Sunday, March 20, 2011

Progressive Music Classics. The Dead Kennedys' "Kill The Poor"



Welcome to another edition of Progressive Music Classics.

Has any First World nation ever had more contempt for the poor than America does today?

Hating the poor has become as American as apple pie. Particularly since the Reagan era, we Americans have been taught from an early age that the poor deserve no sympathy. For a "Christian" nation, we seem to be clueless about Christ himself had to say on the subject.

What's bizarre is that many Americans, particularly the Rush Limbaugh crowd, are under this delusion that the poor are actually treated well in this country.

Supposedly, there are all these lavish, generous welfare programs out there to take care of all the poor. In fact, we Americans supposedly have such expensive programs for the poor that this is the real cause of our nation's titanic deficits.

No, not George W. Bush's $3 trillion war crime in Iraq. Not the insane mega-trillion-dollar cesspool of graft, corruption and fraud that is laughably known as "Defense Spending." Not Bush's trillion-dollar tax giveaway to the crooks on Wall Street.

No, the real reason America is going broke is that we're just too damn generous to the poor. The welfare states of Sweden, France and Germany have nothing on us.

Of course, there's only one problem.

All these supposedly lavish government welfare programs for the poor simply don't exist. Don't believe me? Ask a poor person sometime just how much he's raking in from the government. Odds are, he'll laugh in your face.

If the poor were really raking it in from lavish welfare programs, then they wouldn't be poor, would they? And the reality is that the ranks of the poor are growing rapidly in America. The current trend started under George W. Bush, (particularly after the economy essentially collapsed in 2008).

The fact is, until you've experienced true poverty yourself in America, you probably have little idea of just how much utter contempt this government has for people at the bottom of the economic ladder.

In fact, because of regressive taxes (like sales and gas tax), not only are the poor butt-f*cked daily in America, but they pay more of their income into taxes than "successful" rich people like Paris Hilton and Rush Limbaugh.

People like Limbaugh remind me of the likes of Marie "Let Them Eat Cake" Antoinette. Although the quote is apocryphal, it's clear the rich and royal leech classes in France thought everything was fine and dandy in the late 18th century. I'd suspect they were so out of touch with the peasant class that the fury of the French Revolution took them by surprise.

Despite today's widening income inequality in America, I'd suspect a lot of the rich and powerful in this country give little thought to the growing ranks of poor. And they have little idea of the coming People's Revolution that will likely result someday.

After all, history has shown time and time again what happens when the rich gorge themselves while the peasants starve. It happened in England in the 1300s. It happened in France in the 1700s. It happened in Russia in 1917.

Don't think it can happen here? If so, you're kidding yourself. After all, America was born in a revolution.

Among the rich, there are a few astute observers (like Warren Buffett) who realize the current situation in unsustainable.

When Buffett argues that rich people like him aren't paying their fair share of taxes, I'd suspect it's not because he's a big fan of paying taxes. Rather, he's an astute money man and financial genius who realizes that if America goes broke and the nation's social fabric is ripped to shreds, then the rich are going to suffer with the rest of us.

But for now, the rich in America are living the high life. And they're doing it in large part with our tax dollars (see Bush's trillion-dollar bailout of the crooks on Wall Street).

America's rich have nothing but contempt for the poor. And, thanks to their stooges like Limbaugh, they've even managed to convince a sizeable (and gullible) portion of the American people to hate poor people as well.

In this brilliant song (the lead-off track on their 1980 album, Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables), San Francisco punks the Dead Kennedys take this argument to its logical conclusion: since we Americans despise the poor so much in America, let's just kill them all.


Jack Jodell said...

I have nothing but contempt for America's selfish rich. Rush Limbaugh, ignorant liar that he is, ought to be stripped naked, with no cell phone, bank account or credit card, and left in a dirty Harlem alley to fend for himself. The mouthy bastard wouldn't last five minutes.

Lotus said...

Apropos your remark about "where are the lavish programs," some years ago I came across a newspaper column (I may still have it somewhere) which had one of those "fiction vs. fact" listings, this one about welfare.

