Tag Archives: economic rights

20 Things The Working Poor Do Every Day

 

On The Glorification Of The Wealthy

 

Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker- Proverbs 17:5 NIV

Income Inequality

Income Inequality (Photo credit: mSeattle)

 

Every once in a while, the interwebz throws the wretched of the earth a bone, a glimmer of hope, perhaps a random kid becomes a youtube sensation-turned-international sensation. Maybe it’s the rise of a popular reality t.v. star. Yet, the uber-rich always seem to want to share their secrets (seems funny, the only thing they want to share, huh?). TAXES IS STEALING!!!! And every now and then, there’s an article that goes viral like, “20 Things That Make Rich People Morally Superior To Poor People.” The Opulent make sure that celebrity status doesn’t reach divinity, but they do demand (from their regular publicity campaigns) admiration and respect for their values and efforts. Scary part about the making of capitalism sacrosanct is that we find the history of private property rights cannot be neatly severed from the history of enslaving other persons. All of this whitewashing of history hides the experience of the losers in history, and really the REAL SECRET about economics throughout history. Read the rest of this post and its conclusion to find the answer. Without further ado, 20 things the Working Poor Do Everyday.

 

1. They have to endure myths such as “poverty is the root of all evil.” If the rich do not believe that “money is the root of all evil,” that means the do not believe the Bible. WHAT ARE THE ODDS, YAHOO FINANCE! What this does is inform the working poor that they are the living embodiments of all that is wrong with society.

 

2. The Working Poor believe that selflessness is a virtue. The Rich believe that selfishness and self-centeredness is. O R L Y?

 

3. The Working Poor really value meritocracy. The Wealthy practice nepotism and “networking.”

 

4. The Working Poor see education as an invaluable means of liberation. The Wealthy view education as thing to be purchased and to lord over underlings with, a tool for power.

 

5. The Working Poor do the things they have to do to survive and spend time with the people they love. The rich are sometimes fortunate enough to do the things they love more than people.

 

6. The Working Poor earn capital. The Wealthy rule cities and states, steal money from the working poor, and then they get richer.

 

7. The Working Poor realize that relationships are more important than money. Rich People find restless nights over their acquisitions.

 

8. The Working Poor read as many books as they possibly can in the limited free time they have. The Wealthy have libraries of books to show how much time they have on their hands.

 

9. The Working Poor see an inclusive society as ideal; The Wealthy benefit from a hierarchal, stratified world.

 

10. The Working Poor make the connection between the importance of having a strong social safety net. Wealthy persons look down upon social programs and their dependents.

 

11. The Working Poor have to walk past fast food chains, living in lives of food insecurity, sometimes even on food stamps. Fast food restaurants, smoking parlors, and liquor stores target the working poor. The Rich mock and demean the poor, and rob the poor of their wages, ahem, McDonald’s.

 

12. The Working Poor are task oriented and driven, multi-taskers. Rich persons are narrow minded and with singular visions.

 

13. The Working Poor who are parents do not have time to read fiction books to their children. How many rich families take the time to read books at homeless shelters?

 

14. The Working Poor cannot often say what’s on their mind. Usually, that’s because the big bosses upstairs have deprived them of their freedom of speech, and first amendment rights because unionization is banned. The Rich love to talk abstractly and universally when it comes to free speech, except for when it comes to the expressions of black people.

 

15. The Working Poor do not believe in luck. The Rich do because it’s pretty convenient!

 

16. The Working Poor have very little access to exercise programs because neighborhood gyms avoid locating where they live. The rich have all of opportunity in the world to go to 24 Hour Fitness.

 

17. The Working Poor know how to use public transportation and build community on buses, trains, and other commutes. The Wealthy disparage such things and ask, “why don’t you get a car?”

 

18. The Working Poor know that the lottery is a hoax to get the impoverished addicted to gambling. The Rich rely on the Lottery as a voluntary tax on the poor so they can get access to education.

 

19. The Working Poor want to learn from the past. The Rich have delusional, naive hopes about the future.

 

20. The Working Poor are logical in their money-decision making. The Wealthy are too emotionally caught up with their money to make reasonable decisions, in the name of “following their passions,” like three summer homes!

Are you rich? Or are you poor and you want to be rich, and you find some of my comments in this post downright offensive? Well good, because this is the kind of frelling crap that Christian idols like Dave Ramsey tells people each day in their books and on their radio programs. It’s this baloney, these lies made against the poor that keep the rich in power. False myths about poverty abound, even about homelessness.

