Ben Stein Makes Disgusting and Ignorant Statements About the Poor

ben-steinIf Republicans don’t want to be known as the party that hates the poor, they really need to stop having people from their side of the political debate make comments showcasing their utter disdain for the poor.

Normally I would give some kind of introduction to Ben Stein’s comments mocking their ridiculousness, but the ignorance that lies within them speaks for itself.

Stein said:

“My humble observation is that most long-term poverty is caused by self-sabotage by individuals.  Drug use. Drunkenness.  Having children without a family structure.  Gambling.  Poor work habits.  Disastrously unfortunate appearance.  Above all, and counted in the preceding list, psychological problems cause people to be unemployed, have poor or no work habits, and enter and stay in poverty.

Yes, the government designates many tens of millions as poor, but they almost always have indoor plumbing, which my mother did not have in her small town in the Catskills, and they are super nourished as opposed to mal-nourished.  They get food stamps.  They get free medical care. They get vouchers for many of the needs of life.”

He also said that the poor might stop sabotaging themselves if, “Maybe, just maybe, if we let God back into the public forum it would help. I have seen spiritual solutions work miracles.”

The absolute ignorance found within his comments is appalling.  He completely discounts how the environment in which we are raised has a profound influence on how we turn out as individuals.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s met someone with children, someone reprehensible, and all I can think of is how those children probably have no chance to ever be something because of who their parents are.  Sure, some people become exceptions to the rule, but most follow the same (or similar) paths as how they were raised.

Then there’s his premise that because the poor had it worse in the past, suddenly they should be happy for what they have now.  That’s like saying, ‘Well, you could be starving in Africa, so you shouldn’t complain that you only have bread and water to live off of.’

Just because things were worse at some point in our history doesn’t mean they’re “better” now.  Poverty is judged by society today, not society decades ago.

Our average life expectancy at the time of our nation’s birth was around 35 years – does that now mean that someone dying at the age of 40 means they lived to a ripe old age?

Stein showed just how narrow-minded and ignorant many conservatives can be about the poor, and how short-sighted and foolish their beliefs are.  You can’t get much more out of touch and hateful than that.

But hey, that’s the Republican party – they define ignorance.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Jim Bean

    Of all the perpetually poor people you know, most (not all) have some behavioral issues that contribute to it. (I’m not asking, because I know its true). And many of them are overweight/not suffering from nutritional deprivation. Therefore, we should rate Stein’s comments as 100% true even despite the fact that they make some people uncomfortable.

    • jonjstrine42

      And how exactly does your anecdotal evidence make it “100% true”?
      (Hint: It doesn’t).

      • Jim Bean

        Hint: It does if you remove the misused term ‘anecdotal’ and replace it with the correct term, ‘factual.’

      • jonjstrine42

        Except the example you gave was only anecdotal and not factual. It’s true to you, but that does not mean it’s the truth. Get educated, for crying out loud. If you don’t know what “anecdotal” means, feel free to look it up.

    • republic84

      Well, you’ve proven at least one theory. .. idiots, they DO exist.

    • gac

      The being over weight is much more an issue of not being able to afford the healthier choices of less carbohydrates, price macaroni and cheese, versus fresh vegetables and fruits and fish.. I middle class and shudder everytime I go to the grocery store.

      • Jim Bean

        Overweight is nothing but putting too much food in your mouth and then swallowing. Any argument to the contrary is an exercise in a psychological phenomenon known as escapism.

      • dedegold

        There are many doctors who would disagree with this .

      • Jim Bean

        Not a single doctor disagrees that if you stop eating altogether you will lose weight until you die or start eating again. Metabolism and other physiological issues can impact how rapidly calories are burned or converted to fat, I know. But 12 hours after stopping eating, everyone begins losing weight.

      • Sherri G

        Bullshit….and I’m not overweight because I eat TOO MUCH but because I eat TOO LITTLE and have to buy that “cheap” stuff because I’m not privileged or deserving of healthy food…..Ubuntu is a philosophy in Africa which mean “I am me because you are you” ….means without helping each other, we are nothing….

      • Jim Bean

        Who do you help, and how? I don’t know your situation and do not mean to be insensitive. I buy the cheap stuff too, not because I can’t afford ‘health’ foods, but just because I’m cheap.

      • Sherri G

        I’ve opened my home to a friend going through domestic violence as well as one who became homeless via no fault of her own (son’s new wife…..); I volunteer for the U.S. Marine Reserve Corps Toys for Tots to help low income families with toys for Christmas; I help with Meals on Wheels; volunteered at the local community cnter; and I donate clothes and sometimes furniture to the shelters to help others get a hand up; and I’m an advocate (on my own time) for clients trying to obtain SSI/SSD (87% approval rating).
        Not just the volunteer work that people need to remember to do but just offering a cup of coffee or a shoulder to cry on….a warm blanket or a meal. Read more about Ubuntu and look at Buddhism because they both focus “out” more or as much as “within” to find peace and the inner spirit.

      • Sherri G

        Toys for Tots Christmas gift program, local community center volunteer, meals on wheels to help feed the elderly; PTO President to advocate for the students and parents who may not have a voice; giving away clothes and furniture to local shelter to give families a step up; opening my already full house to friends who escaped DV or ended up homeless due to loss of income; and advocate for SSD/SSI/DSHS clients trying for approval (85% approval rating)….

        And just because it needs said, I’m not Christian but lean more toward Buddhism and Native American philosophies because the INDIVIDUAL needs to finds one’s inner higher spirit vs organized religion telling people what to do and believe.

    • jimmy

      Because someone is overweight does not mean they receive good nutrition. That is one of many crass assumptions made about poverty. It’s his lack of awareness that causes the discomfort.

    • JamesKelso

      Real food costs more money than poor people can afford. So the poor eat fake food, high in sugar, fat and salt. They eat food that is processed and it is very low in nutrition. The corporations that produce this fake food get subsidies that real food producers don’t get. You’ve heard the expression, Garbage in, garbage out. Crap food doesn’t feed the body or the mind.

      • dedegold

        Agree, the food with no nutritional value that is cheaper to buy; it has already been pointed out and accepted as being bad overall for SNAP to pay for.

    • Finnsmom1

      That’s quite an ignorant jump you made there in your observation. I’m doubt you even read his comments before you rubber stamped them.

