Students who considered themselves socialists were not so
much interested in the poor as they were desirous of leading
the poor, of being their guides and saviors. It was just this
paternalism toward the poor that the vision of solidarity I had
learned in religious settings was meant to challenge. From a
spiritual perspective, the poor were there to guide and lead the
rest of us by example if not by outright action and testimony.
As a student I read Marx, Gramsci, and a host of other male
thinkers on the subject of class. These works provided
theoretical paradigms but rarely offered tools for confronting
the complexity of class in daily life. […]
[W]hen I told friends and colleagues that I was resigning from my academic job to focus on writing, I was warned that I was making a dangerous mistake, that I could not possibly live on an income that was between twenty and thirty thousand dollars a year. When I pointed to the reality that families of four and more live on such an income, the response would be “that’s different”; the difference being, of course, one of class. The poor are expected to live with less and are socialized to accept less (badly made clothing, products, food, etc.), whereas the well-off are socialized to believe it is both a right and a necessity for us to have more, to have exactly what we want when we want it.
Rotten to the Core: Health Care in America
So this happened. This is the story of a woman who, forced by economic necessity to ignore a growing lump in her breast, showed up in a hospital when her breast finally fell off. Seriously, if you have breasts, or care for anyone that does, go read that shit now. I’ll wait for you to get back.
This is happening, too. That’s right. Bill collectors are telling ER patients they cannot receive care until they hand over a credit card. Not the same state or anything, but perhaps they’re related anyway?
1. The logic that poor people don’t work hard enough to deserve proper care when many of them have to avoid care to avoid losing the jobs that put food on the table but do not provide health care is so beyond fucked that I want to learn to projectile vomit on command so I can vomit on anyone espousing it. (I’m looking at you, Mitt Romney, you fucking piece of walking filth. The poor don’t have any goddamn problems my ASS.)
2. It’s socialist to want to treat your breast cancer before your breast falls off, but if you can’t afford health care for yourself, much less a child, the government will fund sticking a probe up your twat, or for an ultrasound, so you feel guilty about making responsible health decisions. WHAT ARE YOU FUCKING SMOKING? PUT THE FUCKING METH AWAY IT’S MAKING YOU CRAZY.
3. If you succumb to that guilt and have a child you cannot afford, god forbid you should need maternity leave. You will probably lose your job. If that happens, and you should have to go on welfare, well, then you are lazy and certainly don’t deserve proper health care. Did that make you too sick to jump through whatever hoops to keep your benefits? Then you are gaming the system, and they were right to take your benefits away. Can’t feed your child because you can’t afford day care, are sick and have lost your benefits? Well you’re a bad parent, put that child in foster care.
4. GOTO 1 (lather, rinse and fucking repeat ad infinitum, ad nauseum)
Is single payer (socialist) healthcare really worse than this? Isn’t it time to admit that we need to try something new?