Democrats: Party of Parasites?


Photo: Donald Bradley/Kansas City Star

Are Democrats a party of parasites who give handouts to people who don't work, by taxing those who do? That's what farmer Donald Jungerman claimed when he put up a trailer along a freeway in Missouri with the words:

Are you a Producer or Parasite
Democrats - Party of Parasites

Well, it turns out that Jungerman himself got government handouts, to the tune of over $1 million!

After a story about Jungerman’s trailer ran in Sunday’s Star, however, some readers called him a hypocrite for criticizing others for getting government help while taking government subsidies paid for by taxpayers.

Jungerman said he put up the sign to protest people who pay no taxes, but, “Always have their hand out for whatever the government will give them” in social programs.

Crop subsidies are different, he said. When crop prices dip below a certain point, the federal government makes up the difference with a subsidy payment.

Donald Bradley of the Kansas City Star has the story of the classic "in my case, it's completely different" defense: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/06/21/2033746/party-of-parasites-author-took.html


Another bag of hot air getting himself all worked up into a hateful froth over something that affects him barely, if at all. He's one of those people who hears or reads a fragment of something and extrapolates that fragment of an idea into a full-blown platform of uniformed idiocy.

Hilarious how he got shown up; I wonder if he'll refuse his next "farm subsidy" handout to prove his point? Somehow, I doubt it.
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Rationalization takes place in both parties. I'm sure he can complain that his credibility is being whisked away like the 2nd Amendment.
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Drawing undue attention to yourself will often also draw unwanted and/or undesirable scrutiny, too. Humility and basic respect for fellow countrymen whose ideas differ from your own are long-lost traits nowadays: everyone instead wants to be an opinionated, confrontational, abrasive and smart-alecky pundit with all the correct answers. It's quite sad, really. Regardless of what side you're on regarding an issue, it always devolves into the same old tiresome cliches, name-calling and finger wagging.

Putting thought into things before acting is another lost skills these days. Perhaps this gentleman could have taken a moment to think about who's buttering his morning toast before deciding to be deliberately inflammatory for the sake of it. Calling a large group of people "parasites" is obviously his right, but he won't win many friends or converts that way nor will those actions inspire any real discourse or debate. I also hope he never falls upon any hard times of his own, it's easy to paint people with a broad brush until you're one of them.
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He works hard and gets a subsidy to keep that work worth doing (that work being: feeding us, BTW)... That is quite a contrast to people who get a subsidy for doing squat and benefiting no one. So I understand where he comes from... He ought to re-evaluate his argument though. Often people who are "parasites" for a time will be a great benefit to society in the future. I'm sure he's thinking more about those selfish leeches that are certainly out there, but he ought to specify that... not just lump everyone together into one pile.
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It isn't so much about people rationalizing their own hypocrisy. It's about people rationalizing their own moral sleuth-hounding in identifying him as a hypocrite. Obviously the guy isn't a hypocrite unless you read his "argument" with strategic uncharitableness . It's not that hard to do. This story is about the "gotcha!" impulse.

That being said, dude writes with a broad brush.
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I don't think the mainstream media can detect hypocrisy in themselves, but, man, they sure do see it in the people they write about. LOL
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A fine illustration of the basic fact that we have two pro-state (also incidentally pro-war and pro-corporate) parties in this country, that quibble over the details.
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Farm subsidies are a common target of 'red state handout' rhetoric, but few people actually know the economics of agriculture.

It takes roughly one acre of arable land to feed one person for one year. There are 640 acres per square mile. That translates to about 1500 square miles of cropland per million people. The population of New York City is roughly 8 million, which means NYC's non-local agricultural footprint is somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,000 square miles.

It's in the public interest for US food production to be in the hands of a large number of independent, competing farmers. We don't want to be at the mercy of a handful of mega-corporations for our food, the way we are for our petroleum products.

Farming is the kind of capital-intensive, high-risk business that tends to breed monopolies. A corporation with farms all over the country can survive a 5-year drought in the midwest better than an equivalent acreage of independent family farms. That means the corporation would also be well situated to buy said family farms at a greatly reduced price when the independent operators go bankrupt.