    • Sherri G

      I’m not fucking overweight and I barely get 1.5 meals a day so my kids can eat. I’m college educated, veteran and domestic violence SURVIVOR. YOU try raising 5 kids on your own!!!! I would have needed about $100,000 year to properly support my kids. I had plans—>career, loving husband, home I owned….I.e. THE AMERICAN DREAM but that didn’t happen and because every step forward I’ve taken, the “government/society” has pulled me two steps back. I have been fighting a losing battle for 15 years. I volunteer, homeschool my youngest due to failure of the local schools to provide federally mandated services, and all my older kids are either in college or working fulltime……so STFU

  • dan

    It’s true, many of the poor do have psychological problems. And whatvexactly are we doing to remedy this? Regan kicked them out into the street. Our track record with those with mental problems isn’t exactly stellar.

    • Jim Bean

      You know nothing. I have a family member with psychological and drug abuse problems. He’s in the welfare system (available to anyone in similar circumstances) and has a wealth of treatment options available. We do plenty to help (and this is key) for those who want and seek help. Unfortunately, may times the problem is such that the victim doesn’t want help and in those cases, until the person becomes a danger to himself or others, there is absolutely nothing you can do but give him some food. And we do that too – sometimes to the extent that what we give eliminates the incentive for the person to seek a remedy.

      • Jbh Jbh

        Yes, because nothing gives people an incentive to not be mentally ill like starving them.

      • Elliot

        I don’t know what magical place you live in that provides all these treatment options and support. What you describe is far from any experience that I, or several friends of mine, have had. The federal support system is laughable, but maybe you live in a state that has a good system… but many states don’t. It’s crappy to make such blanket statements to others and tell them they’re wrong when you don’t have all the information. I’m glad your family member is getting the help they need but, in my experience, that’s more of a privilege than a right.

      • Sandy Greer

        >The federal support system is laughable,

        ^^^Absolutely. We make folks jump through hoops to get any kind of help. And even then, they may not get a treat (support)

      • Phil Keast

        Ahhh, it rears it’s ugly head, all the mentally ill have to do to become well is to choose to. That is a load of bovine manure. Mental illness is an illness, which can be, and often is, incurable, even with the best psychiatrists, counselors, hospitals, medication, allied health care workers, and the love and support of friends and family, the best possible outcome is the ability to live one day at a time, often under the looming specter of self harm or suicidal thoughts, despair and hopelessness, or complete dissociation from the real world, with its resulting confusion. You cannot think yourself well.

      • Jim Bean

        Jim Bean said: “may times the problem is such that the victim doesn’t want help.” Phil claims he heard Jim Bean say “all the mentally ill have to do to become well is to choose to.” That’s an evasive tactic often called a ‘pivot.’

      • Phil Keast

        Nice comeback, pay that one. So lets get real on this subject, “many times the problem is such that the victim doesn’t want help”, but with the healthcare resources of a properly maintained public system that doesn’t turn people away at the door if they can’t pay, the illness of that “victim” would have been noticed, and help offered. And trust me, unless someone is suffering a complete cognitive disassociation, they know they need help, and won’t turn it down when it is offered. They key here is offered. Not enforced, not pushed into therapy, but approached with compassion and empathy. It would amaze you just how easy it is to get someone to accept help if you recognize and appeal to their dignity, rather than imposing your own authority.

      • Jim Bean

        I don’t disagree with any of that. Seems we’ve drifted hopelessly of the topics of Stein’s sin.

      • Phil Keast

        True, but conversation, as opposed to debate, is like that, and, in my opinion, infinitely preferable to throwing insults and adopting positions that are inflexible and unable to be discussed in a civilized manner. We may disagree on many things, as some of our other posts clearly demonstrate, but I respect your opinion, even when I think you are wrong. (I know, sounds like a contradiction, but hell, I have a Philosophy degree – which comes complete with the capacity to hold two completely contradictory concepts simultaneously and agree with them both – oh, and the capacity to use 15 words when one would normally suffice.)

      • Jim Bean


      • evenstevens

        Doesn’t it occur to you that when the mind functions poorly, one may not be capable of knowing whether they want help?

      • Sherri G

        I call BULLSHIT on a “wealth of treatment options”….. If he is on welfare or SSI, he gets STATE MEDICAID which provides bare-bone treatment options for children let alone adults in ALL states. I had to fight for services for my child with neurological and mental health disorders; had to fight and failed to obtain needed therapy (Asbergers) and had to fight and failed to access the evaluations we needed and the school federally mandated services needed. Medicaid paid mental health clinic was pushing meds and “parent assistance” but nothing for the child. At one point, they tried to put my 45#, 6 year old little girl on Risperdal–>which is a high-level psychotic medication–because they didn’t want to work on behavior management or to adjust her ADHD meds by 5 milligrams…..Her neurologist literally exploded with anger, wrote a nasty letter and that’s when we quit!!! If he’s getting welfare like you claim there is no way he’s getting anything more than medication and shown the door.

      • evenstevens

        Hello again, Jim. Another coincidence. One of my siblings is mentally ill and has made efforts to get help. Yes, there is still some help, but when you loose your address, the help stops coming. Now you go through an un-medicated binge that easily finds you in jail, where nothing is sure to persuade staff of your medical needs, especially if your state of mind precludes your articulating them. Each prisoner is worth money, after all, and regulations don’t seem to take care of that negligence.

    • Finnsmom1

      It won’t get better now that we have “for profit” prisons.

  • republic84

    He should stick to commercials, as least then his dribble is mildly amusing. Ben Stein isn’t awesome.…

  • shopper

    Just for the record, we were not poor when I was a child and we had out door plumbing along with over half the people in our small town, including some of the wealthiest. A lot depended on the age of your home and if it was even possible to add indoor plumbing. It was our way of life and we just accepted it. We did have electricity and telephones.

  • jimmy

    If you keep telling poor people that they are to blame, they are useless, and that they deserve their fate, don’t be surprised when they believe you. Shame and blame is the typical response from people like Stein. He demonstrated no awareness of how communities that develop under the strain of being marginalized usually stay at the margins. He is in denial of the fact that his party’s policies have created more poor people. He is an elitist of the worst kind.

    • evenstevens

      We’re seeing another reaction as well. Many people know they’ve been cheated and a common reaction is anger, which right wing spin-docs incorrectly refer to as envy. Big mistake.

