Patterico's Pontifications

3/30/2008

Michelle Obama on Money-Makers vs. Helpers

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 9:59 am



[Guest post by DRJ]

Earlier this month, Michelle Obama campaigned in Zanesville, Ohio, where nearly a quarter of the residents live below the poverty line. She connected with locals who are feeling the economic pinch by sharing how hard it has been for the Obamas to give up money-making for helping:

“Michelle Obama stopped by the other day during a campaign visit and warned the locals to not go for the big money.

“We left corporate America, which is a lot of what we’re asking young people to do,” she told a group of women at a day-care center. “Don’t go into corporate America. You know, become teachers. Work for the community. Be social workers. Be a nurse. Those are the careers that we need, and we’re encouraging our young people to do that. But if you make that choice, as we did, to move out of the money-making industry into the helping industry, then your salaries respond.”

Of course, the Obamas haven’t had to give up that much. Her “helping” salary from the University of Chicago Hospital increased $195,052 between 2004-2005 to over $300,000. In addition, what enabled them to finally pay off their school loans was a big dose of capitalism:

“Barack and I were in that position,” continued Michelle Obama, complaining about the college loans. “Up until a few years ago, we were struggling to figure out how we would save for our kids.”

And then, Shazam!, capitalism saved the day.

“The only reason we’re not in that position is that Barack wrote two best-selling books,” she explained. “It was like Jack and his magic beans.”

And the truckers in the “money-making industry” who delivered the books? They’re not in a “helping industry”? And they’re more greedy than a community affairs coordinator at a hospital, pocketing $316,962?”

The helping industry is important but the world needs more than nurses, teachers, and social workers. It also needs capitalists, entrepreneurs, and innovators with ideas that can help far more people than one helper can ever reach. Innovators and capitalists have made it possible for the world to have cars and airplanes, the assembly line, breakthroughs in crops and pasteurization, medical advances, computers, and more that have made the world an infinitely better place.

The US and the world benefits from helpers but, unlike Michelle Obama, we should also encourage people to be innovators and capitalists.

— DRJ

44 Responses to “Michelle Obama on Money-Makers vs. Helpers”

  1. The US and the world benefits from helpers but, unlike Michelle Obama, we should also encourage people to be innovators and capitalists.

    What’s the point of posting this story, exactly?

    What, you don’t think capitalism isn’t promoted enough in American society?

    Levi (76ef55)

  2. Don’t even think about getting Michelle started on how freaking hard it is to keep fresh fruit in the house for the kids. Oh, the horror!

    JD (5f0e11)

  3. I would think that the impoverished residents of such an underdeveloped area would find innovators and capitalists to be pretty helpful right about now.

    driver (faae10)

  4. Where would Michelle be without capitalism and all that Rezko funny-money? It has to do with hypocrisy.

    Vermont Neighbor (e7ed47)

  5. I don’t think we need a presidential campaign that denigrates two-thirds of Americans by profession.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  6. Levi,

    I don’t think we should spend hundreds of thousands of dollars educating people like the Obamas to be “helpers,” nor do I think the Obamas should go around encouraging everyone to do what they did. First, it won’t pay off for the average person they way it has for the Obamas. Second, it’s a poor use of resources. We don’t need to spend $300K-$500K per person on elite college and graduate educations if that person wants to be a nurse, social worker or teacher (and if we do, we need to revamp our educational system). We can use that money for something more important … like the environment.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  7. What’s the point of posting this story, exactly?

    Why am I not surprised you are unable to grasp the point?

    Paul (b8f307)

  8. I want Obama to help me buy a million dollar property like Rezko helped Obama buy a million dollar property.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  9. Why shouldn’t the Obamas encourage people to do what they did? We don’t need to be encouraging people to go into the private sector, or embrace capitalism, as you seem to want her to do, because those aren’t problems. I think America is pretty well sold on the idea of capitalism.

    Where we’re having problems is with people not going into public service. Our education system is a global laughingstock, what’s the problem with encouraging people to be teachers instead of business tycoons? We need more teachers, we need better teachers. It’s really good that not only does Michelle Obama recognize this problem, but is addressing it publicly, and all you retards have to say is ‘well, she should be encouraging capitalism, too!’

    Also, lol at ‘poor use of resources.’ Might not have enough to invest in our tanking education system, but dammit, we’ve got enough to bomb and rebuild a third world country on the other side of the planet over and over again!

