Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

Meme Machine



I’m not generally a huge fan of memes because they tend to be very simplistic about very complex matters.  This one, though.  This one struck a chord.

I keep hearing the same refrain; individuals should be able to choose whether or not to help the poor and the disadvantaged and if the government would only stop taxing us we would.  I don’t think that reflects reality.  I think if the government would only stop taxing us so much we’d all have more money to line our own pockets.

There’s a reason why we’re taxed to help Veterans and the poor.  Because we’re too greedy and selfish to help them  ourselves.  If the government stopped taxing us for those things, we would still have Veterans and poor.  I don’t think they would be any better off and certainly stand to be a hell of a lot worse off.

We are a nation of excess even with our taxation.  What do you do with your money?  Where we spend our money says a lot about us.  When was the last time you sought out a place to give?  I mean on your own accord without being emotionally manipulated into and begrudging it?

This nation has homeless, impoverished, and disenfranchised Veterans because we don’t want to help them, not because we can’t.



17 thoughts on “Meme Machine

  1. SPOT ON! I have not one problem being taxed if it truly goes to help veterans and the ones really needing the support. Just to play devil’s advocate, I think where people start getting turned off from being taxed more is that we see and hear how people, who aren’t really in need, leach off the system. I don’t know what the reality is with this, as nothing the media says should be taken as truth, but I think that is where the disdain comes from.
    I am more of the socialist belief. You say that we are too selfish, and that is true! Look at how most European countries run. Many Europeans have little “fluff” by choice, and value their time with family and friends more than material objects. Taxes are high, but they go to the people, every person. Sure, there are homeless people, but I would bet not as many as America. I think, though, that people are beginning to take advantage of the system, though, so…I don’t know what the solution is. By nature, humans are very selfish…

    Liked by 3 people

    • There are definitely people that leach of the system, but this is where media bias often comes in, because right now in the U.S. we have 46.5 million people living below the poverty level. So let’s say 2% of those people were cheaters, that’s almost 1 million people who are leaching the system. In other words you could run 2547 stories a day, everyday for a year on those cheaters. Our minds are wired to think that is a lot of cheating, when in reality it’s only 2%. If we accept that for any system there is little chance that there isn’t going to be at least some way to work the system to their advantage and cheat. Now if we look at the “system” to which the top 1% of income earners in this country live. They also game the system as well. They lobby, the buy off politicians, and they have laws changed to help them keep more of their money. And there is a large proportion of these people gaming the system…only they aren’t considered cheaters. They are considered rich, wonderful and role models to be like. And they technically aren’t doing anything illegal because they can change the laws to make their cheating legal. The world is tilted in their favor. In the U.S. corruption is legal, but is very prevalent for high income earners. So I am less concerned about the cheaters of the welfare system than the cheaters in the upper 1%. Just my opinion anyway.

      Liked by 4 people

    • As Swarn Gill said, I think that the term taking advantage of the system is relative. I know very wealthy people who go out to lunch and collect the ticket, mention something about business in passing, and call it a business lunch to write it off on their taxes. My ex and I went halves on a fence between our house and a small apartment building next to us. The owner of the apartment asked us to give him the cash for our half and let him write a check for the whole thing out of his business account so he could write the entire amount off on his taxes. Cheating and our view of it is pretty relative.

      I’ve been behind many a person in the grocery store who paid with their EBT card while holding an iPhone in their hand. Are they gaming the system? Probably. But at what cost? They’ve likely had to bear some children, forgo a real education, and probably don’t own anything besides that phone. They probably rent their home and their car because the rules say they can’t have any assets. Are they taking advantage? Sure. But I damned sure wouldn’t trade places with them. It’s another form of slavery. They’ve given up on the American dream.

      There is generational(though that isn’t the majority of welfare recipients) poverty. Lack of education and parental involvement(I know you see it as an educator) almost guarantees it. It is sad that it’s the only way of life they’ve ever known and likely have no idea there’s so much more out there.


