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Member since: Sat Mar 20, 2004, 11:37 AM
Number of posts: 16,820

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Are we witnessing a rise in right wing authoritarianism? Look at how we treat the unemployed.

Right wing authoritarianism isn't bad, it's very bad. It's not necessarily conservative, even though it is named as such because it is a trait that people who are ultra-right often have. It was the spirit, if you will behind fascism, behind the Soviet Union, behind the Latin American dictatorships of the Cold War, and more. Just look at Uganda's police state and it's "Kill the Gays" bill as I go through the list, and tell me you don't see it. It leads to some very awful things.

As I was reading though the list, I was starting to see, the long term unemployed face things like this. Read on...

1. Hostility & Fear Toward Outgroups
You know what an outgroup is, right? A group that's on the margins of society. The unemployed and the long term unemployed would definitely be an outgroup. "Lazy", parasites", "mooches", and more are the labels we have heard for the long unemployed. They're bad because they're on food stamps. They can't pay their bills, so of course their credit is going to take a ding, but because they have poor credit there is now a 100% chance they're going to steal from you, no evidence of it, but because people keep saying "I heard someone say they heard a study...", it must be true, right? Fear and hostility. Check.

2. Not-So-Healthy Ingroup Cohesion
There is a clear "Us vs Them" forming in the United States, the "Us" being the 'job creators' and the people who check on their stash in the Cayman Islands. The "Them" are the jobless, the people on unemployment benefits, the people on food stamps, and more. There are also a lot of people in the United States who think they are a part of "Us" when they really aren't. If they are a thread away from bankruptcy and if they have to choose between utilities or groceries, then they aren't "Us", you may be their waterboy, but you aren't a part of their clique, no matter what they tell you. Sorry. Not-So-Healthy Ingroup Cohesion. Check.

3. Faulty reasoning
This runs absolutely rampant in the treatment of the unemployed. First example is above with the credit being used as a hiring filter. No evidence that a person's credit reflects on their likelihood to steal, but "I heard", "There's a study", "I feel it in my gut", "It just makes sense!"; so that means the people who want a job but are going to face an extra hurdle because they can't pay their bills because they do not have a job will have to deal with this new age phrenology. And then here's another thing about faulty reasoning, a person will often have contradictory ideas. Yes, we know that the unemployed should just get off the couch and find a job even though there are five applicants to every job. But what are we going to do about cutting vicious circles that keep the jobless jobless or how about creating an employer of last resort like the Civilian Conservation Corps? Now you're a statist socialist.
One more example, a while back I did a study of what people thought about unemployment benefits and how they supposedly kept people dependent on the government. Basically, looking around for 'What % of people found work how much time before/after their unemployment benefits ended'. A lot of it was in the context that we shouldn't extend these benefits because that percentage of people find work and that people can find work, but they just want to stay on unemployment instead. What I found surprised me, everybody cited a 'study they heard', but not a single so-called statistic was the same. Zero precision, like someone threw a dart at a dartboard and instead hit a stop sign down the block. Got everything from '85% of the people on unemployment find a job (albeit miraclously (sic) in the last 2 weeks of their unemployment running out' to '90% of people on unemployment find work with in 6 weeks of running out of Benefits' and everything in between and outside of that. It was embarrassing.
Faulty reasoning. Check.

4. Profound Character Flaws
Bullying, zealotry, and hypocrisy. Encouraging that people should compete with each other in a cutthroat fashion for a minimum wage job is not a virtue. It's one of those flaws. There was a post on here about something on Facebook, mocking people for wanting an increase in the minimum wage. Because we're all sure EVERYONE on the minimum wage has the minimum skills, education, and motivation. Right? And back to food stamps, more specifically people who attack people who use food stamps to buy snack foods or buy luxuries while on food stamps. This is to people who attack people on food stamps. They cost you a fraction of a penny. You're not doing it because you're concerned for anyone's financial well-being. You're doing it so you can feel better about yourself. And that's what we call a profound character flaw.

