Sunday, July 2, 2017

As the rich get butt implants, fat transfers, and porcelain veneers, low-income disabled Americans are scolded for getting new wheelchairs

Above: A WPA driver and a WPA nurse transport disabled children to their daily treatments in Ocean County, New Jersey, April 1936. Photo courtesy of the National Archives.

In America today, the rich are enjoying record wealth. And they're using that record wealth for a variety of "important" medical procedures, like butt implants, fat transfers, and porcelain veneers. Marc Mani, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, estimates that "$150,000 to $200,000 in a year [for anti-aging treatments] for a rich, powerful person in L.A. is not outside the realm of normal" ("Hollywood's New Thing: $199,000 A Year For 'Resting Rich Face'," Hollywood Reporter, June 29, 2016).

And we can be sure that many rich businessmen outside of L.A. are also getting their eyebrows lifted or perhaps paying for their trophy wives or mistresses to get "much needed" labiaplasties. And heck, even if you don't need a labiaplasty, perhaps you can purchase the lopped-off parts!, like one rich person did for $50,000 ("The Labiaplasty Boom: Why Are Women Desperate for the Perfect Vagina?," Alternet, February 13, 2015).

Meanwhile, as the rich are doing all these wonderful "job creating" things with their fortunes, millions of children are drinking lead-contaminated water and going without good dental care (no porcelain veneers for them). And a doctor on Fox News recently scolded low-income, disabled Americans: "Really poor people really need Medicaid. But do they need a wheelchair every two years? I don’t think so. I want to scale back the excess."

Yes, in our crazy, lunatic culture, butt implants and fat transfers are not excessive, but dental care for low-income children and wheelchairs for low-income disabled people are excessive. Hence the Republican efforts to (a) scale back Medicaid, to stop those extravagant wheelchair purchases!, and (b) give tax breaks to their super-wealthy donors, so those donors can enhance their asses.

Above: "Dental Clinic for Children, C.W.A. Activity, Omaha, Nebraska," a lithograph by Elizabeth Olds (1896-1991), created while she was in the New Deal's Public Works of Art Project, 1934. During the New Deal, all across America, millions of children and adults received quality medical care that had been unavailable to them before. Image courtesy of the General Services Administration and the Nebraska State Historical Society.

Not only are the poor scolded for wanting wheelchairs, but also for using food stamps. How dare they want to eat! Yes, as super-wealthy Americans increasingly use their "job-creating" fortunes to shoot up on heroin, millionaires in Congress are determined to make low-income Americans cut back on their food and nutrition.

The craziest thing about all of the above is that tens of millions of Americans, even millions of Americans who benefit from government programs, AGREE with Republican politicians & billionaires that the social safety net should be cut back, in order to give more tax breaks to the rich who, again, are already richer than ever. Think about that very carefully: Millions of middle and lower-income Americans put the super-wealthy into high political office (either through their voting or apathy), and then those millionaires cut back on the social safety net in order to give tax breaks to themselves and their millionaire friends - and then they use that extra after-tax money to purchase illegal drugs, get butt implants, buy private islands, and bathe in golden bathtubs. And then, to add insult to injury, the children of these millionaires & billionaires sneer at those very same middle and low-income voters - gloating on Rich Kids of Instagram, "They have more money than you and this is what they do."

Above: A child receives dental care in New Orleans, 1936, as part of WPA healthcare project. Photo courtesy of the National Archives.

Year after year, we have to listen to the same old "we can't afford it" Koch-funded bullshit. While the rich keep getting richer, and as more and more money is pumped into the military-industrial complex to support hundreds of military bases & adventures across the globe, boneheads from coast to coast wring their hands, wipe away their tears, and cry out to the heavens, "We can't afford Social Security! Medicare is going to bankrupt us! Holy Job Creators, save us!"

The truth is, middle and low-income Americans are being pounded into the ground with stagnant wages, shrinking benefits, crushing debt, financial industry fraud, and their own misinformed voting and apathy. And because of all that, and more, the rich are laughing all the way to the butt implant clinic.

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