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(22,336 posts)
Fri Sep 4, 2015, 12:33 PM Sep 2015

Demonizing the Poor


For years state lawmakers have piled on these sorts of rules, creating a great wave of prohibitions, with drug-based denials of aid the most popular ban of choice. Things have gotten so bad that in May the Huffington Post ran an article titled “Wisconsin GOP Advances Bills Controlling How People on Welfare Eat and Pee.” When The Onion lampooned the new rules with an August article titled “New Law Requires Welfare Recipients To Submit Sweat To Prove How Hard They’re Looking For Job,” the line between satire and news had never seemed thinner.

Lobster dinners and drug binges. Casino romps followed by a morning at the spa. Perhaps an ocean cruise and then a quick stop at the fortuneteller before heading to the jewelry store. Can policymakers actually believe that welfare recipients squander their government benefits on such luxury items?

Perhaps. In the US, outrageous stories that demonize the poor and mythical tales of lavish state handouts to the undeserving are rarely in short supply. Even in the best of times the poor are denigrated in popular narratives, and during times of rising inequality and insecurity the poorest are easy scapegoats.

When economic anxieties spread, political entrepreneurs start peddling the same old stories and slanders, polishing them up as newly discovered social problems that demand get-tough solutions. Conjuring images of lavish and irresponsible lifestyles, critics in media and government deride the folly of public aid programs, ridiculing them as counterproductive and costly drains on the nation. Public officials are called upon to show they mean business, and many are eager to lead the legislative charge.
Demonizing the Poor (Original Post) gollygee Sep 2015 OP
Kick gollygee Sep 2015 #1
k&r Starry Messenger Sep 2015 #2
K&R Solly Mack Sep 2015 #3
I'm often stuck hearing white middle class people treestar Sep 2015 #4


(82,361 posts)
4. I'm often stuck hearing white middle class people
Sat Sep 5, 2015, 12:37 PM
Sep 2015

who live in nice suburban houses, etc., whining about how they are victimized by the poor. Like every single public benefits case is a fraud. I think they are afraid to admit being poor is possible, because if it is, it might happen to them. So they comfort themselves with thinking anyone who needs help is just a fraud.

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