Only the Lives of the Rich Matter; The Lives of the Poor Are Worthless

At least, that what this asshat Neil Boortz believes.  On his radio talk show, Boortz was discussing news that New York’s wealthy and elite may have been informed of a possible terror attack on the subway system days before the average citizen.  His verdict:  “This is as it should be”.  So, if the government knows there is a very good possibility that people will get blown to smitherines in a subway, instead of sending out a general alert, they should first tell all the rich people (even though they probably don’t take the subway), and then wait a few days to tell everyone else.  After all, if they’re not rich, who cares if they die?  Don’t get me wrong:  I’m not against the wealthy—I plan on being quite wealthy myself in the near future—nor am I taking one thing some guy said and blowing it out of proportion.  This isn’t because of his political affiliation either (Libertarian), as I once used to align with the Libertarian party and still have strong Libertarian leanings.  Below is the actual quote of what Boortz said, with a link to the complete audio segment, so you can hear his comments in context. 

Now, the Daily News in New York has a headline: “Rich got terror tip.” Rich got terror tip. OK, let’s get logical about this, folks. Let’s play logic with this. This is as it should be. OK? If we
are faced with disaster in this country—let me ask you this, OK? You just be logical. Get all of the emotion out of this. Get all of the emotion out of this. But if we are faced with a disaster in this country, which group do we want to save? The rich or the poor? Now, if you have time, save as many people as you can. But if you have to set some priorities, where do you go? The rich or the poor? OK? Who is a
drag on society? The rich or the poor? Who provide the jobs out there? The rich or the poor? Who fuels—you know, which group fuels our economy? Drives industry? The rich or the poor? Now if you—all of a sudden, somebody walks up to you and says, “Hey, Boortz listener. You’re gonna have a—you have to make a choice. You’re going to—we’re gonna move you to another country. And you’re just gonna have to make your way in this other country. We have a choice of two countries for you. In this country, people achieve a lot and they are wealthy because of their hard work. In this country, people don’t achieve squat. They sit around all the time waiting for somebody else to take care of them. They have children they can’t afford. They’re uneducated. They can barely read. And the high point of their day is Entertainment Tonighton TV. Which country do you want to live in? The country of the high achievers, or the country of sheep, the country of followers?” You know what you’re gonna do. I don’t see what the big problem is. I just don’t. I mean, if you—who do I want to save first? The rich. Save the poor first. Then, when every thing’s over, where are you gonna go for a job? OK, hey, if I get a tin cup, can I sit next to you and sell pencils too?

I’m serious about that, folks. You see, that’s the kind of thing that’s going to end up in news stories: “Neal Boortz said that in times of disaster we should save the rich people first.” Well, hell, yes, we should save the rich people first. You know, they’re the ones that are responsible for this prosperity. I mean, you go out there and you look at this vast sea of evacuees, OK? You want to get an economy going in some city? Well, who you gonna take back? The people who own businesses? Or the people that sit around waiting to get their minimum wage job, work ‘til Friday, get a paycheck and then not show up again until the following Wednesday? Come on. Just put a little logical thought into this, folks.

Can you say, “arsehole”?  Actually, in all fairness, I can see where he is coming from, although I don’t agree with the conclusion he reaches or how he got there.  In cold hard logical terms, if there was an impending disaster that wiped out a shit load of the country, we would need more engineers and doctors than fast food workers.  However, how can you go from saying that to accusing everyone who is “poor” (just how the hell does he define poor anyways?  Less than 30k/year, Less than 100k?  All those plebeians who haven’t reached a million?) as lazy flakers whose lives are meaningless, or even saying that everyone who works hard is bound to be rich?  There are a good number of college graduates who got degrees in computer science during the tech boom, only to find themselves unemployed a few years later.  In fact, I personally know a few of these folks, and let me tell you, they are innovative, intelligent, hardworking people.  One guy who I am good friends with used to be a system administrator, but the company he worked for started outsourcing a lot of the jobs, and now he works a low-paying sale/marketing job.  I suppose it was his fault the company outsourced and the Bay Area had more techies than they do jobs for them.  That’s what he gets for being so lazy as to get a college degree and lose a 70k/year job due to politics and economics.  [/sarcasm]  Another point of contention is his implication that “poor” people are useless to society.  A community of nothing but lawyers, doctors, and engineers might sound good, but who takes care of the trash and sanitation problems?  Road construction?  Telephone line repairs?  Most of the jobs that pay very high salaries are specialist jobs, and anyone who stops to think about it realizes that you only need so many specialists in a society.  Having a 100 MDs in a neighborhood means squat if you don’t have any sanitation workers or electricians to maintain healthy living conditions and keep the power on.  I wonder what Boortz thinks of some of the great shakers of movers of history, who—while having contributed much to society—died in poverty.  You know, guys like Nikola Tesla, the brilliant scientist/inventor who invented the AC current.  Or Thomas Paine, one of the Founders of the U.S.A, whose writings helped ignite the American Revolution.  I don’t think you’ll find anyone who doesn’t agree that these men were invaluable to society, but they were either poor, or died in poverty, so I guess they don’t matter.  Ironically, a right-winger like Boortz probably idealizes Pain. 

