Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged Inequality

196 notes

In some quarters, however, the American work ethic is waning. Some people devote themselves to find ways not to work. Some seem to take a perverse kind of pride in being slipshod or lackadaisical. In many cases, where our work culture has deteriorated, shortsighted government policies share a good part of the blame.

Welfare without work erodes the spirit and the sense of self-worth of the recipient. And it conditions the children of nonworking parents to an indolent and unproductive life. Hardworking parents raise hardworking kids; we should recognize that the opposite is also true. The influence of the work habits of our parents and other adults around us as we grow up has lasting impact.

Mitt Romney, in his autobiography No Apology: The Case For American Greatness.

Oh, now I get it — only moms of means are worthy of praise. Moms who accept public assistance produce indolent kids who lead unproductive lives.

Yeah, I don’t have kids, but I feel pretty good in saying Romney and his faux “mommy war” outrage can kiss off. I love being lectured by a rich guy about welfare in general. It’s not like I actually want a living wage or anything…

(h/t to ThinkProgress)

Filed under Mitt Romney Mommy wars war on women politics work asshole welfare public assistance Republican GOP inequality

72 notes

Mitt Romney: Mothers Should Be Required To Work Outside Home Or Lose Benefits

In not-shocking news, Mitt Romney is a hypocritical dick:

Mitt Romney views stay-at-home moms who are supported by federal assistance much differently than those backed by hundreds of millions in private equity income. Poor women, he said, shouldn’t be given a choice, but instead should be required to work outside the home to receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits. “[E]ven if you have a child 2 years of age, you need to go to work,” Romney said of moms on TANF.

Recalling his effort as governor to increase the amount of time women on welfare in Massachusetts were required to work, Romney noted that some had considered his proposal “heartless,” but he argued that the women would be better off having “the dignity of work” — a suggestion Ann Romney would likely take issue with.

"I wanted to increase the work requirement," said Romney. "I said, for instance, that even if you have a child 2 years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, ‘Well that’s heartless.’ And I said, ‘No, no, I’m willing to spend more giving day care to allow those parents to go back to work. It’ll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.’"

Kind of makes his outrage over Hillary Rosen seem even more ridiculous. Instead of focusing on Rosen, I suggest we look at the party whose policies consistently hurt families (except wealthy ones), and the party whose members overwhelmingly opposed the Lilly Ledbetter Act. 

Hint: They’re running Mitt Romney…

Filed under Mitt Romney GOP Republican war on women politics working moms moms poverty inequality seriously

91 notes

On Empathy and Taxation

Rebloggable by request:

But what if I don’t want to pay more taxes to pay for other people to have health care. I keep myself healthy and work hard to keep my money. MY MONEY. I don’t care if other people get sick because they should take of themselves. We have emergency rooms. If we make it so people can go to the doctor every time they sneeze they will. I have good insurance because I pay for it.

 Anonymous

Cognitive Dissonance:

You must be referring to this post.

Congrats to you for having good insurance, good health, a job, and cash money! I made something in your honor:

Don’t you feel good now?

I’d be interested to know your criteria for deserving individuals and non-deserving individuals. Or not. You know why? Because I believe proper health care is a human right period. Even for adorably selfish people like yourself.

I’m not even going to thoroughly debunk this because it’s ridiculous. Not everyone is born with health, not everyone has money, not everyone has a job, and not everyone has insurance. People don’t just get sick because they don’t take care of themselves.

If everyone uses the emergency room, costs go up for everyone. Plus, the ER is not for management of chronic conditions or illness. It’s for acute emergencies. A diabetic would not be well-served by an ER. ERs are overcrowded and understaffed as is - your idea makes that catastrophic.

Tell you what you’re supposed to do: You pull yourself up by your bootstraps, you little supposed self-reliant miscreant, and you buy yourself a private island. That way, you don’t have to suffer the indignities of breathing the same air as the plebs, and we don’t have to suffer you. 

Cheers,

Meg

Filed under ask anon health care politics poverty inequality insurance injustice taxation health insurance this one man should be an island

1,122 notes

People have no problem paying $900 for an iPad, but paying $900 for a drug they have a problem with — it keeps you alive. Why? Because you’ve been conditioned to think health care is something you can get without having to pay for it…

He’s alive today because drug companies provide care. And if they didn’t think they could make money providing that drug, that drug wouldn’t be here. I sympathize with these compassionate cases. … I want your son to stay alive on much-needed drugs. Fact is, we need companies to have incentives to make drugs. If they don’t have incentives, they won’t make those drugs. We either believe in markets or we don’t.