  • outraged13

    I’m saddened by Mr. Stein’s remarks; I always believed him to be a bit more open minded and of a higher cognitive level than many of his counterparts. I am not a drug addict, nor am I a drunk. I don’t gamble. Back before failed economic policies, corruption, and greed ruined our economy I would routinely sleep on my couch because I worked so hard at my job as a glazier that many times I slept on my couch because I literally could not bend over to take off my boots. I very much doubt that you can find anyone who would describe my appearance as “disastrously unfortunate.” I am a certified journeyman in the craft of glazing. I have been deeply involved in opening two restaurants. I hold two college degrees and will be acquiring a third in mere weeks. The national economy is terrible and our local economy is even worse. I can’t find a job doing anything at all. I’m certain that I do have some mental issues that should be addressed, namely stress as a result of having to rebuild my life. This stress also manifests physically through ongoing stomach problems that I never had until all of this started. I’m certain that I could benefit from medical attention. We have insurance through my wife’s job, but really can’t afford to use it. I don’t know what vouchers Mr. Stein is talking about, but I do know that there are many, many hoops you must jump through to get food stamps, and that the amount of benefits that recipients receive has been drastically cut, and it wasn’t much to begin with. Our allowance never, ever lasted the whole month-no matter how many times we ate mac ‘n cheese or ramen noodIes. Further, we recently lost our benefits and not one person at our local office or the state office can tell me why. I am poor because of years of failed conservative economic policies and unchecked greed and corruption that at times seems to have been almost encouraged by conservatives and has simply made my job disappear. That is the beginning and end of the story. Wake up, Republicans, and take responsibility for the mess you are creating for the rest of the country! I apologize for the long post, but in recent years it has become more and more apparent to me that conservatives have absolutely no concept of what it means to be poor.

    • Finnsmom1

      I guess you’ve never seen Stein on CBS Sunday Morning. He often displays the traits exposed in this recent interview.

      • outraged13

        We haven’t had tv for a while, so it is safe to say that I am not up to date on much of Stein’s more recent political thoughts.

    • Sandy Greer

      Somebody like you, who can ‘hone in’ on things to the extent you do – and articulate them so well, and so clearly – should really have his own business.

      ^^^Probably not my place to say that, and definitely not my call. But it’s what I thought, reading your post 2-3 times now.

      In any case, I sincerely hope things pick up for both you and your wife.

      • outraged13

        Thank you.

      • evenstevens

        There is no lack of articulate, motivated, skilled/educated, yet poor people who fought for years to maintain a middle-class lifestyle as the rug was gradually pulled out from under them. Boot straps are insufficient capital for starting a business, unless it’s a lemonade stand where local ordinances are permissive of start-ups.

    • Cat Marcuri

      Dude, you said it before I could! I used to respect Ben Stein. No longer. He has no clue what it’s like for poor people today. Somehow I doubt he had any clue about poor people in his mother’s era, he’s just quoting what he heard her say. This man really needs to be quiet until he has lived in our world awhile.

  • Jim Bean

    Anytime someone ventures into a frank discussion of certain social maladies, the Left rushes in to try to shut the conversation down. How does stopping the discussion contribute to resolving the problem? How does that blend with ‘progressivism?” The author devotes the entire article to calling Stein derogatory names and not one sentence to intellectually refuting Stein’s argument. And then, irony of all ironies, the author validates Steins argument with this sentence: “He completely discounts how the environment in which we are raised has a profound influence on how we turn out as individuals.” Stein didn’t discount it – that’s the core of his argument, for Pete’s sake. A body at rest . . . . . . . The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. .. . . . . .Life father, like son.. . . . . . .monkey see, monkey do. . . . . . . And pointing out that things could be worse is just as germane to a balanced perspective as pointing out things could be better. Avoiding the conversation only provides comfort and remedy to those not suffering from the problem.


      I think showing his comments then adding a counter argument is not even close to shutting the conversation down. Why is it that whenever someone engages a healthy debate there’s some righty always trying to attack the messenger instead of actually engaging in a conversation? See how that works?

    • Alvaro Nieto

      You know you shouldn’t drink this early in the morning don’t you?

    • Finnsmom1

      A discussion would include shared beliefs, leading to a solution. Stein is merely explaining away any any responsibility he and the GOP should feel for creating the current economic situation.

      • Jim Bean

        The GOP is in no way responsible for breaking down the social institutions that provide for economic security. That belongs on your doorstep. Marriage rates are at an all time low – not important Liberals say. Single parenthood is ‘liberating.’ But two people working in partnership and sharing resources live better than one and a child with two committed parents fares better in all regards than a child with only one. But you’re right. We should be discussing it, though I’ve a hunch those aren’t factors that appeal to you for discussion purposes.

      • outraged13

        I agree that there are a number of factors that have played a role in the economic security of our nation and its citizens. However, to say that the GOP is in “no way responsible” is dangerous and irresponsible and I honestly, deep in my heart, don’t understand how you can make a claim like that with any degree of seriousness and keep a straight face. It’s like watching two cars collide head on and saying that only one driver is at fault. Your post is a shining example of what so many liberals are upset about. We need to get over the conservative or liberal dividers and take a long, honest look about what’s going on in the country and work together to fix it, for the good of the country and not the good of our political parties or the careers of politicians. Sadly, it seems that is becoming more and more difficult.

      • Finnsmom1

        it’s hysterical that you say the Liberals are responsible for the breakdown in marriage. let’s begin with St. Ronnie of Regan who was married twice. Then take a look at Newt, Vitter, Vance McAllister and that Blowhard Rush Limbaugh who have all made a mockery of marriage. C’mon, if that’s the best you have, stay on the porch.
        Having said that, I wasn’t considering marriage, etc. as the reason for our economic situation. Big banks running amok, an unregulated Stock Market as well as our Military Industrial Complex are responsible for bringing down our economy. And guess who’s the champion of these institutions? the GOP.

      • Jim Bean

        This isn’t first instance of hysteria on the Left. Go over on HuffPo and see how many articles about the glories of uncommitted sex you can find. You pick which day you look at.

      • Finnsmom1

        I see now. You have a God fixation. No reasoning with someone like you.

      • evenstevens

        LOL! Finnsmom1 refers to what he see’s as “hilarious,” so Mr. Bean seems compelled to retaliate to several serious arguments as “hysteria.” On “the left,” of course. That is the lead up to no direct retort or any effort to discuss. I’ll go you one better; I have had friends who were whores, served in the military and worked on DOD projects for many years afterwards, yet I’m a “liberal.”

        Finnsmom1 called your reference to “moral decay” out, Mr. Bean, and not without a very strong foundation. Do you acknowledge the advent of ordinarily frequent and multiple divorces, (along with many other “immoral” activities in excess), was among the WWII veterans? The parents and grandparents of those you now blame for their circumstances? I think you do, and that is why you used a display of anger to dissuade a discussion of those facts.

