Saturday, December 24, 2011

What does Scrooge have to do with politics?

I have been reminded lately that not everyone is as fortunate as others and that many rich conservative politicians really don't care what happens to those struggling to survive. But it appears that the "I've got mine, so you get yours" attitude has been around for quite some time. Charles Dickens brought this point to light in dialog from his famous story "A Christmas Carol".

First Collector: At this festive time of year, Mr. Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute.
Ebenezer: Are there no prisons?
First Collector: Plenty of prisons.
Ebenezer: And the union workhouses - are they still in operation?
First Collector: They are. I wish I could say they were not.
Ebenezer: Oh, from what you said at first I was afraid that something had happened to stop them in their useful course. I'm very glad to hear it.
First Collector: I don't think you quite understand us, sir. A few of us are endeavoring to buy the poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth.
Ebenezer: Why?
First Collector: Because it is at Christmastime that want is most keenly felt, and abundance rejoices. Now what can I put you down for?
Ebenezer: Huh! Nothing!
Second Collector: You wish to be anonymous?
Ebenezer: I wish to be left alone. Since you ask me what I wish sir, that is my answer. I help to support the establishments I have named; those who are badly off must go there.
First Collector: Many can't go there.
Second Collector: And some would rather die.
Ebenezer: If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."

After reading the lines above, when I hear conservative politicians talk about cutting welfare, medicare, social security elderly assistance, and other help programs for the less fortunate, they begin to remind me a little of Ebenezer Scrooge.

1 comment:

  1. I was thinking just this afternoon that the average American is really being squeezed out by big business, the high cost of living, and lack of employment opportunities. I think we are most aware of at Christmastime and other holidays where the division between the halves and the havenots seems to be drawn so clearly.


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