A few months ago, Jeb Bush made the fatal campaign error of suggesting that poor people just needed to work harder in order to make more money. Jeb was playing off the old Republican talking point that poor people are just lazy while rich people are honest, hard-working citizens.
But new research has emerged that shows just how out of touch with Americans Jeb has really become.
According to the latest data available, most of America’s poor do, in fact, have jobs, and the number of working people making wages that are below the poverty level actually outnumbers the total number of people without jobs on public assistance.
This information is critically important because it absolutely destroys a talking point that the Republicans have been using since the 1980’s, and that is that poor Americans would rather sit around living off of government assistance than go get a job.
The truth is that there just aren’t enough decent-paying jobs to go around anymore. Wages have been slashed in many areas, and in other cases entire industries have been outsourced to countries where corporations can pay workers pennies on the dollar.
Sadly, Jeb isn’t alone in claiming that Americans are too lazy. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decided to jump on the anti-worker bandwagon this week by saying that businesses in America are hurting because people are much happier suckling at the teats of the government, and that people are “doing too good” living off of food stamps.
If you accidentally tune in to Fox News for a few minutes, you’re going to hear these exact same talking points coming from one of the personalities on that network. And do you want to know why? Because it’s easy. It’s victim blame at its worst, and they do it so that they don’t have to admit that there’s actually a problem with the system. They don’t have to think about the fact that corporate America is shipping jobs overseas if they convince themselves and their audience that people are just lazy, and that’s why they don’t have jobs. It’s Psychology 101 – misdirection to avoid the problem. And it’s absolutely pathetic.
The REAL problem has absolutely nothing to do with the work ethic of the American people, and everything to do with the anti-worker policies of both our elected officials and corporate leaders. It’s all about making a profit, not about making the American economy stronger and keeping families out of poverty. And with trade deals like the TPP still being out there, things may end up getting worse before they get any better