I don't remember the details which wouldn't be relevant now anyway because the figures would be seriously out of date, but I do remember my favorite line:

Fiction: The middle class supports the poor.

Fact: No one supports the poor. That's why they're poor.

And ain't it still the truth.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Jack, thanks for your comment. re: Rush, I agree. I'd like to see all the HateWing radio talkers join Rush on that Harlem street. As well as the crew at Fox News.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Larry, good point!

Back in the early 1980s, I myself went through a period of poverty.

I found then that there wasn't any f*cking help at all forthcoming from the government. Actually, I wasn't even looking for a "handout."

I just thought it might be nice if this government gave me back a little bit of the money that I'd paid them in taxes over the decades.

I mean, it's MY f*cking money. I just wanted a bit of it back until I could get back on my feet.

In effect, the government said "F*ck you, Marc."

What's interesting, though, is that while the government is always Scrooge-like in any help it offers to the poor and downtrodden, it is always eager and willing to throw trillions of our tax dollars in welfare for the rich.

Back in the early 1980s, I applied for jobless benefits. The government told me to go f*ck myself, because of some obscure Catch-22 rule that prevented me for being eligible.

Over the years, I've often wondered if I should have been more aggressive in demanding that the government give me back a little of my tax dollars.

But a statistic I read recently shows that I am hardly alone among those who are jobless and don't get a dime from government benefits. In reality, only 3 out of 10 people even qualify for jobless benefits, because of various exceptions and loopholes put into the program (by Republicans, of course).

You know at the time, I wasn't really even annoyed when I didn't qualify for jobless benefits. It was only during the subsequent three decades that I started to get more and more bitter, as I worked as a newspaper reporter and uncovered one example of corporate welfare for the rich after another.

I kept thinking, These bastards couldn't even spare me a few dollars (of MY OWN money) back when I was starving in the early 80s. And yet they ALWAYS have trillions of our tax dollars to lavish on the wealthy (like when Bush gave a trillion of our tax dollars to the crooks on Wall Street).

Anonymous said...

When I read these Liberal blogs, it always makes me laugh, because I know the Libs are bitter that they are going to go down in flames in 2012.
There is no way the Democrat Party will retain the House and the Senate. And frankly, I doubt they can retain the White House.
Even if the Libs retain the White House, the GOP will repeal Obama-care. We will also begin initial proceedings to undertake the impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama.
(Go ahead and laugh now, Libs...we'll see how much you're laughing in 2012).
A growing legion of Americans is demanding that the Democrat Party be more fiscally responsible.
Rush once said it best: "No nation will survive for long under a Liberal Tyranny of high taxes."

Marc McDonald said...

>>We will also begin initial
>>proceedings to undertake the
>>impeachment of Barack Hussein

Actually, I think you're right. The GOP eventually will find some bullsh*t reason to impeach President Obama. Actually, there doesn't even really need to be a reason---they can just make up sh*t.

Cirze said...

And after that, they will eat them.

Because they will be really hungry and what else can the poor do?

They're hungry!

Thanks for your reporting and marvelously telling use of metaphors.


Hating the poor has become as American as apple pie.

. . . since we Americans despise the poor so much in America, let's just kill them all.

Cirze said...


I forgot to mention that according to "The Family" by Jeff Sharlet they don't believe in that Jesus. It let's us in on the secrets of those fundies who are at the root of D.C.'s rightwing madness.

Their Jesus was not the one we learned about in Sunday school. He was a made-up figure of power and wrath by influence seekers in the 20's (as far as I remember, you should grab a copy).

It's quite an eye opener and tells us why they don't act in any way you'd expect real Christians to.

Love ya,


Anonymous said...

I love the Dead Kennedys, I have KTP on "Milking the Sacred Cow". Rather than neutron-bomb the poor, I think the rich would use the prison and military-industrial complexes to herd them into debtors' and work camps, much like China's industrial sectors. The whole country might resemble Guangzhou unless there's a popular uprising. Seems unlikely, the rich and powerful got their Amendment in the Supreme Court that granted human status to corporations, lobbies, and PACs. How can the bottom half, with 35% of the wealth out-spend the upper-half with all of it?