My Argument With A Selfish, Selfish (And Apparently Racist) Conservative.

I thought this response was blog-worthy, it is a snippit of an argument with a conservative who thinks taxes are the equivalent of armed robbery and using tax money to keep the poor alive is patently immoral.  Just as a fun little exercise I’m going to put in bold the bits that they actually responded to in their next response (their text is in quotes):

“The point isn’t to morally judge lazy people, but those who knowingly take money stolen from others. Lazy people who are not on welfare are irrelevant.”

My point was that laziness was a part of human nature that is found in all strata of society, not a poor person thing. And bankers stole literally trillions of dollars and you didn’t even notice. But a few million to help poor people not starve is an outrage. Yeah, poor people are the problem. And as far as the “taxes are stealing” rhetoric, if someone rapes you don’t go to the police or you’re stealing my money. If your house catches fire don’t call the fire department because you’re robbing me. If you die make sure you’re just left in the woods to rot because I shouldn’t be “forced” to give you a decent burial at gunpoint. Oh, and don’t drink the water because my taxes pay for that too.

This is your cynical outlook.

Whatever you do don’t look at the good your tax dollars do (like allowing us to have a civilization at all) or be glad people aren’t dying by the millions from starvation like some third world country. No just bitch about living in the most prosperous country in the world and having every right imaginable.

“Okay, what about the many welfare recipients who pass on the healthy food with their food stamps in favor of feeding their nicotine/alcohol/illicit drug habits. The point is addressing those who abuse food stamps and other forms of welfare to satiate non-necessities.”

You can’t use food stamps to buy those things, and while some fraud does happen (which has been drastically cut in recent years by making the system digital) you are essentially complaining that we live in an imperfect world. Saying we shouldn’t help the poor because some abuse the system is like saying we should get rid of private companies because some people steal office supplies. Theft, fraud and abuse exist in all sectors of life, public, private and personal. Sometimes peoples’ boyfriends steal from them, so you shouldn’t date, right? If you’re waiting for a perfect world, don’t hold your breath.

“Crime and poverty are correlated, but not necessarily cause and effect.”

Seriously? The poor areas having drastically worse crime is due to some other correlation? Like what exactly? [They claimed that poverty doesn’t cause crime – in their response they explained that poor people are genetically inferior with higher tendencies towards violence, anti-social behaviors and low IQs.  I pointed out that this is illogical and extremely racist given the correlation in america to living in poverty and not being white, and asked her if she thought minorities were fired disproportionately when the economy crashed because their inferior genes just happened to pick that precise moment to kick in – her response?  To ignore the entire comment and pretend I did nothing but make “personal attacks”, when my responses were as civil as this one]

“That aside, welfare rarely lifts any family out of poverty. As the commenter said, it subsidizes it.”

The philosophy of “give a man a fish he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for the rest of his life” was perfectly valid before modern economies when people lived off the land. Now people don’t go pick berries in the forest, they get jobs to buy food. And a huge chunk of the country are unemployed not because they want to be, but because of events they had zero control of like market forces, de-regulation of the banking industry, the psychology of the stock market etc. Most people who don’t have jobs right now don’t have them because there are no jobs to be had. And as far as lifting working people out of poverty, the poor in this country are on a treadmill, every step they make ahead puts them two steps behind. Corporations almost never pay to train people anymore for any good jobs, you have to go in debt yourself to even apply. And between inflation and low interest rates the money in your savings account depreciates in value 4 times as fast as it accumulates interest. The mega-rich have built an economy where pretty much only capitalists and those with a head start can thrive.

[In the context of her saying she should pay zero percent taxes] “You missed the entire point, which was that government playing Robinhood is unacceptable. Money should not be taken from one and given to another.”

So forgo everything the government does for you and live in a shack.