  2. I’ve argue with people before who simply say people should be able to spend “their” money anyway they want. The question I always have is, to what degree can any of our money be considered our own? We drive on roads to get to our jobs paid for by tax dollars. If we went to public school or public higher ed we were educated on tax dollars. We benefit from police, fire departments, mailmen, and host of other things that are paid for by tax dollars. We are in better health because of food inspection, water quality, clean air acts etc because of tax dollars. Society becomes a much harder place to live in once you take the contribution of all it’s citizens to taxation. Most of the people that complain about taxes are ones that don’t realize how impossible a large civilization would be without it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Well, yeah, we want our tax dollars to go for those things, and most people don’t mind that. The thing is, they have this misconception that “most” of their tax dollars are funding those “freeloaders”. People seem averse to the idea of being “forced” to help people they don’t deem worthy. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The guy in the meme certainly doesn’t appear to be someone that needs government assistance when it comes to food. Then again, maybe he’s one of those working the system. Hmmm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Notice his Tea Party shirt. He represents the fatcats who are saying, “Cut social program funding.” While at the same time saying, “Charity starts at home.” The contradiction is astounding and completely lost on them.


  4. You should re-do this post with some real life examples and references 🙂 There are quite a few tax havens in the world and none of them have eradicated poverty. I think this topic is worth exploring.
    What I see in the business side of both of my professions (fine arts & real-estate development) is a lot of people trying to get the biggest piece of the pie. I don’t say that as a criticism to any group because it’s animal nature to try to amass resources- but that’s precisely the point of taxation. To correct or at least to dampen the effects of the what doesn’t work well ‘naturally’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I might take your advice on that. And you’re right, eradicating poverty seems nigh impossible. If people receiving assistance don’t use it to get a better education to get a job it becomes systemic. Then there are the working poor. The ones who don’t even ask for assistance who don’t even earn a living wage because they don’t have basic skills or an education. I’m not sure exactly what the answer is. But I don’t think that if we cut out our social programs tomorrow those who receive that assistance would get help elsewhere. The common refrain here is: God helps those who help themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A topic and issue that cannot and should not be oversimplified, but at the same time not ignored by anyone that is a U.S. citizen — it is our civil duty to be involved on municipal, county, region, state, and federal levels. Period. If not, one is merely a boat without a rudder. However, just being active, e.g. voting, giving to charities, etc, isn’t the full civil duty either.

    One MUST learn to interact (respectfully, civily, collaboratively) with our neighbors and fellow citizens within our sphere of influence as if we are an integral part of the super-organism, NOT as an individual or purely family unit. Doing so absolutely requires superb internal knowledge and external expression within all levels of your super-organism… AND superb understanding of your super-organism. HAH! 😛

    Now, what individual obstacles stop us from that new paradigm, starting with ourselves then moving outward? Hmmm, sounds easy, huh? LOL

    Perhaps Matahatma Gandhi had the FIRST step correct…

    “As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.”

    A provocative post Ruth. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “One MUST learn to interact (respectfully, civily, collaboratively) with our neighbors and fellow citizens within our sphere of influence as if we are an integral part of the super-organism, NOT as an individual or purely family unit. Doing so absolutely requires superb internal knowledge and external expression within all levels of your super-organism… AND superb understanding of your super-organism. HAH!” 😛

      Well therein lies the problem, right? We tend to interact with those on our own social level. Those in the middle class disparage the upper and lower classes. The lower class resents the middle class and the upper class. And the upper echelon looks down their noses at both. We don’t have, nor do we want to have a superb understanding of the super-organism.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ruth, thought I would offer my additional empathy for your “offline-experience” in Georgia with my state-wide experience — in a suburb of Dallas just 10-mins away from my hometown — and in the school district I once taught.

    WARNING! The images and details of this article might cause serious nausea and vomiting over the depths of inhumanity humans (psychologically deluded humans?) are capable of reaching, let alone sending the WRONG global message, to say the least. 😦



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