The dirty little secret to all the posts and books about the secrets to being rich is this: THERE ARE NO SECRETS. The rains falls on the just and the unjust.

Wealth Inequality, Political Power, and the Bible

Monday, Christian Salafia of Homebrewed Theology posted on facebook the above video without comment due to his anger. Is there any reason to be mad at wealth inequality, or income distribution, which some would argue is a different topic altogether? According to the video, 1% of the population of this country owns 40% of the wealth. There is this ideal in economists minds, the video suggests, where there should be an even distribution, or more accurately, where income gaps are smaller than they already are. Income inequality leads to some moral questions for many persons of faith. For some, moral outrage over wealth inequality/income distribution is just another sign of a spoiled citizenry who are $green$ with envy. The problem therefore becomes a privatized one, where individual persons are just acting out of their own personal covetousness against the rich and successful.

agent orange capitalism

What the church of the free market often neglects is that all human economies are tied to political institutions, regardless of our calls to deregulation. Tax breaks for a few multinational corporations is still a government favoring a business. In the United States, political power is ultimately tied to money and status of employment. The private business is ultimately political. Let’s take for example the Constitutional idea that the second Tuesday in November is the day we are to have federal elections. Why? Because November was the Founders’ favorite month? No! It was because of economics, it was the time where the farmers would be the most free to vote after harvest. We live in a post-industrial economy, and our Constitution was and is written for a slave plantation society. Another concrete example of the political and economic working together for the suppression of political voices are federal election laws themselves. For example, in 2010, incumbents raised an average of $9.4 million while their challengers, almost 1/18th of that or $519,000. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue: the wealthy’s access to political power is unrestrained on both sides. Campaign finance reforms as they stand right now, are supposed to limit the influence of money in elections. This is a misguided policy I have come to see. Tax payers in the lowest income brackets are paying for the campaigns of the 1%, handing over more power to the already powerful. Meanwhile those citizens who are qualified to run for office but can’t afford it are excluded because of economics. The implications are obvious: the rich get richer and more powerful, they start more wars to send the poor to fight for them.

It’s blatantly obvious to anyone even marginally read on campaign laws that third parties, the middle and lower classes are at an unfair disadvantage. Apathy for income distribution/wealth inequality (pick your poison) is tacit approval for political oppression.  The 1% may own 40% of the country’s wealth, but they wield 100% of the nation’s political influence, and that should be most disconcerting to us. Scripture warns us time and again not only the dangers of greed, but also what avarice means in the body politic. In the Wisdom literature of Scripture, partiality is looked down upon, especially when it comes to ancient Israel’s judicial system (Proverbs 28:21 & parts of Job for example). Deuteronomy 16 and 17, placing limits on those at the very top of Hebrew society “You must not distort justice; you must not show partiality; and you must not accept bribes, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.” (Deuteronomy 16:19 NRSV) In the New Testament, the apostles continue being faithful to YHWH, “God shows no partiality.” (Peter in Acts 10:34, Paul in Romans 2:11) Paul makes sure to remind us of God’s impartiality (fairness) in his instructions to human enslavers and the human beings they enslave (Ephesians 5).

In the end, God cares about the alignment and arrangement of human bodies because the Triune God is Lord and good Creator of all. Human concern for economic inequality and injustice is more consistent with Scripture than religious defenses of capitalism. Any human arrangement, yes system, that continues the devaluing of human life must come under prophetic judgement because God disclosed in the Resurrection that human life is of invalueable worth, that justice for human beings is to be placed above all and any systems.

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#OccupyDCComics: #DCComics To Have An #OWS Inspired Series

This news was forwarded to me by a commenter at PJ, and I thought I would share it. I feel this is exciting news on a number of fronts. I just simply love it when politics and pop culture just come together to make beautiful music in the war of ideas. Since this series is going to be about Class and the question whether money can make you happy or not, I have no doubts there will be theological implications for this conversation. A win-win!

Hopefully, DC can take the opportunity to re-boot Icon, the black Republican Superman from Mile Stone Comics.

icon v superman

For more,

See Bryan Young’s post at the Huffington Post: Exclusive: DC Comics Reveals Two New Politically-Charged Books as well as his interview with Batgirl’s Gail Simone at Big Shiny Robot