And even if I agreed with your premise that we should only help ourselves (which I don’t at all) to create a system that keeps track of every penny of government spending and makes sure what you pay in matches what you get would be unbelievably impractical. How can we make sure everyone gets the same use out of roads and highways? Should we charge people for the fire department since most peoples’ houses won’t catch fire? Should we only tax the victims of crime to pay for law enforcement? Should only the families of the 9/11 victims pay for the “war on terror”? If we applied that ideology across the board it would be a nightmare, and it’s just an orgy of selfishness. Don’t you give a damn about anybody but yourself?

I look at all the good taxes do and don’t mind paying them. What would we have without taxes and government? No army to protect us, we’d be invaded constantly. No drinkable water pumped right into our house, no subsidies, no internet, no telecommunications, crime would be insane, forget transportation entirely. We would be a third world country. But you pay for us not to be. Have some civic pride instead of civic hatred.

“However, taking money from everyone to build infrastructure or programs which benefit everyone (prisons for the dangerous, roads for driving, schools for education) was addressed and considered acceptable by the commenter.”

Fighting crime and poverty doesn’t help everyone? Ignoring for the moment that you could be poor some day and need those programs. And again prosecuting rapists mostly helps women – should I not have to pay for it? Prosecuting children [Edit: I meant child molesters/abductors, poor editing] protects mostly children, should toddlers pay the bill? Don’t you think we should pay anything forward? If you have kids someday are you going to leave them in an alley so they don’t “steal” milk from you? Do you have any concept of living in a civilization or any sense of “we’re in this together” at all?

“So what you’re implying is two things. One, that poor people are criminals. And two, that because of this, the rich people owe poor people money for protection against being criminally victimized by them. Giving money to thieves to stop thieves from stealing and killing. Makes perfect sense.”

Or I was being hyperbolic. You either didn’t pick up on that (which is hard to believe) or you’re just being disingenuous. The point is that anyone will turn to crime if they’re starving or especially if their kids are starving.


About agnophilo

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17 Responses to My Argument With A Selfish, Selfish (And Apparently Racist) Conservative.

  1. whyzat says:

    This argument goes on and on. I think ya get it, or ya don’t, or ya don’t want to.

  2. haven’t finished this. gotta run now, but i’m gonna rec it on spec. i really dig your point about demanding a perfect world. that’s a good one, mark.@whyzat – yep. or ya don’t want to.

  3. The other person clearly refuses to budge an inch because she has become comfortable with the belief that anyone who receives assistance from the government is somehow ripping her off personally. ‘Compassionate Conservatism’ in action. I’ve had this same type of conversation with my own father regarding UHC. My position is and has always been that I’d support it enthusiastically even if it means a tax increase because I have been the single mom who wasn’t getting child support, and I know what it’s like to have to choose between buying food and medicine during rent week. I went without inhalers for my asthma and my allergy medicine for several weeks during one of the most difficult summers of my life so my son could eat, the result of which was an emergency trip to the doctor and repeated Neb treatments while they tried to help me breathe. My lips and nail beds were blue and my doctor wanted to send me to the ER, which I refused because I had to borrow the funds to see her – there was no way I’d be able to pay for a hospital stay (which likely would have been refused to me anyway, considering that most hospitals will turn you away if you don’t have health insurance). My father, and every other conservative I have explained this to remains unmoved. They’re fine with their taxes going to prisons and infrastructure, but not to help people actually get through their day-to-day lives. This makes zero sense to me.

  4. I rarely read anything long or political, but I made an exception for this one. Bravo. In the end it comes down to you either support your country or you don’t. If you don’t like how things are, leave.

  5. YouToMe says:

    “. Don’t you give a damn about anybody other than yourself?”You said it brotherAmen

  6. Where do you find these people?

  7. YouToMe says:

    @complicatedlight – Cool– on spec. Same here. I have been doing much in haste these days. I’m so behind on here/ out of the loop too etc. Hope you ad the missus doing well

  8. Amazingly well-written & I agree a 100% with your points!

  9. angys_coco says:

    I agree with what you said. Unfortunately these Conservatives will never realize the other side, as they are living in a wold of their own. Some of their arguments can be so sickening. This same applies to the gun registry!

