Jun 042014
 

Marie Antoinette got a bad rap for the statement “Let them Eat Cake.”  The statement was actually made my the wife of Louis XIV, Marie Thérèse.  So even if she is the wrong Marie. she still ende3d up a head shorter because of it.  The statement itself represents a callous disregard for the suffering of the common people.  That disregard is reflected by many in the 1% and the Republican Party represents them.  I found a fascinating article analyzing nine questions 1% Republicans use to blame the poor for the suffering that they cause.  Here is just one of them.

0604Marie-AntoinetteShouldn't we cut public assistance and force people into the job market?

At some point in any discussion of jobs, someone will drop the nuclear option: cut federal and state benefits and do away with most public assistance. That'll motivate people to find jobs — or starve. Unemployment money and food stamps (now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) encourage people to be lazy. Why should tax dollars be used to give food to people who won't work for it? “If you’re able-bodied, you should be willing to work,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said discussing food stamp cuts.

The problem with such statements is 73% of those enrolled in the country’s major public benefits programs are, in fact, from working families — just in jobs whose paychecks don’t cover life’s basic necessities. McDonald’s workers alone receive $1.2 billion in federal assistance per year.

Why do so many of the employed need food stamps? It’s not complicated. Workers in the minimum-wage economy often need them simply to survive. All in all, 47 million people get SNAP nationwide because without it they would go hungry.

In Ohio, where I did some of the research for my book Ghosts of Tom Joad, the state pays out benefits on the first of each month. Pay Day, Food Day, Mother’s Day, people call it. SNAP is distributed in the form of an Electronic Bank Transfer card, or EBT, which, recipients will tell you, stands for “Eat Better Tonight.” EBT-friendly stores open early and stay open late on the first of the month because most people are pretty hungry come the Day.

A single person with nothing to her name in the lower 48 states would qualify for no more than $189 a month in SNAP. If she works, her net monthly income is multiplied by .3, and the result is subtracted from the maximum allotment. Less than fifty bucks a week for food isn’t exactly luxury fare. Sure, she can skip a meal if she needs to, and she likely does. However, she may have kids; almost two-thirds of SNAP children live in single-parent households. Twenty percent or more of the child population in 37 states lived in “food insecure households” in 2011, with New Mexico (30.6%) and the District of Columbia (30%) topping the list. And it's not just kids. Households with disabled people account for 16% of SNAP benefits, while 9% go to households with senior citizens.

Almost 22% of American children under age 18 lived in poverty in 2012; for those under age five, it’s more than 25%. Almost 1 in 10 live in extreme poverty.

Our system is trending toward asking kids (and the disabled, and the elderly) to go to hell if they're hungry. Many are already there…

Inserted from <Alternet>

As long as this excerpt appears, it is just a very small part of a very large article.  You owe it to yourselves to read it in it’s entirety to prepare you to handle the Republican lies you will hear over and over again.  I urge you to click through.

Finally the quote falsely attributed to Marie Antoinette is no longer appropriate.  It should be upgraded to Let Them Eat Koch!

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  13 Responses to “Let Them Eat Koch”

  1. Thanks for the clarification. I always thought it was Marie Antoinette.

    The TeapublicanTs already eat too much Koch with their InsaniTea.

    The article is excellent and everyone should read it. Shane just went back to work after a 6 month lay off. In order to keep his job (non-union) he had to take a $3 an hour pay cut. The owner of the company is still "livin' large" though and has no reason to cut back on his luxuries. The employees must cut back on their neccessities.

  2. While Marie Antoinette is wrongly cast as the person who uttered those words, some historians will still persist by saying she asked, "Can they not eat cake?"  For Marie that would have been her beloved Croissant, a recipe she brought to France from Vienna.  If we can see her from different eyes, she was forced to leave home at 14 and marry a child-like man that had no interest in her.  Marie Antoinette was born into a life that in no way allowed her to understand or realize the idea of going without any thing.  She was however; very interested in the lives of ordinary people and to the purpose of learning about them she had constructed the Queen's Hamlet, a charming village that provided the idea, if not the reality of how the "simple folks" lived. The misunderstanding about who said what and when is either made completely of whole cloth by Rousseau to inflame the potential ire of the peasants or might have been taken from a known quote of the Chinese queen who asked if the peasants had no bread, why didn't they eat meat. This is cobbled together from bits of memory from biographies of Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution. One excellent book: Antonia Fraser,  "Marie Antoinette: The Journey".