5. Blindness To Own Failings
Everything that I've covered appears here. A lot of the people who call people on unemployment "lazy", they don't have any job security. But they think they're better. People like attacking the jobless and people on social programs because it makes them feel better about themselves, it numbs them to the fact that they could be on the chopping block. They don't really have security so they attack the lack of security or ability to advance of others. Another thing is the whole "UNION WORKERS ARE OVERPAID!", we've all heard it, I wonder if these people ever thought if they were underpaid.

It seems like right wing authoritarianism is here. It's in other areas of our culture. The question is, do we really want to see how far it can be entrenched into our country and way of life?

Here are some links explaining more:

Yeah, food stamps are stupid. You should check out the super-effectiveness of tax cuts instead

Uncle Moneybags got an elevator for his car.
And it only cost you the integrity of your roads and bridges.
Thanks, tax cuts!

Daddy Dollarsign got another tax shelter in the Cayman Islands.
And all you had to do was get rid of your State poison control centers.
Thanks, tax cuts!

Richie Rich got a gold plated toilet for his private jet.
And all you needed to do was cut funding for the Department of Children's Services, forcing less people to do more work.
Thanks, tax cuts!

Wealthy people all over can say "We're not broke!"
And you, all you have to do is agree with politicians who say we are.
Thanks, tax cuts!

The Republicans are well known for their faith in the American People

Like when they say there is an Illuminati style conspiracy of people who have been swaying elections for years through voter fraud and so we need strict voter ID laws... Bad example.

Or when they say people on unemployment benefits are just mooches and parasites and nobody is down on their luck, they just want to live off of the government... OK, another bad example.

Or when they say that women who use birth control are irresponsible and employers should be allowed to ask "why" they are on birth control... Sorry, another bad example.

Or when they say gay people want to kidnap your children like the Traditional Values Coalition or say they're worse than Nazis or terrorists like Sally Kern... Sorry again, not a very good example.

Or when they say that not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim... OK, not a good example again.

Or when they say that teachers are brainwashing your kids when they say the world isn't 6000 years old... Not my day, another bad example.

OK, I think I got it.

A person who is born wealthy or stepped on a lot of people to get their wealth is 'successful' according to the Republicans. There's also corporations that should also be made to feel comfortable, they're 'people', right? So, there you go. The faith of the Republican Party.

GOP will NOT and will NEVER address clogs in social mobility and unemployment's vicious circles

Humiliating debt collectors who try to drag people in front of courts, sometimes even arresting them
Job ads that tell the unemployed to not even think about applying
Credit being used as a hiring filter or even more bizarrely as a 'personality test'... either way, you aren't going to pay your bills if you can't get a job because you can't pay your bills

These three things and others like them are clogs in our social mobility and they are vicious circles that keep the unemployed jobless; these things are enemies of the American Dream.

One party has called out these things as obstructions to getting a job and has passed legislation on the state level regulating them. One President has even stated that there should be federal regulations on discriminating against the other party.

The other party has stuck their fingers in their ears and went "LALALALA!" or has even endorsed these things, citing the 'free market' or it's an employer's choice while forgetting that a jobseeker doesn't get a choice if he or she needs to eat or pay bills.

Care to guess which party is which?

The Republican Party's order of magnitude

When you bring up rumors and allegations of voter fraud and not a single shred of evidence that voter fraud has swayed an election, that obviously means that there is a massive conspiracy to commit voter fraud and has manipulated elections for years.

When you bring up an anecdote of a welfare queen, that obviously means that everyone on a social program is a mooch and a fraud.

When you have more poor people, it's not really a problem because they have fridges.

Even though there are five applicants to every job opening, that just means people want to use up their unemployment benefits and they just want to live off of welfare and never want to get a job because of the government.

When faced with numerous reports and documentaries of newborns getting slapped with pre-existing conditions, insurance companies telling people that they can only attach one finger if two get severed, and people facing bankruptcy even though they are insured, that obviously means they are just scare stories that nobody should listen to.

You want to slash the safety net and announce that "we are broke" but then the military comes along and says that they are operating within the budget and don't need an increase, that obviously means they are just using smoke and mirrors. Right, Paul Ryan?

Do other conservatives out there agree with National Review's "Real Men Don't Have Daughters" idea?

