anybody think to ask, just what exactly it is he thinks we ought to do about the problems he’s outlined?

    I mean besides cut taxes on the rich and stop feeding poor kids, of course.

  48. 48
    Lynna, OM

    Paul Ryan should look in the mirror and give himself a lecture about working, and about work ethic.

    This week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor proudly announced the calendar for the new Congress in 2013. Here’s the link. Working days for the entire year total 126, leaving 239 days off. This includes virtually the whole month of August, two weeks around Easter/Passover, not a single five-day work week and (God forbid) no weekends. […]

    For this, Members of Congress receive an annual salary of $174,000 ($223,500 for the Speaker), and, if the past few years are any guide, they will enact no budget, no regular appropriations bills, nor other key legislation. […]

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kenneth-d-ackerman/congress-calendar_b_2219870.html

    I didn’t check the congressional calendar for 2014, but my bet is that it pretty much the same as the calendar for 2013. Working about 125 days per year, yeah that’s not enough to earn Paul Ryan any slack. He does not have the right to lecture inner city males about work ethic. Nor anyone else.

  49. 49
    barbyau

    I’ll just note that in the 90′s due to rising wages because of “full employment” the Fed raised interest rates in a deliberate attempt to slow the job market. In other words it was POLICY to keep people out of work. And people who are afraid of inflation sure did seem to think it was disastrous. AND that “full employment” was what we define to be full employment. It was nowhere near having everyone working.

    But I suppose that was a pretty good retort if you just disregard some of the details of the matter.

  50. 50
    sigurd jorsalfar

    barbyau, you are indeed correct. Full employment is part of the Fed’s official mandate but in practice it only cares about what matters to the investment class, i.e. inflation, and has long abandoned and even worked against full employment.

    Neither political party is committed to full employment. What conservatives like Ryan really support is a type of workfare system where instead of providing jobs you instead provide people with impossible ‘work requirements’, i.e. you force them to go out and look for jobs that do not exist and set impossibly high job search documentation requirements in exchange for minimal benefits, i.e. you must apply for X jobs in Y period of time and attend at least Z number of interviews, etc. All of this is deliberately designed to fail the job searcher so that the rest of us can point and say ‘see? we tried to help you but YOU failed, you must be lazy’.

  51. 51
    cplcam

    The beautiful thing is if he wants to win the 2016 republican primary he does have to keep pandering to white racists.

  52. 52
    mikeyb

    I have a pet theory that a vast throng of republican voters aren’t libertarians or members of the religious right. Many of these people could care less about religion or economic policy. Instead they see republican = not-woman, not-minority, not-gay, not for social welfare or affirmative action, i.e. republican = white male and they pull the republican lever, even if it ultimately means they are cutting of there noses to spite there faces. Sadly I really think it is as simple as that for a large portion of voters.

  53. 53
    Jonathan Hartley

    These views aren’t just racist, they’re anti working class. During the times when capitalism is booming workers are denounced as being greedy for demanding higher wages. During a slump when jobs are being destroyed they’re described as being lazy for not working. Of course, bunging a bit of racism into the mix always helps to divide and rule…

  54. 54
    Christopher

    I have a pet theory that a vast throng of republican voters aren’t libertarians or members of the religious right. Many of these people could care less about religion or economic policy. Instead they see republican = not-woman, not-minority, not-gay, not for social welfare or affirmative action, i.e. republican = white male and they pull the republican lever, even if it ultimately means they are cutting of there noses to spite there faces.

    You just described the ‘Southern Strategy’ that the GOP has been using for a good half century now to maintain some semblance of popularity at the polls:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy

    The GOP policies enacted during this time (with oodles of help from Democrats) have fucked over the average person in the South more than people from any other large region in the US have been fucked over. But they still pull the GOP lever.

  55. 55
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    barbyau#41

    What’s alarming is that the party of “business” doesn’t seem willing to acknowledge what has happened with business in the last 40 years.

