Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Prick of the Day

Ah Ben Stein...  Remember Bueller?  I do..  Who is Ben Stein, why is he still spewing?
So... Lets see, a DC boy, literally born in Washington DC, before he and his family relocated to Silver Spring Maryland.  His father was an economist and presidential adviser, and he is Jewish.  Now is where you are going to see the major differences in Jewish people.  Stein graduated with a BS degree in Economics from Columbia, before gaining a Master's in the same field from Yale, and finally graduated from Yale Law School.  Sorry, that is a very impressive educational resume, all Ivy League, and it is nothing to stick your nose up at.  Most people would kill to get the chance to be accepted into either school, mass genocide might be on the table for someone who wants both.

But it shows us that Mr. Stein has always been on the upper end of life.  After his 1970 graduation from Yale, he became a poverty in Connecticut and then Washington DC, before becoming a trial attorney for the FTC.  Ah, a man who worked with the poor, keep in mind that poverty law deals with the legal statutes, regulations and cases that apply particularly to the financially poor in his or her day-to-day life.  He then spent time ensuring that our rights as consumers were protected.  Yeah sounds like he is an upstanding citizen.  A man to be respected.

He transitioned into teaching political and social content of mass culture (basically society).  He taught other things at different universities, such as law, and civil rights.  Teach the young minds so that they might go forth and help the world grow.  He was also a speech writer for Nixon and Ford, and acted as an attorney for Nixon.  He also became a consultant on movies, becoming an actor, seems that his first role was Farris Bueller's Day Off.  But for as impressive as the mans resume is, I find him lacking in humanity and at times intelligence.

Stein is pro-life, which is fine I suppose.  His boat and all.  In turn he roasted the GOP over the Larry Craig scandal and how they handled it.  I agree with his sentiment, a party that is all for individual rights dumping a man because of a tryst with an undercover police officer.  As for taxes he flops more than a fish out of water.  First saying that the tax code favors the rich, that he as a wealthy man is being punished by higher taxes, and higher taxes are needed to balance the national debt.  I agree with two of those statements, I think you can tell which two.  Further more, he is a creationists.  I might be a Rabbi, but I am not a creationist.  But to be fair its the new spin on creationism. 

Outside of the whole IDer bit, why did I call him prick of the day...  Well, its what he said.  You see, even with the title I hold in life, I feel that religion should be between a person and whatever deity they worship.  If they choose to not worship or believe in a deity, that is their choice.  Forcing religion on people is inherently wrong, and unlike Stein, I see religion as the cause of genocide and many of the worlds ills, not evolution.  Basically, it is his belief that is god is brought back into "public forums" it would stop the poor for self-sabotaging themselves.  For a conservative he is all for blaming people for their situations, but if only they had God in their lives they wouldn't make bad choices... 

He continues on by saying that if you rail against income and wealth inequality, you are simply jealous of billionaires.  No, Mr. Stein, I am not.  I would not want a quarter of their money, or their problems.  What I want, is that what I hear you asking?  I would love a home, a nice car, a job that pays a good wage, you know, enough that I can retire before I am dead, maybe have a week in Florida once every decade.  The problem is, and you should know this as an economist, the middle and lower classes of people, I mean slaves, drive the economy.  Without customers your businesses will fail.  You didn't build it, the customers did.  He furthers his "points" by saying that the wealthy keep the government in check. 

In true fashion he returns to bastardizing the poor.  See we drag down society, poor as we are, by our slovenly habits and appearance.  I am so sorry that my appearance is so distasteful for you Mr. Stein.  Its not like I can just walk to a bathroom and shower twice a day, or afford spiffy new cloths every year. 
“My humble observation is that most long-term poverty is caused by self-sabotage by individuals,” he argued. “Drug use. Drunkenness. Having children without a family structure. Gambling. Poor work habits. Disastrously unfortunate appearance. Above all, and counted in the preceding list, psychological problems (very much including basic laziness) cause people to be unemployed, have poor or no work habits, and enter and stay in poverty.”
His humble judgement the sanctimonious prick. You know what causes long term poverty?  A lack of decent affordable education, a lack of healthcare.  It is easy to say the poor are dope heads, or alcoholics.  Sure, many are, they are not poor because of these habits, while they do not help.  They are addicts because of their poverty.  Apparently in all his studies psychology and sociology weren't among them.  Having kids without a family structure?  But he is pro-life...  And wait, not all poor people become breeders pushing out kids faster than a Ford assembly line.  Gambling, sure most people gamble, its the only way they see out of their poverty.  Poor work habits?  At this point, I think he is just throwing crap out there, seeing if it will stick.  I mean I guess poor people are lazy, if they don't work 18 hours a day seven days a week.   And what does he mean by a disastrously unfortunate appearance?  Poor people become poor because they are ugly?  Maybe they don't have the time to bath twice a day?  Or perhaps because of the jobs they take they are grubby and dirty.  Now this last one, he is counting laziness as a psychological condition?  Wow...  I studied psychology, it was my second major.  Never in the entirety of the classes have I heard being lazy as a psychological problem.  Certainly I have heard it said that it is a personality trait, but that is rare.  It is more of a industrial organizational psychology problem.  Basically based on personality type, some people become bored with their work due to conditions in the job.  Bored equals a lack of motivation.  Key point, I know people who report to work, just to sleep.  After beating their vehicle into the ground, getting paid the bare basic of wages, their motivation went on vacation.  Is it right, nope, but people rebel in some fairly interesting ways.  It is not laziness, poor or no work habits that cause people to enter and stay in poverty.  It is the Ben Steins of the world, who think that anyone who is unemployed, or poor are lazy.  The same people who think that someone with bad credit is a thief or a deadbeat.  The same ones who demand a perfect job reference regardless of why they are looking for work.
“Yes, the government designates many tens of millions as poor, but they almost always have indoor plumbing (which my mother did not have in her small town in the Catskills) and they are super nourished as opposed to mal-nourished,” he said. “They get food stamps. They get free medical care. They get vouchers for many of the needs of life.”

Seriously, because the poor do not live in a third world country, they aren't really poor.  Sorry, but our society has changed, the standard of living is not the same as it was in the twenties and thirties.  You lack indoor plumbing in your house, guess what, your house will be condemned as a health hazard.  You say that people are super-nourished, when a classic sign of malnourishment is obesity.  Why do you think all those kids in Africa look fat?  Ah, but they get food stamps, which barely cover a handful of meals a week.  In his warped view, poverty as we see it today isn't really poverty.  Not because it isn't real, he won't go that far with it, but because well...  It has been drastically reduced in the US over the last century.

So to Mr. Ben Stein, born with a silver spoon up his backside, educated in the best schools, a man whose genetics gave him a cognitive advantage, you sir win the prick of the day award.  I am sure +Larry Dillon can have a trophy or image created just for you.  You sir, have no idea what it is to be poor and unemployed, to be the working poor, to be one step away from loosing everything you own.  Consider yourself lucky.  Sure you say that you help charities when they come calling, and maybe you do, but you forget yourself.  You forget that with wealth comes responsibility.  A human obligation to help better those who are still fighting and trying.  Something you seem to lament, a condition called poverty that you seem to put off on those who suffer from it.  It is not a poor persons fault they are poor, it is a society that thinks and acts as you do.