Cognitive Dissonance

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

Posts tagged working poor

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Time to Put Tracking Devices on the Ankles of the Working Poor | Fired Up! Missouri


I used to watch channel 4 news regularly because I thought they were an unbiased source.  I realized about a year ago that this assumption was untrue.  Some of the pieces they have done are not only bogus but contribute to the smoke and mirror antics of the far right republicans.  I’m not sure who owns the station, or who can fix this problem, but until it’s fixed, I’ll get my news somewhere else.

Wow… From the link above:

KMOV ran a story this week as part of their loaded “Is This Why We’re Broke?” series alleging “questionable spending” by TANF recipients because some happened to use their EBT (electronic benefit transfer) cardsin other states. KMOV “reporter” Chris Nagus doesn’t have any evidence the money was used in a “questionable” manner, but he doesn’t let that slow him down. 

The argument goes like this:

  1. Sometimes the working poor leave Missouri.
  2. Some of the places they go are in states that happen to border an ocean. 
  3. Cue the beach footage. 

At no point in the KMOV story does “reporter” Nagus say which cities or stores were the recipient of Missouri dollars. In fact, "reporter" Nagus posted his source material online here, and he doesn’t even have that information. But he does have Brian Hook of the conservative Missouri Watchdog organization to tell him it’s a “gold mine” for “people who say this just allows for government waste.”

Nagus and Hook just have numbers broken down by state, and manufacture their stories from there. Was the money spent at a Piggly Wiggly in Tallahassee? At a convenience store across from a hospital in Sacramento? They don’t know, and don’t seem to care.

Even if Nagus and Hook could look down their noses to receipts proving that some money was spent in places they’d like to visit, what would they propose? There are already limits on what can be purchased with EBT cards. Do they want tracking devices implanted on the working poor so their movements can be monitored from the KMOV studio? Should recipients of agriculture subsidies be subjected to the same scrutiny?

This whole piece of shit argument can be filed under “poor people can’t have nice things.” Here’s a hypothetical for you: What if they went for a job interview? Or went to visit a dying relative?

Here’s a great quote from the original story, headlined “Missouri welfare benefits being spent in Hawaii”:

Hook: The first thing that jumps to my mind is where did they get the money to get to Hawaii and Alaska.

So how about it doesn’t fucking matter where the money is spent because it’s none of your business?

Good catch, my friend. Folks, if you watch this “news” channel, I suggest you let the free market talk and get your news somewhere else. 

Filed under Missouri media politics poor people can't have nice things TANF welfare seriously? KMOV working poor inequality

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The richest 1% of US Americans earn nearly a quarter of the country’s income and control an astonishing 40% of its wealth. Inequality in the US is more extreme than it’s been in almost a century — and the gap between the super rich and the poor and middle class people has widened drastically over the last 30 years.

Meanwhile, in Washington, a bitter partisan debate over how to cut deficit spending and reduce the US’ 14.3 trillion dollar debt is underway. As low and middle class wages stagnate and unemployment remains above 9%, Republicans and Democrats are tussling over whether to slash funding for the medical and retirement programs that are the backbone of the US’s social safety net, and whether to raise taxes — or to cut them further.

The budget debate and the economy are the battleground on which the 2012 presidential election race will be fought. And the United States has never seemed so divided — both politically and economically.

How did the gap grow so wide, and so quickly? And how are the convictions, campaign contributions and charitable donations of the top 1% impacting the other 99% of Americans? Fault Lines investigates the gap between the rich and the rest.

This episode of Fault Lines first aired on Al Jazeera English on August 2, 2011 at 0930 GMT.

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Filed under Al-Jazeera politics inequality poverty wealth income Wall Street Globalization Capital capitalism Working class working poor labor finance capitalism crisis economy economic crisis public policy deregulation