Dixie Square Shopping Center by Public domain
I asked myself the other day, just what would I do for a job. That
little demon appeared on my shoulder answering, "Why I'd star in a porn
film, if my credentials would stand up." I know, everyone is talking
about the President's comment supporting Gay marriage. The nominal left
is gushing over the President's remark, but to me however, this is just
pure Obama. The President says something which costs him nothing, he
carefully pushes Joe Biden out in front of the cameras first to say
something and if his head isn't taken by the press, Obama follows.
Obama never walks across a street without looking carefully both ways
checking the numbers and demographics which all show this issue as a
fait accompli This is going to come soon, and someday people will
scratch their heads and wonder, why this was ever an issue? The
political leadership is so behind the curve buried in the fears of Bible
thumping bullshit artists. Believing the shoveled threats of blue
haired church ladies reeking vengeance come November. Obama's
pronouncement is akin to Richard Nixon pronouncing his acceptance of the
voting rights act in 1970, so five years ago.
This is Obama's card check legislation moment revisited. Nearly four
years ago, candidate Obama promised to support Card Check legislation
enabling workers to more easily join labor unions in their workplace.
Candidate Obama carefully crafted his message, "If it comes across my
desk," he said, "I'll sign it." Once ensconced in the Obama White House,
he did nothing to assist the legislation towards ever coming across his
desk. This was to the public option disappearing from health care
reform as Card Check was being removed from Card Check legislation. Fool
me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.
The President's comment is nice but it is only political pabulum, you
know what really hurts Gay couples in America? The same issues which
afflict most all of us, the difficult job market or as they say, "when
money walks out the door, love flies out the window." It's wonderful to
support Gay marriage, good on you, now what about a job? In an era of
rising public anger directed at rich and self centered, plastic Wall
Street bankers the Republican Party intends on nominating a rich and
self-centered, plastic Wall Street banker. Mitt Romney will stagger into
the Republican nomination the most fatally wounded Presidential
candidate since Michael Dukakis.
Obama has a free ride here; this isn't an election, it's a coronation,
and he's throwing off platitudes like beads from a Mardi gras float.
While the President discovers the obvious about Gay marriage, he ignores
an absolutely dismal monthly jobs report. More than 44.7 million
Americans are receiving Supplemental Nutritional Assistance, (food
stamps). These are men, women and children; they are gay and straight
and receive on average $133.85 per month or less than a $1.50 per meal.
Among elderly Americans, less than 35 percent of seniors eligible are
receiving benefits and among those eligible from the ever growing ranks
of the working poor the participation rate is below 60 percent.
58 percent of food stamp recipients must turn to local food pantries
each month to supplement their diet. We who are without shelter from
this storm see this not merely as an economic recession or depression,
but the inherent failure of Capitalism. After a year or two of
unemployment you begin to lose your identity, you walk through a
shopping mall as clueless as a child on a field trip. The idea of a
purchase becomes an absurdity, you begin to see the bright colored
lights and decorations for what they are, an illusion, money wasted,
designed to sell you sh*t you probably don't need in the first place.
I walked through a mostly empty shopping mall noting the empty spaces;
the little kiddy train is carrying one grandparent and two toddlers
through the mall. Nordstrom's outlet story was busy; a ladies handbag
was marked down from $335 to $179, a real bargain, a hand bag for more
than the amount we allow the poor to eat on for a month. A pair of shoes
three times the price of what we allow the poor families to live on for
This is more than just an event which we are living through; this is an
era, a generation of the lost and a lost generation. Lost children
crammed into sub standard public schools in an era where their former
school teachers are grateful for a part time job at the Dollar Store. It
is an era where in some American neighborhoods, 1 in 6 of their homes
are in foreclosure. Home prices are still falling and the foreclosures
numbers are accelerating in the wake of papering over of the
There was a time in my life when I considered myself as having a career.
I was in the industrial engine business, I wore Dockers and pressed
white shirts and went out to lunch on the companies credit card. Now, I
do most anything I can for work. Right now, that is just about anything.
Perhaps if this were just me, I could accept this station in life more
graciously, but I see these numbers of other men my age, who could
easily be wearing my face. They are walking the streets of this town and
of your town with bed roles and tousled hair. Maybe they have someplace
to go but I doubt it, as most carry water in a recycled Pepsi bottle.
Some have a dog or guitar which they carry with them holding onto them
tightly as a last vestige of what was once real, in that old world.
Maybe these men are gay or straight, I can't tell. But this much I do
know; they are hungry and are hurting. They have no real health care and
no money for even the most rudimentary health and sanitary supplies and
this is their real day to day life. There is a generation of college
students working to improve their lot through education and being driven
only deeper into a financial "Catch 22." Go to college and make your
lot worse or don't go to college and make your lot worse. It is a random
chaos theory, where all incur debt, but only some find employment,
millions more are bilked by Internet Universities, Get your Master's
Degree, become a NASCAR mechanic or studio engineer, plying on the
dreams of the young cashing their checks, training thousands for jobs
in the hundreds.
I know a man who is twenty seven years old; he is a certified auto
mechanic and cannot earn enough to support himself. He's not saddled
with student debt but with medical debt, he's lucky though, he's working
even though he's not making it, he's working. The participation rate
for high school students in our workforce is around 35 percent and
falling. Chances are, 65 percent of all American high school students
will never have a job while attending high school. They won't be able to
save money for college or the prom or for a car. They must eventually
either fall into the debt trap or the military trap. This is their life;
this is their day to day existence, which they too, must endure.
Who could be surprised then, if a teen chooses to smoke pot or meth or
even sells drugs, what else is this society offering to them? In April
of 2011, 3,453,000 teenagers age 16 to 19 held jobs, this April that
number is down to 3,419,000. We offer these children no future, we train
them for no future. The elderly quake in fear of the coming austerity
and sequestration, they fully understand that they are about to be
thrown under the bus, maybe they are gay or straight but to be sure,
they are about to be screwed. Millions of Americans just like me, after
working for forty years find themselves in hard financial times. Just
like the young among us, the students among us and the elderly among us
and at the very moment when we need assistance most, government promises
Why then should we or they ever want to belong to the Capitalist club?
Perhaps the Bagwan will ride by and wave to us along the roadside.
Perhaps, he will tell us he supports us and loves us. He waves his
approval to us, someday we may marrying whomever we like, yet he is
unwilling to get out of his limousine to make it so. Those of us without
shelter from this storm can see the disintegration; we are losing faith
in the political process and in this society. The anchors are lifted in
the fury of the storm, as the homes and lives are ripped from their
foundations, they walk.
"Any institution which does not suppose the people good, and the magistrate corruptible, is evil."- Maximilien Robespierre