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As you may or may not know, Romney came from an extremely wealthy Mormon family that spent a few years in Mexico dodging the US government and practicing polygamy in peace. Of course, when they returned to America, it was a different story... this excerpt from "The Real Romney" taken from the article "Welfare Wasn't Always a Dirty Word in the Romney Family," will shed some light on that;
Fortunately for the Romneys, the U.S. government, which had once chased them miles into Mexico due to polygamy, now welcomed the Romneys and other Mormons to the United States. Congress established a $100,000 relief fund that enabled the Romneys and other Mormon exiles to receive food and lodging.
Initially, the Romneys' stay on U.S. soil was to be temporary. The El Paso Herald reported on Oct. 25, 1912, that Gaskell Romney and his family, including little George, had gone to Los Angeles "until it is safe for his family to return to the colonies in Mexico." But Gaskell's family would never return to live there and made only a sentimental trip years later. Had they returned for good, Mitt Romney may never have been in a position to run for president.
Of course, George Romney made the bulk of his money after returning, doing so at American Motors Co. where he was chairman and president. This is not something to be ignored, but something to be noted, since Mitt is the son of a wealthy father, and the same goes for Ryan.
Ryan also came from a wealthy family, one of the wealthiest in Janesville, Wisc., whose father made out well as an attorney and whose grandfather was "the top federal prosecutor for the western region of the state. Ryan grew up in a big Colonial house on a wooded lot, and his extended clan includes investment managers, corporate executives and owners of major construction companies." (Los Angeles Times).
So what is the common thread here? Both the Republican presidential and vice presidential candidates in the 2012 election are birthers. I'm not talking only about wanting President Obama to reveal his birth certificate, but also a much scarier type of birther mentality that I see in all GOP members.
These two men may claim that they pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, but neither really did. Neither of these two know firsthand what it is like to support a family of their own on government assistance or on a single annual income of $50,000 or less. Because their parents or grandparents may have struggled at one time, they believe they have the right to tell the poor that they are causing their own financial situation with a lack of hard work.
I can think of nothing more insulting. And this is how I find them to be the most extreme and disconnected form of birthers; they do not realize that they just happened to be carried in the right womb, and that is what most of their success can be attributed to.
I do not want to belittle anyone's hard work, but if you are born into a poor family, as Ryan so charmingly pointed out in his recent policy speech, you are more likely to "remain poor." Conversely, if you are born into a wealthier family, you are more likely to remain wealthy. Gee, that isn't hard to figure out, it's much easier to make money when you have money than to make money when you have nothing. Look up the definition of capital, it literally means: "Material wealth used or available for use in the production of more wealth." But look at the rest of the definitions listed on this website, thefreedictionary.com. They are interesting to note in their context, but generally have the same interpretation as belonging or relation to the elite.
This was what led Ryan to his policy that to reform social welfare programs, we should turn them into "block grants," or state-run chunks of money which could be distributed as the local government sees fit.
That would work in a world where the funding remained the same, but this is how Ryan plans to encourage the poor to become "unpoor" (not wealthy, but off the dime of the wealthy), by giving a fixed amount of money to each state, regardless of need, while cutting their food stamps and giving them a "dynamic, free-enterprise-based economy that fosters economic growth, opportunity and upward mobility instead of a stagnant, government-directed economy that stifles job creation and fosters government dependency." (Huffington Post) Because as we can see, you can create more wealth by having less. No, I have that backwards.
Unfortunately, if there are no jobs for these people to go back to, largely caused by outsourcing and domestic greed at the top level, there will be neither a way for these people to live or earn. This plan would be great if a "dynamic, free-enterprise-based economy" with fewer regulations was run by saintly CEOs and shareholders. Unfortunately, as anyone who reads the news or anything related to economics will point out, the people who are running these free enterprises are making decisions that benefit the top 1%, and only the top 1%.
"So we encourage the 99% to pull themselves up by their bootstraps by taking away their aid and telling them to get a job that doesn't exist because it is not in the interest of the shareholder to invest in more labor right now." (Huffington Post)
And so I posit this final thought; When did being born into the right family become the only way to achieve the American dream?
Our nation was at its peak when the playing field was more (albeit not completely) level in the mid to later 1900s. As it stands now, there are only ways for the rich to become richer and the poor to keep their heads above water. The rich have capital, which is the money that makes them more money, and the poor have social welfare programs, which allow them things Mitt Romney doesn't believe they deserve, like food, shelter and healthcare.
So how do we encourage growth in our nation? By reducing taxes for the wealthy, which has only, historically, encouraged more hoarding in tax shelters and a decrease in overall growth of the stock market?(Bloomberg) That is the opposite of what should be happening.
I suppose the easiest thing to do is be born into the right family, you are practically guaranteed to remain wealthy and the family connections don't hurt your run for political office. If you're born into the "wrong" family according to this line of thinking, note it is only defined by financial status, not the love and care your poor parents might give you, you are sh*t out of luck.
Unless you are a member of the 1%, you have nothing to gain and everything to lose if you vote the birther GOP's into office this crucial election year.
Claudia Ring- Independent leaning more and more left
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