Friday, April 25, 2014

The list continues to grow

The List of Things Poor People Aren't Allowed to Have continues to grow. Over the years I have noticed the list of things that poor people aren't supposed to be allowed to have or activities they aren't supposed to do is constantly growing. It's as though being down and out and worrying about simply surviving from day to day isn't enough punishment for being poor, the poor have also have to be deprived of anything that might make life a little more bearable or shed a few rays of hope that someday things will get better.

I've commented before on some of the more obvious hardships and deprivations of being poor. For example, being poor often means your family has to forego the pleasures of pet ownership. If you're poor you're more likely to be living in rental housing; landlords are more likely to restrict pet ownership when tenants are on the low end of the income scale than on the high. I've also noted that some people tend to flip out whenever they see someone who is ostensibly poor, like clients sitting in the state unemployment office or folks lined up at a food bank, using a cell phone. If we're to believe the Heritage Institute, poor people aren't really poor if they have access to a functioning refrigerator, a microwave, or air conditioning. I could go on, but I think you all get it. Name a material item -- nice clothes, a cheap cell phone, a car that actually runs, a pet rabbit, and the odds are someone on the right will pontificate about why the poor shouldn't have it.

Well, we can add another one to the zum unteren Klassen verboten list: relaxing with your family. Noted rightwing nutjob Cliven Bundy recently rambled on in a New York Times interview about how appalled he was when he drove through "the projects" in Las Vegas and saw small children just hanging out with old people (presumably their grandparents) and sitting around doing "nothing" on the front porches of their homes. Who woulda thunk that hanging out with Grandma and listening to her talk about the good old days would fall into the forbidden to poor people zone?  But apparently it does. To quote Mr. Bundy, "and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do." It's a balmy Nevada afternoon, you hang out on the front porch with the kids, and suddenly you're a symptom of everything that's wrong with America today.

We live in interesting times.


  1. If he keeps that up, the GOP will run him for president. I assume he is a God-fearing christian of the fundamentalist type?

  2. You are right - I have been guilty of the same thing. Some times it has to be pointed out and then you realize "it is also me."
    the Ol'Buzzard


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