        The other meaningful and pertinent list of economic misdeeds must also be correct in your view, and therefore you have forfeited those points as well, rather than defend the GOP proclivities pointed out.

        You need to stick with arguments you make until you prove them right or they are disproved, if you are sincere about working out solutions. Trying to avoid loosing an argument through emotional outburst, is actually a forfeiture of your stated position. An indirect admission that you are wrong in your own opinion.

      • Jim Bean

        That is a remarkable exercise in escapism although I must admit, it was very eloquently constructed and delivered. Left wing affirmative action made single parenthood a better choice in the black community than marriage because it facilitated welfare eligibility thus adding to the number living below the poverty line. It also gave black fathers an escape hatch. Left wing National Organization for Women “liberated” them and made single parenthood ’empowering’ and a man around the house optional, again adding to the number living below the poverty line. We abandoned Father Knows Best and the Andy Griffith Show and told/tell our youth that MTV and gangster rap reflect the moral values we espouse. And now we have Barack Obama, imprinting everyone who is economically dissatisfied that its all someone else’s fault and that their mere presence on this piece of terra firma entitles them to comfort irrespective of contribution. Liberals got the social transformation they wanted. Try to find something you like about it. (And, btw, divorce rates were 9.2 and 1960 and peaked around 22% in 1980. They’re around 60% today. Marriage rates in 1965 were around 80% and are below 40% now. So your WWII veterans implication is eloquent baloney as well. They got married around 1950, not 1970.)

      • evenstevens

        Again? Your response to my pointing out your evasion elicits your repetition of the term, “evasion,” though it does not fit. No evasion there, and here I back up the assertions I made above, with facts instead of impressions and I reference the source of the facts.

        From the National Center for Health Statistics:

        In 1940 the divorce rate was 2 per 1,000 citizens against 12.1 marriages. That rate increased every year until 1946 when it reached 4.4 divorces per 1,000 citizens, out of 16.4 marriages performed. After that, the rate steadies at 2.2 per thousand in 1960, out of 8.5 marriages, little changed since the 1946 percentages, but much higher than for 1940. If we consider the baby boom, it must be clear that more children were being raised with the powerful impressions of divorces and the associated activities that preceded, and succeeded those divorces, per parent. The divorce rates surely did climb as those children raised by single parents grew up to have their own divorces, and WWII parents who held out until their children grew up got their 70’s and 80’s divorces.

        It is surprising to me that, as my contemporary, your indication is that you didn’t have contact with enough children of broken homes to be aware of the amount of impact our age group absorbed compared to our parents. Our contemporaries whose grandparents divorced are nearly non-extant in my experience. The topic of declining moral values in the US was written about very often in the 60’s and presented as an outcome of WWII. Is it so hard to believe that survivors of warfare had lost some stability? That each successive round of war increases these negative marriage outcome statistics? Damaged people damage their children.

      • SecularHumanist199

        The source of the economic problems facing us start with the moron Reagan and his killing unions and cutting taxes for the rich. He opened the door for exploitation of workers such that more than 90% of the improvements in productivity over the past 30 years have gone to the top 1% while the workers on whose backs that productivity was created got nothing for their efforts.
        He was also dead wrong in his assertions about the poor. The vast majority of people receiving government assistance, whether in the form of food stamps or Medicaid, are working, sometimes at multiple jobs. The problem isn’t that people aren’t working hard, it is that in spite of working hard they get nothing out of it. Do you really think that the owners of coal mines in West Virginia are working 400 times harder than their average coal miner? I don’t, yet that is about the difference in their incomes.

      • Jim Bean

        I worked for a unionized company in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, that made plumbing fixtures. When the NAFTA bill that Clinton signed went into effect and Mexican made products equal to ours showed up on the store shelves at a price less than ours, you (figuratively) had a choice. You bought Mexican. You’re greed and lack of consideration for your fellow citizen killed us.

      • dedegold

        Yep, you can point the finger to both parties, they have a hand in where we are now.

      • dedegold

        Reagan was instrumental in closing all the state hospitals that treated the mentally ill. Now they go to prison where they get no treatment. So yes the GOP should own that.

        Getting married is just part of the equation. Divorce rates are going up. Myriad of reasons, but this is a fact.

    • Phil Keast

      Ok then, lets unpick the rhetoric shall we?

      “My humble observation is that most long-term poverty is caused by
      self-sabotage by individuals.”

      No-one chooses to be poor. No-one sets out to live a life of deprivation and humiliation, unable to stand proud because the weight of their helplessness crushes their spirit.

      Drug use. Drunkenness.

      Does this gentleman know anything about addiction? Whatever the reason an individual becomes addicted to drugs and/or alcohol (the constant suffering and despair of many disadvantaged, hell lets be honest here, poor, contributes significantly to the use of drugs, as do economic pressures (“you gots a choice girl, ya sells ya body, or ya sells my drugs”), [I apologize for the stereotyping inherent in the previous example, but sometimes getting the point across to a Conservative requires the application of a clue by four], once addicted the road to sobriety is paved with broken glass and whips of fire. I’ve been there, addicted to medically proscribed morphine, and kicking that addiction was the hardest, most excruciatingly painful experience I’ve ever had to go through, as my body craved it and I thought I’d go out of my mind if I didn’t have just one more dose. Drug and alcohol abuse is a symptom of a structural flaw in the distribution of wealth, not a cause.

      Having children without a family structure.

      Then don’t oppose abortion for rape victims. Give women control over their own bodies. Get the f*ck out of the way of peoples reproductive choices.


      I’ve got no money and what I’ve got has to feed my kids, but if I win just one jackpot, one hand of cards, one spin of the slot machines, then maybe I’ll be able to buy my kids new shoes. Gambling, like drug and alcohol abuse, is a symptom of a structural flaw in the distribution of wealth, not a cause.

      Poor work habits.
      How does one learn good work habits if no-one is hiring and you can’t get work? It’s exactly the same ridiculous chicken and egg stupidity found in advertisements for jobs. Experience required. How the hell do you get the experience when everybody is only hiring people who already have it? How do you learn good work habits, if you can’t get a job in the first place because employers want to see evidence of your good work habits?

