Get ready for some of the roots of rap—the true old school—courtesy of Gil Scott-Heron’s 1970 debut album Small Talk at 125th and Lenox. The song is “Whitey on the Moon.” It still rings true today.
Scott-Heron challenges the status quo belief that NASA and its achievements are beneficial to society as a whole. In reality, the song can be applied to almost any program of the government.
For who? For what?
Yes, it’s great to send a man to the moon, but is it right to do it by taking money from people who are struggling to get by (or anyone for that matter)? And even if the poor aren’t being taxed directly through their income, they still pay for goods and services whose prices have been inflated by taxes imposed by the government. They employ a monetary policy that has a strategy to print and print and print. This weakens the value of the dollar, destroying the purchasing power of that dollar, and causes the most harm to the people with the least amount of dollars.
I can’t pay no doctor bill, but Whitey’s on the moon.
Sure, the government has created social programs to help the poor, but they are simply an attempt to fix the problem exacerbated by the government’s previous action. What is the response when the safety net programs are insufficient? They end up taxing more and printing additional money, driving prices up and purchasing power down. It is a bad cycle.
The next time you find yourself or someone you know in a pinch financially, just remember: Whitey’s on the moon.