Ben Shapiro is well-known for being “in touch” with various American political and social circles in high society. However, a recent statement made on his show suggests that he may be out of touch with the common man who struggles to live in an increasingly difficult economy. This comes by way of a recent statement where he said that people who work two jobs have a problem, and suggesting it is their fault for being poor:
Right-wing troll Ben Shapiro has some helpful advice for anyone who’s working two jobs and still struggling to make ends meet.
Well, it’s less advice, and more a deeply immoral critique: How dumb are you for taking a low-paying job that requires you to get a second job in the first place!!“If you had to work more than one job to have a roof over your head or food on the table, you probably shouldn’t have taken the job that’s not paying you enough. That’d be a you problem,” Shapiro said on Wednesday’s episode of his podcast.
“If you had to work more than one job to have a roof over your head or food on the table, you probably shouldn’t have taken the job that’s not paying you enough. That’d be a you problem,” Shapiro said on Wednesday’s episode of his podcast.
Shapiro went to cite a recent U.S. Census Bureau figure that 8.3 percent of workers had more than one job in 2013, insisting that that’s not many people at all. The report itself is titled “About 13M U.S. Workers Have More Than One Job,” but Shapiro did a great job of skirting that figure in his own monologue.
Shapiro, whose career as a celebrated young conservative thinker was founded on rich conservatives heaping money on him, has some real gall to lecture poor Americans about how they should just, like, not be poor anymore. But from him, who would expect anything else? (source, source)
Now in fairness, there are many, many causes of poverty. There are too many causes to legitimately outline in their due justice. Some are related to personal decisions. Some are due to extraordinary circumstances. Often times, from my experience, it is a combination of the two above that work together in a usually unexpected way to form a colossus that pushes people down and makes it very hard for them to get back up. It is a combination of environmental (job-related), physical, emotional, and mental circumstances usually that tie into this and bring about the transformation of a man who, either being successful or having the appearance of success, into a shell of his former self. It is an enervating process, it knows no race, age, or creed, and is universally devastating.
As I have written before, most of the people in Central America except for Mexico and Guatemala earn an average of less that $1000 per year. Guatemala is between $1500 to $2000, and Mexico is about $4000. Many times, these people are working 10 to 12 hour shifts up to 6 days a week, and in jobs that involve physical labor.
Why else would you think they risk life-and-limb to come over the US border? Not only do they fill the gap in farm labor in order to undercut prices and maintain US agricultural policy overseas, which is a criticial weapon of foreign policy, but they are very glad to have such jobs. After all, even $5 an hour picking lettuce or fruits is, at a 60-hours a week schedule, $300, which in an average 13-week farming season (by quarter, as it varies by crop), yields $3900, or in most cases far more than what they could ever hope to make in their native lands.
But what happens when poverty befalls a person born in the US, or perhaps is born into it? You could be a Mexican in the barrios of Los Angeles, a black man from the Mississippi Delta, or a son of the Scot-Irish in a former coal town in West Virginia, and yet the future is the same for most- a life of struggle, often with no guidance, followed by debt, impoverishment, and no seeming way out of it.
My question is, to the Harvard-graduate son of wealthy Jewish parents from the (veritable) Jewish enclave of Los Angeles, has he ever been forced to work at McDonalds? Has he had to live on $7.25 an hour (federal minimum wage, but other low wages under $11 an hour fit in here today) and attempt to find a way to pay for rent, food, car bills, and possibly a child and a wife on this? Has he had to stand in line at the Social Services Department in his county applying for Food Stamps, TANF (the name for cash welfare), or heating assistance? Has he ever lived in Section 8 housing and experienced the things that come with such?
Or rather, and more directly to Mr. Shapiro’s question, has he ever been forced to work two jobs in order to survive? Because that is the main reason why people work two jobs. It is not because they “want to” or have nothing else to do with their lives. It is because they are suffering and trying to make ends meet in an economy where one’s money is increasingly worthless.
One does not have to have forcibly been in such a situation in order to have compassion on those in economically hard times. Indeed, there are many rich people who have never had to work such a day in their lives, and many people in the US at hard jobs that many poorer people in other parts of the world have which make the ones in the US seem to have an easy life. But this is not a comparison of who is “poorer” or “stronger,” but rather one of human compassion. In other words, can you have compassion and mercy for people who are not in your situation, especially if they have it harder than you?
There can be ungrateful people who are poor. There can be grateful people who are rich. It is a matter of choice, which is something that comes from within a man.
In Heaven, there is no wealth in the earthly sense, for the true treasure is the Lord. Wealth is a tool to help people get to Heaven, not to beat people over the head with, or to incite jealousy, or to use as a justification for why some are “better” than others for having it.
Perhaps it is something that Mr. Shapiro, who comes from a very wealthy Jewish family in the very wealthy Jewish enclave of Los Angeles and maintains extensive ties to many very wealthy Jewish political financiers in the US, could try to remember. After all, having a degree from Harvard University, one’s own radio show, and being born into financial wealth does not make one a better person, but just a radio show host from a rich family who graduated from Harvard and, in Mr. Shapiro’s case, is as just as disconnected from reality as when he thought he could fast-talk his way through his first real debate and, most likely realizing that he could not monopolize the conversation, walked away in shame.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” -Matthew 5:5