Friday, April 29, 2005

What's Wrong with White People?

well, so much for yesterday's venture into pop culture. Cause I just got smacked back to reality.

I was originally going to title this post "What's Wrong with Congress?", but I decided that was too narrow. Because I'm really pissed off right now, and mostly it's at my fellow whitefolks out there in the country.

Last night, the US Congress voted for a budget resolution that added $70 billion more in tax cuts than they've already doled out over the past four years. And they also voted to cut $10 billion from the Medicaid budget, and $3 billion from agricultural programs, part of which will come from food stamp cuts.

Ten. Billion. Dollars.

Now, I'd like to just be mad at Congress about this--but how can I? After all, they're just doing what they told us they would do, running up to the last election. What's it to them if poor people and the working class don't have hospitals or food? It'll be a cold day in hell before a member of Congress needs to go on Medicaid--given that as a result of our electing them, they will get free health care (did I say free? I meant paid for with our tax dollars) for the rest of their lives.

It's the rest of us that I wonder about. Those of us who have to use hospitals, which are more and more reliant on federal money to stay open, since fewer and fewer of us have private health insurance. Those of us who think, "well, why should they (meaning the poorer and mostly darker folks) have health care for free, when I have to pay for it?"

Why are we letting these fools in Congress do this to us? Why are we letting them use issues like guns, abortion, gay marriage and race to split us off from voting our own best interests? Why have we let them convince us that letting Bob and Dave marry each other is going to do more to undermine the American family than greedy corporations, that every year push us to work more and more hours, staying away from our kids and our families?

I live in a suburb outside one of the ten biggest cities in the country. In the city that I live near, there are nationally known hospitals that get upwards of 40% of their funding from Medicaid. What's going to happen to those hospitals when they lose 40% of their funding?

It's not as if there are doctors in those hospitals who see poor people, and different doctors for the rest of us. If those hospitals lose half their income, it will cripple their ability to provide service to everyone in this community--not just to the poor. Not just to the elderly.

I'm starting to worry that, in my lifetime, we will lose every gain made in the New Deal, and in the Great Society. We will have to organize just to regain ground that people fought and died for at the turn of the last century.

It's said that every generation wants to leave the world a better place for their kids. I think we just made it worse.

• Posted By landismom @ 4/29/2005 02:58:00 PM
Watching Smirk the Jerk last night really scared me. Listening to him talk about the tragedy of illiteracy actually made me laugh out loud.

Thanks for visiting my blog (and signing up for BE!) I got to visit you! ;)
that is the question of the century. It is kind of scary to think how reactionary this country would be if only the votes of white people counted. Scarier still if it were only white guys.

As a white guy myself I'm still trying to figure out the answer to this question, and will certainly be posting sometime on it.

On this particular issue, though, I think it's a combination of ignorance, greed, and entitlement.
panthergirl--you must be a better woman than I am if you can stand to watch him. Every time, I think, "it won't be so bad," and then I have to turn it off.

chip--yeah, greed is good--isn't that what we were supposed to come away from the 80's with? Sigh.
I asked a similar question to my husband last night and blogged a similar post.

The bottom line is, what can we (meaning the working class) do about it?

It just makes me depressed thinking about how apathetic most people are.
I think apathy is a natural reaction to the fact that most people think they are powerless. Once people get a taste of the power that they can have--through organizing a union in their workplace, or getting a local city council person elected, or stopping a chemical company from building a new plant in their neighborhood--they don't go back to being apathetic. The question is, how do we get them involved in that first campaign?
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