    I do not see that as swerving away from the topic of jobs, fair wages, SNAP and government policies. First, look at the death and destruction in Syria, how and why did all of this happen?  If you listen or watch TV media and even most articles, you might think that people had reach a match point with Bashar al-Assad.  In fact, many liked him because he protected the various sects of Islam to some extent and he did protect the Christian, Druze and other small sects not of Islam, to some extent.  Al Assad is no man of the people and to the best of our intelligence is/was brutal with his people. This was tolerable, people didn't like him but could tolerate him until about 5 years ago.  This is where the story is a cautionary tale.  The Syrians were hit with 4 to 5 years of continued drought, so badly that farmers had little to harvest, herders lost their sheep and rural folks were forced to the cities to find some kind of work.  The response to this from Al Assad? Nothing.  Al Assad didn't make the same insulting statements our elected officials make about giving them food and making them lazy, he said nothing.  According to the Syrians, those still fighting and those in refugee camps, this is the final insult, the only reason for government is to extent help, even if that help is foreign aid, when people are starving. As best I can find, to this day Al Assad still had not addressed the drought.

    I do see some in high positions in our own government that are just a foolish and insensitive to the citizens.  Not only is SNAP withheld, any proposal to offer better assistance to our veterans is treated with the same dismissive attitude.  Each time we have another natural disaster, we must listen to the House whine about a lack of funds to help those who are now homeless, we know that is not true that we can not afford to offer aid.  We know that billions are handed out each year in more and more subsidies and tax breaks to corporations and individuals that have reached a 50 year high in profits.  

    I was attempting a discussion about increasing the minimum wage with someone that is hard right.  The complaint?  We the consumers will pay for the higher wages through increased cost at purchase.  I do agree, most corporations and owners of private small business will increase prices, however; the prices are increasing anyway without the benefit to society of better paid if not well paid workers. Well paid workers do not do need additional assistance like SNAP, when paid well the millions who are working two jobs can work one job, and the benefit to society?  Other than not needing any assistance in the form of government help, they have time to spend with their families and in turn spend more money that adds to the flow of the economy. They are also much better employees, when we are paid well we feel better about who we are and make a greater effort to help build the company in positive ways.  

    To recap, French royalty, Al Assad and the corporate owned GOP all contribute to the overall misery of the people and in turn both the French royalty and Al Assad have a price to pay.  How quickly would Al Assad's government topple without the billion in support from outside governments?

    The drought in Syria, the floods in Nebraska last night, hurricane Katrina, hurricane Sandy, increased drilling and use of fossil fuels, all are the real and ugly consequences of unregulated abuse of our environment.   Droughts, cyclones and hurricanes, tornadoes and floods are all to be expected in the coming years. Not because they are part of nature, but because we have increased the temperature of the planet making each of these natural disasters more frequent and far more dangerous to life.  

    Book closed, thanks to those who read this and to TC.

  3. Thanks Gene, it may seem redundant but well said again.  Good comments here, I see we all are looking at the same things and drawing the same obvious conclusions.  I am often told that I make the choice to not see the villainous Obama for the child eating horror that he is; I see things quite clearly, thank you very much.

  4. Thank you for the skinny on Antoinette.  I had it in the back of my mind that someone else said it, but I had no idea who and was too lazy to look it up.  The Sun King's queen – it figures!  Now there was a 1%er if there ever was one!

    It's fascinating how people in history acquire such totally undeserved reputations; sometimes it just happens, sometimes others do it to them deliberately.  Richard III was deliberately turned into a monster by Henry VII (Readers Digest version: the two princes were illegitimate because their father had married secretly before he married their mother.  That's why Richard became King.  When Henry came in, he legitinized them to undercut Richard's claim, then had to get rid of them to support his own.)  It works both ways, too.  In our own time we have seen it happening with Ronald Reagan.  Ugh.