    I know the GOP theme with Mrs. Obama is she’s un-American, and painting her as anti-capitalist is a means to that end, but all she said is we need more teachers. You’re definitely a caricature of yourself if you’re actually, seriously, wasting time on your front page complaining that someone is calling for more teachers.

    Levi (76ef55)

  10. We don’t need to spend $300K-$500K per person on elite college and graduate educations if that person wants to be a nurse, social worker or teacher (and if we do, we need to revamp our educational system). We can use that money for something more important … like the environment.

    Or even MORE important things — like education for a wider range of people. Maybe we could actually tie educational funding to need, rather than skin tone!

    Rob Crawford (8578d9)

  11. Levi, do we need MORE teachers, better teachers, or just teachers who actually, you know, TEACH.

    That last bit’s the part that’s missing, if anecdotal reports are to be believed. A friend’s daughter is going to a school that has apparently decided to teach math in a way guaranteed to keep the kids from actually being able to use it. It’s not a poor district, either — upper middle class, at the least.

    Rob Crawford (8578d9)

  12. Levi:

    .. but all she said is we need more teachers.

    No, she said we need people to move out of money-making careers and into helping careers. That doesn’t sound like a capitalist to me. It sounds like a socialist.

    A capitalist believes in the market, which uses money to attract people to careers. If we need more teachers, nurses, or social workers, the market will pay them more. You may not agree with the theory but you don’t get to redefine how it works.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  13. Well, yes. By definition, if you’re going to encourage people to do one thing, you’re also discouraging them from doing another.

    How’s your thought process on this work? Mrs. Obama says she thinks we need more teachers, teachers are good for communities, communities sounds an awful lot like communism, therefore, THE OBAMAS ARE SOCIALISTS.

    All she really said was, ‘we need more teachers.’ You’re reading all of this socialism and anti-capitalism into nothing, because that’s all any of you are good at.

    And sorry, but market forces aren’t really applying to a public school system that requires kids by law to attend. Fourth-graders can’t really ‘vote with their wallets,’ you know? (Isn’t that something that no-regulation free-markets like to say?) Unless you think the whole education system ought to be privatized, the government is going to have to put up the money to lure these people to these fundamentally necessary careers.

    Levi (76ef55)

  14. Our education system is a global laughingstock

    Why do you think that is, Levi?

    I’d love to know why you think it became a global laughingstock.

    Paul (b8f307)

  15. If our education system is a laughingstock ( more silly rhetoric really ), it is because of education majors – and a lack of capitalism in education.

    There is nothing more useless than a Education doctorate, including boar hog tits.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  16. The ‘Tard of Thunder writes:

    Where we’re having problems is with people not going into public service. Our education system is a global laughingstock, what’s the problem with encouraging people to be teachers instead of business tycoons? We need more teachers, we need better teachers. It’s really good that not only does Michelle Obama recognize this problem, but is addressing it publicly, and all you retards have to say is ‘well, she should be encouraging capitalism, too!’

    Correction: she should be encouraging capitalism in education. Most of our industries are highly capitalistic in nature, and without exception, those industries are not the laughingstock of the world. Let’s try running our education system that way for a while and see what happens. It could scarcely perform worse than what we have now.

    Xrlq (62cad4)

  17. I get it: making money is bad, unless it comes from our all benevolent government. Unless it is a Republican government, I mean.

    Also, what a hypocrite MO is on a salary like hers, claiming to be “one of the folks” (like Bill O’Reilly) while living quite differently.

    The difference is that she is wearing ethnic kevlar, and attempts to hold her to consistency and honesty (to which ALL politicians should be held) get viewed as racist.

    This is our “postracial society.”

    Eric Blair (32cb22)

  18. Why do you think that is, Levi?

    I’d love to know why you think it became a global laughingstock.

    There’s a lot that factors into it, economics, inequality, neglect, crime, etc., and yes, Republicans have a lot to do with it, too. Religion does not make people smart, and unfortunately we’ve got a lot of really religious people pulling all the levers of government, and dictating the terms of debate. Republicans typically represent colleges and professors as bastions of liberal thought that exist only to indoctrinate their children, and that kind of undermines the value of an education.

