Who merits entitlements & who gets ’em

By Henry McRandall

Speaking privately among his own evil ilk — mega-millionaires and billionaires who were paying $50,000 a plate to lunch with the Republican Teabagger presidential nominee — Mitt Romney felt he could really speak from the heart and not risk having the public find out what he is really all about. After all, cameras and other recording devices are banned from all of Romney’s fundraisers. But someone snuck one in. And yesterday, Mother Jones magazine had it all over the Internet. Oops!
And just what kind of sordid, savage, grotesquely immoral thoughts spewed from Romney’s precious heart? The thought that the bottom 47 percent of Americans — including at least a third of this “intellectual giant”‘s own supporters “believe that they are ‘entitled’ to food, housing and health care.” Mitt the Moron went on to boldly assert to his bloodthirsty, professionally pedicured audience that no one is “entitled” to any of these things. Unanimously salivating at the thought of poor and working-class Americans — especially non-white ones — might soon be dying on the street, if only they can get this “useful idiot” into the White House — erupted in a standing ovation so spontaneous they must all have creamed their designer jeans.
Well I have news for Mitt the Moron and all the other mongrel mutts in the Satanic cult of the Top One Percent: Every human being in the world — regardless of race, color, creed, gender, age, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, disability or sickness, level of education or employment status — has a right to food, clothing, housing, health care, education, employment, necessary social services, and access to social and cultural participation. It’s all guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and committed to by the United States of America and almost every country in the world almost 64 years ago. Sample just a few passages:
“Article 23
(1) Everyone has the right to work…..to just and favorable conditions of work….and to protection against unemployment….
Article 25
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood…
Article 26
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages….higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.”
That is the fundamental global law setting out the minimal acceptable standard of human material existence, subject to each country’s physical and financial capabilities — and it must be respected and obeyed by all, for both moral and economic reasons.
Although it has fallen considerably in the last few years due to the mindless and savagely destructive policies of the George W. Bush administration — hot on the heels of a generation of “trickle-down” economics, and two decades of phony “free trade” — the U.S. had been for more than 100 years the richest country in the world. But how has that enormous wealth been shared?
As far back as 1800, even most right-wing economists recognized “wages” as “the cost of maintaining a worker and his replacement (meaning his family).
I was raised in Amerikka’s northern branch plant — Canada — in the Fifties and Sixties. I came from a family of nine. My Dad dropped out of school in grade eight. But he was able to earn a level of income sufficient to support his large family without ever holding more than one job or ever having to work overtime. My Mom never had to work outside the house. And we never needed any kind of social assistance. Moreover, our situation was fairly common. How many North American families today — even families much smaller than the one I was raised in — can enjoy a decent standard of living on a single income? Continue reading “Who merits entitlements & who gets ’em”