I think it's worth asking, it's a major vein of conservative thought, so do conservative icons and legislators agree with National Review when it says "Real Men Don't Have Daughters"?

Conservatives claim criticizing David Barton (The Tea Party's 'historian') is like the Holocaust

What do you do when your credibility is shattering around you? Find proof, work harder, apologize for your mistakes? Of course not! Let's get your friends to call people who question you Anti-Christian, they hate America, and they like the Holocaust. Credibility problem solved!

David Barton is trying to salvage his collapsing support by yet again attacking the religious and political views of his critics, joining American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer today in smearing Warren Throckmorton as a tool of the left. Unfortunately for Barton, more and more conservatives are denouncing his right-wing pseudo-history on the heels of a scathing NPR report and the news that Thomas Nelson has yanked his latest book, “The Jefferson Lies,” from publication.

Now, the former dean of Regent University’s Robertson School of Government—named after televangelist Pat Robertson—and a leading conservative writer is adding his voice to the growing chorus of historians criticizing Barton’s sloppy scholarship. Regent University professor Charles Dunn endorsed the book, “Getting Jefferson Right,” written by professors Throckmorton and Michael Coulter of Grove City College, which is also an evangelical school. “Getting Jefferson Right” debunked many of the claims found in Barton’s book on Jefferson, and Dunn said the book “stands up for truth in scholarship against the prevarications in David Barton’s The Jefferson’s Lies”.

Meanwhile, Barton’s deputy at WallBuilders and radio talk show co-host Rick Green who last week likened Barton’s critics to Adolf Hitler, is now comparing reasoned criticism of Barton to the Holocaust in another post denying that any of Barton’s claims have been “proven faulty”:

Hitler loved to give “examples” of Jewish “offenses” to support his effort to annihilate the Jewish people. Not only were they most often false “offenses,” even if they had all been true it would not have supported the conclusion that the entire race should be wiped out. Any intelligent observer of today’s debate must challenge the premises presented and make sure that the “facts” of the critics support the conclusion they want you to believe. In every accusation I have seen so far in this debate, no premise or conclusion of David Barton has been proven faulty. (I.E. David Barton can say whatever he wants and it's TRUE until someone proves him wrong, but they hate baby Jesus and America so they're still wrong anyway)


Republican Party's plan for the economy

“I have a job, but it’s not enough to get by on.”
- Man on the street to Rep. Bill Young (R-FL)

"Get a job!" (Walks away)
- That same Representative


Creepy underreported story out of UK - 1000's kept unemployed because of blacklist

AS many as 5000 construction workers in Scotland are feared to be on employers’ blacklists because they might call for better working conditions.

The Scottish Trade Union Congress are probing the extent of the practice, where workers are kept out of jobs because they are classed as “troublemakers”.

Many of those targeted are simply members of a trades union or a political party. The STUC’s Ian Tasker said: “If we look at the construction sector alone, it is a fair estimate that there may be 4000 to 5000 workers on blacklists.

The extent of blacklisting in Scotland has not been investigated before. But a group of 100 workers in England are about to embark on a class action against 39 companies who funded a blacklist.


Definitely something to watch.

Pseudoscience through the ages

3000 years ago...

"OK, everything else looks good, let me just cut open this chicken and read it's guts... According to the guts you are... OH MY GOD, YOU ARE GOING TO ROB ME BLIND AND STAB ME AFTER THE INTERVIEW IS OVER!"

19th Century...

"OK, everything else looks good, let me just feel the bumps on your head... According to the bumps on your head you are... OH MY GOD, YOU ARE GOING TO ROB ME BLIND AND STAB ME AFTER THE INTERVIEW IS OVER!"

Early 20th Century...

"OK, everything else looks good, let me just get your eugenics pedigree... According to the pedigree... OH MY GOD, YOU ARE GOING TO ROB ME BLIND AND STAB ME AFTER THE INTERVIEW IS OVER!"


"OK, everything else looks good, let me just get your credit report... According to the credit report... OH MY GOD, YOU ARE GOING TO ROB ME BLIND AND STAB ME AFTER THE INTERVIEW IS OVER!"

The formula may be secret, they may be a deciding factor in what job you can get or where you can live, but they are certainly not new.
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