    You have them entirely wrong. There’s a word missing, you see. They’re the party of business owners, when said owners are capitalists (in the sense of individuals who legally control very large blocks of capital, not in the sense of people committed to an economic system run on such a basis). The people whom the Republican party represents are richer than ever, and have a huge number of people they can humiliate for the rush of power it gives them. All the other things you mentioned were quite deliberate on the part of the capitalist class. It’s what capitalists do.

    Enopoletus Harding #43

    There is overlap, but it’s with the Ayn Rand protagonists and apparent villains.

    I agree, there is a great deal of overlap between apparent villains and Ayn Rand protagonists. Also actual villains.

    No Ayn Rand protagonist would ever vote for the TARP. Also, don’t misspell “Enopoletus”.

    Just like Rand would never take government handouts. Oh, wait…

  56. 56
    chimera

    Sigurd @ 50

    What conservatives like Ryan really support is a type of workfare system where instead of providing jobs you instead provide people with impossible ‘work requirements’, i.e. you force them to go out and look for jobs that do not exist and set impossibly high job search documentation requirements in exchange for minimal benefits, i.e. you must apply for X jobs in Y period of time and attend at least Z number of interviews, etc. All of this is deliberately designed to …

    That’s what’s done here in France. I had to do that a couple of times. I ended up spinning elaborately documented fictions, was very time consuming and guilt generating. But the last time I was in that situation, I just went into the unemployment office and yelled at them exactly what you say here. I was really surprised to discover that they backed down immediately and began apologizing. But that too was awful to see their hypocrisy.

    As for what such a workfare system is designed to do, aside from making people feel unworthy and keeping them busy filling out forms, fostering a sense of resignation and hopelessness, I don’t know.

    And as for what Ryan would like to do with all those “inner-city” blighters, it sounds like he’s arguing for reinstating slavery.

  57. 57
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Hey, we should send some people to the most extreme gathering of mainstream racist Republicans, and see if we can find common ground with them. That would be an amazingly ethical and leader-ific thing to do.

  58. 58
    lorn

    Lazy? A people who were slaves for two hundred years doesn’t seem compatible with inborn laziness as a trait.

    On the other hand early 19th century observers of the south have commonly made a note of the laziness of southern white males.

  59. 59
    sigurd jorsalfar

    As for what such a workfare system is designed to do, aside from making people feel unworthy and keeping them busy filling out forms, fostering a sense of resignation and hopelessness, I don’t know.

    Bicarbonate, I think their economic theories require a mass of unemployed persons, but they fear the repercussions of admitting to this, so they convince themselves at the very same time that there really are plenty of good jobs out there and the only reason people are unemployed is because they are lazy. I am aware of one ‘serious’ academic economist who argues in peer-reviewed publications that unemployment occurs when people decide that they value leisure over paid work, and that mass unemployment must therefore occur when a whole bunch of people all at once decide that they value their leisure over paid work. How being laid off can ever be seen as ‘valuing one’s leisure over paid work’ is beyond me, but this person has tenure and is paid a lot of money to peddle this garbage. What gets missed by so many people who discuss his scribblings is that ‘valuing leisure over paid work’ is just free-market-speak for ‘lazy’.

    I think the goal of these workfare programs is to control the unemployed and ‘discipline the workforce’. On paper, the program looks like it’s there to help people find all these alleged jobs, in order to prevent the full scale rioting and revolution if nothing was done and no benefits are paid. The programs are tied to benefits because that’s the only way to force people into these programs. But the paperwork and search requirements are so onerous that they have the (very desirable to the bosses) effect of fostering a sense of resignation and hopelessness exactly as you say. They want that in order to keep these unemployed people in line and blaming themselves for their plight. If that doesn’t work, there is prison. Whatever happens, it’s always the unemployed person’s fault.

