John Nichols: These times are much too Dickensian

This is an excellent read…

These are Dickensian times, when charity is rationed by politicians who callously dismiss the poor as a burden and imagine the unemployed as a lazy lot who are best forced by hunger to grab at bootstraps and pull themselves upward.

Charles Dickens wrote in 1843.

But surely he would have recognized 2014, a year in which the Congress of the wealthiest nation in the world engaged in serious debates about cutting funds for food stamps.

Dickens captured the essence of our absurd times more than a century and a half ago with his imagining of a visit by two gentlemen, “liberals” we will call them, to a certain conservative businessman:

“Scrooge and Marley’s, I believe,” said one of the gentlemen, referring to his list. “Have I the pleasure of addressing Mr. Scrooge, or Mr. Marley?”

“Mr. Marley has been dead these seven years,” Scrooge replied. “He died seven years ago, this very night.”

“We have no doubt his liberality is well-represented by his surviving partner,” said the gentleman, presenting his credentials. It certainly was; for they had been two kindred spirits. At the ominous word “liberality,” Scrooge frowned, and shook his head, and handed the credentials back.


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4 thoughts on “John Nichols: These times are much too Dickensian

  1. Politicians, in their capacity as politicians (ie, aside from their personal giving) are not engaged in charity, rationed or otherwise. Charity is the giving of ones own time, money, or materials.

  2. Zach, Ed, Steve, Jay,

    Thanks for all your efforts to inform the perpetually un-informable few, and also those of us quite a bit less intractable. Our best from this location, to all of you and yours with love, peace, joy and resolve to carry on in the coming year.

      1. Same Best wishes to you Duane, I’m up before the rest around here today.

        Nice that we were straightened out on the definition of what $2B in tax breaks to the state’s wealthiest is called. As it is not charity, we can safely call it gubernatorial theft from the public coffers for political self-promotion.

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