    Republicans are out there denying global warming, and insisting they’ve proven that abortions cause breast cancer, and that Jesus invented the world in six hours while riding his dino-steed, and holding back research into stem cells, all of which is just rotting stupidity. And when you start giving people that believe all that crazy shit platforms and access to politicians and actually making them the politicians, there’s no wonder we’ve seen a collective dumbing-down of America.

    It also doesn’t help that the man you elected is a genuine fucking retard that can’t string two words together without stuttering, or losing his train of thought, or generally just embarrassing himself and the country, either.

    Levi (76ef55)

  19. Nice talking points, Levi.

    Now what about the education system? How did it get to being a laughingstock? Can you answer that question without bashing Republicans or your default argument that Bush is an idiot?

    Ever think it because we don’t teach kids how to think, but how to feel?

    Paul (b8f307)

  20. Truly Great Comment @ 18 Levi. New heights of stupidity.

    Our education system sucks because of religion and lack of republican commitment to global warming, stem cell research, and abortion.

    You forgot the gay agenda.

    Fucking brilliant. I’ll send in your nobel nomination today, putz.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  21. If that is not BDS personified, I do not know what is.

    JD (5f0e11)

  22. Why do twatwaffles like Levi insist on being fundamentally dishonest. She did was not only talking about teachers, which she makes abundantly clear, yet he insists on categorizing her position as only teachers, and then mounting some silly BDS infected spittle flying rant on how it is all somebody else’s fault. Living typing proof of the problems with our education system, you are, Levi.

    JD (5f0e11)

  23. I think Levi’s recitation of tired rhetoric proves his own point about the education system. Newsflash, Levi, the places where the education system is in the proverbial toilet are in large cities, most of which have been controlled by Democrats for decades. Nobody is teaching flat earth theology in say, Philadelphia, where I grew up and lived for 36 years. That city has been hemmorhaging productive citizens and it’s not due to disgust with your worst imagined stereotype of Bible-thumpers gone wild. In fact, your most devout religious folk there would be Latino Catholics and African American Baptists, two groups you would never have the balls to call out on their so-called foolish beliefs.
    How about you become a teacher, then? Maybe you could save the children from the hell of the creationists that are supposedly ruining the education of the poor poor children. Something tells me you wouldn’t have the guts to even walk through the neighborhoods where underclass children are held hostage in government run public schools in unsafe conditions and forced to share space with “special education” students who have no desire to learn and whose parents are probably not much more well-mannered than their brood.
    Who the hell does Ivy League educated Michelle Obama think she is trying to lay the guilt trip on people and their desires for particular careers and goals in life? The Obamas are the ultimate display of holier-than-thou uber-liberal know-it-all-ism while, as usual, displaying complete hypocrisy and laughable attempts to ‘relate’ to ordinary people’s struggles. They play tremendously well with people of similar ilk in so-called progressive communities. Put up a front of enlightened care and understanding but beneath it this strong will to power almost salivating at the opportunity to tell lesser folks what they SHOULD do. And then add a dash of trendy “bad, America!” The arrogance is staggering.

    shockcorridor (6637b8)

  24. Remember, in Levi the Genius’s world, the twice elected governor of the second largest state and twice elected President of the United States with degrees from Yale and Harvard is a “genuine fucking retard.” And what praytell, have you ever accomplished in your no-doubt superior existence, that can be recited without peppering your point-of-view with juvenile profanities, Levi?

    shockcorridor (6637b8)

  25. For the sake of brevity a statistic:
    when asked a direct question about education in america Levi wrote a 193 word response. It should be noted however, that it only took ELEVEN words into to his answer to revert to rampant, fulminating BDS.
    To preserve bandwith I would suggest that any question you would like to pose for Levi, be self answered with “Bush’s fault.” That simple statement, for the most part, seems to inform Levi’s entire view of the world. By not rattling his cage, maybe we can use that energy to interact with each other./sarc
    yeeeesh kid, enough, find a new tune.

    Paul from Fl (47918a)

  26. Paul from FL:

    It’s not the San Andreas Fault…it’s Bush’s Fault.

    Paul (b8f307)

  27. Levi,

    Even though we have public schools, market forces still apply. If people get fed up with the public education system, then:

    (1) They use their own money to home-school their kids or send their kids to private schools;

    (2) They lobby their state and local governments to change the education system, e.g., to set up charter schools, allow vouchers, or allocate more resources to public education; or

    (3) all of the above.