One question that comes to mind is whether Boortz actually believes that he is one of the elite who should get special treatment.  I’ve found a disturbing trend among radio hosts, both left- and right-wing (but more in the right):  they’re a bunch of hypocrites.  I’m sure that if a situation arose where the wealthy received special treatment, and Boortz was not considered elite enough to warrant such treatment, he’d be screaming about how the government does not respect the average working American.  Yup, he’d blow a gasket complaining about how the rich are screwing over the regular man, and the government turns a blind eye to it all, blah blah blah, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.  Just think “Rush Limbaugh” and “drugs”.

13 thoughts on “Only the Lives of the Rich Matter; The Lives of the Poor Are Worthless

  1. That’s a sad commentary, but it does reflect the mood of society.  Some of the attitude is not new; my mother’s favorite quote of her mother is in regards to how nobody wants to be around the poor and how they are of no use to anyone.

    I often vote in polls and recently voted in one regarding what businesses should contribute to in order to please consumers and get their business.  Some options were the environment, education and housing/homelessness.  The highest percentage of votes went to education.  Housing and homelessness had one of the lowest percentages of interest.

    Someone pointed out to me recently that when people are well off themselves, they are unconcerned about the welfare of others.  They forget, or may have never known need.

    I don’t like the animosity I see toward both the rich and the poor, and like you, I intend to join the rich.

    The value of education is both under and overestimated.  Literacy and basic education are critical, but many people are educated beyond their intelligence and because of societal pressure plenty of people go to college who do not belong there.  For some, higher education is useless in that they don’t have the inherent ability to obtain what they are lacking – however, due to promotion of the education industry and societal pressure, they can get quite well-funded for attending.  Others are very capable of gaining employment/a successful career without getting their papers.  Obviously some careers do require higher education, and those who aspire to them are the ones who belong in college.

  2. My, what an asshole Mr. Boortz is.

    Thank you for providing the broad context of the quote.  So often, in contexts, these things turn out a lot more reasonable than the “money quote” indicates.

    In this case?  Nope.  Sounds just as much an asshole, if not more, when quoted in context.

  3. Also, the basic premise which is the subject of Mr. Boortz’ boorish palaver about is flawed: The “tip” wasn’t an official tip, and in fact was made in apparent violation of official policy regarding disclosure of intelligence-related information.

    This didn’t arise from a policy of “save the rich first”, but rather from the human tendency when one comes into hot news to want to blather it all about town, starting with who you know first.

  4. The first question that comes to my mind … just how would “they” go about tipping off ONLY the rich, and not the poor? Is there some special radio station that only the rich can tune in? Perhaps it is posted in the Wall Street Journal? (with the hope that no poor people ever read the WSJ … Ooops! I read it, and I am poor!)

    This smells of urban legend … or perhaps “urbane” legend?

  5. I think when the Communist Workers’ Revolution starts they should make sure Mr. Boortz is one of the first trampled.

  6. Brendon’s correct.  The story makes it clear that it wasn’t a tip that went out on the Rich Folk Hot Line, but one of those “I know someone who works for DHS and they say to avoid the subways on date X” e-mails. 

    The ironic thing is that most folks of any intelligence would ignore a note such like that, assuming it was an Internet rumor/hoax.

    So the question shouldn’t be, “Why are we tipping off the rich?” but, “Why are we trying to kill off the intelligent and Net-savvy?”  Which sounds like a much meatier conspiracy to me …

  7. Iolite you quoted LissaKay not me.  Do you agree though that the Communists should trample Mr. Boortz?

  8. Iolite you quoted LissaKay not me.  Do you agree though that the Communists should trample Mr. Boortz?

    Sorry about that, Theo.  As for your comment…well…I realize our capitalistic society can be better, and certainly we could probably do without the Mr. Boortzes of the world.  That being said, I don’t think communism is a viable economic/political/social system.  It just doesn’t work. Technically, no country has ever achieved true communism, but only forms of socialism.

  9. That being said, I don’t think communism is a viable economic/political/social system.  It just doesn’t work. Technically, no country has ever achieved true communism, but only forms of socialism.

    And THAT being said, they should trample him anyway.

    Besides, I’ve met some attractive female engineers (they do exist) that would be more beneficial to society than Paris Hilton.

  10. Besides, I’ve met some attractive female engineers (they do exist) that would be more beneficial to society than Paris Hilton.

    Ragman, almost anyone is more beneficial to society than Paris Hilton and her ilk.

  11. There are two main things that I believe affect your ability to do what you want in politics – holding a certain number of seats, deteminded by votes, and how much money is available. The rich tend to spend a lot so the money comes back to the government in taxes, the poor contribute less per person or may even have a cost in benefits and state healthcare, whether or not they survive has less effect per person on tax income and only affects the votes if government neglegence is discovered.

    As long as a goverment stays in power and they themselves survive, as far as it’s concerned life of regular people has no reason to be important, and all the blame can be put on the terrorists or nature, even more easily by a religous state. Think of all the wars that happen for financial reasons because the attacker knows they can get more money without losing office.

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