Terrorising Coffee Drinkers for the Greater Good
Friday Ephemera

Elsewhere (61)

Heather Mac Donald on poverty and behaviour:  

We are supposed to assume that a 21-year-old mother of two should not have been expected to assess whether she and her male sexual partners were ready to support a family; it is for her to have babies and for taxpayers to provide for them. And if Temporary Assistance to Needy Families cuts off that support for failure to comply with its rules, [we are supposed to assume that] the problem lies with the law, not with the decision-making that led to the need for welfare in the first place. […] So assiduously non-judgmental is the liberal discourse around poverty that [New York Times reporter, Jason] DeParle portrays the crime committed by single mothers as the consequence of welfare reform — rather than of those mothers’ previous abysmal decision-making regarding procreation and their present lack of morals. […] Underclass poverty doesn’t just happen to people, as the left implies. It is almost always the consequence of poor decision-making — above all, having children out of wedlock.

Regarding the fallout of illegitimacy and absent fathers, see also this and this.

Related to the above, a vintage post by Peter Risdon:

One thing, and one thing only, keeps people trapped in the kind of poverty of mind where they don’t feed their children properly even when they could, and shit in their own stairwells. It’s a lack of ownership; a lack of self-reliance. It’s a lack of the very concept of self-reliance. It’s an idea that the mere thought that they should be self-reliant is immoral, evil, callous and cruel.

And a random thought from Thomas Sowell:

When politicians say, “spread the wealth,” translate that as “concentrate the power,” because that is the only way they can spread the wealth.

As usual, feel free to add your own.



Right wingers always say fuck the poor.

Fuck you.



So far as I can make out, none of the authors quoted want to do away with the social safety net. Or, as you put it, “fuck the poor.” They do, however, seem keen to widen the debate about poverty to include some rather pertinent factors. Say, the extent to which some poor people are fucking their own life chances, and those of others. If a great deal of poverty is needless and self-inflicted, and is an issue of culture and behaviour, isn’t it a good idea to highlight the problem in a realistic light? Or do you think that’s wicked?

“Fuck you.”

Ow, my feelings.



Accusations of bad faith, even implicit ones, are the hallmark of moral cripples. Believe it or not, your ideological opponents (yes, even "right wingers") want what is best for the poor. This discussion of the fact that their poverty is at least in part their own fault, is part of the project of understanding why they're poor, which can help us figure out how best society can help them get out of poverty.

As David said, if a great deal of poverty is self-inflicted and completely avoidable, it behooves us to figure out ways to help people avoid it.


Sadly (having just had a conversation with a couple of people on Twitter over this), all discussions seem to boil down to 'You monster! You'd let children starve for the 'sins' of their parents!'

While the children are used as an impenetrable human shield, and provide shelter for the feckless parents, it seems we will always have more and more children born to poverty. How to resolve this?

Peter Risdon

I would have thanked you for the link, David, but it has led to my downfall, cooly and logically dissected by rv.


Ow, my feelings.

Has anyone else noticed how rv is always in a bad mood...?

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Italian man burns art because we haven't been forced to pay for it; tells us it's our own fault

Gotta love the sense of entitlement and projection there. And of course, the 800-pound elepant media organization with the government imprimatur is sympathetic

There's a part of me that would love to get an arts subsidy and use it to make pro-Nazi art just to watch the Guardian types go nuts.


Italian man burns art because we haven't been forced to pay for it; tells us it's our own fault

At least it'll save on storage costs.


Seems to me that rewarding the results of sexual activity seems to be akin to making parents ransom their own children...

Namely "Pay up, or the child gets harmed!". I would remind people that paying the danegeld doesn't get rid of the Dane.


Further to rv’s umbrage…

The thing is, if a person wants to ensure a safety net for genuine misfortune and need, as I’d imagine most here do, shouldn’t they also want to consider the unnecessary and avoidable demands being made of that safety net? There is, after all, only so much funding and so much goodwill. Incidents like this one, and this, and this, and this don’t exactly help the future of the provision or bolster support for it. Isn’t the whole safety net put at risk, or at least put under great pressure and brought into disrepute, by rewarding irresponsibility and encouraging misuse?

Sam Duncan

rv: That's the best you've got? Someone says the poor need help, not paying off, and that's all you can come up with?

I've said it for a long time: the Left is so self-absorbed, so certain of its own goodness, that Leftists simply can't understand anyone else's point of view. Their way is axiomatically moral, so everyone else must be evil.

We understand them: Leftists think that all you need to do to alleviate the hardship of poverty is to take money from those who have it and give it to those who don't. We, going on an ever-growing mountain of evidence, simply disagree: that doesn't work. That's all. It doesn't work. It creates dependency, destroying self-reliance; it infantilizes, trapping people in a state of handout-leavened poverty, instead of helping them escape it to become - at least relatively - rich.

To judge from what we've seen of their policies in action over the last century, it seems to me far more likely that it's the Left who hate the poor.


The left LOVE the poor. Nothing makes more poor people than Marxism.



Fuck the poor, poor, pitiful poor. They're vulgar, crude, rude, ignorant, lazy and proud of it. I know this first hand having spent my formative years (prior to joining the military) living it. My parents did everything they could to drive the family into poverty: lack of education, alcoholism, eight kids, spotty employment and eventually welfare for over 20 years. With two following generations trailing behind.

Did I also mention, loud, obnoxious, greedy, quick to anger, violent and completely lacking in humility?

There you go.


Occupy Eagle's Nest


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