Rick Santorum, speaking to the mother of a young boy in Colorado about the free market and prescription drug prices. She told Santorum her son’s medication could cost up to $1 million per year. 

One drug her son is taking is Abilify, which is used in children to treat schizophrenia; aggression associated with conduct disorder, autism, or other behavioral disorders; and Bipolar Disorder I. We can debate the merits of children taking anti-psychotic medication another time. The fact remains: Abilify is ridiculously expensive.

How expensive?

Visiting Walgreen’s site tells quite the story. All prices are discounted slightly by their prescription price club, meaning the cost at a local pharmacy may be higher or lower:

  • Abilify 2mg: $606.04/mo. | $7,272.48/yr
  • Abilify 5mg: $623.99/mo. | $7,487.88/yr
  • Abilify 10mg: $623.99/mo. | $7,487.88/yr
  • Abilify 15mg: $606.04/mo. | $7,272.48/yr
  • Abilify 20mg: $855.37/mo. | $10,264.44/yr
  • Abilify 30mg: $855.37/mo. | $10,264.44/yr
  • Abilify Discmelt 10mg tablets: $720.56/mo. | $8,646.72/yr
  • Abilify Discmelt 15mg tablets: $720.56/mo. | $8,646.72/yr
  • Abilify 1mg solution: $1329.03/mo. | $15,948.36/yr

And just to put Rick Santorum’s iPad/drug cost claim in perspective, that’s like buying an iPad every single month. It’s illogical and completely specious to compare necessary medication to an unnecessary iPad. But for fun, I’m going to parse it out as a 30-day cost like the prescription drug above:

  • iPad 16GB with WiFi: $499.00 | $41.58/mo
  • iPad 32GB with WiFi: $599.00 | $49.92/mo
  • iPad 64GB with WiFi: $699.00 | $58.25/mo
  • iPad 16GB with WiFi + 3G: $629.00 | $52.42/mo
  • iPad 32GB with WiFi + 3G: $729.00 | $60.75/mo
  • iPad 64GB with WiFi + 3G: $829.00 | $69.08/mo

I bet that mother would be thrilled if her son’s yearly drug costs were that of an iPad.

You’d think Rick Santorum might have more compassion, since he and his wife are parents to a 3-year-old girl with severe developmental disabilities requiring expensive care. Isabella Santorum is also quite lucky that her father, a former U.S. Senator, has a magnificent, comprehensive health care plan courtesy of the U.S. taxpayers. I’d like to see every child afforded the same health care his daughter receives.

And no, I don’t care if my taxes go up to do it. 

(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under Rick Santorum Health Care Republican Politics Prescription drugs cost iPads are cheaper than drugs actually GOP Primary Caucus Colorado asshattery prescription abilify cost inequality insurance iPad

123 notes

I get a kick out of folks who call for equality now, the people on the left, ‘Well, equality, we want equality.’ Where do you think this concept of equality comes from? It doesn’t come from Islam. It doesn’t come from the East and Eastern religions, where does it come from? It comes from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that’s where it comes from.

So don’t claim his rights, don’t claim equality as that gift from God and then go around and say, ‘Well, we don’t have to pay attention to what God wants us to do. We don’t have to pay attention to God’s moral laws.’ If your rights come from God, then you have an obligation to live responsibly in conforming with God’s laws, and our founders said so, right?

Rick Santorum, at his last town hall meeting before the South Carolina primary.

I’ve heard the argument that rights come from God before. But the equality thing, goddamn. That’s a whole new layer of fuckery.

But whatever. I’ll play.

  • "A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But womena will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety." 1 Timothy 2:11-15

Or…

  • "Let all who are under the yoke of slavery regard their masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be blasphemed. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful to them on the ground that they are members of the church; rather they must serve them all the more, since those who benefit by their service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these duties. Whoever teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that is in accordance with godliness, is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words." 1 Timothy 6:1-4

Or…

  • "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." 1 Corinthians 11:3
  • "For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man." 1 Corinthians 11:8-9
  • "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home." 1 Corinthians 14:34-35
  • "Give me any plague, but the plague of the heart: and any wickedness, but the wickedness of a woman." Eccles. 25:13
  • "Of the woman came the beginning of sin, and through her we all die." Eccles. 25:22
  • "The whoredom of a woman may be known in her haughty looks and eyelids." Eccles. 26:9
  • "Better is the churlishness of a man than a courteous woman, a woman, I say, which bringeth shame and reproach." Eccles. 42:14
  • "One of illegitimate birth shall not enter the congregation of the Lord." Deuteronomy 23:2

I’m done. In general, organized religion does not have the best track record of promoting equality. I imagine Rick Santorum has a different version of equality than the one found in the US Constitution. That’s the definition I follow.

