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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 5/9/19

The Monster Factory

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Imagine it isn't safe for your children to play outside. Imagine watching over your shoulder when you leave home, watching the traffic, watching the people around you. Imagine your job prospects are a Burger King, a Korean grocery store and a liquor store. Imagine"twenty hours a week at $7.25 an hour or $200 a day selling drugs. Of course, selling drugs is illegal and destructive but so are flying bullets and dead bodies in the street.

Now add in sub-standard over crowded schools. Add in sub-standard overcrowded housing. My mother used to say"" good jobs make good neighbors" and so I suppose the opposite is also true. Alcoholism and despair bring violence and violence begets more violence. In this world you are a lamb to the slaughter just waiting for your turn or there is the gang. The gang's got your back. The gang is armed to protect you. The gang offers income prospects and the gang offers security, but the dues are paid in blood.

It is with a sardonic laugh all of our worries over climate change, not that climate change isn't important because it is, but there is another rising tide which goes unnoticed. The tens of millions of migrants who walk thousands of miles, do you suppose it is on a whim? Do you suppose they went out for a walk and suddenly found themselves at our back door? How bad would the situation need to be"before you would abandon your home, your family and friends to hike thousands of miles with an uncertain future and an unknown and risky outcome.

Suppose we fire up Mister Peabody's Way Back machine and set the knobs for 2008. We see a landscape of growth and prosperity of easy credit and no down payment mortgage loans. One year later, we'll see the beginnings of 12 million put out of those homes and that number his home owners not renters. The number of renter evictions went uncounted, why bother? But Barack Obama is the greatest Republican President in a generation, and he had a plan the same plan Herbert Hoover had in 1931. Re-float the banks and refinance the corporations. Give tax credits to those who in 2008 had the income to buy new homes and cars. Then for the millions of struggling Americans"do nothing.

When you are homeless it is difficult to escape, you can't pull yourself up by your own bootstraps when you've nothing to stand on. When the bus fare downtown is five dollars round trip, your choices are, seek help or eat. You have no stability; you deal with rain and snow directly and not aesthetically while being disparaged by the world. This is the American life; this is the road which brought us here. FDR's New Deal did more than repair the economy it repaired the people. Forty years of Conservatism has brought us here. Income inequality isn't a symptom it is a weapon. Poor people aren't free people. This isn't an accident this is the plan.

But the plan has back fired like a snow ball rolling downhill picking up speed. The escapees saddled with college debt can't buy homes or new cars. The affluent are now just comfortable, the once famous American Middle-Class are now the working poor and the working poor are struggling just to keep a roof over their heads, people with full time jobs sleeping in their cars. What is happening now is a slow-motion train wreck. Capitalism is dying.

In the Industrial Revolution new technologies created jobs in the information Revolution that is not the case. Any new development say, an app to put fart noises on your phone is a program developed by several Silicon Valley engineers end of story. But if I weren't kidding about the fart noise app there would be a question of job losses. One Amazon driver is probably equal to how many sales clerks jobs.

The emaciated shell of Capitalism has starved its parts until the body is dying. A generation of wage starved employees wonder why the minimum wage was important. A permanently addled minimum wage means employers set the real minimum wage. When times are good, they suppress it and when times are bad, they cut it. Private interests rather than government control the lives of millions. Is that Democracy of Fascism? Is that good government to give that kind of power to an individual with a vested financial stake?

When Corporations are allowed to pollute, they pollute. When corporations and business interests control the minimum wage, they starve.

What is the true societal cost of a moribund wages? How many shelter beds and counselors does it cost? How many car accidents in un-repaired vehicles? How many domestic violence calls? "" good jobs make good neighbors" How many Alcoholics and how many drug overdoses in a society where millions don't have a chance in hell. People can be funny and rightfully outrageous at being locked out of society bombarded by television madness telling them they can have this"when they can't. Pride takes over and a wounded pride mixed with testosterone and guns equals monsters. Created by the monster factory, maybe I'll shoot you for your tennis shoes or shoot you for your car. Life is approached from a completely different perspective.

I'll probably be dead in two years anyway so why not do what I want. I'm gonna go to prison for something, so why not shoot you?

Suppose you've done everything right. You've paid your taxes and squirreled away every penny and then one day the doctor says "cancer." Everything you've saved over thirty or forty years will be gone in eighteen months and your spouse will be left destitute. Who knows, maybe you'll live. But if you don't have the money even with insurance it's a death sentence. Your life my life or your children's lives devolved down to money. The American dream? Ha! What are you stoned?

This is the monster factory and sooner or later the monster is going to get you.

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I who am I? Born at the pinnacle of American prosperity to parents raised during the last great depression. I was the youngest child of the youngest children born almost between the generations and that in fact clouds and obscures who it is that (more...)

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