Oh, sh**. Oh, dear. How shall we ever survive. The UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights has examined the United States under President Trump and has declared it to be just another Third World Shit Hole TM. Philip Alston, the aforesaid Special Rapporteur, declares that Trump’s economic and social policies to be basically immoral. We don’t pay a high enough tax rate. As a nation, we are just stupid because we aren’t offended by rich people and we think the government does enough, as it is, to assist poor people. (Read the report.) Here is Alston being interviewed in The Guardian:
Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur who acts as a watchdog on extreme poverty around the world, has issued a withering critique of the state of America today. Trump is steering the country towards a “dramatic change of direction” that is rewarding the rich and punishing the poor by blocking access even to the most meager necessities.
“This is a systematic attack on America’s welfare program that is undermining the social safety net for those who can’t cope on their own. Once you start removing any sense of government commitment, you quickly move into cruelty,” Alston told the Guardian.
Millions of Americans already struggling to make ends meet faced “ruination”, he warned. “If food stamps and access to Medicaid are removed, and housing subsidies cut, then the effect on people living on the margins will be drastic.”
Asked to define “ruination”, Alston said: “Severe deprivation of food and almost no access to healthcare.”
The Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz told the Guardian it was profoundly important that international observers were speaking out about Trump’s impact. “This administration inherited a bad situation with inequality in the US and is now fanning the flames and worsening the situation. What is so disturbing is that Trump, rather than taking measures to ameliorate the problem, is taking measures to aggravate it.”
Top of the list of those measures was the $1.5tn tax cuts enacted by the Republicans last December that slashed corporate tax rates. “Can you believe a country where the life expectancy is already in decline, particularly among those whose income is limited, giving tax breaks to billionaires and corporations while leaving millions of Americans without health insurance?” Stiglitz said.
The UN monitor similarly excoriates Trump and the Republicans in Congress for passing a tax bill that “overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and worsened inequality”. Alston added that “the policies pursued over the past year seem deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not in employment and make even basic health care into a privilege”.
He cautioned middle-class Americans from thinking they were immune from the lash of such policies, as Trump’s assault “bodes ill for society as a whole. The proposed slashing of social protection benefits will affect the middle classes every bit as much as the poor.”
This it the kind of report produced by the US whenever there is a Republican president.
Just a few thoughts. Income inequality is simply Marxism with nice clothes on. The only way you get equal income is by punishing the successful and the hard-working and rewarding minimal effort and ability. We may be equal as humans but we are not equal in talent, intelligence, drive, and motivation. The moment you start complaining about income inequality you’ve marked yourself as a statist who is hostile to economic liberty and I’ve probably decided you have nothing useful to offer. Government stipends for the indigent should not be designed to support a lifestyle that anyone would aspire to, and yet there are people who never leave the rolls of public assistance. “Demonizing” taxation is not a bad thing. I know for a fact that I will make better choices with my money than you’ll make with my money. The report criticizes the low voter turn out. The people who don’t vote make a decision not to vote. There is nothing morally or ethically wrong with a system that maximizes this freedom rather than coercing idiots to vote. Some of the problems listed in the report are real. Our penal system seems designed to make it impossible for former prisoners to lead productive lives. The situation on Indian reservations remains shameful.
Bottom line. We fought one war to gain our independence from a European master an another to keep it. We should be willing to fight a third to ensure we never become like Europe in the future.
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