Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Did You Know That The Romneys Are Poor in Spirit?

'Money' photo (c) 2011, 401K - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

As a Canadian, I try to avoid commenting on American politics, but occasionally, a politician or his wife goes too far, and the gloves just have to come off. The Romneys made 20.9 million dollars according to last years taxes, and yet Anne recently had the nerve to say that she doesn't consider herself wealthy.  Well, if being worth 250 million dollars, and making 20.9 million dollars in a single year doesn't make one wealthy, what exactly does?


transcript
And so you know, we can be poor in spirit. I don't even consider myself wealthy, which is an interesting thing.  It can be here today and gone tomorrow.
Who is Ann Romney kidding? She did finish this statement by adding:
"How I measure riches is by the friends I have and the loved ones I have and the people that I care about in my life, and that's where my values are and that's where my riches are."
Humans are extremely social animals and this is why solitary confinement is considered torture.  We need to socialize with others, and loved ones do hold a special place in our hearts, and can and should be counted as riches; however, there is clearly a disconnect when it comes to class for the Romneys.  How can she not consider herself rich?  Even if we were to use her standard of what counts for rich, Ann has a very large family, and a very long marriage. The woman is not poor, no matter what artificial standard she tries to create to claim impoverishment.

It seems to me that these two really are birds of a feather.
Mitt Romney has drawn criticism for offhand remarks that point to the wide economic divide separating him and nearly all other Americans. His 2010 tax returns show he earned about $21.7 million from his investments and, after charitable donations, paid about 14 percent in federal income taxes.

While campaigning in Michigan, Romney referred to his wife driving "a couple of Cadillacs" as he pointed to his longstanding support of American automakers. At other times during his campaign for the Republican nomination, Romney has referred to the $373,000 he earned in speaking fees over two years as "not very much" and once bet a Republican rival $10,000 to make a point.

Romney has also said he was "not concerned about the very poor" and, while referring to insurance companies, remarked, "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me."

Asked by reporters last week if such comments had hurt his campaign, he answered, "Yes." [source]
The Romneys are absolutely out of touch with the middle class, working poor and the underclass. Poor means struggling to pay rent or, looking for a place to sleep outside, where you won't be run off by the cops.  It means buying high fat, high carb food - that is when you can afford food.  It means inadequate health care at best, and certainly not appearing tanned and fit at every public outing.  These two have no idea what it is to be poor, because they have never been poor.

They are extremely sheltered from the real world.  Everyone they associate with is in the same economic class as them, except for when they are doing a photo shoot, and are forced to spend a few minutes with the Hoi polloi.  These two should hand out business cards that say clueless to everyone they meet. Even in these instances, they are quickly able to return to a life of splendor, and forget everything that they have seen or heard. Wealth means the ability to create your own environment, and the ability to walk away from anything that displeases you at anytime.

Ann's comments are very much a part of the social push behind the most privileged members of society trying to claim some sort of oppression, as though it's a really cool club that everyone needs to be a part of.  They know that these sorts of claims are highly offensive, and yet they persist in either denying that poverty is extremely difficult to live with, or trying to claim poverty themselves.

So many Americans are completely out of touch when it comes to class.  A major part of this is the false belief that America is a classless society, even as people sleep on the streets and the top 1% share of wealth increases year after year. The evidence of the harm that capitalism has wrought is obvious, and it is only a desire to maintain this unequal system that causes people like the Romneys to deny the true evil of poverty.  Regardless of what you think of his politics, any middle class, working class or under class person who votes for Mitt, is voting against their class position. Supporting him on and his false idea of what it means to be poor, is not going to elevate anyone to the same class position, and it is only by actively fighting for a more equal division of assets that true change will happen.  People need to start voting their interests and not the dream that they too will one day be as oblivious as the Romneys.