    And as barbyau says above, they want this mass of unemployed people in order to keep wages and inflation down, i.e. in order to ‘discipline the work force’, the idea being that anyone who has a job will keep their wage demands down knowing that there is some poor slob filling out phoney workfare paperwork who will take their job from them for less money in a heartbeat. Marx had this completely right. As they say in Russia, Marx was wrong about communism, but he was right about capitalism.

    It must also be hell on the people who work in these offices. I suspect they take the job thinking they are going to help the unemployed, then they quickly realize that their real job is to find flaws in the paperwork so that they can kick people off benefits. I’d rather be a parole officer.

  60. 60
    sadunlap

    @ davindnagle #14

    Won’t be long before some Republican suggests “motivation wands” with lots of leather straps that can be brought down swiftly onto the lazy in order to motivate them to work faster at agricultural endeavors.

    We already have what I call the “sonic” whip: the loud, high-pitched alarms on the ovens in fast-food and other restaurants. In Europe and Asia these alarms tend to sound in a much lower register and make more of a buzzing sound. Every time I hear “the mechanical scream of death” I think to myself that the bastards would use real whips if they could get away with it.

    @ David Marjanović #15

    Ryan seems to believe there are spare jobs lying around on the streets or perhaps growing on trees.

    Now that economists and pundits consider 6% unemployment good news, the libertarian meme is now that there are lots of jobs in high tech but those darn poor people are too lazy or stupid to acquire the skills. “Can’t expect businesses to hire people if they don’t have the skills.” No mention of any attacks on public education though. Also no evidence that the jobs in question either truly exist or would not be outsourced to another country.

    @ barbyau #41

    apitalism REQUIRES unemployment (or else how do businesses hire new workers and grow without leading to horrible inflation?)

    In this and a subsequent post you are referring to NAIRU : Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment. The Federal Reserve did pursue a policy of raising interest rates to slow business growth the slow the growth of jobs as an inflation fighting tactic. I remain amazed that this did not spark widespread public outrage, but I guess I should not be surprised given the idea cemented in so many right-wing heads that only laziness can cause unemployment.

    As for capitalism requiring unemployment, I disagree a little here. You may wish to look into the theories of Henry George, an economist from the turn of the 20th century. He proposed a system of “incentive taxation” on commercial and residential rents as a way to control inflation. You could make the argument that Hong Kong utilizes this in its management of rents (The government owns about 99.5% of the land in Hong Kong, is the world’s largest landlord, and provides subsidized rent to close to half its tenants). Another way that capitalism does not have to have high unemployment you can see in countries like France and Sweden where labor unions are big and national (not the separate and now powerless little craft unions in the U.S.). Unions in these countries are aware of NAIRU and calibrate their wage demands accordingly. Capitalism does not have to take the form of a huge mallet coming down on the heads of working poor people. That it does so in the U.S. only means that U.S. has a problem.

  61. 61
    Enopoletus Harding

    @Dalillama, Schmott Guy #55

    Just like Rand would never take government handouts. Oh, wait…

    -She did not consider it a “handout”; she saw it as a way to get back some of the taxes she paid earlier in her life. It’s not as great a hypocrisy as making an impassioned speech on the House floor in support of the TARP, which contributed billions to the deficit.

  62. 62
    sigurd jorsalfar

    @60 sadunlap – Mainstream use of the NAIRU concept is proof that modern capitalism as it is currently understood by its mainstream proponents does indeed require unemployment. But I agree with you that capitalism in the broader sense could function as capitalism and provide the full employment that it promises. Henry George has indeed proposed ways of creating full employment without inflation, and he’s not the only one.

    But the economists and politicians who actually run things don’t care, because the threat of Soviet communism is gone, the NAIRU works for them, and we let them get away with it. And that’s all that matters.

  63. 63
    Kroos Control , persona non grata

    Stay classy , Republicans!

  64. 64
    Eric Pawtowski

    Was just back east, attending a funeral. Some of the relatives were telling stories about West VA: one of them was a tale I’ve heard them tell before: that employers in WVA can’t get anyone to work for them because they all want to ‘loaf around and live off the government’.

