Toxic Meme Reference Guide #3
Drumpf has given rise to another version of our Toxic Meme Reference Guide. We’ll keep the financial memes below, as sadly they are still being used, but also include memes that normalize the white supremacy and oligarchical ambitions of der Trumperer. If anyone has more to add, let us know in comments. Enjoy!
Toxic meme #1: Right-wing populism
Meme-pushers: Media outlets all over the world, even good ones
Antidote: “Oh, you mean white supremacy? Clearly a white male billionaire is not a representative of any type of populism.” (A condescending smile here could help, depending on your audience.)
Toxic meme #2: Shared Sacrifice – we must all sacrifice in this difficult economic time. (Includes: The United States is Broke!)
Antidote: “You first!” Why should the bottom 98% give anything up at all? We didn’t cause the problems; the top 2% did. Let them pay their fair share for the next 10 years to make up for all that greed and fraud during the past 10 years. After that, we’ll see about sharing some of that sacrifice.
Toxic meme #3: To reduce the deficit, we must cut spending on “entitlements” like Social Security.
Meme-pushers: The Catfood Commission; the VRWC
Antidote: Social Security doesn’t add one penny to the deficit, so cutting it would only punish the elderly and disabled. Is that what you want?
Toxic meme #4: The best way to create jobs is to encourage the wealthy to create them, via tax cuts.
Antidote: We’ve been doing that for ten years, and as a result, we have lost 11.5 million payroll jobs to outsourcing and fraud by the top 2%. I think we’ve proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that tax cuts for the wealthy do not create jobs.
Toxic meme #5: Business is much more efficient than government. We should privatize the public sector to increase efficiency and eliminate fraud and waste.
Meme-pushers: Libertarians of all stripes, The American Enterprise Institute
Antidote: Although the government is, in fact, much more efficient than the private sector (compare the administrative costs of Medicare and the health insurance industry, for example), efficiency is NOT the goal for public education, public libraries, public health care and public poverty insurance. We have created these entities to encourage social mobility and equality of opportunity. There is no business which can do this better than the government, and should we be foolish enough to try it, we would find our society would collapse rather quickly.
Toxic meme #6: The poor are poor because they’re lazy. They are not worthy of public moneys. Rich people are rich because they work hard and are “savvy businessmen.”
Antidote: Rich people are rich mostly because they have stolen from poor people. See: Madoff, Bernie, the mortgage lending industry, the financial services industry. How this makes them hard-working instead of thieves and criminals, is beyond me. Most people who truly work hard all their lives and play by the rules, end up in the bottom 98%.
Memes Contributed by Widdershins:
Toxic Meme #7 (Beata): “Public school teaching is a part-time job, so teachers do not deserve the benefits they get.”
Meme-pushers: The VRWC
Antidote: If public teaching is so great and easy, why isn’t everyone graduating college and becoming a public school teacher, instead of going into law, medicine or finance? When do you ever go to a party on a public school teacher’s private yacht?
Toxic Meme #8 (Chatblu): Social Security is in crisis. Thus, old people are greedy and selfish to want to keep their benefits at the same level, instead of sacrificing for the benefit of the generations after them.
Meme-pusher: Alan Simpson, Co-Chair of the Catfood Commission (also coiner of the phrase “Snoopy Snoopy Poop Dogg”)
Antidote: Social Security is not in crisis. It is fully funded for decades to come. Furthermore, why should older people bear the brunt of future funding issues with Social Security? They have paid their share all through their working lives. All we have to do to keep Social Security solvent for the foreseeable future is to raise the cap on payroll tax contributions. Let the wealthy contribute up to the first $250,000. They can afford it. Grandma can’t.
Toxic Meme #9 (MB): The U.S. Budget is like a household budget. If you lose income, you have to cut your spending. So does the U.S. government.
Meme-pushers: Barack Obama
Antidote: Oh, I didn’t realize my household had the ability to sell bonds, raise taxes and print money when it runs low on revenues – as well as operate on a deficit without declaring bankruptcy! How about that. I guess I don’t need a job after all!
Toxic Meme #10 (Janicen): Unemployment benefits should be reduced to prevent people from sitting around and not looking for work.
Meme pusher: The Wall Street Journal
Antidote: The overwhelming evidence proves that unemployment benefits help keep people afloat until they find other jobs. There will always be a few people who will take advantage of any system, but that does not excuse punishing the vast number of people who need unemployment insurance to stay in their homes and put food on the table.
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