More for me …

The current impasse in Washington is fueled by many things, but one of the underriding issues is plainly old-fashioned greed. A powerful faction whose primary focus is cutting government spending so wealthier folk can keep more for themselves is flexing a lot of muscle.

Balancing tax cuts for the rich by shifting the burden to lower income folks or lottery addicts while opposing programs that presently or potentially make life better for the poor does not appear to be a moral issue for them.

Occasionally, when talking to my students about clear biblical injunctions to care for the poor and prophetic criticisms of those who have no qualms about exploiting them for profit, I play for them a musical satire by Craig Carothers — a song that manages to be both humorous and biting.

This seems to be a good day to post a link from YouTube.

Enjoy, if you can.

 

1 Comment

  1. I don't know how long it's been since you've paid attention to the lyrics, but I think the song actually makes the opposite point. The phrase, "Give up what you've got, and i'll have a lot…more for me," speaks to the redistribution of wealth system that takes money from those who've earned it to give to those who haven't.

    While the biblical passages you cite certainly have their place (although you typically shy away from this brand of theocracy applied to America), our government has gone well past a concern for the legitimate poor (we ought to care for those who simply can't care for themselves) to creating a culture of dependency which perpetuates poverty. In those cases, which have greatly increased under the current administration's unhelpful approach, handouts can become harmful for generations.

    Sure, this approach creates a loyal Democratic base, but it hurts the poor in the long run. For some Democrats, their vote is more important than their well-being. President Clinton's approach to the issue was far more beneficial to the country than President Obama's, whose principal concern seems to be the party over the poor. The current definition of helping is actually hurting, however good it may make radical redistributionists feel (and regardless of the political capital it may yield among their base).

    In fact, your rhetoric explains precisely why our current crop of politicians cannot come to a reasonable solution this time around. Your implication that conservatives are encouraging greed for allowing the wealthy to keep more for themselves is tantamount to bearing false witness. That the wealthy keep more of the money they earn may be a consequence of a more rational policy (one which will allow them to direct philanthropy to more effective and efficient charities than the government), but greed is not the overarching motivation. The "more for me" attitude of many who are slavishly–and unnecessarily–dependent on the government (which certainly isn't everyone) and who expect something for nothing when they could clearly earn their own way, is a major part of the debt/deficit crisis in which we find ourselves today.

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