    It’s not just a choice between more teachers or no teachers, nor was that Michelle Obama’s point. You keep trying to change her words into something that you can more easily defend. According to the article, her point was that people should move out of the money-making industry into the helping industry, and that sounds like creeping socialism to me.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  28. C’mon DRJ. It takes a village, don’t you know?

    A village of people who know what is better for you than you do.

    The funny part about all of these authoritarians is that only want to give up their freedoms to people of whom they approve. You would think that they would consider the powers they give being used by their worst enemies.

    But with HRC or BO in charge, the world would be all fuzzy bunnies and rainbows.

    Tell it to LBJ.

    Applause, also, DRJ, for keeping the conversation on a high level. Tough job, and you need to be congratulated.

    Eric Blair (2708f4)

  29. Thank you, Eric, but I don’t get the credit. I think most of the people who come here are interested in serious discussions of both sides of a topic. It may get passionate sometimes but that’s to be expected.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  30. Who the hell does Ivy League educated Michelle Obama think she is trying to lay the guilt trip on people and their desires for particular careers and goals in life? The Obamas are the ultimate display of holier-than-thou uber-liberal know-it-all-ism while, as usual, displaying complete hypocrisy and laughable attempts to ‘relate’ to ordinary people’s struggles. They play tremendously well with people of similar ilk in so-called progressive communities. Put up a front of enlightened care and understanding but beneath it this strong will to power almost salivating at the opportunity to tell lesser folks what they SHOULD do. And then add a dash of trendy “bad, America!” The arrogance is staggering.

    A suggestion that we need more people in public service isn’t ‘laying a guilt trip on people.’ I mean, how do you figure that?

    Michelle Obama’s attitude is the same attitude that brought us to the moon in the 60’s. JFK challenged the ingenuity and resourcefulness of America’s citizens, and lo and behold, they delivered. We could reap similar benefits with the Obamas in office, challenging people to be a little more selfless and maybe consider entering into public service.

    It’s not arrogance, it’s leadership. Real leadership, not the ‘OOOH, I LANDED ON AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER’ leadership you Republicans seem to prefer.

    Levi (76ef55)

  31. Obama, not the wife, has white guilt.

    Alta Bob (aada0c)

  32. Michelle Obama on restructuring society…
    It’s hard to comment when you’re doubled over from laughter.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  33. Levi:

    Michelle Obama’s attitude is the same attitude that brought us to the moon in the 60’s. JFK challenged the ingenuity and resourcefulness of America’s citizens, and lo and behold, they delivered. We could reap similar benefits with the Obamas in office, challenging people to be a little more selfless and maybe consider entering into public service.

    I think you have it backwards. As I recall, JFK told young people to get involved, such as joining the Peace Corp, to help them find direction until they decided on careers. He didn’t tell them what their careers should be.

    In addition, what if the people that Michelle Obama told to be nurses, teachers, and social workers are potential nanotechnologists and NASA engineers? We may miss out on new medical and scientific breakthroughs or advances in space because, instead of pursuing their dreams, they are pursuing more “socially acceptable” careers.

    Young people are susceptible to suggestions from people they admire and the Obamas are attractive to young people today. I think it’s sad they are using their influence this way. I doubt either Michelle Obama or Barack Obama would have liked it if leaders had told them they should be satisfied with careers as teachers, nurses and social workers.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  34. I’m not a Republican, Levi, but THAAAAAAANKS for playing. I’m sorry, but who the hell asked Michelle Obama to lead anyone anywhere? And if so, she’s leading by example? I don’t think so. She, in typical fashionable progressive style, is the answer to the question nobody asked. Has the privelege of going to the most elite, upper class schools in the country, makes tons of money, hobnobs with race-obsessed grievance mongers, and then has the gall to tell other people what SHE thinks they should do. I find it amusing that you find someone like Michelle Obama inspiring in her alleged leadership. And you couldn’t resist getting another jab in at Bush of course. So, again, I ask, since you’re obviously more intelligent and more accomplished than the “genuine fucking retard” in the White House, what the hell have YOU ever accomplished?

    shockcorridor (cf3660)

  35. Dude – if “Outreach Directors” can pull >300 Large, then sign me up. I’ll gladly do that instead of “earn money”.

    rhodeymark (6797b5)

  36. I thought people at The Mint made money…

    Smarter Levi (e86321)

  37. I think you have it backwards. As I recall, JFK told young people to get involved, such as joining the Peace Corp, to help them find direction until they decided on careers. He didn’t tell them what their careers should be.

