The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Hierarchy of needs

Melissa Perry (I won't hyphenate her name) raises some points:

What is riskier than living poor in America? Seriously! What in the world is riskier than being a poor person in America? I live in a neighborhood where people are shot on my street corner. I live in a neighborhood where people have to figure out how to get their kid into school because maybe it will be a good school and maybe it won't. I am sick of the idea that being wealthy is risky. No! ...Being poor is what is risky! We have to create a safety net for poor people. And when we won't, because they happen to look different from us, it is the pervasive ugliness.

First, note that Perry is counteracting a Republican claim that running a business is a risk. To that, I must agree with Perry that the first rule of life is survival. Being poor in America is, indeed, more risky than being an independent businessman. This is basic hierarchy-of-needs stuff.

Maet's counter-thrust (@ace) is that Perry shouldn't have compared being poor in America with the rest of the world. Perry made a gaffe, yes. But Maet is missing her point - deliberately. Maet is indulging in idle point-scoring - again.

(Much more of this and I'll start calling the HQ "Smaller Green Footballs".)

There are more cogent counters against Perry's rant here. Most obviously, there's the tiresome raaaaacism charge, that being poor equals being black and that expecting the poor to work is morally wrong. But again this isn't Perry's main point.

What does go to Perry's main point is the reason her neighbours get shot, the reason it is hard to get one's child into a decent school - the reason it is risky to be poor in her part of America.

That reason is because Perry lives - claims to live, anyway - in a region where people are paid to be "poor". She lives where "the safety net" supports idleness. We have seen the pervasive ugliness and it is Perry's; it is the sloth of her people and it is the excuses of elites like her.

posted by Zimri on 20:56 | link | 0 comments

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