      Disastrously unfortunate appearance.
      The only way I can read this statement without tossing my cookies, and even then I’m being very very generous in my interpretation, is that he is referring to such things as tattoos, hair-styles, clothing choices. Get a grip asshole, not every one is a short back and sides, clean shaven, suit and ties wearing white guy. And it shouldn’t make a difference if they are not. Do they want to work? YES. Can they either do the job or learn to? YES. Then what the hell does it matter what they look like. Grow up, we live in a world with people of different races, cultures, and traditions, and even within the USA new sub-cultures are arising. Don’t you dare to judge them and deem them unfit to co-exist with your white male fantasy world of the so-called land of the free, built upon the labor of immigrants from around the world. Immigrants that don’t look at all like you Mister Stein.

      Above all, and counted in the preceding list, psychological problems cause people to be unemployed, have poor or no work habits, and enter and stay in poverty.
      As I’ve said in a previous post, so I won’t reply in detail here. Mental illness is an illness. No-one chooses it, and it is often incurable, merely treatable, with the possibility of a normal life minimal to non-existent for many. And that’s assuming the availability decent mental health care facilities and resources, which are vanishingly rare, and non-existent in most parts of the USA. Decent mental health facilities, not cheap-ass “look how compassionate we are” facilities that do more damage than good.

      There we go, hopefully, having broken the discussion into small, easily digestible chunks, you’ll recognize the justified indignation and horror that anyone with an ounce of compassion feels when confronted with comments like those of Mister “I know whats wrong with the world, there are people in it who aren’t me” Stein.

      • Sandy Greer

        I said you were going to be an asset to Forward Progressives (probably, anywhere else you post, if you do) Didn’t I just say that?

        Anybody who doesn’t read posts of Phil Keast does a real disservice to their intellect. Be sure to hit ‘see more’ folks; it’s well worth your time. Always.

        I especially admire your ability to ‘nit-pick’ (in a good way) and take on each and every point. As opposed to those like myself, who just go for the ‘broad’ strokes. 😉

      • Jim Bean

        (Self-sabotage) He didn’t say the self-sabotage was deliberate. He merely offered an accurate observation.

        (Drugs, etc) Again, he didn’t say they intentionally made poor choices, he merely offered an accurate observation. Incidentally, you have my utmost admiration for kicking the chemicals. I have a family member who has been on methadone for 10 years, so I DO know where you’re coming from. Addiction is a horrid thing to be sentenced to. But Stein only points to the relationship between that and long term poverty. No foul committed.
        (Single parenthood) A personal choice extremely likely to put you in long term poverty.

        (Children) I support women having control of their own bodies but I expect them to start exercising it BEFORE conception takes places.In 2010, One per cent (of aborting women) reported that they were the survivors of rape (NAF). 36.7% were performed on women with one or two prior abortions, and 7.7% were performed on women with three or more prior abortions (CDC). (There seems to be an overwhelming lack of desire to control it until after its gotten out of control.)
        (Gambling) Another behavior problem. Nothing wrong with Stein mentioning it.
        (Poor work habits) That comment applies (obviously) to people who have had employment. You come to work on time, every time, perform the tasks assigned, don’t goof off, don’t make trouble, don’t steal stuff. Not rocket science. Employers explain this to you when you are hired and usually give you a booklet with it in to take home in case you forget.
        (Disastrous appearance) Maybe it shouldn’t matter but it does. I was a hiring manager. I’m not going to pick the guy with his pants down around his crotch, his hat on sideways, and a load of bling over the guy ambitious enough to try represent what the employer hopes to see and what his customers would want to see. My job was to get the best people possible for the company – not play social engineer.
        (Mental illness) Its the exception, not the rule.
        (Easily digestible chunks) What I digest is that every time someone tries to discuss our social illnesses there is someone like you rushing in to try to stop the conversation. And without the conversation, nothing gets done. You are a part of the problem, not part of the solution. Stein aspires to the opposite. Shame on him.

      • Phil Keast

        I have no desire to stop the conversation. And Stein goes beyond mentioning correlations (a correlation, i.e; two things happening in tandem or together, is not causation, where one is the result of the other.) Stein actually suggests that these are the causes of poverty.

        They are not, they are the consequences of poverty that it is the responsibility of those with the power and influence to address by addressing the true causes of poverty and stop blaming the victims.

      • Jim Bean

        Bull! They DO cause poverty. Poverty did not cause the family member I mentioned to experiment with heroine. Poverty did not cause the slacker to lose his job. Poverty didn’t cause the applicant to come to the interview looking like a pimp. Poverty didn’t cause the woman to accidentally, for the third time, get pregnant. And double bull on your notion that people should be free of all personal responsibility for their well being and are entitled to a taxpayer funded sponsor to lead them by the hand all the way through life.

      • Phil Keast

        Bugger, disqus ate my comment.Let’s see if it works this time.

        What caused you family member to turn to drugs? A sense of invulnerability, a failure to recognize the risks, ignorance over their effects, peer group pressure? Someone, somewhere, let him down, otherwise, unless completely bloody bonkers, he wouldn’t have done it.

        What’s the definition of a slacker, someone who can’t work full time because they live in a neighborhood with such a high crime rate that they have to be home with the kids? Maybe someone who expects to be paid a fair days wage for a fair day work, and refuses to do unpaid overtime? Someone who wants to work but cannot find a job because virtually all manufacturing and service industries in their neighborhood/city/state have closed and are not employing? Someone who once committed a misdemeanor and employers will not employ because they are a “risk”? For every slacker you find, I’ll show you a person who has been roadblocked from work by circumstances beyond their control, from intolerant employers out to maximize productivity without the commensurate increase in the remuneration of their workforce to the emergence of modern ghost towns where once there were mines.

        Who is the employer to judge someone on their fashion choices? Grow up and join the 21st century, bell-bottom trousers went out of style some time ago. Just maybe your customers will admire your tolerance and acceptance of modern, contemporary culture. Maybe it doesn’t matter because the customers never see the staff member. There are very very few industries that the poor have access to (such as lawyers, bankers, etc.) where a dress code is required, and even then the suit and tie is an anachronism (check out silicon valley sometime, Microsoft, Apple, etc. etc., watch them wear whatever they like, doesn’t effect the quality of their work).

        Did the third time pregnant woman have access to contraception? Education on the use of contraception? Or were those facilities shut down by the pro-life, anti-abortion, stay celibate until you are married or die of old age brigade, assuming they existed in the first place?

        I am not suggesting that individuals abrogate personal responsibility, but no person lives in a vacuum, they are influenced by their environment, including their access to employment, education, public transport, and all the other things that associated with poverty that are somehow, by the reasoning of Stein, their fault. Amazing how poverty seems to gravitate to specific neighborhoods that don’t have reliable services or many employment opportunities, isn’t it, that must be the fault of the poor too.

