Mitt Romney Scores another Own Goal – But was it deliberate?

No doubt Mitt’s opponents in the Republican Presidential race will be hooting with joy at Mitt’s latest dropped clanger. So he doesn’t care about the poor? His clumsy retrieval attempt that the poor didn’t need extra care because they are already getting enough from the safety net will placate his friends, but as one sitting on the shakey Isles of New Zealand where there is a similiar gap between rich and poor, it is hardly a surprise. When he and Newt have been competing with one another with tax relief packages for the rich business owners, the question as to where the cuts will come for the care packages for the poor in the US is a no brainer. Yet there is a more serious question which appears to have escaped the commentators. Most of the poor live outside the US, and to hear that Mitt doesnt care about the poor suggests that overseas aid would come an even more distant second – if that is possible! He certainly has not emphasised helping the third world in his campaign.
When I was at University as an undergraduate many years ago I remember reading A Nation of Sheep and that other classic, the Ugly American. I have not detected a more Christian slant to overseas aid in the intervening period.
But here is a thought. What if Mitt Romney was scoring a deliberate own goal?
Since each year that passes widens the gap between the rich and the poor – and since very approximately the rich support the Republican party, it may have been nothing more than a signal to the known constituency.
What is a little more of a puzzle is how Christian ethics can be reconciled with disregard for the poor. Mitt Romney has made a great deal of his expression of family values and Christian ideals. I cant imagine the Salvation Army identifying with his latest revelation.

Am I missing something. Comments please.

This entry was posted in Ethics of Aid, Poverty and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Mitt Romney Scores another Own Goal – But was it deliberate?

  1. Ron Gambolati says:

    Is the gap between the rich and poor as great in NZ as in the US? The US currently has about 19% of the population living below the poverty level. The US currently has about 2% of the population accounting for around 25% (I believe) of the wealth. The US is trying hard to become a third-world country.

  2. peddiebill says:

    That is a fair comment – however we are rapidly catching up. According to an OECD report last year this gap between New Zealand’s rich and poor has widened more than in any other developed country during the past 20 years, and according to some figures from the Divided We Stand think-tank, the income of the richest 10 per cent of Kiwis is now more than 10 times that of the poorest 10 per cent.
    This is up from a ratio of about six to one in the 1980s and higher than the average income gap in developed nations of nine to one.
    The OECD says the main driver behind rising income gaps has been greater inequality in wages and salaries, as the highly-skilled have benefited more from technological progress than the low-skilled.
    The report no doubt annoyed the National Government,the equivalent of your Republicans, when it warned about the rise of the high earners in rich societies and the falling share of income going to those at the bottom, saying governments must move quickly to tackle inequality.
    According to Secretary General of the OECD, Angel Gurraacia: “This study dispels the assumptions that the benefits of economic growth will automatically trickle down to the disadvantaged and that greater inequality fosters greater social mobility,” The rise in part-time and low-paid work also extended the wage gap, the report said.
    The main reason for the widening gap was that benefit levels fell in nearly all OECD countries, eligibility rules were tightened to contain spending on social protection, and transfers to the poorest failed to keep pace with earnings growth.
    As a result, the benefit system in most countries had become less effective in reducing inequalities over the past 15 years.
    Another factor had been a cut in top tax rates for high-earners.
    But here is a thought – if Mitt Romney reckons the very poor are fine because of the safety net, there is a simple answer. Let Middle America get poorer then they will be fine too. Can I sell that to the GOP? (I believe your term was: Gullible Old People)

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