Feedback | Joe Manchin should stop talking about ‘entitlements’

Like our national political discourse, this is not a new concept. In “Free Enterprise: An American History”, historian Lawrence B. Glickman shows how proponents of “free enterprise” and license-fire capitalism used the language of entitlement and reliance to denounce the economic guarantees of the new agreement.

Ohio Senator Robert Taft declared in a 1936 speech at the Women’s National Republican Club, “For the first time in my life, we have a president who is willing to confuse the public on the fundamental question of money.” The attacks are based on the American democratic system, which allows people to believe that their problems can be solved and makes their lives easier by stealing money from others or manipulating currency, who are willing to encourage them to believe. Whether they work or not, the government is their livelihood. ”

Or, as Storm Thermond put it in 1949, when he was governor of South Carolina, “for a strong and barbaric nation there can be nothing more non-American and destructive than to expect its citizens to be protected from the cradle by the government.” Encouragement. Graves. “

This “taking the country between productive producers and unproductive ones,” Glickman notes, forms the basis of the American belief in “productivity”, the idea that those who make and grow things deserve the pride of the Republic. In the nineteenth century, this productive ideology revolted against labor and the centralized power of agriculturists in finance and industry.

Mr. Carlisle said in 1878 that it is the passive holders of passive capital and the struggling people who produce wealth and pay the taxes of the country and my friends, this is a question on which side we will decide the Democratic Party will fight. Beside the lazy holders of lazy capital or next to the struggling masses? The team has to answer that question.

For the conservative opponents of Franklin D. Roosevelt and New Deal, however, the producers and receivers were the opposite. “Instead of a craftsman, the manufacturer was now described as an organization,” Glickman wrote. “The recipient was no longer a dishonest employer or slave who unjustly took the fruits of labor from the workers but the government, which has now done the same through its confiscated taxes and extra money system.”

This right-wing producer, I think, is the most relevant precedent for Manchin’s “rights” fear of society. However, to be fair to him, there was one issue – in the very recent past – when his views were dominant ideological positions within the Democratic Party, both a consequence and a driving force behind the neo-liberal transformation of the United States.

Ronald Reagan was certainly an important part of this development. He brought right-wing productivity into the mainstream, captivating voters with a common story of unexpected acceptance and welfare deception, social parasites who are “hardworking people” who “bear high taxes” when he did it in his 1976 campaign for president.

Irrationally bound by race classification – whites must be a worthy taxpayer, and non-whites, and especially blacks, must be dependent – this productivity was the “common sense” behind the austerity and control of the 1980s and 1990s, from Reagan’s tax cuts to Bill Clinton’s. “Welfare Reform”. Americans will get a “hand up” – a tax cut or a tax subsidy – and not a “handout” in the form of direct benefits.

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