  • Jerry Graybosch

    Ben is exactly right. I always tell poor people their problem is due to their own bad choices. For starters they should have chosen wealthy parents.

    • Poor Mexican

      So don’t be surprised when YOU become a victim.

      • Kimberley44

        UMMMM Jerry was being sarcastic….

  • Jerry Graybosch

    As to Ben’s religious solution, my observation has been that the poor are much more religious and generous than average. What Ben meant to say was bringing God back into the public forum might reduce the number of earthquakes and tornadoes.

  • FiachSidhe

    Isn’t praying just asking God for a hand out?

    • Jerry Graybosch

      Lol. God said, “Get a job!”

  • worrierking

    While the things Stein mentions can be a reason for some to be poor, he ignores the main reason. The American economy is a rigged game. Since the economy crashed in 2008, tens of millions of the citizens in this country have seen their financial and retirement plans almost collapse. The big losers in the downturn were pension funds, IRAs and other instruments where middle and working class people had invested for their futures.

    Those who actually caused the problems were rewarded and bailed out with the taxes paid by those who had already lost the most. These people lost homes, jobs and savings. Not all have been able to find employment and those that do find jobs work for less than they once did.

    Stein hasn’t really done any “work” since the Nixon administration. He can rant all he likes about religion and getting back to god, but the only God he and today’s Republicans worship is the almighty, unregulated, free market, which only existed during the early days of the Industrial revolution. Back when the poor made millions for the Robber Barons.

    • Gidawdah

      And all the house mortgages under water.
      And all the people who now cannot even afford a home.

      • worrierking

        All a result of the then president and his “ownership society” where we all owned homes.

        It turns out what he meant is that everyone would be sold a home, resulting in banks and mortgage companies making billions of dollars selling the “hot potato” mortgages bundled together.

      • Gidawdah


      • evenstevens

        Yeah, deregulation had already done a number on mortgage regulations before Reagan had left office. Repeal of Glass-Steagal and equal opportunity lending laws were not involved in “Red-Lining,” where banks were permitted to violate their own loan contracts and jack up home buyer’s costs unilaterally, and without regard to whether the buyer was up to date and flawless over the loan history. Whole communities were torn up that way during the Reagan Administration and ongoing.
        Takes the wind out of the Reagan wealth creation story – that wealth was substantially temporary by design.

    • strayaway

      Stein overlooks a major facet of establishment Republican and Democrats policy. Our jobs have been sent abroad and millions of both legal and illegal aliens have been allowed to do our jobs abroad or here for lower wages to enhance corporate profit. This is a form of economic treason. The TPP won’t make matters better. Goodbye middle class. Extended unemployment compensation and make work job programs help the dispossessed a bit but are bandage covering cancerous policies that need to be removed.

    • Eddie Krebbs

      Agree that the 2008 collapse took many people’s savings and reduced them to a level that there is no way possible for them to re-invest and recoup their losses. But I’d add that in the previous decade were several other market drops that had already wiped out the retirement savings of many people.

      Not to mention, while in the late 1990s the market went like gangbusters (and many say overheated), prior to that run had been another drop which wiped out the savings of many, including my disabled sister. So by the time the run of the late 1990s came, it was too late for her trust fund.

    • SecularHumanist199

      While it is true that the collapse of 2008 has hurt a lot of people, it had its roots in Reagan’s policies of the 80s. The source of income inequality that we are seeing today can be directly linked to the out and out attack on unions that limited the ability of workers to fight for fair wages and working conditions and trickle down economic principles that allowed the rich to get wealthy at the expense of everyone else.

      • worrierking

        You’re right. I was a union officer during the Reagan years. Reagan was able to convince people that they were capitalists, not workers. That their 401k plans were more important than their weekly salaries. That they should vote for what’s best for investments at the expense of their own economic interests. It’s been all downhill since then.

  • outraged13

    Mr. Stein also fails to take into consideration the fact that his party routinely makes it more difficult for poor people to advance by cutting programs that aid the poor, not to mention raising the interest rates for student loans, all while giving more tax breaks to the rich. These are things that will almost certainly damn keep those who are already in poverty to more poverty for much longer-maybe forever. To add insult to injury, these same people then belittle and criticize the poor for being poor, while making changes to insure that the poor stay poor. Most times they even have the nerve to say they are Christian and quote the Bible while doing it. Disgusting.

  • kim dyer

    “Disastrously unfortunate appearance.” Did he really just SAY that? Does he think the man covered with tumors who was embraced by Pope Francis a few months ago looks like that on purpose?

    Mr. Stein’s “humble observation” is apparently very limited.

    • Finnsmom1

      There’s nothing humble about his observation either.

  • Roxanne Agredano

    This man has no sense whatsoever to group all unemployed this way. It is insulting and cruel especially at such a time as this! Does he not know that to get UI payments one must have worked 4 Qtrs at the very least? Again, I’m saddened by the state of my Country and by those who speak so foolishly.

  • Finnsmom1

    Luckily, Ben Steins “disastrously unfortunate appearance” hasn’t effected his earning capability. His black heart will be what does him in.

  • David Shaw Jr

    What do you expect from Nixon’s speechwriter?

  • Sherri G

    I’m a divorced mom of 5 who escaped domestic violence. I have a college background and served 11+ years as an Army Reservist/National Guardsman. I worked hard up until MVA in 2003. I was able to continue working(modified) until laid off 11/2004. I was approved for SSD 2008 backdated to 2005, tried to rehab by returning to school but been unemployed since laid off. We have ALWAYS been poor and I have sacrificed like nobody knows for my kids! 2/5 graduated from high school a year early and in college/graduating this year; oldest works FT; one is working on enlisting in the U.S. Marines with full choice of jobs due to IQ and ASVAB score (85+); youngest has disabilities ignored by schools and have been homeschooling her for 3+ years now. She plans on opening an Art studio for kids who are Deaf or disabled. All my kids volunteer in the community, take good care of their girlfriends/fiance, never had trouble with the law, drugs or alcohol, nonsmokers and they all have the potential to succeed!!! Being poor doesn’t mean we are subhuman, unfeeling, lazy, or any of the other stereotypes.

    • Finnsmom1

      Nice job and I applaud your sacrifice. I hope things become easier for you now.

      • Sherri G

        Thank you….

