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11:53 pm: Numbers numbers numbers

I see a lot of argument online about budgets and government priorities and so on. A lot of it confuses me because people are using things that look like math – but are actually just bad argument and yelling. I’m going to try to summarize what I understand of the rabid conservative financial worldview, but with no numbers. Forgive me if I leave some stuff out:

The world is inherently fair, and you get what’s coming to you. Money is an indicator that you worked hard. Money is a reward for sustained good behavior over time. Most people are bad, lazy people. Therefore, most people don’t make much money. The reason that CEOs, business owners, and rich people have so much money is that they deserve it for all their hard work. Those people worked for every penny they have. Similarly, poor people deserve every ounce of their suffering. The world is fair.

Since the good people are in charge of the businesses (see above) businesses don’t need to be regulated. We can trust them to do the right thing without supervision. However, the employees (being lower paid and therefore bad) need a firm hand. We can’t have the workers unionizing – since that would interfere with the flow of money to the people who do the real work: owners and management.

This is why we negotiate with the football players unions. The people in that union make a lot of money, so we should listen to them. Also, FOOTBALL USA USA!

Since we’re talking about good and bad (money is a metric of morality), we can and should bring God into it. God likes rich people better. Rather, rich people are rich because God likes them. Don’t let that confuse you with the whole “we deserve it,” thing above. Just relax your mind and let it wash over you. Rich people deserve all of their blessings and wealth because they worked for every penny. Or their parents worked hard and the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Everyone knows that good people have good kids. That’s why when other people’s kids do drugs, they need to be locked up for life – but when good people’s kids do drugs they need treatment. Anyway, the reason they were able to work so hard was because God liked them and gave them strength.*

We can expect the spread between rich and poor to continue to widen because the country is becoming more sinful. In fact, in America we ought to expect it because we’re letting all those non-americans cross the border. Non americans don’t even register on the moral compass because God is American. That’s the fundamental reason that we need stricter immigration policies, to keep the bad people out. Note, however, that when rich people sin – it’s just an opportunity to demonstrate God’s power to forgive. If they had really sinned, God would have taken their money away. That’s why we don’t need to prosecute anyone for the debacle on Wall street in 2008. That was the bad poor people’s fault. Now they’ve lost the houses they couldn’t afford, so justice is done.

All that said, there is hope: If you’re quiet and good and don’t use contraception, and if you go to church, and (most important) if you lower the tax rate on the rich people, then those same rich people might be nice to you and create more crap jobs at minimum wage. If you keep the taxes where they are – the rich people will withhold God’s blessings of money from you and slow down the economy and it will all be your fault for what you made them do.

Social services are just free stuff for people who can’t afford it. These are actually counterproductive because they send the wrong message to people dying of exposure and easily treatable diseases. Those people should have been good, rather than bad. If you reward bad behavior, people just become more bad.**

Got it? Good. Now go argue about abortion or something while the banks take billions of dollars in profits this quarter.

And remember, the more of your money your banker pays to himself, the better it is for you.

* It would be best not to consult any of the major world religious texts on the matter of God’s feelings about money. You’ll probably get all confused.
** Also, don’t consult world religious texts on compassion, altruism, or similar topics.

Originally published at chris.dwan.org. You can comment here or there.

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