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Ferris Bueller's Super Monotonous Teacher, A.K.A Ben Stein, Says Poor People Are "Lazy," Among Other Choice Adjectives

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Ahh, 1986.

Gas cost less than a buck per gallon, Hungry Hippos was the best game ever, and Ben Stein was just that nerdy but affable economics teacher whose monotonous chant of "anyone… anyone?" put an entire nation to sleep.

Yup, those were the good ole' days!

In 2014, however, things have changed. You need to refinance your house to fill up your gas tank, the hippopotamuses in Africa really are hungry, and Mr. Stein has devolved into an ultra-conservative pundit who shamelessly spouts super insensitive theories on why poor people deserve to be poor!!

In a recent column for The Spectator, Benny Buns proselytized:

"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 (very much including basic laziness) cause people to be unemployed, have poor or no work habits, and enter and stay in poverty."

Ugh!! It's our humble observation that those conclusions are straight-up canal juice! Malarkey! Baloney! Bull honkey cat poop!

How are people who are physically or mentally disabled self-sabotaging? Does he really think that those poor souls chose those handicaps?! That their unfortunate station in life is simply a product of "poor or no work habits"??

Ben continued:

"What will make the genuinely poor stop sabotaging themselves? Maybe, just maybe, if we let God back into the public forum it would help. I have seen spiritual solutions work miracles."

LOLz, because there were way less poor people and far better living conditions back when God was more popular! Riiiight!

The lives of the impoverished are difficult enough already; a rich dude pointing fingers and piling on does NOT help!

No wonder Ferris Bueller took a day off!

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28 comments to “Ferris Bueller's Super Monotonous Teacher, A.K.A Ben Stein, Says Poor People Are "Lazy," Among Other Choice Adjectives”

  1. 1

    As funny as he is, Ben Stein has also always been an outspoken and staunch conservative. He was a speech writer for Nixon and Ford before becoming an actor.

  2. mike says – reply to this


    aside from the physically and mentally disabled (which he wasnt referring to anyway) he is absolutely correct. he is talking about long term poverty (ie people who stay poor for many many years), not poor people. for example, if you stayed on your ass all day and didnt create this website you would still be poor, instead you put in work and dedicated yourself to your career and your dream and made something out of your life. wealth can be attained by anyone if they are willing to put in the work … everyone who says otherwise loves to make excuses

  3. Default Setting says – reply to this


    How about outsourcing occupations and insourcing the rest to illegal immigrants. Yes, real lazy.

  4. 4

    The working poor are some of the hardest working, responsible, religious people out there. Gross generalizations like this only serve to divide. Shit like this is used to justify hatred, intolerance, and lack of charity. There is no positives that come from his narrow observations.

  5. adblockplus says – reply to this


    Re: rosebud99 – ummm you absolutley correct the WORKING poor work very hard but he was talking about the poor who DON'T work. Read before you talk :)
    And you too Perez , he NEVER said the disabled, mentally ill etc. gosh people ! READ !!!!!!!

  6. 6

    Re: adblockplus – I disagree. He is lumping all poor people together - regardless of their circumstances.

  7. sunny says – reply to this


    What's wrong with having God in your life. People need God in there lives, something to believe in, the poor do not need government to take care of them. Honest tax-paying hard workers are funding many poor peoples lives. Government handouts do not help, it keeps poor people in the same situation they are in for years. Education and hard work are the keys to success. Anyone can go to school, don't believe the thought that there are no opportunities for poor people to go to school.

  8. 8

    Re: Default Setting – Thank you! That is what happened to me, job sent to India and unable to find job despite sending in at least 400 resumes for different openings in 2009 (economy was much worse then)l Fortunately not living in poverty, just a bit of a struggle from month to month. Sometimes things happen that are out of your control.
    Try and help others to the best of your ability like sending money to a shelter, or volunteering one day per week at the local senior center, would make you feel better as well.

