New Southern Strategery:  Let the Poor get Poorer While the Rich get Richer

Discouraging piece in the Washington Post today about the increase in poverty in southern and western states as measured by the percentage of school kids qualifying for free or reduced price lunches.  This graphic compares 2000 to 2011:

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In 2000 only four states reported that a majority of their public school kids were on free or reduced lunch.  In 2011 seventeen states did.  All in southern or western states.  The author of the article quotes Michael Rebell, executive director of the Campaign for Educational Equity at Columbia University as attributing this increase in poverty to statistics showing that the U.S. lags behind other countries in educational testing.  He points out that kids from high income areas are holding their own but when you look at scores from schools with a lot of low income kids the bottom drops out.  The rise in poverty can certainly be at least partially explained by the recession.  The Southern Education Association spokespeep also throws in “immigration and a high birthrate among low-income families”.  (Translation: “If only those poors would stay where they belong and not breed so much here!”)  Hank Bounds, Mississippi commissioner of higher education has a couple of cents worth too:

Hank Bounds, the Mississippi commissioner of higher education, said the country needs to figure out how to educate the growing classes of poor students and reverse the trend.

“Lots of folks say we need to change this paradigm, but as a country, we’re not focusing on the issue,” said Bounds, who was previously Mississippi’s state school superintendent. “What we’re doing is not working. We need to get philanthropies, the feds, business leaders, everybody, together and figure this out. We need another Sputnik moment.”

 

Sputnik moment?  Seriously?  OK, here’s what that 2011 map called to mind for me.

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With a few exceptions the states reporting high poverty rates and experiencing low student performance are RED states!  These states have, for many years now, been represented by Republicans who have done fk all to kick them to the curb!  Sputnik moment?  How about a “throw the Rethug bastards out now!” moment?

But the sad thing is that the Republicans exploit their low information voters and gin up the fear factor with tales of Welfare Queens and the Homosexual Agenda and the Murderous Abortionists and the Tides of Criminal Immigrants to convince them to consistently vote against their own best interests!  If these maps don’t make that clear, I don’t know what does.  And meantime their duly elected representatives continue to see to it that the poor get poorer and the rich get richer.

But I have no idea how you put a stop to them.

Posted by marindenver on 10/18/13 at 02:15 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsBedwettersEditorialsNuttersTeabaggery

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I am cynical enough to think that in many cases, punishing the “phantom menaces” of uppity baby-killing bitches and various skeery dusky-hued others IS their best interest. Or at least their primary one. It doesn’t seem to matter if the Teabag constituency suffers, as long as those damn un-American coloreds and feminazis suffer MORE.

According to the Mad Scientists of the Laboratories of Democracy those maps are a testament to their social engineering progress.

Only hungry, ill-educated, magical thinkers will vote for them . . . so, here comes the new southern conservative wave.  Plus, if they’re too hungry/sick/illiterate they won’t be voting for anyone [i.e. Libruls]

And look at all those GOPer-guvs, with their Koch sucking economic models.  Forget Congress and Obummer, they’re the ones who are really running the show.

Those poors may look desperate but if they’re Real Americans they’ll find a way to dig out and be exceptional meanwhile Christian generosity will keep too many of them from dying.

In the long run, it’s for their own good and the good of the country, dontcha know?

I think when you put these maps and this information together with Fallowes’ epistolary romance with the angry white galtian dude from california you get a picture of people who are angry that there are poor people and failed economies messing up their fantasy of an america entirely composed of successful,middle class, entrepreneurs.  Its not so much that they hate the poor, its that they fear them and see them as symptomatic not with problems in capitalism but problems in the human spirit. They really believe that if everyone worked harder there would be no poor people and therefore no need for government intervention.

They also think that a “sputnik” moment wasn’t the wrong kind of government intervention or that somehow it wasn’t government intervention. Feeding people and educating them because they need it: wrong and feeding people and educating them because society needs it: maybe ok. Whatever you do—don’t do it out of love for your fellow man and respect for his situation. Do it because it seems punitive towards somebody.

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