The Plot Thickens
A lot of people sharing the story (below) about Michigan State Sen Bruce Casswell (Republican, of course,) making an ass out of himself. All the oh-my-god-did-he-really-just-say-thats aside we might want to look at this a little closer and recognize that his ideas fit into the continuum of popular conservative culture and its argument that big government is ruining good things like charity and rugged individualism.
Two plot elements: 1) The Church used to be the center of culture, where people went for help, and now they turn to the government instead of God; and 2) The poor used to look to their families and neighbors for help, working both alone and together to struggle and earn economic independence, therefore earning greater liberty and freedom overall, and now they turn to the government.
The moral of this story: government weakens us all, morally and mentally. Government corrupts. It’s typical and insipid libertarian horseshit. It’s capitalist market propaganda dressed up in Christian garments.
This is why the libertarian movement hangs out with social conservatives. See, Tea Party rallies. They are united in the fight against government regulating the market to protect access to and insure distribution of social goods. Remember, American libertarianism might like to dress-up as leftists, but by the end of the day they’re tucked in bed with Capitalists as they will always defend the many gaudy promises of the free market in service of corporate power and the wealthiest, most privileged citizens.
From The Michigan Messenger:
Under a new budget proposal from State Sen. Bruce Casswell, children in the state’s foster care system would be allowed to purchase clothing only in used clothing stores.
Casswell, a Republican representing Branch, Hillsdale, Lenawee and St. Joseph counties, made the proposal this week, reports Michigan Public Radio.
“I never had anything new,” Caswell says. “I got all the hand-me-downs. And my dad, he did a lot of shopping at the Salvation Army, and his comment was — and quite frankly it’s true — once you’re out of the store and you walk down the street, nobody knows where you bought your clothes.”
Under his plan, foster children would receive gift cards that could only be used at places like the Salvation Army, Goodwill and other second hand clothing stores.
The plan was knocked by the Michigan League for Human Services. Gilda Jacobs, executive director of the group, had this to say:
“Honestly, I was flabbergasted,” Jacobs says. “I really couldn’t believe this. Because I think, gosh, is this where we’ve gone in this state? I think that there’s the whole issue of dignity. You’re saying to somebody, you don’t deserve to go in and buy a new pair of gym shoes. You know, for a lot of foster kids, they already have so much stacked against them.”
Casswell says the plan will save the state money, though it isn’t clear how much the state spends on clothing for foster children or how much could be saved this way.