  9. nicole says – reply to this


    You have no clue what you are talking about Perez. He is correct for the most part in what he is talking about. And yes there are even disabled people that are lazy. You know why I can say that is because I am what you would call disabled. I am a below the knee amputee and for a number of years I was on disability. I am now at the point where I am able to work full time and do not use my amputation as a crutch to not work and be productive. That can be said for a large number of individuals that receive assistance.

  10. nicole says – reply to this


    Re: nicole – **That can't be said.

  11. Mercury Flavored Whale says – reply to this


    As far as females go: A female is only as poor as her taste in men. For example. My mom and her sisters grew up poor in a ghetto. They were poor because her mom had a shitty taste in men and her dad was white trash with a love for booze (but a funny guy. Not bad at all. I liked him). They lived in a community that no normal middle class people lived in (too violent). There were only two kinds of men in her community: POOR men and The rich men who owned businesses in those communities. So which ones did my mom chase? The welltodo men who owned businesses. She's been on easy street ever since. And her sisters? poor men. And what is their life like today? I dont know. I'm too scared to visit their ghetto. I see them maybe once a year by accident. (they visit my sisters' houses sometimes on a day I'm too stupid to avoid my sisters' houses). I never feel sorry for poor females who are poor because they think poor guys are hotter than rich nerds and better in bed. Not once.

  12. Mercury Flavored Whale says – reply to this


    hows does society self sabotage itself? Just little cliches like "Money cant buy love and happiness" and "dont be a gold digger" is a big self sabotage. If my mom had listened to society and that cliche or feared the word "gold digger" ", she wouldnt be sitting at the helm of my dads manufacturing company doing business with men in china and south korea. But millions of girls avoid wealthy males because they are scared of being called gold diggers. So they chase the poor guy who hammers nails into roofs. SELF SABOTAGE.
    They marry poor guys for "love" and then suffer the highest divorce rates (poverty is a major cause of divorce). Self sabatoge.

  13. Mercury Flavored Whale says – reply to this


    The thing he left out (and is smart for leaving it out) is IQ. A major cause of poverty is low IQ. There are no 82 IQ surgeons (and if you meet one? run a marathon in the opposite direction). Lower IQ people tend to avoid careers that require higher IQ's like Physics, astronomy, philosophy, math sciences, engineering, chemistry, computer science, banking, finance, business administration, medical/surgical etc (the higher paying professions require higher IQ's over 115. The higher the better if you want a career in physics). They tend to go into roofing, ditch digging, crime, housekeeping etc. Menial careers.
    But is it their fault they ended up with that IQ? Nope. IQ is the result of genetics and environmental factors. Lower IQ people create shittier environments which dont foster IQ growth in their children (and then there is genes to boot).

  14. @v@ says – reply to this


    When 7,000 people show up to apply for one job, it's hardly laziness. Keep those retro blinders on, though.

  15. * says – reply to this


    Re: sunny – Nothing wrong with having God in your life, but God isn't going to pay your light bill.

  16. Al says – reply to this


    He Is right, my mom works with poor kids and she does home visits. These kids are so poor that they get free lunches, free school supplies, free uniforms, free Christmas gifts you name it they get it for free. But then she goes to their homes and mom has got a nice weave on, fake nails and toes done up. Plus they have the latest video gamed and nice cars….but they live on food stamps and don't work. Plus to top it off their is hardly a man in the picture, and yes they are allot of times black folks. Just don't get it, if you can't afford one kid how come your gonna have 3 more by different men.

  17. 17

    A few years ago I had lost my job and tried to apply for medical insurance assistance. I was told I was ineligible because I didn't have kids. I said, "Oh, so while I'm unemployed (but actively looking for a job), if I go out and have a bunch of kids I can't afford, then I will be eligible?" The guy on the phone laughed a bit and said "basically…yes." So excuse me if I don't have sympathy for those people who are poor because they sit on their asses and don't look for jobs, collect welfare, and keep popping out kids. I'm not saying all poor do this, but a good chunk do. And also, if an illegal immigrant goes to the Emergency Room they can not be turned away. But when the bill it sent to them, there is no way to find them or enforce payment because technically they don't exist in the system…so those costs get pushed off to the rest of us with higher prices and taxes. I'm so sick of the bleeding liberals in this country who are too afraid to protect hard working, LEGAL citizens, out of fear that they will upset their special interest groups and voters who they have in their pockets because they give them something for nothing.

