Drunk Uncle Survival Kit…
Posted December 13, 2013on:
Good afternoon Widdershin friends. As Chat shared the Florida Festivus Pole with us yesterday, I thought I would follow it up with a “Drunk Uncle Survival Kit.”
If your family get-togethers are anything like mine used to be, there were those family members who entered the door at Defcon 1 and had the launch codes on speed dial. As we say up here in the hills, “They were just a’spoilin’ for a fight.” It mattered little that their logic had more convoluted twists than a crack addicted Slinky. They were chocked full of anecdotal Fox-fun-facts and more than ready and eager to share them with the hell-bound librul Prolix.
It will come as little surprise to many of you, but I’m not always the most polite and patient human. While I have never turned over a table, I have been known to ask particularly uninformed holiday guests some pretty pointed questions. There was the time when I asked my sister-in-law if the passing of the turkey was painful since it represented such a close ideology to her own. And if all else fails, I always break out the handy comparison of the most outrageous Tea Party pronouncements to the shakiness of the jelloesque canned cranberry sauce.
Time though has done its work. I’ve mellowed somewhat, but not to the point where I will allow outrageous incorrectness to wallow about unchallenged. I like to think I have an obligation to teach, but truth be told, if I don’t have the carcasses of the ill-informed and unenlightened littering the floor at the end of the day — well, it just isn’t Christmas.
So, here is a survival kit to use as your drunk relative is slurring eloquent — hit him/her with one of these three fun facts. For simplicity, the bold statements are the probable statements from your imbibing kinfolk.
(Burp) The war on poverty failed and we should cut every last entitlement program.
Not true my beloved bloviating brother. In fact, from the beginning of the War on Poverty until now poverty has been reduced from 26% of the population to 16% today. Remarkably, it has reduced the elderly living in poverty from 47% to 15% and has reduced child poverty from 29% to 18%. Still too high and still vulnerable to changes in policy, but the War on Poverty has been successful. You can see all the graphs here.
(Burp, is there another bottle handy?) All this stuff about income inequality is just the way things have always been. The middle class is doing just fine.
Yes, there is another bottle — a bottle of “in your face truth.” Due to thirty years of trickle-down-on-you economics, the median income is just the same now as it was in 1989. You remember 1989 don’t you drunk uncle? That was the year you wore your Ronald Reagan Halloween mask for half the year as performance art.
In 1989, the median income was about $600 higher than it is now. According to Census Bureau data, in the last forty-five years, the high point for the median income was during the last year of the Clinton administration where the median income was $56,080, but due to the Great Recession among other things, those gains have dwindled away. You can read about it here.
While the drunk uncle is sleeping, here’s the last tool in your survival kit for the holidays. This one is a sure-fire utility response to a myriad of inane nonsensical proclamations by raving fringers. Use it quite liberally (pun intended).
Isn’t it amazing that Conservatives believe to motivate poor people we must cut social programs, but to motivate the rich, we have to increase their tax breaks? In other words, to motivate the poor we have to take money away and to motivate the rich, we have to give them more.
This is an open thread.
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