And that’s one big reason Santorum should never hold public office again. He loves to rail about Iran’s unjust theocracy. Listening to Santorum talk, it seems he’s taken notes for his imaginary presidency.

(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under Rick Santorum Religion politics equality Ow my brain Inequality gender GOP Republican South Carolina

111 notes

You know, I think it’s about envy. I think it’s about class warfare. When you have a president encouraging the idea of dividing America based on the 99 percent versus one percent — and those people who have been most successful will be in the one percent — you have opened up a whole new wave of approach in this country which is entirely inconsistent with the concept of one nation under God. The American people, I believe in the final analysis, will reject it.

I think it’s fine to talk about those things in quiet rooms and discussions about tax policy and the like. But the president has made it part of his campaign rally. Everywhere he goes we hear him talking about millionaires and billionaires and executives and Wall Street. It’s a very envy-oriented, attack-oriented approach and I think it will fail.

Mitt Romney, on Wednesday’s Today Show, discussing criticism of Wall Street and the rich. In other words, “Hey, poor people. Y’all are just jealous.”

Funny that. A Pew Poll released yesterday shows nearly two-thirds of the public (66%) believes there are “very strong” or “strong” conflicts between the rich and the poor—an increase of 19 percentage points since 2009. Also, participants identified the conflict between rich and poor as the largest, strong source of conflict in society:

If Romney is to be believed, at least two-thirds of Americans are just jealous.

Filed under Mitt Romney Politics Rich class warfare President Obama Obama Republican Republicans 99% 1% class warfare class economy Wall Street wealth inequality income

67 notes

A new Pew Research Center survey of 2,048 adults finds that about two-thirds of the public (66%) believes there are “very strong” or “strong” conflicts between the rich and the poor—an increase of 19 percentage points since 2009.
More findings:
Nearly one-third of Americans say there are “very strong conflicts” between poor people and rich people, double the proportion that offered a similar view in July 2009.  
Conflicts between rich and poor now rank ahead of three other potential sources of group tension—between immigrants and the native born; between blacks and whites; and between young and old.
Younger adults, women, Democrats and African Americans are somewhat more likely than older people, men, Republicans, whites or Hispanics to say there are strong disagreements between rich and poor.
However, people’s perception of why the rich become rich has not changed much. Pew Research points out similar opinions to the ones below were found in 2008:

Pew uncovered one very interesting point:

The biggest increases in perceptions of class conflicts occurred among political liberals and Americans who say they are not affiliated with either major party. In each group the proportion who say there are major disagreements between rich and poor Americans increased by more than 20 percentage points since 2009.

Emphasis mine. Could this mean independents could be an even bigger influence than usual in 2012? And what does that mean for both parties? Maybe talking about jobs and the economy isn’t the worst move… The GOP’s constant denial of the existence of class warfare and incongruent insistence President Obama sparked it may also backfire.

A new Pew Research Center survey of 2,048 adults finds that about two-thirds of the public (66%) believes there are “very strong” or “strong” conflicts between the rich and the poor—an increase of 19 percentage points since 2009.

More findings:

  • Nearly one-third of Americans say there are “very strong conflicts” between poor people and rich people, double the proportion that offered a similar view in July 2009.  
  • Conflicts between rich and poor now rank ahead of three other potential sources of group tension—between immigrants and the native born; between blacks and whites; and between young and old.
  • Younger adults, women, Democrats and African Americans are somewhat more likely than older people, men, Republicans, whites or Hispanics to say there are strong disagreements between rich and poor.

However, people’s perception of why the rich become rich has not changed much. Pew Research points out similar opinions to the ones below were found in 2008:

Pew uncovered one very interesting point:

The biggest increases in perceptions of class conflicts occurred among political liberals and Americans who say they are not affiliated with either major party. In each group the proportion who say there are major disagreements between rich and poor Americans increased by more than 20 percentage points since 2009.

Emphasis mine. Could this mean independents could be an even bigger influence than usual in 2012? And what does that mean for both parties? Maybe talking about jobs and the economy isn’t the worst move… The GOP’s constant denial of the existence of class warfare and incongruent insistence President Obama sparked it may also backfire.

