No one likes being poor. If we could all be billionaires, we would be. However, as anyone not living under a rock knows, poverty is a cycle. People who live in true poverty often wonder if their kids will have dinner night to night (and often they don’t). These people scramble every single day just to keep roofs over their heads, food on the table, and clothes on their backs. This isn’t their fault. If they could get out this brutal and depressing cycle, they would. Anyone who is paying attention should know that.
Well, there is one man who seems to either not know that, refuse to acknowledge it, or simply not care. Likely it’s all of the above and then some. Meet Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, Inc. If you are unfamiliar with the name, it is the corporate giant responsible for fast food chains like Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. In a despicable op-ed, Puzder actually blamed impoverished people for their own plight.
You see, like many conservatives, especially rich ones, Mr. Puzder hates poor people. He claims that they choose to remain poor “for fear of losing public assistance.” Oh yeah? Have you ever tried feeding, clothing, and housing yourself and your children on what the government gives for welfare and food stamps?
Of course, as a rich right-winger, this man isn’t done yet. He claims that the social safety net needs to go, because “these programs have the unintended consequence of discouraging work rather than encouraging independence, self-reliance and pride.”
No, Mr. Puzder, these programs save lives. No one wants to be on them, but they do it because they have to. Many people on public assistance work full time for greedy corporate hacks like you who refuse to pay them a living wage for hard, honest work. They rely on the government because they have no choice.
Of course, a greedy rich white guy like Andy Puzder is so far removed from the truth of what poverty is that he cannot begin to understand the desperation with which so many of his roughly 20,000 employees live. And he obviously doesn’t care to, as he recently went on Fox News to re-enforce his contempt for poor people, and to repeat the GOP talking points about just pulling yourself up out of poverty and working harder:
In 2013, Media Matters found that most people who work for fast food corporations like Puzder’s make less than nine dollars per hour. Nobody can live on that, especially if they are supporting a family. Maybe if you’d stop being so greedy and actually concerned yourself with learning the real causes of poverty, you’d get up off your high horse, stop hating on the poor, and actually do something to help them. You can start with paying the employees who break their backs day in and day out to line your pockets with more money a wage they can actually live on.
Featured image via video screen capture from The Nation