I’m a “lazy idiot who is raping the economy” (UPDATED)

Updated. See new stats at end of post.

Apparently I am, at least according to Mr. Rush Limbaugh, seeing as I work in the non-profit sector. The good stuff starts at 1:20…

“A bunch of lazy idiots, many of them don’t want to really work. Non-profits – siphon contributions as their salaries and so forth and think of themselves as good people, charitable people. I mean these people are rapists in terms of finance and economy.”

Well then, good to know. I suppose the staff at summer camps across North America really do just amount to a lazy and unintelligent workforce bent on destroying the economy.

This mass-generalizing seems to becoming pervasive throughout the American right as of late. From the ridiculous assertions that Limbaugh and Beck spew at the left each day, to the guilty-by-association condemnation of American Muslims over the past month, this vitriol is contributing to a pandemic of argumentum ad hominem. Limbaugh raises no quantitative or substantive arguments against non-profits, specifically or in general. Instead, he lumps an entire sector of the American workforce together in an attempt to tarnish their character.

What’s the point? If you have a problem with liberal policy specifically, then bring it up in a coherent and meaningful way. Engage in serious debate. I’d love to see the numbers on how religious non-profits are contributing to the demise of the American economy. Instead, all I get is an insult hurled right at my chosen line of work from some fat guy on the radio.

UPDATE: After this brief rant, I started wondering how exactly nonprofits fit into the US economy. Maybe Mr. Limbaugh should have used Google, too. Here’s what I found: According to the The Hill, the US non-profit sector represents almost 8% of the GNP, while the 2008 Nonprofit Almanac reported that nonprofits represent “5% of gross domestic product (GDP) of the U.S. economy, 8% of wages and salaries, and 10% of employment.” Now what was that again about raping finance and the economy?


  1. jonolan says:

    Why bother with such debate? There’s no point in it at all since few on either side are amendable to conversion and all the disputes are based upon core ideologies with the specifics involved only being tangible symptoms.

    Things will be solved by deeds, not words at this point.

    1. Jesse says:

      Why debate? It’s not really a debate in the first place, but I comment on it here because Limbaugh is factually incorrect, and this is an issue of great personal relevance to me.

      I agree wholeheartedly with you that the number of people interested in meaningful dialogue across the political spectrum seems to be lessening each day.

      This, though, isn’t an “issue” or “dispute” about ideology, symptoms, or deeds. It has to do with the words he used, which were factually incorrect (though, probably tied to his ideology, so at least for Limbaugh, it may be ideological).

      If he wanted to make an educated argument that the 10% of the workforce would be better used towards for-profit business, I’d be open to hearing that… but that’s not what happened.

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