Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Real Culture of Dependency

The Real Culture of Dependency

At the Democratic Convention last week, Vice President Joe Biden responded to remarks at the previous week's Republican Convention that concerned "the culture of dependency."

He took the high road, eloquently defending social programs that help children and families. But he might have done something else. He might have gone on the attack by identifying the real culture of dependency, one that the Republican party and the Romney-Ryan candidacy have no intention of destroying. On the contrary, their plan is to make that culture grow like mold on week-old leftovers.

The dependency I am referring to is that of wealthy persons - both corporate and human - on tax cuts, tax breaks, tax incentives and tax loopholes.

Not all wealthy people try to avoid paying their fair share. But some prefer to pay lobbyists, lawyers and accountants to minimize their taxes rather than just paying their taxes.

Less wealthy persons, both corporate and human, do not have that option. But they may hope someday to be wealthy enough to have it, and therefore they may vote -- oops! corporate persons can't vote! so I guess I mean only human persons, the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United notwithstanding -- for candidates who promise to perpetuate the culture of dependency.

We have, due to this culture, become a country where you don't have to have the slightest embarrassment about being, acting, or declaring yourself greedy. In fact, you can be proud of it. You earned it without any help, right, so it's entirely yours? That's why I call the people who support the culture of dependency "Greedpublicans."

Americans used to be deservedly proud of their generous hearts. Mean-spiritedness was a vice. Being willing to share was a virtue. Helping the less fortunate was a sign of strength. Not any more. This culture of dependency is harming our society and our standing in the world.

The quote: "But I must tell you--one thing that perplexed me the most at their convention was this idea of a culture of dependency. They seem to think you create a culture of dependency when you provide a bright, qualified child from a working family a loan to get to college, or when you provide job training in a new industry, for a dad who lost his job, because it was outsourced." Link to text of Mr. Biden's speech.

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