Generally speaking, we don't want the bulk of our domestic food production to fall under the control of a handful of large corporations. Having a large number of independent famers keeps commodity prices competitive, and makes it very hard for anyone to artificially limit the production of any particular commodity. That would not be true if our food supply was like our oil supply.

We've already seen that governments can only push so hard on large, extremely wealthy corporations. Governments have even less clout against corporations that have the power to decide who gets to eat what, and at what price.

Complain about farm subsidies all you want, but just watch what happens to your food bills if they ever go away.
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so mike stone what is the point you're making? that our food bills will go up? but you fail to realize that the money from the subsidies has to come from somewhere, so the tax payers are paying extra anyways....
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i know an arch-conservative that agrees that communism is like liberalism taken too far but also feels that facism is liberalism taken too far...so basically you can't be too conservative...ah heck let 'em eat cake
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Democrats are parasites, but so is he.

The Aristocracy of Pull.

Where business and its leaders advanced not through merit or providing value to their customers, but by their political connections. Those without connections (or who refused to call in their favors) simply couldn't compete. And while those who made the back room deals thought they were setting themselves up for the future, in reality they were just delaying the inevitable decline - since there will always be someone else with greater influence who can undermine you with a sweeter deal.
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I don't think he's concerned about people calling him a crotchety old man, or the fact that someone has tried to light his sign on fire on multiple occasions. Those things probably just reinforce his dilutions anyways.
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@ Mike Stone

Typical "corporations are teh evul!!!". Are you aware that those terrible corporations are themselves the largest beneficiary of those subsidies you support?

Oh, but it's better to have lots of small farmers, the same way we all have small workshops that produce handmade cars, electronics, etc.

How about we get rid of farm subsidies and see what happens? After all, if as you claim our food prices shoot up then we can reintroduce them.
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We can disagree on the necessity of farm subsidies but the most troublesome part is how they are allocated. They effectively keep bad food cheap and make it harder for healthy foods to compete. The government is essentially subsidizing a wide range of unhealthy foods and we as a people are paying the price in our taxes, our health care costs and our general well being . Here is a helpful chart and write-up:
http://www.pcrm.org/magazine/gm07autumn/health_pork.html
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The real parasites are BABIES! Donald Jungerman should start a campaign about the parasitic babies of this country. Babies just sit around doing nothing all day and when they get hungry they cry and demand to be fed. They don't do anything for themselves! These babies need to man up like Jungerman and start working and earning their keep!

The Wall Streeters and K Streeters are pretty parasitic, too.
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This reminds me of that Joe the Plumber guy. He supported John McCain, got popular, and then the media commenced ripping him to shreds in order to destroy his reputation.

The guy's a kook; why attack him? I would think people could be bigger than that. This whole "Gotcha" business is as immature and vicious as high school.
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"The oil industry has had a free ride for too long, secretly ringing up a huge bill that the taxpayers have to pay. The oil industry may be the most subsidized industry on earth -- it's certainly the most polluting," declared V. John White of Sierra Club California.
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Nice guy, labeling others as parasites. Nothing like dehumanizing people to make yourself look wise and worldly. I wonder whether it was his mother, father, or pastor who said to him, "Donald, in spite of the fact that you will be relying on a government program for the survival of your business, it is your duty to label other people who need occasional assistance as parasites." And then he extrapolated that to an entire political party. Guys like this load their trucks up with explosives, eventually. Donald Jungerman, you are a living monument to every hateful impulse you've ever had.
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A friend of mine is a small farmer with a 50+ acre spread, he gets nada,zilch...in fact the local Ag groups are coming down (debilitating regulations) on the small sustainable growers. All the while never to be sustainable, or competitive, big sugar continues to extract millions in subsidies, not to mention it is a virtual poison that causes much of our country's health issues. So, there is lots of room in cleaning up gov./big-ag., I am certain every region can find a 'boondoggle'. Small anything is still ignored in this country, there just is not much help for ANY small enterprise.
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PS: As far as the original article, well Jungerman offers nothing more then typical hateful right-wing rhetoric and hyperbole with no substantial debate. These folks live in a world of exceptionalism that has no place in today's contracting realities, they damn well know it, but could not give a hoot. They will continue to dig in their heels and throw every last wrench into the works if things don't go their way, I don't expect this kind of home grown ignorance to dissipate any time soon.
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