    But on topic:  this paragraph stood out for me: "But won't higher wages cause higher prices? The way taxpayers functionally subsidize companies paying low-wages to workers — essentially ponying up the difference between what McDonald's and its ilk pay and what those workers need to live via SNAP and other benefits — is a hidden cost squirreled away in plain sight. You're already paying higher prices via higher taxes; you just may not know it."  And he doesn't even mention the subsidies that go DIRECTLY to the banks that issue the EBT cards for SNAP in the form of transaction fees.  Ain't nobody gettin' rich from SNAP except Chase.

  5. This is easy to understand except for Republicans who don't give a shit anyways, so they feel they don't have to understand. They don't think government should be involved no matter who starves, or dies. A position that promotes death and goes against the laws of our country. Sure with majority they can change law and cut benefits, but then they go against the values Americans have supported (with their votes and money) for a century, which includes their own party before the facists took over their party. Republicans used to believe in many things like the dangers of pollution before the facists took over their party. It's sad we are going through this political period, but it can't last in the long run. Lets hope the long run isn't to long to save people from more  suffering and save the planet.

  6. Actually it wasn't cake in the term we think of cake but was bioche, a form of French bread enriched with eggs and butter that was actually much more expensive to buy than the regular bread that the commoners were able to afford to buy. So if they couldn't buy bread they certainly were unable to purchase bioche.

    The do away with social programs and force people into work, jobs that are not even there, is the same way that people were treated back in the UK during the poorhouses and workhouses. Feeling if one did not give anything to the poor they would be forced to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and would do better for themselves.

    It didn't work then, it will not work today, one has to have boots to even have straps and many did not even have anything in which was a starter point. One can't create jobs that are not there, and in the past those who were disabled and had no one to take care of them it was just tough luck.

    If these are the good ole' days that many of the Republicans would like to return to, I should think a good dose of histoy should be in order. That was not what this Country was founded upon, most left those hell holes of a system for a reason, why would they want to repeat it and set it up here.

  7. My family has used food stamps in the 1970's & 80's for a few months – it was NOT enough, and the people at the State Agencies were nasty to people back then. I must say though that by the 1990's when I went to the same Agency for my mother-in-law (who was not able to do it herself), the worst "agents" were gone & Everyone was much nicer & more helpful. However, the "help" wasn't much better monetarily. Frankly, the ONLY thing helpful about Public Aid back then was the Medicaid you would possibly get if you needed assistance. That included dental back then (not now though!)..so it could be worth all the bull$hit & shame.

     

  8. There was a missionary (forgot his name & am paraphrasing) who said:

    "When I gave food to the poor – they called me a saint.

    "When I asked why the poor don't have food – they called me a socialist."

    So the question is: "Whose food stamps would Jesus take away?"

     

     

  9. And they call themselves Christian.  What hypocrits!

  10. Yet the Republicans always insist people can work if they will, even thought they are either working for poverty wages or cannot find a job.  Someone, I can't remember who, said you can't pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you don't have any.

    My back yard is currently flooded by overflow from the drainage ditches.   just put down new mulch today, it is floating down the street.  

  11. George Satayana said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.".  

    The last few days, it seems the French Revolution has cropped up in my reading many times.  To go into the entire history of the French Revolution is unnecessary here.  However it seems that the Republicanus/Teabaggers in the US, and other conservative governments globally, have not learned that treating the average citizen like undeserving vermin is tantamount to buying a one way ticket to the political guillotine. 

    Cantor and the other conservatives want to cut SNAP thinking that SNAP recipients are lazy and don't want to work.  But they fail to realise, or maybe they do realise but choose not to acknowledge, that a large percentage of the people on SNAP, excluding children, the elderly, and the disabled, are actually working full time but their wages are so low that they cannot afford the necessities of life.  IMO (humble or not), the government should stop tax breaks and subsidies to large corporations and instead, bill them for the amount of SNAP funds etc that it doles out to their employees.

    Let the Republicanus/Teabaggers and the 1% eat stone soup!

  12. Thanks everyone. Pit stop. :-)

  13. Why do so many of the employed need food stamps?

    Price of food is out pacing any rise in wages, this is true of Veteran's families too… :roll: