What bothers me most is the apathy across the board. The only people who pay any real attention to the poor are themselves. The government shuts down any possible help for them (while kicking the savings up to the capital pirates instead of the economy it’s supposed to save), the middle class is too worried about themselves to lend a hand, fearing that they may get sucked in by the tenuous gravity too. Adding insult to injury is the police, enforcers of the system that bled them, is constantly rounding them up like cattle and forcing them arbitrarily onto someone else’s pastures. Like it’s not our problem.
The face of homelessness is different now. It’s not just junkies settling comfortably into their dead-end lives. Previously middle-class employed families, two kids and a dog, in decent homes with two cars and a sweaty mortgage are now making do with Coleman tents bought at Walmart and trying to learn public transit to keep their kids in school. The same people who used to shrug away from beggars the way we still do.
And it’s getting worse. Just look at ANY of the budget proposals being argued over in Congress. No matter what, we’re going to fire more cops, close more services, foreclose more homes, shutter more businesses and lose more jobs, lose more teachers and axe more school programs. We’re going to raise tuition even higher while slashing enrollment, forcing kids trying to get a college education into vocational mills like ITT and Phoenix. The smart ones who know how to hustle may bide some time in the military as our wars slide down to police actions, racking up a GI Bill while waiting for the economy to recover. However, if we land a warhawk Republican President in 2012, hellbent on restoring America’s might on foreign soil, we will end up throwing a whole generation of kids that normally would’ve been in ROTC right onto the front line grunt work instead of OCS had life been fairer. And if that happens, then whatever war that becomes will make Iraq seem like Kuwait instead of like Vietnam. So President Obama, lay off the partisan rhetoric and focus more on unifying Congress and get to fixing things. Because if you lose in 2012, there is going to be a lot more war vets coming home in body bags and a lot more middle-class families thrown out onto the streets. If anyone is still under the illusion that the recession may be ending soon, then they haven’t really been paying attention to the world around them, just the headlines.
For example, we have no new jobs. We have no new industries. Corporations are still tightening belts and cutting corners just to fluff the stockholders for more money. Which will always mean they are going to expect more work with fewer jobs. Cheaper jobs. The unions are making it impossible for our labor forces to compete internationally. Not because they’re greedy grubby bastards, but because China doesn’t have collective bargaining. They have “work this shit job til you drop or go back to the farms.” We owe money to China. You can’t tell the ones you owe money what the fuck to do, can you? Try telling your mortgage company that their rates are too high and they need to come down so you can get your life back together. Call the 800#, see what the recording says. The US is in no different position with the axis nations we owe huge debts over our shambling economy. That’s why the Republican ego wants to trim as much expense from our bank books as quickly as possible, even if it means fucking the young and elderly alike. The big white elephant understands our crippling position in the global economy will continue to falter if we continue to let our enemies bleed us dry. If you think BofA and AIG are raping the American consumer, just wait until you see the perversion of the artificially inflated yuan is shamelessly doing to us. We think we are buying cheap shit at WalMart save a few bucks, but we are paying for that cheap shit with borrowed money at ridiculous interest rates, while supporting inhumane foreign labor practices used to economically produce goods that are also profited from overseas.
But WalMart alone isn’t the one-eyed bandit. We are. If we balked at cheap useless crap and expected more for our dollar and are willing to pay for it, the Walton Inc will be more than happy to line their shelves up with “Made In America” Apple Pies make a tidy profit in the process. They’d pay better wages to their workforce if we acted like that was something important. And we think that IKEA is any different. Sure, it’s a Nordic company, but just check the package to see where your environmentally-friendly, efficiently-packed, and design-smart lamp/cabinet/bedframe/kitchenware was actually manufactured at. Surprised?
The global economy smells the blood on the American consumer. And the leeches, vultures, sharks, and wolves are just shooting us fish in a barrel. Because we refuse to stand up for ourselves. We pay insane gas prices that are obviously artificially inflated, like there’s nothing we can do about it. We fork out credit card debt like candy for a Samsung flatscreen or a Sony Blu-Ray player, figuring, we’ll worry about that later.
How can we regain control from the big oil companies? Seems retarded to protest at the pumps. We won’t call it an addiction, but we NEED the gas, at ANY price. We’re doing just that. The way to combat the issue besides the pump is STOP INVESTING IN THEIR STOCK. Check your 401(k) portfolio, your retirement fund. Those companies profits pay your dividends, the money that’s going to allegedly take care of you when you’re too old to take care of yourself. And look at those beautiful margins, even after a record-breaking disaster like New Horizon. You won’t do anything about the gas prices because you need that money on the back end. Seems strange? Thats how the rich people think. Why do you think every major fund out there squabbles over crude investments? Those companies are beholden to the investors and the boards that manage them. If the stocks are no longer in demand, then they drop, and nobody likes it when the graph has a downward slope, even for a tick. Those same companies would start licking their own balls for our amusement if they thought it would rally prices. The truth is, the corporations could care less about most of us as consumers, secondary to the precious few of us as investors. Owning stock to us little people is purely about the short sell and the quick money. But those who know how it works, recognize the power of the stock shares. And those people could care less about the faces behind the revenue that feeds it. Why do you think hostile takeovers are not only acceptable, but very glamorous to Wall Street. How do you think so many jobs ended up overseas so quickly?
The poor are fucked. And their numbers are growing. And with our public infrastructure being dismantled in our government desperate to keep its voting shareholders happy, the gravity just keeps getting heavier.