November 19, 2006

Class warfare--updated--again

Americans don't really like to talk about poverty. That is the tragedy of the religious right--in that they seem to ignore the entire Sermon on the Mount and any Biblical critiques of wealth. Poverty becomes a personal failing (if they had ust applied themselves more, worked harder, etc.). When someone tries to talk about poverty, they are accused of "class warfare." Same happens when, as Ezra Klein points out, the wealthy are asked to pay taxes. But the reality is that the poor are growing in number and with reduced power or even attention. They have become the invisible--the often working poor who cannot make ends meet. That is bad enough, but follow this link to see the video of what happens when some of those people dare to protest. I have always loved horses, but their use here is horrible:
"Among the most darkly grotesquely absurdities of contemporary political life is that class warfare is used to describe marginal tax increases for rich people and calls for mild redistribution to the working class. Here's what it actually means. These are janitors in Houston who make $20 a day with no health insurance. Their labor is physical, the chance for workplace injuries massive, and the desire for better conditions natural. So they struck. And the police came in with horses."
Here is the Houston Janitor's website. Something about oil companies making record profits and calling out the cops on janitors without health insurance makes me a little queasy this morning.


More from Ezra. Turns out the original bail on the striking janitors was $888,888 dollars each for people making $20 a day. "By contrast, a Houston man charged with murder had his bail set at $30,000." Tell me this isn't class warfare against people who are already powerless.

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