Friday, October 28, 2011

53%ers are 100% Full of Bull$h*t

When a criminal commits a crime we don't expect random spectators to say, "Suck it up, you whiners" or "You're just jealous of the criminal because he got away with it" or even "If you weren't so lazy then you could be a criminal too" and "you probably just want some of his loot".  We would be even more surprised if someone said to a crime victim, "It was YOUR fault that the crime happened to you and if you failed to stop it then you deserve whatever you get."  Yet this is exactly the sort of "logic" employed by right-wing apologists for Wall Street.  They insist that anyone criticizing Wall Street must be a lazy, unemployed, "whiner" who is "jealous" and "looking for a handout".

Right-wing shills have now formed an organization called 53%, in response to the Occupy Wall Street who say they are part of the 99% of people who are not ultra-rich.  The 53% allegedly refers to the amount of people who pay taxes in the US, since poor people end up getting a refund.  However, this is based on the unevidenced assumption that nobody in the Occupy Wall Street movement pays any taxes.  Where is their evidence for this claim?  They have none.  It is demonstrably false.  They also assume that OWS protesters are all unemployed and receiving an unemployment check.  This too is false.  Many OWS protesters work part-time or low wage jobs to survive, but are still complaining about the criminal behavior of big banks and Wall Street investment firms who crashed our economy and created this recession.  

Another typical canard of the 53% astroturf movement is to say that anyone complaining about the behavior of Wall Street lacks, "personal responsibility".  They thump their chests about how they are "self-made" people, and that they are in 100% complete control of every facet of their lives.  However, the reality is that this is usually a complete bluff.  If most of these individuals were to lose his or her job then it would not be so easy for these people to find a job again, in the present economic circumstances.  They believe that it would be easy, but that is based on how the job market was ten years ago, the last time they had to look.  We all tend to over-estimate our abilities, but unless these people have actually gotten a job in the last six months to a year then they don't know what the hell they are talking about.  Personal responsibility is an important component in life, but as we noted in the above example, an extremist over-emphasis on "personal responsibility" ends up with ridiculous results like saying that the rape victim was "asking for it" by wearing makeup and looking attractive.

The bottom line is that so-called 53%ers are full of misinformation, among other things.  Many 99%ers are also part of the 53% who pay taxes.  Many 99%ers are not collecting unemployment.  Therefore these conservative blowhards have absolutely no right to attempt to censor the speech of the 99%ers.  In fact they would not have this right even if all the 99%ers were unemployed and collecting government checks, which is not the case anyway.  So don't buy their latest attempt to whitewash the actions of Wall Street and the ultra-wealthy.  Many of the 53%ers are nowhere near rich themselves, anyway, and are therefore suffering from a form of cognitive dissonance commonly called "false consciousness", where people are conditioned, through propaganda, to not advocate for the very things that it would be in their interests to demand.  They say that they don't want to see some long-haired hippie type getting  "government handout", but they have no problem with rich people paying lobbyists to write special laws that give tax breaks and loophole deductions to wealthy corporations or people.  They say they are "self-made" but they fail to realize that, without roads, bridges, public schools, state universities, libraries, post-offices, and fire departments that any of them would not have the resources to operate businesses, educate their children, or go to college themselves.  And if they think taxes are too high, that's far more likely because the rich are gaming the system than because some poor person is getting a minimal payout from something like unemployment.  That they are blind to the excesses of Wall Street shows how skewed their view of reality truly is.

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