    She’s not doing that either. Read her words. “asking young people to,” “work for the community,” “Those are the careers that we need,” “we’re encouraging our young people to that.”

    That’s asking people to get involved, it’s not telling them what their careers should be. You have to do a retardedly dishonest amount of parsing of those words to come away with, “She’s telling me what to do! Just like some socialist!”

    Young people are susceptible to suggestions from people they admire and the Obamas are attractive to young people today. I think it’s sad they are using their influence this way. I doubt either Michelle Obama or Barack Obama would have liked it if leaders had told them they should be satisfied with careers as teachers, nurses and social workers.

    This is about as juvenile as it gets. It’s wrong to use influence to encourage people to enter into public service? What the fuck? I’m sure you support 18 and 19 year old kids signing up for the military, you don’t think we ought to be actively recruiting teachers in the same way, given our horrible education system? You think that would be a bad idea that sends the wrong message to kids? Bullshit. Have you poor capitalists had it so tough that a single paragraph calling for a little selflessness is just intolerable?

    Levi (76ef55)

  38. I’m not a Republican, Levi, but THAAAAAAANKS for playing. I’m sorry, but who the hell asked Michelle Obama to lead anyone anywhere? And if so, she’s leading by example? I don’t think so. She, in typical fashionable progressive style, is the answer to the question nobody asked. Has the privelege of going to the most elite, upper class schools in the country, makes tons of money, hobnobs with race-obsessed grievance mongers, and then has the gall to tell other people what SHE thinks they should do. I find it amusing that you find someone like Michelle Obama inspiring in her alleged leadership. And you couldn’t resist getting another jab in at Bush of course. So, again, I ask, since you’re obviously more intelligent and more accomplished than the “genuine fucking retard” in the White House, what the hell have YOU ever accomplished?

    How are you not a Republican?

    Levi (76ef55)

  39. According to you, she is encouraging people to be teachers, Levi. Were you wrong, or just lying?

    JD (75f5c3)

  40. Levi – Disagreeing with your polemics does not a Republican make.

    JD (75f5c3)

  41. “You poor capitalists.” and “How are you not a Republican?” Levi, your complete utter stupidity is at this point just providing entertainment for the adults in the room. Must be all those Bible-thumping flat-earthers who taught you in school. Well that’s okay, when you become a teacher and when your heroes the Obamas take over I’m sure the world will be saved from all the capitalists. You know, the ones that invented, marketed, and sold the computer that you have the privilege of owning and using to recite your profanity-laced partisan silliness. Here’s a simple explanation, little boy, I’m not a Republican because I didn’t check off the little box on the registration form that says “REPUBLICAN.” Is that simple enough for you to follow? Maybe you’re not smarter than the “genuine fucking retard” that you sneer at with such contempt. I believe the retard is off in Europe having high level discussions with world statesmen and diplomats making important decisions that shape the globe. And you’re doing…? Still waiting for you to answer that one.

    shockcorridor (cf3660)

  42. What’s interesting is the reason a lot of people are again returning to things like nursing is because it is again starting to pay what it needs to, to attract applicants.

    Ironically, under Obamessiah’s tax plan, two Californian RN’s married to each other qualify as one his “affluent” Americans who don’t “share enough” and need to be punished by confiscatory income taxes.

    Darleen (187edc)

  43. One of the tasks Michelle Obama’s hospital needed her for as director of community affairs, as a woman of color, was to help discourage welfare patients from using the hospital’s services because they were losing roo much money on them. The hospital wanted them to see primary care physicians where appropriate. It’s a common problem, but not very helping in my view if primary care physicians won’t see you because you can’t pay.

    I’m with Michelle, though, I’m all about helping if I can get paid $300K per year. Screw the money making.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  44. Hey, there you go, the left, gnawing at the hand that feeds them.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the so-called public servants actually had to EARN the money from people who VOLUNTARILY paid them for their services? Markets, baby.

    That, or stop denigrating the people who pay for their golden parachutes. Or just shut up entirely, any of the three work for me.

    Merovign (4744a2)


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