The Conservatives have been making their case for what causes poverty. Naturally, in their view, it is caused by “laziness” as Paul Ryan said, it is caused by “Uncle Sugar” as Mike Huckabee said, it is caused by “culture of taking” as the entire Republican Party has said. There are a couple of other things that they don’t mention.
The second item is the undermining of unions. By passing what have been called “Right to Work” laws and going after public service workers unions in many states, the Conservatives have actually set up a practice of “Right to Work For Poverty Wages!” They have attacked unions as being the villains that cause plants to close down. Unfortunately, that doesn’t wash in the real world. Since they have passed their Poverty Wage bills, more plants have shut down than ever before.
Unions used to be the workers voice at the bargaining table. When unions were at their strongest, the middle class emerged with good paying jobs. Any chart or table from research you look at shows that the middle class pay stagnation is directly tied to the union busting that conservatives employed. With no “workers voice” anymore, companies were allowed to lower wages in the name of bigger profits. In the meantime, these same companies offered millions of dollars to the executives of their corporations in annual income and benefits. We need unions to help reclaim a fair portion of the big pie from these corporations. Without it poverty will continue to rise.
The ten poorest states in the country are almost entirely in the South. These are states that first brought up those Poverty Wage laws. Additionally, the most religious believers are almost entirely in the South. Both of these categories are led by states like Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana. Looking at this combination, it would be safe to draw the conclusion that Religion Is The Main Cause Poverty! Especially, conservative Christianity, which of course isn’t a religion at all. It is a cult and political movement designed to keep the poor, poor!
How can I make such a simplistic claim? Past surveys have shown that if you ask people, particularly in the south if they like Obamacare, most will tell you no. If you ask them if the prefer the Affordable Care Act, most will tell you yes. If you ask them if they want the minimum wage to be raised, most will tell you yes. Maybe that is because most of them who work in the south make minimum wage.
So, what is causing these same people to keep electing people to office who are obviously voting against the very things they want? Religion. Conservatives in the south don’t argue against any real economic issues. They know that would be suicide come election day. No, they argue the conservative religious issues. And yes, they are very racist, misogynist, homophobic, and anti-immigrant.
They tell their voters that poor people are lazy. Of course they are referring to poor people of color not white poor people. They tell voters that women are kind of smart, but they need to be guided by the government in reproductive rights because women are too stupid to think for themselves. They tell voters that if women get equal pay, men will lose their jobs. They tell voters that immigration is a direct threat to their jobs. They tell voters that voting for equal rights for gays is the equivalent of slapping god in the face.
They get help from the “pastors” of the conservative Christian churches. They preach from the pulpit the very same things as their politicians. They justify everything by saying “the bible tells us so”! The same argument that allowed segregation to exist for over one hundred years in the south.
This has turned into a full-fledged conspiracy of the conservative Christian cult! By threatening their congregations with eternal damnation if they vote for progressive ideas, which would actually help them out of poverty, they are able to collaborate with their political pals to keep power.
I am not against true religion. Everyone has a right to their religious beliefs. But, a blind “follow-the-leader” cult such as conservative Christianity is very dangerous not only to democracy, but especially to the members of the cult. America is full of religious cults. As a matter fact, our very democracy allows them to thrive. But no religious cult has come to any good. Conservative Christianity is just another cult bound to keep its flock in line with whatever means necessary.
This type of religion is the real cause of poverty. Until the cult members wake up, they will continue to vote against their own best interests. Which is what their cult leaders want.