Controversial conservative commentator Ben Shapiro sparked backlash on Twitter for saying it’s “a you problem” if you’re forced to take a second job to make ends meet.
“If you had to work more than one job to have a roof over your head or food on the table, you probably shouldn’t have taken the job that’s not paying you enough,” Shapiro said in a clip from his radio show that was circulated by a researcher for progressive watchdog group Media Matters on Wednesday.
Shapiro made his comment as a response to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris’ assertion that people should not have to work more than one job just to pay the bills.
Shapiro attempted to clarify his position with this Twitter thread:
The point I am making, of course, is that you cannot dictate that a job pay you what you wish it paid you. That is obvious, and why it is foolishness for politicians to claim that the economy can be structured to force your desired level of pay from a job you chose to take. https://t.co/F77kVAKI7S— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 14, 2019
The answer to the problem of taking a job that you feel underpays you is to (a) not take the job, as I suggest here, or (b) not live beyond your means. It is not to restructure the economy in line with your utopian view of what you deserve from others.— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 14, 2019
This is perfectly clear in context; the comment immediately follows a line from Kamala Harris claiming that no one should have to work two jobs.— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 14, 2019
And by the way, I have worked multiple jobs for most of my career.— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 14, 2019
But not before drawing ire from many other people online:
Ken Cuccinelli: "Hey, Steve King, I really screwed up with this whole Statue of Liberty thing. Can you help?"— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) August 14, 2019
Steve King: "I got you... Rape & incest get a bad rap... Hey Ben Shapiro, I really screwed up with this rape & incest thing. Can you..."
Ben Shapiro: "I GOT YOU!" https://t.co/akeeUxTY8Q
Goodness, someone is so disconnected from reality he has no idea why people need two work two jobs. Poor little fella.— Anne Wheaton (@AnneWheaton) August 14, 2019
F-off, Ben Shapiro— Katica (@GOPPollAnalyst) August 14, 2019
My dad worked 3 jobs
Full time as a firemedic, which he was paid so poorly that the whole station qualified for welfare
BUT he refused & worked extra jobs
He also worked for @KanesFurniture who hired fire/police
He also worked at a bread store
It's simple. There are jobs that pay you enough to live and eat, and there are jobs that don't. Stop taking the jobs that don't, you morons! Why would you take a job that doesn't pay you enough? What a dumbass move. Ben Shapiro is so smart! What a smart person! Smart. He's smart! https://t.co/rm1QB4zG2O— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) August 14, 2019
Right-wingers: "if ur pay sucks u should ask for a raise!"— Siobhan O'Leary (@SiobhanFTB) August 14, 2019
Workers: *unionise to agitate for better wages*
Right-wingers: "not like that"
I’m almost certainly being too credulous but: how does this kind of mental model develop? How do you get so far removed from the labor market that you think there’s a limitless supply of good-paying full time jobs regardless of your skill set? https://t.co/GNsC8QFCVM— Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt) August 14, 2019
Shapiro thinks A Christmas Carol is a tragedy— maura quint (@behindyourback) August 14, 2019
Yeah, Ben Shapiro, why should one bother working as a public school teacher or at a nonprofit if they need a 2nd job since giving back to communities isn't lucrative? Or imagine being born into poverty & having to care not just for oneself but a child.— Miranda Yaver (@mirandayaver) August 14, 2019
Let's opt for compassion. https://t.co/hfPOWxyzNN
This is the defining ethos of conservatism - the rich are worthy and the poor are bums who have made a choice to be poor. So, they deserve all of their problems and the rich deserve their tax cuts. They have no empathy, a trait they share with sociopaths. https://t.co/TxrczOt43m— Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) August 15, 2019
God, I hate—hate, hate, hate—media members who don't get how preposterously lucky we are to receive actual money to write/talk. Seriously, @benshapiro needs perspective on how the world works. This is pathetic and painfully entitled. https://t.co/2jrZOwRX5j— Jeff Pearlman (@jeffpearlman) August 14, 2019
You heard it here first, folks: if you can't pay your bills with a single job, the answer is to not work at all until you get one that pays more.— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) August 14, 2019
This is the guy who thinks that people with waterfront property will be able to just sell their homes when sea level wipes them out. https://t.co/K1JPHZqkt2
And when you find your smug elitist indifference to the struggles of working ppl didn't save you from the Ring of Eternal Fire, cackling demons consuming your extremities as your tormented screams go unheard, Satan will softly hiss into your ear "this'd be a Ben Shapiro problem." https://t.co/dHDdEgQN7T— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) August 14, 2019