Back in 2010, I declared that Olga Stefou was a symbol of everything that’s wrong with the Greek welfare state.
She was one of the protesters and – if the story captured her thoughts accurately – she displayed an unlimited entitlement mentality. Sort of helps one understand why this cartoon is so accurate.
Now we have an American version of Olga. Her name is Julia, and she is just as much of a moocher.
The good news, though, is that Julia is only a make-believe leech. She’s been created by the Obama campaign to show how big government can provide cradle-to-grave handouts.
The full series can be found at this link, and here’s a screenshot of the handouts that Julia might take at age 31.
Poor Julia is getting mercilessly mocked as everything from a deadbeat to a New Soviet Woman. But I realize my circle of friends, acquaintances, and contacts are not a representative sample.
So I do wonder whether this new gimmick from the Obama campaign will be successful. If it does work, it will show that this Chuck Asay cartoon was depressingly prescient. Heck, this cartoon about government as Santa Claus also will be accurate.
There’s occasionally silly and dishonest demagoguery in America by those who want to equate small government sentiments with racism. The most infamous example from recent years were the malicious accusations that anti-Obamacare protesters used racial epithets.
And one of my first blog posts that actually got some attention dealt with the tortured assertion that the Obama Joker-socialism poster somehow was racist.
The same type of careless rhetoric exists in Europe, as seen by these excerpts from a report in today’s EU Observer.
EU austerity measures are helping to feed racism and intolerance, according to a report by the Strasbourg-based human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe. In its annual survey out on Thursday (3 May), the council’s European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), said welfare cuts and shrinking job opportunities are factors behind the recent rise in intolerance and violence directed at immigrants and other vulnerable minorities. …Some vulnerable groups – such as the Roma, the largest ethnic minority in Europe – endure popular social stigma despite national and EU-level rhetoric on equal rights.
Even by left-wing logic, I’m not sure I follow the chain of reasoning. Maybe it’s the whole English-as-a-second-language thing, but the article seems to say that welfare cuts are leading to intolerance. In the United States, by contrast, the left reverses the causality and says that “welfare cuts” are the result of intolerance.
Regardless, it’s a bit silly to say that long-overdue restraints on big government somehow are the same as racism. But don’t listen to me. I’ll defer to Walter Williams on the topic.
The one semi-accurate part of the excerpt is the part about the Roma – what Americans would call Gypsies. I’ve been in several nations with large Roma populations and had many conversations about their status and almost universally find that white Europeans feel hopelessness and resignation about Roma populations. No actual malice is expressed, but there’s definitely a form of “social stigma.”