Paul Ryan’s Prosperity Gospel: Inner City Men Are Lazy


Paul Ryan is here to spread the gospel of prosperity to the inner city and apparently the gospel says inner city men are shiftless and lazy and if they would stop being shiftless and lazy they may discover what success feels like.

“[W]e want people to reach their potential and so the dignity of work is very valuable and important and we have to re-emphasize work and reform our welfare programs, like we did in 1996,” Ryan told Bennett. “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning to value the culture of work, so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”

Because rich trust fund babies in the ‘burbs know all about the value of work; about the value of getting up early in the morning and doing something you hate and still not making enough money to pay your bills.

There’s nothing funny about Ryan’s racially-tinged ‘lazy inner city men’ story, but it’s hard not to laugh because Ryan is supposedly the man who will personally go to the inner city on some kind of mercy tour where he will hand down the stone tablets of prosperity. Ryan is supposedly the man who will tell you The Secret or that one weird trick to becoming rich.

Go ahead. Tell groups of inner city men that their problem is not that no one will hire them or that there are no jobs to be had. Tell them their problem is they don’t “value the culture of work” enough and then slink on back to Congress where you’re paid over $170,000 per year to legislate against them between your generous vacation time that covers roughly 2/3rds of the year.

Republicans tell themselves that there’s nothing wrong with their message; that they simply haven’t done a good enough job communicating it; but this is solid evidence that the real problem is their message is garbage.

Ryan probably thinks this is a very original message that someone only as brilliant as he could think of, but it’s old. It’s old and tired.

(h/t Attorney Nicole Naum)
  • j hentai

    what a two-faced, hypocritical scumbag!

  • Art Kraft

    I would personally love to dunk Paul Ryan’s face in a bucket of $#!+ about 1000 times. The guy is beyond being the usual reprehensible Republican asshole and puts his actually being able to be classified as a “human being” into question. Hence, the inhumane punishment I propose isn’t really as bad as it sounds.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Let’s see how all that working out will pay off for you Ryan, when you go tell a group of inner city men, right to their faces, that they are lazy and need to go work their asses off – like you (NOT!). I’m sure they’ll work their asses off by working you over.

    • bbiemeret

      I’d love for him to come down here to the “I Wish He Woods” and talk that smack. We’d do a job on him alright.

  • D_C_Wilson

    men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working

    Sounds like a great description of this Congress to me.

  • muselet

    I recognize that Paul Ryan was on Bill “The Eight Million Dollar Man” Bennett’s radio show and so he had to play moral scold rather than just blather pointlessly about numbers and other stuff he doesn’t understand. Still, it takes a genuine and complete lack of self-awareness—and an equal lack of empathy—for Ryan to say something like this:

    “When you question this war on poverty, you get all the criticisms from adherents to the status quo who just don’t want to see anything change,” Ryan said. “We got to have the courage to face that down, just as we did in the welfare reform of the late 1990s and if we succeeded we can help resuscitate this culture and get people back to work.”

    First, literally the only reason Paul Ryan isn’t a personal trainer somewhere in Waukesha County is that the dead hand of government gave him money. Second, the economy was booming—to be more accurate, a bubble economy was inflating—in the mid-’90s and jobs were plentiful enough that economists began to question whether there was such a thing as structural unemployment.

    Too many people over the years have told Paul Ryan he’s smart. He’s started believing it.


    • GrafZeppelin127

      “adherents to the status quo who just don’t want to see anything change”

      Ummm…. excuse me, Mr. Ryan, but isn’t that the textbook definition of a “conservative”?

      • bbiemeret

        The sound of millions of face palms is deafening.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    Well, apparently conservatives like Paul Ryan are “afraid to say what they actually believe,” because … well, you know.

    I wonder what it is, specifically, that they “actually believe” that they’re “afraid to say.”

    • D_C_Wilson

      “Boy, the Jim Crow feller sure got a bad rap.”

  • bleedingheartliberal6

    How would he know what it’s like to be an inner city man? How come nobody ever pokes them with those questions – like, “how did you come to that conclusion?” – “Have you ever lived as an inner city man – without the benefit of Mummy and Daddy paying for your higher education?”. The whole reason this crap floats, is because they (and they people who support them) are more and more closed off from the riff-raff of society. They don’t have to deal with it – so they don’t see it.

    • Teddy’s Person

      Mummy and Daddy didn’t pay for all of his higher education. He paid for at least part of his tuition (to a public university) with Social Security survivor benefits after his father died. The hypocrisy knows no bounds.

  • Zen Diesel

    Words can’t describe the anger I feel after reading this. Inner city folks are some of the hardest working people I know and for this piece of shit to trash them is an injustice.

  • chris ellis

    He basically used the ‘black people, am I RIGHT?! *wink* ‘ to explain away poverty.

  • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

    His dog whistle is so loud and obvious we might as well call it a “screaming down the tracks at 70 mph train whistle” instead.

    • Treading_Water

      They have grown so comfortable in their shared racism that they’ve abandoned the dog whistle in favor of a dog megaphone. You just have to hold the dog by it’s hind legs and speak loudly and incoherently into the southern end, .

      • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

        I would upvote this twice if I could. :)

  • Robert Scalzi

    that racist shit stain knows that his facts are wrong and he doesn’t care – racist dog whistle ?? more like a racist screed yelled from the top of the capitol building – and the fact is that people in rural areas are twice as likely to need “welfare” than urban residents.

  • WiscoJoe

    “Go ahead. Tell groups of inner city men that their problem is not that no one will hire them or that there are no jobs to be had.”

    Actually, I think it would take more courage for Ryan to go to his own hometown of Janesville and tell groups of laid-off factory workers that their problem is really just that they belong to a culture of laziness. I’m sure that will go over well with his constituents…

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      “sharing the same sort of rhetoric he gleefully provides to right-wing talk radio”

      He’s so sure the twain never shall meet and so far he’s been right. In truth his “audience” will never make the connection that he thinks the unemployed are simply “lazy” because they’ll always tell themselves that he wasn’t talking about them. He’s always talking about someone else. Like the lady yesterday who refused to believe that she’d save more via the ACA than her old plan. She NEEDS to tell herself the lie so she can keep her worldview in tact. Same thing with all those unemployed factory workers who keep voting this jackass into office.

      • Sabyen91

        Nope, it wouldn’t fly in Janesville. They have suffered with the closing of GM and Lear and he turned his back on them. They did NOT vote for him in 2012. He didn’t break 40% in his own home town. It wasn’t the unemployed factory workers that elected him, it was comfortable suburban assholes.

        • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

          Aha, well then I’m happy to see that something can get through the paracosm. Now, what will get through to the CSA’s?

          • Sabyen91

            I’ve got nothin’.