Filed under Income inequality inequality politics class GOP Democrats Republican Republicans rich class war poor poverty Election 2012

109 notes

John Walsh gets political on America’s Most Wanted on Dec. 17th, 2011. He begins by talking about how we’re balancing severe cuts on the backs on teachers, firefighters, police officers, and others who contribute greatly to society and asking nothing of those who’ve benefited.

And then shit gets real. An excerpt from Walsh’s statement, courtesy of Crooks and Liars:

Wow. America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh has an earful about cutting the government to spark economic growth this week. He notes letting police and firefighters go is bad for our communities. Flint, MI which laid off two-thirds of its police force, according to Walsh has become a “small city murder capital of the U.S.”

But then, Walsh goes full Occupy.

"Who’s going to pay for the economic meltdown - the huge debt?" He says, "How about companies? Companies that have made more money than in the whole history of the world and they’ve done it with less people. Some of the Fortune 500 companies pay no state taxes at all. We all know about GE not paying federal taxes."

And he continues to rail on this conservative cure-all for our economic woes: “It’s a quick fix but it’s not a good fix. We got to make the corporations pay more money and we can’t let these people [police] go. You got to speak up.”

America’s Most Wanted now airs at 9 p.m. on Friday on the Lifetime channel. Is it just me, or does John Walsh lay out a fantastic defense for those who are against cutting vital services so others can have an even more obscene amount of wealth?

To detractors: I’ll stop supporting movements like Occupy Wall Street when corporations stop occupying Congress. It’s not that I don’t think people should be rich. I just don’t think they should be able to buy themselves a pet Congress. 

(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under John Walsh Inequality politics tax cuts America's Most Wanted teachers police public sector workers taxes injustice Corporations Corporate taxation

106 notes

On the 1% advocating for the 99%

The red and blue is not be taken as representative of political party. However, it IS an interesting breakdown of where the interests of the US Congress fall. Alan Grayson has also pointed to lobbying influence as well. At a 2010 conference, Grayson said, “We’re now in a situation where a lobbyist can walk into my office…and say, ‘I’ve got five million dollars to spend, and I can spend it for you or against you. Which do you prefer?’”

Much has also been made of Occupy Wall Street promoters like Michael Moore being in the 1%, so why don’t they just give away all of their money and make everyone equal, etc… I’m tired of this strawman counter. That’s like telling a group of physicians concerned about the situation in Appalachia regarding medical care to stop advocating for change, and to instead donate all their time, money, and supplies to fixing it, or else they are an illegitimate organization and have no right to bitch.

Moore has given generously to charity, including 60% of the profits from Fahrenheit 9/11, he donates half of his royalties from books sold at local bookstores to local libraries (plus the bookstores running the events have all agreed to donate $1 from their sales price) at each stop on his recent book tour, he works with several progressive organizations and with unions, and began the non-profit, mostly volunteer-run Traverse City Film Festival in Michigan - among other efforts. Here, he further explains his thoughts on charity to Sean Hannity.

So let’s pretend for a moment that the rich redistribute to the jobless of their own free will. Then what? Do jobs magically appear out of thin air? The need never re-occurs?

Moore explains his viewpoint well on being a member of the 1% and fighting for the 99% in a post entitled "Life Among The 1%" [emphasis mine]:

"How can you claim to be for the poor when you are the opposite of poor?!" It’s like asking: "You’ve never had sex with another man - how can you be for gay marriage?!" I guess the same way that an all-male Congress voted to give women the vote, or scores of white people marched with Martin Luther Ling, Jr. (I can hear these righties yelling back through history: "Hey! You’re not black! You’re not being lynched! Why are you with the blacks?!"). It is precisely this disconnect that prevents Republicans from understanding why anyone would give of their time or money to help out those less fortunate. It is simply something their brain cannot process. "Kanye West makes millions! What’s he doing at Occupy Wall Street?!" Exactly - he’s down there demanding that his taxes be raised. That, to a right-winger, is the definition of insanity. To everyone else, we are grateful that people like him stand up, even if and especially because it is against his own personal financial interest. It is specifically what that Bible those conservatives wave around demands of those who are well off.

Anyhow, money is not electing Michael Moore. However, money is electing those who set the policies leading to such wealth disparity in this country. We must pay attention to those who’ve sold us out and continued the same policies since before many in my generation were even born. Campaign finance reform is crucial, and perhaps we should begin rethinking this whole neoliberal, late capitalism thing.

If your biggest bone to pick with Occupy Wall Street is that Michael Moore is advocating for it, we’re well on our way to winning.

