Sunday, November 13, 2011

As George Carlin warned: "They're coming for your Social Security money"

During the debate, Michele Bachmann said:
“If you look at China, they don’t have food stamps,” she told the GOP debate moderators. “They save for their retirement.”
Here we have the latest evidence that Republicans view democracy-free China as a country to emulate. Bachmann's statement is bizarre on numerous levels, not least of which was the way she slid from food stamps to retirement savings. Her clear implication is that the Chinese don't have a social security system.

But they do. The pension system -- part of an overall "mandatory benefits" scheme -- is more important than ever, due to the "one child per couple" policy. Previously, elderly Chinese were supported by their families -- a tradition which induced people to have as many offspring as possible. Aside from the enforced contributions to retirement accounts -- what we call Social Security -- most Chinese cannot and do not save much for their twilight years.

Also on the "mandatory benefits" menu: Chinese employers and employees both pay into a housing fund which helps the workers pay for homes of their own.

Oddly enough, you don't see people like Michele Bachmann touting that as a good idea. Instead, these libertarian ideologues would rather create an imaginary China in order to convince Americans that they should vote against their own interests.

Let's talk about food stamps in China. I don't know if the aid comes in the form of actual stamps, but aid does indeed exist. This is from an official Chinese government publication:
In 1999, the Chinese Government promulgated the "Regulations on Guaranteeing Urban Residents' Minimum Standard of Living," which stipulates that urban residents with non-agricultural permanent residence permits whose family's per capita income is lower than the local urban residents' minimum standard of living can receive basic subsistence assistance from the local government; those with neither source of income nor working capability, nor legal guardian, supporter or fosterer can receive in full the minimum living allowance according to the minimum living standard of local urban residents. The minimum living standard is decided primarily on the basis of urban residents' average income and consumption level per capita, the price level of the previous year, the consumption price index, the local cost necessary for maintaining the basic livelihood, other connected social security standards, the materials for the basic needs of food, clothing and housing, and the expenditure on under-age children's compulsory education.
Based on the principle of "receiving aid of one's own free will, and giving help gratis," relief for vagrants and beggars who have no assured living sources in cities should be administered with compassion, and that relief should be provided in accordance with the different circumstances and needs of the recipients, so that they can receive relief in terms of food, lodging, medicare, communications, transportation to their hometowns and escort. By the end of 2003, some 909 such relief administrative centers had been set up throughout the country, offering help to 210,000 cases of urban vagrants and beggars who had no assured living sources that year.
Perhaps a reader can tell us how these regulations work out in actual practice. At any rate, Bachmann is clearly wrong.
Bachmann-- wrong in this universe, wrong in all parallel universes, lowers the IQ of any rocks she encounters, but she has followers. How wrong and stupid are they? Can that nadir even be measured? Calculated?
Whatever happened to "compassionate conservatism?" Obviously, that's been thrown to the wind. And we should remind Ms Bachmann and her like-minded disciples what the term "Christian" is suppose to mean. And it's not steamrolling the poor. Michelle on another occasion [or perhaps she got a twofer during that public statement] said that: people who do not work should not eat.

That's the Republican version of: Let 'em eat cake. Which, of course, fails to link foodstamp increases to unemployment and the alarming rise in poverty sweeping the country.

You can't make this stuff up. Next up to bat for the GOP team? The Eye of the Newt.

It must be something in the water.

Peggy Sue
"people who do not work should not eat."

You remind me of one of my favorite ironies. Paul Harvey used to like to quote the axiom "He who does not work, the same shall not eat." I recall hearing him say this several times.

So one day, I decided to look up the origin of the quote. Turns out it came from the Soviet constitution!

(According to Bartlett's. I had a wonderful old edition of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations from the 1930s.)

Of course, the communists believed that vast majority of those who do not work were to be found among what we now call the one-percenters.
Added note: Turns out that this "work-eat" quote began as a Bible verse which Lenin adopted.,_neither_shall_he_eat
Interesting, Joe. So we have Bachmann quoting from an epistle of Paul, which just happens to have been used by Lenin, and a reference to Communist China, declaring they [the Chinese] have a far better mindset about 'pensions' that happens to be wrong.

Michelle's running a true winning streak, particularly when you factor in that the vast majority of people collecting foodstamps, desperately want work. The old ploy is to throw everyone into the shiftless, lazy and irresponsible category. It's easier to dispose of the problem that way. And the people.

Or as the Heritage Foundation recently declared in response to the Census Bureau's findings: the American poor aren't really poor at all in comparison to 3rd world poverty. So, unless you're sitting in a mud puddle, riddled with TB or some other ghastly disease and can point to your ribs sticking out like broken bicycle spokes, you're a whiner, a moocher in these United States, the richest, most powerful empire the world has ever seen.

The disconnect for some of these conservatives is stunning.

Peggy Sue
So where is the hue and cry from the print and broadcast media pointing out what you said about Bachmann and China?

The Founding Fathers' vision was a free press alerting the citizenry so they could make an informed choice at the polls. Instead we get Chris Matthews having a tingle.
I was bored and watched the GOP clownfest Sat Night. I was stunned by Batshit Bachmann's ignorance. Of course they are all lying bags of sheep shit, but she really believes the crap she spews.
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