It’s only a tax on the gullible;
These scammers are doing no harm
The people to blame,
To point at, to shame,
Are the people who fell for their charm!
These “psychics” are selling a service!
Entertainment, for nickels and dimes!
Or for someone’s life savings,
But hey, stop those ravings,
It’s clear, these are victimless crimes!
It’s fine to take any advantage–
That’s acknowledged as one of life’s rules!
There’s money in thieving
From those who are grieving
Let’s declare open season on fools!
It’s really just light entertainment;
People pay for advice that they seek.
It’s the gullible’s fault!
(While we’re at it, assault
Is no more than a tax on the weak!)
Ok, I was not surprised in the least by the NYTimes article on psychics. I have no love for the vocation of “psychic” (though I have had a student from a family of psychics; she was terrific. She, of course, thought all the various psychics on TV were fakes, and had never heard of some of the nationally famous ones, and claimed that the real psychic community policed themselves of fakes. I believed she was honestly deluded, rather than the active liars described in the Times article), and have seen people horribly hurt by scammers who were perfectly willing to “help” them in times of grievous loss.
What was surprising, though, was the comments. In the NYTimes, commenters are not the commenters you find at The Blaze, or Fox News, or CNN, or even, recently, NPR. NYTimes commenters tend to be more thoughtful. Or maybe things have changed. A very common comment was that psychics are not hurting anyone, and that the people they are hurting (you caught that, I am sure) actually deserve to be hurt. It’s a tax on the gullible, a tax on the stupid. The price of learning a lesson.
Mind you, the article itself describes clients who have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Others may lose the tiniest fraction of that, but often these may be people who have little or nothing to spare. I once worked with a man who would pay a psychic for advice on lottery numbers, using the money that would have been his groceries that week (he figured he’d buy food with his lottery winnings).
The people who are most vulnerable to these predators are precisely the people who need protecting! We don’t tell the victims of beatings that they should have been stronger (yeah, I know, sometimes we do, but those who do are wrong to do so). We don’t tell victims of rape… you know, never mind; sometimes we suck at being people. I guess I just expected more from the commenters at the NYTimes.
Sorry. Didn’t mean to get so depressing.
Edited, first stanza… autocorrect hates me.