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Chan Lowe: The new poverty numbers


I’ve indulged in a thought exercise lately. What if, in 2012, a disgruntled and notoriously fickle electorate, fed up with high jobless numbers, decided that it had had it with the Obama Administration’s flounderings and voted in a Rick Perry or Mitt Romney as president? What if all the so-called anti-voter fraud laws promulgated by Republican legislatures in the various states worked as intended, disenfranchising core Democratic voters so that both houses of Congress went Republican (and a filibuster-proof Senate were created)?

If we gave the Republicans the full set of keys to the store, with unfettered access to every nook and cranny, what would they do with the privilege? Would they whack taxes on wealthy “job creators” and corporations to absolute zero? After all, if lower taxes theoretically (if not empirically) create more jobs, then logically no taxes whatsoever ought to yield a tidal wave of them, bringing in so much revenue from a newly employed middle class that the ban on upper-level taxes can continue indefinitely.

As for the poor (since we know that in a purely capitalist society, there is freedom to fail as well as succeed), they would be given responsibility for themselves, and be allowed to die if sick or starve if hungry. And folks would cheer, as did the crowd the other night at the CNN/tea party debate (“Let ’em die!”) when candidate Ron Paul articulated this very same policy in his own semi-articulate way.

Those among the elderly who had been smart enough to sock away some extra money during their prime earning years would be able to afford medical care as the effects of age ravaged their bodies. Those who hadn’t, well, see above.

Once all was neatly arranged in the new conservative utopia, the wealth gap in our country would gradually become so yawning that the haves would be forced to retreat behind fortified walls in order to protect themselves and their belongings from desperate have-nots.

The have-nots, frustrated with their plight, would eventually find among themselves a champion. And then, Viva la Revolución.

Oops. There’s a flaw in this plan somewhere.

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Just go back and see what happened with Newt and the contract on America. Same thing. Lots of talk, only action is consolidating power and getting what's theirs.

Excellent article as usual. If every independent voter including some rational Republicans would read this, Obama would win in a landslide.

Here you go again Chan... Now Republicans want to kill off the weak (Nice scare tactic!) ... I think your readers need to think of it this way. Let's say, we give everyone in America free services. Free TV, Free Healtcare, Free Food (becuase people shouldn't go and a large population of children are, hungry) I mean why work at all? Afterall, work causes stress and stress breaks down the immune system... Maybe we tax the rich so instead of paying 50% of the overall taxes they are paying now, that they pay 99% of all taxes.. I suspect Democrats would continue to spend perhaps on immigrants or "nation building" Soon the spending will become so much that, why not tax the middle class... After all, they are making more than the poor... Why let it end there.. I have an idea Chan. Tax religion.. Yeah... Synagogues, Churches too! They get tax breaks and look at all those money makers! Heck with their income we can buy health insurance for every citizen of Mexico!!

As chillingly humorous as your apocalyptic scenario is, it seems to substantiate a statement made over a hundred years ago by Anatole France that "The Law ,in all it's majesty, forbids the Rich and Poor alike from sleeping under bridges,stealing bread or begging in the streets." Most laws are codifications of property rights,but those wielding power like Cantor( no disaster relief without commensurate budget cuts) and others in his party who share his Draconian views,seem to be attempting to bring these rights to a new and imperious height solely for the benefit of a very fortunate few with little regard for the Middle Class and the large mass of less fortunates.

Chan.... your attempts to scare the public are so low that even you know all you said in this blog is just a vile lie. Shame on you......again.

Chan- I've been re-reading The Shock Doctrine, by Naomi Klein..This book is a primer for understanding what is happening in this country...We're seeing "disaster capitalism" at work...
It's already occurred in a lot of South American countries & elsewhere...dirty wars on unions,privatizing prisons,artificially induced social & economic crises, torture,etc,etc...the list goes on...
What is that old saying.? There's nothing like a good revolution.? In time, that might come to pass...The Have's vs. The Have Not's....

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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