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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What to do about America's useless eaters

Here we go again
During the most intense frenzy of the healthcare debate (Why do we call a bunch of idiots sending forth their sound and fury a debate?), I suggested that the solution to healthcare for those who can't afford it might be to look to that provided by the cost accountants of the Third Reich. They decided that the halt, the lame, and chronically ill were an expense that Third Reich society could not support.  As has often been recounted, their solution was to exterminate these "useless eaters," as Hitler called them.  The development and use of Zyklon-B gas was motivated largely as a means of eliminating the useless eaters.  

I wrote a sarcastic post that facetiously suggested that Zyklon-B might be the solution that the right-wing would contribute to the discussion, if you will again excuse my lapse into euphemism.  Some of the conservative readers were flummoxed by the sarcasm; others made it the occasion for their righteous  indignation routine.   The reason for the sarcasm was that there was a question that the GOP and its tea-party denominators could not or would not answer.  The question was: if the Affordable Healthcare Act was unsatisfactory, what is the solution to the growing number of people who can't afford health care?

The answer came as a denial that there was a problem.  A frequent contention was that people could not afford health care because they spent their money on fancy new cars.  And there was that favorite contention of the right wing that those without health care should stop leeching off the taxpayers and go get a job.

The denials are based totally upon false and derogatory stereotypes contrived and promulgated by the right wing out of its misanthropic prejudices.   They are provably ignorant, false, and malicious.  Given the massive numbers of people without health care, it is certainly possible to find some anecdotal examples that fit the stereotypes, but the actual data does not confirm or support the malevolent portrayals.  Many of those without health care are working, but in jobs that do not offer coverage or pay enough to make purchasing health care possible. 

The GOP and its minions simply never offered any viable approaches to improving health care, but instead retreated into its usual defamatory accusations of mass profligacy on the part of the millions of Americans who do hot have health care.  They usually resorted to their accusation that the Affordable Health Care Act would dismantle the "best health care system in the world."  The fact is that based upon accessibility, successful treatment outcomes, the general state of health of the nation, and other criteria of performance, the United States health care system ranks very low among the advanced nations of the world.  In a World Health Organization ranking, it was placed at number 37 in  the world.  

The United States has the most expensive system and spends the  most money on health care, and for those who can afford it, the system works fairly well.  But in terms of contributing to the general well-being of the nation, it lags behind most other advanced countries.

And so, the question of what the right-wing would do to improve health care in the U.S. was answered with "nothing; just let it be as it is."

Part of an answer to improving health care would obviously be to stop the diminishment of the middle class, as earnings have stagnated and declined since the 1980s pushing an increasing number of the people from the middle economic class toward the ranks of poverty.  But that issue, too, is one the GOP refuses to acknowledge or address.

The GOP has made its misanthropy an official plank in its agenda by the stance it has taken on the national debt.  No one on the Democratic side of the political spectrum has denied that the national debt is a problem that needs to be addressed with some long-term measures.  But the GOP stance is consistent with its misanthropic principle:  it wishes to eliminate Social security and medicare by turning them over to the private sector, the very people whose financial philandering plunged us into the Great Recession that is binding so many people to the ranks of poverty.  And, it adamantly refuses to consider any revisions of taxes that recognize the fact that a very small percentage of people in America hold more than 80 percent of its wealth and its earnings.  As the Washington Post summarized the situation recently:

The biggest culprit, by far, has been an erosion of tax revenue triggered largely by two recessions and multiple rounds of tax cuts. Together, the economy and the tax bills enacted under former president George W. Bush, and to a lesser extent by President Obama, wiped out $6.3 trillion in anticipated revenue. That’s nearly half of the $12.7 trillion swing from projected surpluses to real debt. Federal tax collections now stand at their lowest level as a percentage of the economy in 60 years.
There are many ways of dealing with the national debt that will ease the burden and even reduce the debt to the point that President Clinton left it.  But the GOP, driven by its tea party faction, refuses to consider it.  On one hand, the GOP insists that the debt is a huge drag on the American economy and on the other rejects any revision of the tax code to easr the burden on the middle class and ask those few who hold 80 percent of the wealth and earnings, who are awarded exorbitant privileges and tax breaks, to take on some responsibility in correcting the nation's financial demerits.  

The GOP is consigning America's entire workforce to a concentration camp level of existence.  It is building a system of corporate dependency that is designed to keep the work corps at a subsistence level which requires them to grovel in abject obedience for the right to live.  To enforce this dependency, the GOP has mounted a pogrom to eliminate the right to collectively bargain for the conditions of freedom equality, and justice.  Just as in its stance on health care, its attitude is that these conditions can be yours only if you can afford it.  And that affordability is carefully limited to 10 percent of the population. 

The cost accountants of the Third Reich devised a way to designate who the useless eaters were and eliminate them as burdens to society by eliminating the burden of life.  In making the national debt its single concern, to the exclusion of things like health care, retirement, and unemployment, it has found the means to designate and maintain an underclass which can be declared useful and useless according to the whims of those who control the wealth and the earnings. Once people have lost their usefulness, they can languish from inadequate compensation and no health care.  

The GOP canons of patriotism will allow only the select to the ranks of the useful.  The passwords to those ranks is "Yes, massa."  But that is no guarantee of the right to life.  That is at the discretion of the GOP ruling class.  

Unless you make it to the upper 10 percent of the economic classes, you ain't nothing but a useless eater.  

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States