There has been much talk from the political right about makers and takers. Let us take a closer look at these terms.
Here is how the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines these terms:
- to bring into being by forming, shaping, or altering material : fashion
- to lay out and construct
- to put together from components
- to assemble to
- repare, fix
- one that makes
- to get into one’s hands or into one’s possession, power, or control
- to transfer into one’s own keeping
- to obtain or secure for use
- to obtain possession
- one who takes
American workers make things. Lots of things.
- physical things like cars, buildings, roads, clothes, etc.
- productive, non-physical things like spreadsheets, reports, financial forecasts, sales, ideas, computer code and applications.
- intangible services, like customer service, technical support, mechanical repairs, maintenance of equipment, processes, and workflow.
As for the job creators:
- they take the fruit of the workers.
- profits from sale or use of the cars, buildings, roads, clothing, etc.
- profits that are maintained by the rest of the above mentioned services and productivity by American workers.
For the American worker, for their hard work, the work of their hands, brains, and ingenuity, they get:
- one to two weeks vacation a year (often after a year or more with the company)
- health insurance and a retirement package, if they are lucky enough to be working a full time schedule (many aren’t)
- five paid sick days a year, if they are lucky enough. Many get none.
- unpaid maternity leave (which many can’t afford due to lose of income)
- twelve weeks of unpaid leave (which many can’t afford due to lose of income)
- a wage that they may or may not be able support themselves and a family on, if they are lucky (many must work two or more jobs to make ends meet)
- a safe working environment, assuming their employer is following the law (laws that were put in place because unions fought for them)
It is time to correctly define our political terms. The real makers are the people who make everything that make profits for the real takers: the “job creators”.
The makers are the American workers.
The takers are the owners, CEOs, VPs, stock holders of the companies where the makers work.
It would seem, looking at things in this context that the takers take home much more of the fruits of the labor of the makers than the makers themselves could ever hope to.
We pride ourselves on being a nation that built its self up from nothing to the most powerful nation in the world. But all of the real work; the hands that produced the materials; built the homes and great works of architecture; did the research that led to amazing technological advances; the men and women who fought and died in our wars, they made everything we see around us.
The American workers are, and always have been, the true makers, while the real takers have lived high on the hog of the fruits of their labors.
I stumbled into an unintended and upsetting FB conversation last night. It started with this:
So I commented that if you can’t afford food, you do.
What follows is the conversation that ensued. Much of the tone was expected, but some of it was a bit more… well, read on.
(The identities of the other commenters have been masked out, mainly to protect myself from being banned from FB for calling them cold, heartless, selfish, greedy bastards)
Ok, fair enough. Maybe she doesn’t understand that some people just find themselves in an unfortunate situations beyond their control. Although, I do abhor this whole “mooching off the taxpayers” crap. Doesn’t the U.S. Constitution say that one of the reasons that this government was created was to promote the general welfare? I’d think feeding those who need it part of the general welfare.
So I decided to pull from my own experience and give an example of why programs like Food Stamps are important.
She doesn’t seem to get the idea that I got laid off. I didn’t quite my job. I didn’t get fired for being a fuck up. I got laid off. That wasn’t a good enough excuse for her though.
Now the greed and avarice become plainly apparent. My comparison of paying taxes for food stamps to paying for fire departments didn’t fly. I guess if it doesn’t immediately benefit her, it isn’t a valid tax.
So I give a, sadly, too common example of how someone can find themselves and their children in a situation for which they have no responsibility at all. She never replied to my last point, but posted another pithy, pity-the-poor-tax-payer, image. Someone else, however, did respond. His response was as vile and repugnant as anything I’ve ever read.
Yeah. Read it again. If you aren’t angry enough to spit, then you better head off to Oz to ask the Great and Powerful Wizard for a heart.
I’m not going to go into why people feel like they can be such assholes when the have the anonymity of the internet to protect them, a recent article in Scientific America covers that topic pretty well. What really disgusts and, honestly, frightens me, is that even though this bastard might feel emboldened to write this due to not having to actually look anyone who needs assistance in the eye while saying it, he surely believes it.
People like this talk about entitlement programs like they are a plague out to bring ruin to them. They don’t like “entitlement” programs, but in reality, they are just trying to protect their own sense of entitlement. The feel that they are entitled to everything they have, which is fine, we all deserve to enjoy the fruits of our labor, but they also seem to think that they are entitled to tell others what they can and can not have.
Yes, we all pay taxes and none of us like everything our taxes go to. I don’t like that my taxes went to bail out a bunch of greedy fucks on Wall Street, but I think that the bail out was needed to keep us out of a depression. I didn’t like my taxes going to a completely unnecessary war in Iraq. We can’t just have our taxes go to only the things we like. Living in a democracy means that sometimes you have to accept things you don’t like. When one party controls the government by 51%, 49% of the people have to deal with a government that they didn’t vote for. This is the price of living in a free, democratic society.
But this example I’ve given here speaks to more than just the reality of living in a democracy, it highlights the uncaring, selfishness and cupidity that seems to permeate our society. The mood in our society is one of contumely and avarice. There is no sense of charity or caring for anyone but ourselves and our families. We have gone from a great society of Americans bound together by a shared vision of liberty and equality to a band of millions of small, insignificant familial tribes who care only for their own interests. We have become a society of cold, heartless, selfish, greedy bastards.
James Inahoff is a U.S. Senator. He is also a climate change denier. He has claimed in the past that he is against the theory of anthropogenic global warming because the Bible says that it can’t happen. He explained this by quoting Genesis 8:22:
“…as long as the earth remains there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.”
His reasoning was that God has promised to keep the climate stable. There would be spring, winter and summer. If you read this verse carefully and accept his argument, you will quickly find that this “promise” was void as soon as it was given. Why? The area around the earth’s equator essentially has no seasons. The temperatures there are stable year round. Springtime, winter and summer are all the same. So much for seasons. This isn’t a small area either. The Torrid Zone, which is the area of earth around the equator and which has the same basic climate is over 126,000,000 sq. km. It also contains a large percentage of the world’s population.
As stupid as Senator Inahoff’s biblical based beliefs about why there can’t be anthropogenic global warming is, it is also a lie meant to justify the real reason the senator and others like him are against the theory of climate change. The climate deniers use the Bible to support their case in a cynical attempt to sway the majority of American’s who believe in the Bible.
The reason this explanation is a lie can be found in a statement by James Inahoff to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow last month. When discussing global warming, the senator said,
“I was actually on your side of this issue when I was chairing that committee and I first heard about this. I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost.”
This is par for the course for the GOP and the religious right. They use the Bible to support the real reason they are against global warming; Money. Specifically, profits for corporations in which they have an a professional or financial interest. They apply the same tactic to other issued like , clean air initiatives, environmental conversation, or oil drilling, as well as social issues such as universal health care, welfare, school lunches, and student loans.
They use religion to support and pass legislation that is anti-science, anti-poor, anti-woman, and racist when the real reason they support these views is greed.
Jesus is quoted in their Bible as saying that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle that for a rich man to enter into heaven. I don’t hear them throwing that particular quote, or other’s like it, around very much. Their cynical use of the Bible to support their greed is nothing new, but it is having a dangerous and frightening effect upon society, and the very earth we live on.
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