Sunday, May 9, 2010

Hope springs eternal...until it doesn't

Many commentators have pointed out that Americans are very slow to political action, and by and large this is true. Sure you have your political motivated groups, such as the immigration rights community, the gay rights coalition, the far left and far right christian groups. But these are all niche issues and campaigns. These groups focus on their specific concerns and nothing more.

When it comes to the overall corruption that is taking place within the federal government, the people are silent. Whether it be the backdoor deals taking place in the pentagon, the financial services industry, big pharma, big insurance, the student loan complex, the toxic food industry, there is no outcry. That the FDA, USDA, SEC, CTFC, and other agencies are a revolving door with corporate America fails to garner the appropriate public outrage. And why is this the case? Mainly, because hope springs eternal that one day people will become wealthy, that the system will work in their favor.

The system in the US is set up whereby if one gets arrested for "public misconduct" or "resisting arrest" there job prospects go to hell. People are terrified of having to deal with a criminal backround check when applying for a job. This clever setup keeps many people off the street. It keeps the angry youth quiet. And the reason that they maintain their silence is because they have the hope that one day they will get hired, or get promoted and get that good paying job.

Picture your typical middle class office worker bee. He makes his 40k a year. His wife/partner also work for 40k. They make enough to live. Assuming they have student loans their budget is much more constrained. Expenses such as food, gas, auto repair, insurance, medical bills, keep them tight. Both work hard, trying and hoping for that promotion. They see and hear whats going on in this country. They hear about the wars and the profiteering, it angers them but they do nothing out of fear. They hear about the big wall street bailouts and printouts. They think to themselves "who bailed me out when i broke my ankle and i had to put the $10,000 bill on my credit card??" The anger builds slowly but surely, but they do nothing, mainly due to fear of being shunned by the system.

How about a more severe example, such as the family with 3 children. They purchased a home in 2003, have a substantial mortgage payment, plus property taxes, insurance, and other home owner attendant expenses. The wife gets laid off, and the husband gets a pay cut. The wife worked at a pipe manufacturer for 13 years until the plant was shut down and sent to Thailand. She reads that the Thai workers make $2 per hour. Then, upper management announce big bonuses for themselves. She becomes enraged at this. They struggle to pay bills. Outings are a thing of the past. The wife stays home looking for work while the husband works and comes home. They dont go out, they watch tv and maybe play some boardgames to pass the time. One of the kids get sick and it costs him bigtime. Say one of the children gets luekemia. Now he is bankrupt as the bills will be too high fot him to pay. Yet, he watches the tv, and hears how the health care bill was written by and large by the big insurance and pharma companies. He sees the insurance stock prices march on higher as his family has been decimated by the medical insurance complex. He goes into default on the home and is constantly harassed by the bank. He hears how the same bank was given billions in funny money and how bonuses have reached record highs. He is angry, the system comes crashing down harshly on him while the old boys get bailed out. Yet, he does nothing out of fear of losing his job if he goes out and lets his anger run wild.

Finally, there is the example of the tier 2,3,4 law grad, owing 150,000 to 200,000 dollars. She cant get a job in law, her loans are in deferrment. She gets some part time work at borders or starbucks. Maybe walmart or even Home depot. Her wages are garnished to satisfy the loan. She feels demoralized, depressed, ashamed. Each rejected job application is interpreted as a personal failure, that she is not good enough. Deep down inside, anger begins to form. She understands that she has been lied to by her law school. She looked at the employment data and figured that by taking on the loans she was making a good investment for her future. Instead, she is a lowly lawyer working in a non legal field for $12 per hour. Her coworkers make the same wage but they dont have the debt. Sometimes they make sneering comments about her working at home depot or starbucks, calling her a retard, saying "look at the lawyer hahaha". Still, she keeps calm, she maintains her positive attitude. Even though thoughts of picketing her law school's orientation enter her mind, she takes no action. Even though thoughts of protesting the banking industry for taking her meager wages enter her mind, she does not take any action. She has this hope that one day she will get a good paying job in the legal industry. And due to the hope, she takes no action. But the anger slowly builds.

Slowly but surely the realization will come that the opportunity that existed before has evaporated. Borrowers will be stuck with burden while lenders get all the benefits. The notion that we live in a democracy will slowly die as the reality that we live in a oligarchical plutocracy will me made manifest. The gap between rich and poor will continue to grow, with the rich getting richer through political favors, central bank collusion and rampant outsourcing of labor.

The poor have resigned themselves to a life of poverty in the inner cities of America, by taking out their anger on their own people through gang violence. Classic divide and conquer. Instead of focusing their anger at the true source of their ills, they destroy themselves. Now the dying middle class is finding itself joining the ranks of the impoverished. Will they direct their anger at the true source of their misery? Will they view Washington DC as a whole being the culprit and not fall into the trap of the fake left right paradigm? Will they wake up to the fact that democrats and republicans dont give 2 shits whether they live or die, prosper or become bankrupted? Time will tell, but the signs are pointing at popular discontent at the current political system with congress approval rating at historic lows.

Still, the hope remains that one day they will make it. I will get rehired, I will get that job, promotion, bonus, that deal. God forbid they actually go out and scream at those responsible for ruining their lives at the risk of being blacklisted by the system. The prevalent fear is indicative that America has slowly turned into a police state, where the first amendment right of freedom of speech and the right to petition government for redress of greviances is more or less not allowed. Sure, we have our occasional weak rally where people cheer and hold sings. But true civil disobedience is not a option for many as they know their job prospects will be shattered. Ive been to many rallies and protests and the police presence is truly breathtaking. They sit there on their horses, with clubs clearly visible . They eye the croud with this sinister smirk, thinking to themselves "just make one move, I dare ya".

For now the public sentiment remains under the radar. The resentment grows, but is not made truly manifest. Im waiting, praying, hoping that my fellow citizens put the fear aside and take appropriate action. Im waiting for the apathy to die and the proper anger to take its place. Our country has been getting robbed in broad daylight. Sooner or later there wont be anything left for us to take. RISE UP!!


  1. Great essay! I am the guy in paragraphs 4 and 6. Our political views can't be too dissimilar. I am libertarian in thought, but there are many streams of that. I tend to favor an anarcho-capitalist approach. I won't make blog posts about my political views, because I'd hate to alienate the other scam bloggers. Many of them are liberal to socialist, but I admire how we've been able to come together to fight a common enemy. We're against these industrial complexes. Of course, we'll have different solutions as to how to disband them, but let's rejoice in the fact that we've come together for this purpose. Think of Ron Paul's campaign in 08 when he endorsed third party candidates of all stripes (Barr, Baldwin, McKinney, Nader).

  2. Subprime here,

    On the libertarian scale, I lean very close to "anarchist" economically and philosophically. You are very right in keeping the political philosophy low on these sites as we are fighting the same financial monster.

    In undergrad i studied political philosophy but we were never taught the libertarian or anarchist view of thought. Just your typical mainstream bullshit. Universities destroy education and thought, what a joke. Never in law school did they mention the federal reserve, even though it is the most powerful, secretive, unconstitutional and destructive entity in the US. Fucking lazy crook bastards read their ancient outlines, went home, and watched either CNN or FOX. I would always bring up "controversy" and was equally hated by professors and fellow students.

    Im glad you enjoyed by article friend.

  3. The legal profession is subservient to the law, and law is created by government. They're nothing more than a band of thugs who compel people by gunpoint.


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