(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under Michael Moore inequality politics protest 99% 1% poverty capitalism economy financial reform crisis late capitalism wealth injustice charity

2,728 notes

In this photo from The New York Observer, Former Philadelphia police Captain Ray Lewis, sits in zip cuffs after being arrested today in conjunction with the Occupy Wall Street protests. Another photo of Lewis protesting can be found here.
Drew Grant of The Observer writes: “There is simply nothing more bizarre than looking at images of a man in police uniform arrested and handcuffed by people wearing lower-ranking NYPD garb.”
Lewis’ arrest was captured on video:

Lewis knew his arrest was a possibility. In a rousing speech last night, Lewis criticized the NYPD and its use of force, along with New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg. An excerpt:

"You should, by law, only use force to protect someone’s life or to protect them from being bodily injured. If you’re not protecting somebody’s life or protecting them from bodily injury, there’s no need to use force. And the number one thing that they always have in their favor that they seldom use is negotiation – continue to talk, and talk and talk to people. You have nothing to lose by that. This bullrush–what happened last night is totally uncalled for when they did not use negotiation long enough.

"They complained about the park being dirty. Here they are worrying about dirty parks when people are starving to death, where people are freezing, where people are sleeping in subways and they’re concerned about a dirty park. That’s obnoxious, it’s arrogant, it’s ignorant, it’s disgusting.  
[The NYPD], they’re trying to get me arrested and I may disappear OK? But as soon as I’m let out of jail, I’ll be right back here and they’ll have to arrest me again. All the cops are, they’re just workers for the one percent and they don’t even realize they’re being exploited.”
Capt. Lewis truly understands what it means to protect and serve the people, and for that sir, I thank you. 

In this photo from The New York Observer, Former Philadelphia police Captain Ray Lewis, sits in zip cuffs after being arrested today in conjunction with the Occupy Wall Street protests. Another photo of Lewis protesting can be found here.

Drew Grant of The Observer writes: “There is simply nothing more bizarre than looking at images of a man in police uniform arrested and handcuffed by people wearing lower-ranking NYPD garb.”

Lewis’ arrest was captured on video:

Lewis knew his arrest was a possibility. In a rousing speech last night, Lewis criticized the NYPD and its use of force, along with New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg. An excerpt:

"You should, by law, only use force to protect someone’s life or to protect them from being bodily injured. If you’re not protecting somebody’s life or protecting them from bodily injury, there’s no need to use force. And the number one thing that they always have in their favor that they seldom use is negotiation – continue to talk, and talk and talk to people. You have nothing to lose by that. This bullrush–what happened last night is totally uncalled for when they did not use negotiation long enough.

"They complained about the park being dirty. Here they are worrying about dirty parks when people are starving to death, where people are freezing, where people are sleeping in subways and they’re concerned about a dirty park. That’s obnoxious, it’s arrogant, it’s ignorant, it’s disgusting.  
[The NYPD], they’re trying to get me arrested and I may disappear OK? But as soon as I’m let out of jail, I’ll be right back here and they’ll have to arrest me again. All the cops are, they’re just workers for the one percent and they don’t even realize they’re being exploited.”

Capt. Lewis truly understands what it means to protect and serve the people, and for that sir, I thank you. 

Filed under Ray Lewis Captain Ray Lewis hero politics protest Nov 17 NYC Philadelphia police police brutality injustice inequality Mike Bloomberg Occupy Wall Street OWS Occupy Everywhere

1,187 notes

Hundreds of fans camped out at a movie theater in LA awaiting the premiere of the Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn: Part 1
It’s a good thing they’re not protesting anything and just awaiting sparkly vampires! Otherwise, they might be subject to tear gas for creating a health and safety hazard. Some of them have been there for almost a week now! With tents and everything! We know what a big threat tents are to democracy!
I’d like to point out the juxtaposition of the headline on the ticker about Zuccotti Park. 
So, iPhones and movie camping = ok. Protesting the system = not ok.
What the hell, America? 

Hundreds of fans camped out at a movie theater in LA awaiting the premiere of the Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn: Part 1

It’s a good thing they’re not protesting anything and just awaiting sparkly vampires! Otherwise, they might be subject to tear gas for creating a health and safety hazard. Some of them have been there for almost a week now! With tents and everything! We know what a big threat tents are to democracy!

I’d like to point out the juxtaposition of the headline on the ticker about Zuccotti Park. 

So, iPhones and movie camping = ok. Protesting the system = not ok.

What the hell, America? 

Filed under Twilight OWS Occupy Wall Street WTF Police politics protest inequality injustice Seriously? Breaking Dawn: Part 1 For fuck's sake