  • Sandy Greer

    This, to me, is the glaring difference between Right/Left in our country:

    Lefties aren’t perfect. But if you’ve got a problem, you know they care. In fact, Lefties/Dems are scorned by The Right as Bleeding Heart Liberals precisely BECAUSE THEY CARE.

    Righty Tighties? Well, they see a hand up as a hand out – and every hand reaching into their pocket like it was their last dollar they’ve got a death grip on.

    ^^^And then they wonder why they can’t get a vote.

    Resenting/blaming/scapegoating the LEAST among us is not The Right Thing, at all.

    • outraged13

      Interesting point. I’ve always wondered how it is that they can blame the most politically weak groups in this country-the poor, the sick, the elderly, single moms, etc.-for the problems in this country. To me, this is nothing more than a clear indication of how ineffective they are. I mean, if you are in a position of authority and power and can’t stop the least politically powerful from creating such terrible problems, doesn’t that kind of imply that you aren’t very good at your job and you are doing something very wrong?

      • Sandy Greer

        You see? You ARE astute. 😉

      • Joe T.

        They do it because historically it has been a winnable strategy. By scapegoating the poor and powerless within the country, it focuses the public’s attention away from the real causes and gives them a rallying cry to consolidate their power and further push their message. It should be noted, however, that most who have historically used this tactic were totalitarians, dictators, or fascists. The end results of such regimes assuming power speak for themselves in history. This is why we must not allow such elements in our government to find deeper root or support for their flawed policies and bring our country closer to destruction.

    • Jim Bean

      I don’t see that. I know lots of conservatives and they are not uncaring. What I see is Liberals ‘caring’ and willing to spend unlimited amounts of money to do something about it and then completely divorcing themselves from mechanics of coming up with money. Then they say, ‘if it wasn’t for the mean old uncaring Pubs, these problems would be solved’ like they think Pubs have seeds that grow money trees. 17 + trillion is what the national debt is now. Give me a figure on what you think it would be if there were no restraints on Democratic Party spending. And also, please give me your personal debt to asset ratio.

      • Sandy Greer

        My ‘personal debt to asset ratio’? A bit cheeky, don’t you think? LOL

        I have no debt: My house and car are paid for; I’ve food in my kitchen, clothes in my closet, money in the bank. I’m blessed – and I know it.

        To whom much is given, much is required.

        ^^^I don’t know God like I should. But I know THAT much.

        I’ve been on both ends of the ‘debt to asset ratio’. I’ve had people carry me when I didn’t know where my next dime was coming from. So, SO grateful. Now, thankfully, I’m fortunate enough I can actually help others. Even MORE grateful: Because it really IS better to give, than to receive.

        Of COURSE I’m willing to spend ‘unlimited amounts’ to invest in people: I think people a better ‘investment’ – with greater ‘return’ – than spending ourselves into a Hell hole of despair with two unfunded (charge card) wars which drain the life’s blood right out of this country.

        Invest in People: It ‘pays’ dividends beyond measure. Dividends are one sure way to wealth. And wealth begets wealth.

        ^^^So don’t be ‘mean’ when you water that garden. 😉

      • Its sush a joy, to be on a topic, and no one is calling each other names. How do we fix this? We are the ones who keep the country going with OUR money, we are the ones with the answers, the problem is, we count on the powers that be, to do what we need, and don’t do what they promiss when we vote for them. We the people need to find a way to hold them accountable. If our only options is the lesser of two evils, we need to find a way for the masses to have a voice, the voting system isn’t working. How do we, the hard working citizens of this country, stop handing our money over to the ones who just take it, and just don’t give a damn after the elections?

      • evenstevens

        I’m positive you’ve seen Republican efforts to reduce taxes and keep them low for the wealthy, like the loopholes that recently expired. Can this be a caring attitude when concurrently speaking of the danger of the debt, the state of the economy on Main Street, and falsely attributing the debt to Social Security? They really want to remove some of the Main Street business that comes from Social Security recipients? I don’t see how this combination of points could be construed to formulate a reasonable concern for the debt or the conditions on Main Street, quite the opposite from my perspective.

        The conservatives I’ve known seem not to care about anything as much as promoting/defending conservative dogma, even when that entails evading an issue seconds after pursuing it, or using a sensational tidbit of speculation from media that has long since been famously, decisively, debunked.

        All the savings in the world cannot pay down the US debt, but the collecting of revenue that could pay it off without impoverishing a soul is uniformly rejected/tabled in the House of Reps, in favor of attacking programs that literally keep people working and spending money on Main Street. Any concern this denotes must be for the continued concentrating of wealth and against a stable economy that upholds, sustains, and expands the American Dream. FDR did nothing that can’t be repeated today and those things clearly created the American Dream.

      • Jim Bean

        In FDR’s day, a dollar of stimulus went from the butcher to the baker to the candlestick maker and round and round again. A dollar of stimulus today goes from the worker to Walmart to China and is gone forever. FDR enjoyed a closed economy. Todays economy leaks like a sieve. Furthermore the Left complains endlessly that corporations offshore, sit on money, and shelter money all they while they are clamoring for government to tax them more without a clue as to how the one is causing the other.

      • evenstevens

        Many nations have shut down the tax havens to their currencies, so it’s not something we have to live with. If anything we aid in the circumvention of those responsible policies.

        As I’ve said before, targeted, precision tariffs have, and can again lighten up those foreign leakages, and we could take advantage of the natural resource exports we almost give away. Allow some incentive to set up manufacturing and we could become a net exporter, in time. Just look at oil the way everyone else does, for example.

      • evenstevens

        There was a huge labor cost differential throughout the great middle-class expansion too, and if incentives were altered, service contracts, equipment, skills, and capital would come back more easily than they left. To help others up, first get yourself up.

      • Jim Bean

        Most of that, I agree with. But, other than taxes, Dems have none of it on the table.

      • evenstevens

        I think most of US agree with most of that.

        I wonder what you mean by, “none of it on the table.” It sounds like, “skin in the game,” which is nothing at all like easy disposable income wagered, (or, invested.)

        On economics, do you disagree with Bernie Sanders? Elizabeth Warren?
        We have eliminated a number of such as Joe Lieberman, (“blue” dogs), and I think that trend will continue.

  • Tim1980

    Hey Ben, I’m a lawyer, graduated in the top third of my class, passed the bar the first time around, been practicing for two years, but my phone is about to be turned off, probably going to be evicted soon from my 400 square foot palace with running water. My job just doesn’t pay well, at all, because my boss knows he can take advantage of me, as I am erroneously considered a 1099 IC rather than a W2 employee, so I don’t get regular pay, but I can’t really rock the boat much b/c the job market for professionals is terrible. So explain to me why I deserve to be poor. I am very fortunate to have been on food stamps in the past because without them I would not have survived, so take your pathetic argument somewhere else. By the way, anyone looking for a lawyer?

