Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Harper's Index

Check out these two factoids.

• Percentage of U.S. Republicans who say they could not live on the minimum wage: 69
• Who support raising it: 37

In this one, we see the clear link between a lack of empathy and being a Republican.  First of all, the 30% who say they can live on the minimum wage are your 27% of brain damage crazy conservatism that thinks Glenn Beck is a good economist.

But of the 70% who can do math, about half them say, "So what? I'm not poor or work at McDonalds, so screw those who do."

In some ways, this tells us everything we need to know about the current iteration of the GOP: Fuck you, I got mine.

The next one speaks more to Americans as a whole:
• Amount Americans spent last year on UNICEF donations to trick-or-treaters: $3,731,057
• On Halloween costumes for their pets: $330,000,000

Now, Americans are a remarkably generous people when it comes to charitable giving.  This is in part because you add in the Bill Gates and Ted Turners and you get a big number.  But overall, Americans give to charity.

But they also buy a bunch of ridiculous crap.

I'm certainly not immune to this, few of us are.

But the shit we buy is, I think, an indictment of the wealth of our society.  We are so rich, we buy Halloween costumes for our pets.  I bought one once.  I spent about $10 on it, which was no big deal.  But there are plenty of people for whom $10 is a big deal.

And those people are likely working for minimum wage.

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