It's really one of the dumbest, most meaningless things anyone can say and other dumbasses will think it profound: "Give someone a fish, and they’ll eat for a day. Teach them to fish, they’ll eat for a lifetime." What the fuck? How is this still a thing people say? Because, see, as the Rude Pundit has explained before, how is that poor bastard going to fish without a fishing pole, a line, perhaps a net, and, in most places, a license? Are you sure that this newly-minted fisherman is living near a body of water that has edible fish? And, while he's getting all that shit straight, what the fuck is he gonna eat? The knowledge you gave him? You're just setting someone up to starve to death, but you can pat yourself on the back and tell yourself, "Goddamn, I'm a good person 'cause I taught a dude to fish."
The asshole who repeated the parable of the damned is Governor Mike Pence of the stinking hellscape of Indiana. Pence was speaking to Fox "news" special needs hire, Brian Kilmeade, whose form of mental disability makes him lick the assholes of the cruelest Republicans while spitting his shit-flecked saliva at anyone who has compassion for the poor.
See, Pence wants to reinstate work requirements for childless, able-bodied food stamp recipients that had been waived during the recession. Now that everything is so hunky-dory with job hiring in Indiana, according to Pence, it's time to put the work rules back into place and kick up to 65,000 freeloaders off the dole. Never mind that some areas have recovered more than others. Never mind that job training programs - you know, teaching someone to fish - are in limited supply. Never mind that, nationally, there's 2 people for every job available. Never mind the number of people who aren't in the unemployment figures who because they gave up looking for work.
(By the way, shouldn't Pence and other governors refusing to extend the waiver be thanking President Obama for the economy improving to the point that they can feel free to do so? Huh. Funny how that works.)
If this isn't dickish enough, Pence offered this non-angling explanation for the good he's doing: "I’m someone that believes there’s nothing more ennobling to a person than a job...And to make sure that able-bodied adults without dependents at home know that here in the state of Indiana, we want to partner with them in their success." He's a mensch, that Pence. He wants to ennoble you by starving you unless you get a job. If you're someone in Gary, Indiana, and you have to beg for scraps from your neighbors because the city itself doesn't have enough jobs, you will be ennobled. Oh, and if you make more than $15,170 at this job? Fuck you. You get dick in food stamps. Eat shit and go ennoble yourself.
The issue here is not just the employment rules for recipients of benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It's the continued abject cruelty of conservative ideology. Cutting people off food stamps? Wanting to eliminate the minimum wage? Motherfuckers, we tried all this. We have a fuckload of evidence that the cruel approach fails. It's called "Almost All of Human History." What happens when that childless, able-bodied person can't eat? She'll go to charities that are already stretched thin. She might beg. She might lose her home paying for food so that she can have the strength to look for a job. This is not overstatement. This is what has happened and what will happen.
Tell you what, welfare reform lovers. If the government steps up and gives jobs to people who can't find ones in the private sector, you can go right ahead. Let's invest in some big damn infrastructure projects that need workers. Pence says he wants to teach people to fish. Well, paying them to fish for all of us seems awfully fucking fair.
Oh, right. Government employees don't "produce" anything. Well, some definitely produce bullshit.