    Now, as a note, this tale is NOT inherently racist, because most of the people they’re talking about are as caucasian as they were, this is classic poor Appalachia. Anyone know the source of this? I’m sure that lately it’s from Fox, but is there an older source?

    My personal opinion is that what employers are finding out is that they can’t hire people at rock-bottom wages (most likely using quasi-illegal tricks to make the effective wage lower than minimum) to do difficult/unpleasant/dangerous work and find it’s easier to blame ‘liberals’ and welfare-induced lazyness than to admit they have to offer workers more money.

  65. 65
    unclefrogy

    that’s the key phrase right there –it works just fine for them–. understand that and you understand a lot about why things are going the way they are going
    they are very short sighted and easily fall for illusion that their desires are facts.
    uncle frogy

  66. 66
    Kristof

    Re: 34. anuran:

    And just the other day Ann *spit* Coulter said the demographic changes in America are “not natural” and are “like being raped”.

    [dark sarcasm mode on]

    Knowing right wing nuts stance on rape that would mean what exactly? She asked for it? She dressed too provocatively? She has been hanging around dangerous places at night? She made it up to punish innocent man?

    [dark sarcasm mode off]

  67. 67
    Nick Gotts

    She [Rand] did not consider it a “handout”; she saw it as a way to get back some of the taxes she paid earlier in her life. – Enopoletus Harding

    While for everyone else benefits were a handout (cf. “the only moral abortion is my abortion”).

  68. 68
    melw

    Could be a good book on the topic of un-laziness:

    Prof. Jessica Gordon Nembhard on African-American Coops and the Civil Rights Movement

    http://colorlines.com/archives/2014/03/how_co-ops_helped_produce_foot_soldiers_for_civil_rights.html

  69. 69
    Alteredstory

    [dark sarcasm mode on]

    Knowing right wing nuts stance on rape that would mean what exactly? She asked for it? She dressed too provocatively? She has been hanging around dangerous places at night? She made it up to punish innocent man?

    [dark sarcasm mode off]

    I think they DO think America “asked for it” by not voting conservative enough, and by becoming an “immoral society”.

    I don’t think most of them really buy the whole “disasters are divine retribution” schtick, but they do think that “America” is to blame, or at least those who are (in their minds) deluded, bribed, bullied, or defrauded into voting Democrat.

  70. 70
    loopyj

    Not that it would make any difference, since Republicans aren’t swayed by reality and facts, but Paul Ryan should be strapped to a chair with his eyelids taped open and forced to watch this:

  71. 71
    sadunlap

    But the economists and politicians who actually run things don’t care, because the threat of Soviet communism is gone, the NAIRU works for them, and we let them get away with it.

    I’m not sure what the Soviet Union has to do with the matter. In a 1973 Brookings Institute book about the Federal Reserve I found a brief passage that explained that the Fed considered using its power over interest rates to utilize NAIRU to control inflation but could not due to labor unions opposing job loss as well as wage stagnation. It’s the demise of labor unions under Reagan that provided the possibility of controlling inflation by sticking it to working people. I do not understand what the Soviet Union ever had to do with this.

    More to the point, that fact that starting in the late 80s with Greenspan ascending to the Fed and applying this policy provides empirical evidence that the U.S. has had millions of people unemployed who were actively seeking work — because the policy can not have the effect of stagnating wages unless employers have a high supply of qualified applicants. We have decades of first Greenspan and then Bernanke bragging about how well this policy has worked to verify this statement. Why, as you put it, “we” let them get away with it remains a mystery to me.

  72. 72
    Monsanto

    It’s always been an indisputable fact that being black and having a low IQ are genetically linked, but it’s good that a scientist has also proven that both of these are coupled with being born lazy. Maybe we shouldn’t bother with their education since it’s such a waste of valuable resources that could be used for over-priced fighter jets or the pork that Republicans don’t indulge in.

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