Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Return of Lucky Ducky

Remember back when the Wall Street Journal's editorial board called the poor "lucky duckies" because they didn't have to pay much in taxes, what with being dead broke and all? (And, while you're remembering, remember the excellent Tom the Dancing Bug cartoons as well.)

Well, it looks like the Lucky Ducky theme is back again, as seen by Jonah Goldberg's utter display of stupidity over at The Corner:

CLASS CARDS & DISASTER [Jonah Goldberg]

Several readers complain that it's in fact true that the hurricane will disproportionately affect poor people. I don't really dispute that in the sense most mean it. Yes, the poor will have special hardships. Obviously so. But what I objected to, and still object to, is the reflexive playing of the class card. Is it really true that some middle class retirees who heeded the advice of the government to leave town, only to watch their homes be looted after a lifetime of hardwork for a better life are suffering less than a poor person who lost his rented apartment? What's the metric for measuring this sort of suffering? What about the small businessman who worked his entire life to build something he's proud of? What about the families who lost loved ones, but had the poor taste to make more money than the poverty line?

Whatever happened to the idea that unity in the face of a calamity is an important value? We're all in it together, I guess, except for the poor who are extra-special.
Wow. It's hard to believe he crammed so much stupidity and condescension in a single post. But then again, this is the guy who manages to get his own doughy pantload into his Husky-sized Dockers every single morning.

Where to begin? Maybe we should start with his comment -- typed with a hanky clutched to his chest, no doubt -- that there should be some kind of "unity in the face of a calamity." That's a great ideal, I'll agree. But why does Goldberg define "unity" as the poor sucking it up and nobly suffering on their own, and not think that the other classes have a duty to help them out? I mean, were the country club set offering rides to the homeless on their way out of town? No? Then cram it with walnuts, ugly.

The real stupidity of Goldberg's comment is the fact that he's so wrapped up in his own world (as usual) that he doesn't understand that things really are different if you're poor. In the privileged, pampered world of Jonah Goldberg, I suppose these people only exist to fight your pipe dreams abroad and do your dirty work at home. There's no real appreciation of their needs and their circumstances, and how they might be different from the world where you get your wealth and job because of your mommy.

And make no mistake, during a natural disaster, the poor suffer disproportionately. They didn't have the cars and the credit cards to make a hasty retreat as the hurricane advanced. And now, in its wake, the poor will doubtlessly suffer tremendously because of the lack of adequate housing, food, or medical care, all things that the middle class and rich will have no problem accessing. Their suffering will be actual suffering -- not, "heavens, the carpet is damp now" suffering.

It's quite likely that many people will die. Many "extra-special" people.

6 comments:

Thrillhous said...

At least our government has courageously barred these lucky duckies from filing for bankruptcy. Now who's up for some more airline bailouts!

Otto Man said...

Jesus, even David Brooks, the King of All Middle-Class Navel-Gazing, has focused on the plight of the poor here. That's how out-of-touch Goldberg is.

InanimateCarbonRod said...

Don't you understand??? Some people love their elephant foot umbrella stands just as much as others love their grandparents! Is it wrong for someone to enjoy their inheritance?

Mr Furious said...

"What about the small businessman who worked his entire life to build something he's proud of?"

Um, he's insured? What an asshole.

Otto Man said...

Good point, Furious.

Of course, Jonah would respond that you can't insure against his hurt feelings. All those media folks are paying attention to the extra-special poor, when the middle-class needs some love.

ORF said...

In summary: Goldberg blows.