The current Republican stance that places concern over the deficit that “threaten to shake market confidence and saddle future generations with record public debts” as the reason for not extending unemployment is, as usual, bad timing and misguided.
Besides showing an appalling lack of compassion for those out of work –many of those jobs will be permanently lost regardless of how well the economy bounces back— it reflects once again the skewed Republican concern with ideology and political posturing over direct help, like attempting to stem the flow of sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS by counseling abstinence, or the demand for drugs by telling people to “Just say, No!”
Apart from questioning the economic wisdom of scaling back spending –many economists and the present administration are arguing that more money needs to be spent by consumers to keep the economy going, not less— it shows once again Republican indifference to the lives of ordinary people.
Several quotes come to mind.
One is by Simone Weil.
“Human beings are so made that the ones who do the crushing feel nothing; it is the person crushed who feels what is happening; unless one has placed oneself on the side of the oppressed to feel with them one cannot understand.”
Another is by W. H. Auden about those who become so rich they \”lose their respect for humanity\” or, because they cannot feel, are \”unfit to rule.\”
And finally, by Eric Hoffer.
“The real \”haves\” are they who can acquire freedom, self-confidence, and even riches without depriving others of them. They acquire all of these by developing and applying their potentialities. On the other hand, the real \”have nots\” are they who cannot have aught except by depriving others of it. They can feel free only by diminishing the freedom of others, self-confident by spreading fear and dependence among others, and rich by making others poor. “