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Professional media person: Poor people have money but they just waste it on ‘benders’
Keep Smiling Photography / Shutterstock.com (Licensed)
An insulting argument about taxes gets the ratio treatment.
So it’s no surprise that its founding editor is taking up the latest cause célèbre of conservatism: being against an increased marginal tax rate on people who make over $10 million.
It’s an idea pushed by the emerging Democratic left. But it’s a bad idea says Claire Lehmann, who thinks the problem with poverty has nothing to do with people having a lack of money. As she argued late Wednesday on Twitter, poor people will blow their money on drugs and get arrested, so rich people should get to keep their obscene amount of wealth.
Find it hard to believe that most Americans would support a 70% top marginal tax rate considering they're a nation founded on saying 'stuff you' to the tax man. But happy to be proven otherwise if there's compelling data https://t.co/v5oAw2xETC— Claire Lehmann (@clairlemon) February 21, 2019
I would say that most of the time, inequality and poverty in advanced economies cannot be solved via the simple redistribution of wealth. If you've ever worked, lived or spent actual time with people trapped in the underclass, the problem is not *lack of money*.— Claire Lehmann (@clairlemon) February 21, 2019
Although the polls she’s quote tweeting say 45 percent of Americans support a 70 percent tax versus just 32 percent who oppose it, which would be a plurality of Americans, her insulting argument is that money is not a solution to “lack of money.”
“If you’ve ever worked, lived or spent actual time with people trapped in the underclass, the problem is not *lack of money*,” Lehmann says, going on to explain how poor people have money, they just spend it frivolously on “a 3 day bender.”
I've known people who have held down jobs and who are generally fine until the fortnightly paycheck comes, then it's a 3 day bender until they end up passed out somewhere or arrested. The cycle continues. This is not a problem caused by a lack of money.— Claire Lehmann (@clairlemon) February 21, 2019
It’s not just an insulting take. It’s an idiotic one as well.
Not only do a great majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, but studies also show 40 percent of Americans couldn’t handle an emergency payment of just $400 if the need arose. Not having money is a huge problem.
And money raised by implementing a high marginal tax rate wouldn’t just be handing money to poor people to buy drugs. It would be used to expand a social safety net so that a family living near the poverty line wouldn’t be crippled because a child got sick.
Naturally, that absurd lack of both empathy and understanding didn’t go over well.
it literally and empirically is a lack of money— Doug Brinbury (@dirgeoverdrive) February 21, 2019
jesus christ— this is a tweet liker account now (@tai_nugget) February 21, 2019
When people make weird claims like this don’t take it at face value. This person is an editor of an online magazine. There is not a large conglomerate of people getting arrested biweekly and Claire either is actively lying or doesn’t know actual normal paycheck to paycheck people https://t.co/SUjBy9UYND— Sharia LawBeouf (@hypeauthor) February 21, 2019
oh damn this made up anecdotal evidence has convinced me that the poor deserve to be poor thank you so much— Antifa Enlightened Birdmen Supersoldier Division (@thejman222) February 21, 2019
okay but the people who fund you go on multiday benders all the time but somehow rich people doing ayahuasca in the amazon is “self-exploration” while poor people taking opioids because their support networks have collapsed is a pathology https://t.co/7NnANMe1VK— infamous homophil(e)ologist (@thauma_idesthai) February 21, 2019
Rich people go on benders and don’t end up destitute. It’s almost as if...having wealth is the important thing here.— Owl (@UmmAlDunya) February 21, 2019
Love too spend mine entire fortnightly-bequeathed fortune indulging in the devil’s brew. Alas! https://t.co/ao6qyBUZK7— Carrie Alyson (@carrie_alyson) February 21, 2019
Amazingly, Lahmann—who fashions herself a leader in the intellectual dark web, the movement of conservative brainiacs being driven undergrown by the “intolerant” left—didn’t even know the history of American tax rates.
American top marginal tax rates were 70 per cent or higher for almost half of the twentieth century, peaking at 94 per cent.— Richard Cooke (@rgcooke) February 21, 2019
She tried to walk it back a bit, saying not all poor people were not going on benders with their money, but her argument remains that rich people deserve their spoils, and poor people deserve their pain, regardless of how the system is set up to ensure people stay locked in their class structure for generations.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]