    • evenstevens

      Yep, in this topsy-turvy, gone wild economy, the well educated, should-be professionals are nothing special. Just part of the masses to be stepped over and discarded to poverty, by right wing enabling for the aristocracy.

  • Chester

    Wow. Since when is being truthful ‘disgusting and shameful’? Please. He’s right. If the vault to the bank is left open and continually replenished, where’s the incentive to do for oneself?

    • Finnsmom1

      You know your comment applies to Wall Street, K Street and Big Business, don’t you?

      • Chester

        Actually, Finnsmom, let’s stay on topic. My comment is a reaction to Stein’s comments. Welfare, miminum wage, etc., are a good stepping stone when people are down on their luck, just getting started, etc. Heck. When I was 18, worked a job making minimum wage. That low wage inspired me to do better at work and eventually move on to higher paying jobs. Then eventually I realized I needed a college degree to get a bigger jump in pay. I went to school. I have student loans (which I am currently paying down). It befuddles me when people stay on welfare, minimum wage (generation after generation). Mr. Stein is spot on.

        Now….since you digressed and decided to haul in the “street” with our discussion, you’re right. And you know what, it stinks, the street received handouts, etc. I am with you 100%.

      • Finnsmom1

        and the point of my digression is that the Corporate Welfare will continue to be handed out and no one will cast judgment while our citizenry, whether on assistance temporarily or long term are treated like pariahs.

      • gian keys flat mom

        treated by fervent white trash watchers of FOX “news”

    • gian keys flat mom

      would this also include tax free churches and mega-wealthy companies getting huge subsidies even when turning record profits?
      NOTE: 73% of those who actually eat using FOOD STAMPS are 13 and under or 65 and older. OF that number 70% are caucasian
      funny how FOX “news” NEVVVVVVVVVVER states this

  • SecularHumanist199

    Ben is just parroting the right wing meme that anybody who isn’t rich is there because they are “takers” who just don’t work hard enough. I guess he isn’t aware that the majority of people receiving food stamps are working full time jobs, but their jobs just don’t pay a living wage. He doesn’t seem to care that a large percentage of veterans are receiving food assistance. In typical GOP fashion he “supports the troops” as long as they are dying in a war that they would never fight themselves, while not caring for them a bit after they come home.

  • Ed Rudy

    Hatred of struggling American families in need of assistance is a disease that can only be treated and improved by compassion for all people.
    Ben Stein is bright and accomplished enough to avail himself of the medication of progressive compassion.
    Ben Stein also would have to refrain from ingesting Greed, Obstructionism and Prejudice from purveyors like the criminally convicted News Corp. operation, Fox News, and other similar right wing extremist anti-poor and working American family administration hate dispensaries.
    Liberal = Good
    Conservative = Bad

  • Roy Merritt

    Here in Missouri if you are an adult under 65 years of age and have no dependents, you get no Medicaid and you only get Snap (food stamps) if you make less than $600 a month. Mr. Stein and all Republicans have the misconception that people are laying on the couch just waiting for the check to come in the mail box, not true. Most people who get SNAP and aid for dependent children are off off it with in 2 years. In Missouri you can’t even work a minimum wage job and collect SNAP.

  • Anthony Davis

    Hey Mr. Stein…let JESUS in….and maybe things will improve! How about that, huh?!

    • gian keys flat mom

      hey wait!!! im still waiting for JEEEESUS ( or any OTHER ersatz “god”) to fully cure an amputee

  • Phil B.

    Because if poor people aren’t lazy and shiftless, it might mean that their precious system just might be broken. And good luck ever getting a Conservative to admit that.

  • Alvindudley

    “Off of”? Now who’s ignorant?

  • Dot

    Some of the most religious people I know are very religious. And what does he mean by “Disastrously unfortunate appearance”? Only ugly people can have a good life?

  • david h

    When you and your wall street buddies in corporate America spend 30 years, stripping the manufacturing base and those middle class jobs of the 60,000 factories you sent to china to make everything for us in our lives and homes, how does that policy reduce poverty, in America, it doesn’t it engineered more your hands are not clean in the matter, wall street has stripped the middle class opportunities out of America. By the tens of tens of millions ,and you have the nerve to say the poor are responsible. They have no money, no voice, and no political power over the policies we have now this is wall streets policy,

  • getting cynical

    oh Ben, Ben, Ben….I am not a foul-mouthed person but such idiocy I can no longer tolerate….I’m heading into “I’m mad as hell and I won’t take it anymore! territory.” So, f— off Ben; go away, go far, far away and disappear…and take Rush Limbaugh and those like him with you.

  • lindylou

    You know, Ben, I talked to some poor people who looked high and low for some ramshackle house with no plumbing so they could live like they were “supposed” to, but dang, there isn’t any.

  • Rich Carter

    15Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world

    • gian keys flat mom

      hey rich: how about a nice easy MIRACLE such as someones ( anyones) “GOD” fully curing an amputee and documenting that>??

  • vicman

    What do you expect from Ben Stein was a speech writer for Nixon.

  • evenstevens

    This is one in a long continuous line of rants from Stein that skip here and there, lightly brushing on multiple complex issues, each in it’s most extreme rendition, as though proving a central theme, and leaving it to others to do the point-by-point analysis, but addressing no particular point with any but the slightest of observations. He is simply a pot stirrer that has no intention of proving any point. God, I tire of cleaning up his messes.

  • James

    I had more money to spend when I was a drunk before I had a family, kids and owned a home. Bankers planned a economic crash then keep it going to create a slave class in the USA and we get to listen to this bozo !

  • Peter Laine

    stein is an idiot, always has been an idiot, I suspect that tomorrow he will be an idiot

  • gian keys flat mom

    but when wealthy trash does drugs/over-indulges in alcohol/ gambles excessively/ has kids out-of-wedlock/commits crimes which are evidence of mental problems/ has deplorable work “habits” ( but keeps job because it is FAMILY) where O where O where is ben stein?
    making big money chit-chatting to the crowd ( see: regressives) while he pontificates on FOX “news”

  • gregg

    Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity nothing exceeds the criticisms of the habits of the poor by the well housed, well warmed. and well fed.
    Herman Melville (1819-1891)