  18. 18

    He is counting people with psychological illness among the poor but not as self-sabotaging. He is listing SEPARATE CATEGORIES. And there are PLENTY of people who end up staying "poor" because they find it is easier to get government aid to get by on than have to work. I have known several people who have decided that was the "easier" way to live and found all kinds of short-cuts to get free things.

  19. costman says – reply to this


    Let's not beat up Ben Stiein for speaking the truth. He is correct. Unfortunately there are those among us that are not as fortunate and are poor by other unfair efforts in life not necessarily their own, This only amounts to a small percentage of legitimate individuals requiring help from those who have to pay for every lazy ass out there. A typical DEMOCRATIC response is what I read from you, HOW PREDICTABLE….

  20. @v@ says – reply to this


    Being poor CAN become a lifestyle, but it's only a portion of the big picture.
    Other countries provide tools to lift people out of the cycle. Americans generally look out for themselves.

  21. cha_cha_the famous says – reply to this


    Perez, hello????? He is abso-fucking-loutly corecct!!!!

  22. ELady says – reply to this


    As a woman who was on public assistance I can vow that being in poverty wasn't a choice of mine. I can vow that now that I have remarried and am buying a house…..we get nothing. I am black and my husband is white. Color doesn't matter. A family member of mine lies about their benefits. Color has nothing to do with anything. Its all about personal morals. I do not think we are lazy. My husband works more than 40 hours a week, and I stay home to avoid the cost of daycare. So, laziness isn't a factor.

  23. Cathy Garnica says – reply to this


    Everyone knows that Stein is a fu$&ing idiot! He was a speechwriter for Tricky Dick for Heaven's sake! More religion, huh? God's gonna get him for that stupid commentary!

  24. Von Beeze says – reply to this


    the ignorant narrow minded interpretation of his quote is disappointing. he said 'mental problems' not disabilities. there is a difference, because it IS a mental problem to be lazy! he was also commenting on "most" not all long term poverty.

  25. 25

    He is absolutely right, and you, Perez, should pay attention to what you are reading, because you twisted everything he said.

  26. 26

    I mean…there's some truth to that (not the God nonsense but the lazy part). Nothing is stopping anyone from being or doing whatever they want in life. You just have to stand up & run towards it.

  27. Auntannmarie says – reply to this


    You are taking what he said and spinning it. He never once mentions disabled people!!! He's not saying anything Jay Z. Diddy, Bill Cosby, Kayne, etc have all said!
    When you work hard you will not live a life of poverty. When you sit back and rely on entitlements you become complacent and will never get out of poverty!
    People who live in public housing for example. PH is supposed to be a temporary residence until you get on your feet and can afford private housing. However 100% of the people have generation after generation living in the apartments while we have families living in their cars or shelters who've lost everything because there are no jobs out there!
    POTUS has done nothing to create job growth in this country and have demonized wealthy job creators and taxed them so unreasonably high they're shipping jobs overseas. Don't jump,on the wealthy crooks not all wealthy are greedy etc…
    Approximately 90% of taxes in this country are paid by 2% of the people. Without them there are no entitlements. The problem with the way this country is being run is "eventually you run out of other peoples money""!
    So if you want to get off of public assistance, food stamp programs, medic aide, etc… Get off your ass and dig a freaking ditch if you have to. If you want a better life for yourself and your family go get it but don't expect it to be easy!

  28. PR says – reply to this


    Perez, You're an idiot. Ben means well. He is right. A lot of the people that are poor fit his description. We do need God in our lives and more Education. And God is for Everybody!!! All you have to do is accept him and he will accept you for who you are. I grew up poor. I have worked very hard to live among the middle class. I have family members that are physically and mentally disabled. The people that abuse government help make it harder for the people that really need the help. The message of God is simple: Love each other like brothers and sisters because we are all his children. Stop wasting your time fighting between conservatives and liberals AND HELP the PEOPLE IN NEED!!!