  10. TheSutraDude says:

    you made excellent points. this person sounds a lot like someone we all know on Xanga. avoids inconvenient points. uses twisted logic. baits and switches. nobody on welfare pulls themselves out of poverty and they are all stupid or genetically inferior? i believe it was professor of political science at Tulane University/formerly associate professor of politics and African-American studies at Princeton University and presently host of her own show on MSNBC, Melissa Harris-Perry once talked about how her family needed food stamps for a while when she was a girl. if it was not her it was another female MSNBC contributor who is equally as intelligent and successful. people like the one you argued with here are almost beyond repair. people always want what helps them personally. Sarah Palin who rants against socialism, taxes and national healthcare let it slip out on FOX that she used to slip into Canada with her family for medical care. Michele Bachmann who rants about the same quietly sent President Obama an email asking him not to cut back on farm subsidies. Bachmann’s family farm received $800,000 in farm subsidies at last tally. it goes beyond hypocrisy. it’s downright lying to the American public for purposes of personal political gain with no regard for all those they hurt with their rhetoric. Eric Cantor tried to block FEMA help last summer when the northeast was hit hard by a hurricane yet when his home State was hit by disaster he was all about FEMA helping out. i feel like a broken record posting these things in comments but there are people who just don’t seem able to get it or don’t want to. 

  11. Some people have their heads so far up their asses that they can’t hear reason.

  12. Kathy says:

    It’s almost pointless arguing with people like this. But good for you for trying. 

  13. Kathy says:

    LOL–and please, keep Palin at home!

  14. wizexel22 says:

    Most people form beliefs around what they want or what benefits them. Basically its keep these programs because they benefit me…toss those programs because they don’t benefit me. Basically its “I’m against welfare, etc etc,….that is, until I become disabled and need it….then I’m all for it.”

  15. PPhilip says:

    For every 100 small welfare cheat we can find one huge business cheater that doesn’t pay that much taxes equaling the cheating of 100 small welfare cheat.I think that the Kennedy fortune was made by insider trading, illegal alcohol sales and other non legal ways. Do I think the Kennedy “curse” is karma? You bet I do.Recently it has come to my attention that the Contributers to the Bain fund was a bunch of South and Central American investors. The trail is pretty much out there, that some of the funds for the Death Squads (designed to kill socialists in Salvador) came out of the same families that invested in Bain. Rommey will be very open about being anti Castro, that is from the influence from those who funded the death squads.

  16. Great post. Honestly, I don’t mind working 60 hours a week and paying my taxes. I enjoy my life. I suppose I live week to week, but I am not broke. My wife and I go to dinners at nice restaurants. We go to concerts. We have fun. We are happy. You get out of it what you put into it. Being bitter about people getting a check every month for doing nothing more than sitting on their asses and watching Maury Povich is petty. At a cursory glance, one may think they are getting over on us, but are they really? People who live off of the system may get section 8 and food stamps, but I’m sure they think they deserve more. Welfare was created to end poverty, and because it failed miserably, we have third and fourth generations of people who were raised on it. That creates a warped sense of entitlement. You could double the benefits of everyone on welfare and they would still complain. I know a shit ton of people on welfare and I’ve never met one who isn’t miserable. There is always something that they don’t have enough of. If that’s how they want to live their lives, more power to them. It doesn’t bother me one bit.  

  17. UTRow1 says:

    The conservatives I personally know who believe the “taxes = robbery” nonsense are probably the most ignorant and hypocritical people I know. About half of them are military veterans who are entirely dependent on the federal government. The remaining half are a combination of wealthy men and women who receive a disproportionate share of the returns on taxes (e.g., roads, regulated professions, regulated air travel, etc.) None of them really have any business bitching about taxes, particularly since their arguments are uniformly awful. This is particularly true of the people who unironically try to argue that taxes are unconstitutional.

Speak yer mind.

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