“If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”
In 1843, before Social Darwinism was formulated, the Malthusian predictions of overpopulation that would deny wealthy jolly Englishmen of their high standard of living promoted this Fox News-like inhumane view of others – any others than the selfish self.
Scrooge produced nothing, yet he considered himself a job creator. One clerk. One underpaid, uninsured clerk who lived near penury with his family, including his crippled child who will suffer and die unless he receives medical care that would cure him. A decent living wage and simple medical care would have avoided the suffering entirely. But, Scrooge was an investor who “changed money” as he amassed great personal wealth in 1843 England.
“At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge,” said the gentleman, taking up a pen, “it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.” This is all that the men suggested to Scrooge as they asked for a contribution.
Scrooge felt that these people and their dependent family members should to be reduced to a level of need that would require that they request tax supported imprisonment for debt, thus assuring they would never be able to earn enough to save themselves and their families. Since these surplus people were too old, too young, or disabled, and obviously undeserving, they should be reduced to this or death. If they had any sense at all, they would die and decrease the surplus population – like people with overwhelming and unforgivable student loan debt, raided and inadequate pensions, foreclosed homes, PTSD, mental illness, expensive illnesses or other misfortunes. You know – the tax users, the undeserving.
Well today we have legislators who toady for the wealthy. CHAINS as a giveaway federal legislation that will harm the oldest and most vulnerable SS recipients, mostly widows, without reducing federal debt is one modern form of Scroogeism. President Obama offered this before even being asked. Republicans oppose it because it is not useless and draconian enough. In Illinois the democratic legislators serving the rulers of the Commercial Club of Chicago want something similar enacted, after the holidays, for public retirees. This too will not reduce state debt either. Republicans also reject this as not useless and draconian enough.
Scroogeism demands deeper pain which would force those who are inflicted to prefer death to penury. “If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”
TEST: WHO ARE THE SCROOGES OF 2012-13?
(Hint: They all feel that they are above and beyond the undeserving. Civic duty has a new-normal meaning to them.)
A. President Obama
B. Rep. John Boehner
C. Sen. Mitch O’Connell
D. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn
E. House of Rep. Czar Mike Madigan
F. Sen. John Cullerton
G. Rep. Tom Cross
H. Rep. Elaine Nekritz
I. Mayor Rahm Emanuel
J. Ty “Hatchet Man” Fahner
K. Jonah “Stooge” Edelman
L. Dick “Judas” Ingram
M. Penny “Heiress” Pritzker
N. All of the above and more
(Hint: All of the above and more)
Yes, we need to reclaim reform from the deadly Scrooges.