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General News    H2'ed 4/14/19

The Way You See Your Students is how you Will Live Your Futures

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"It follows that the institution of a leisure class acts to make the lower classes conservative by withdrawing from them as much as it may of the means of sustenance and so reducing their consumption, and consequently their available energy, to such a point as to make them incapable of the effort required for the learning and adoption of new habits of thought. The accumulation of wealth at the upper end of the pecuniary scale implies privation at the lower end of the scale." Thorsten Veblen

Also think about how many sycophants and boot-lickers are mired in the mess that is the MM or MMM or MMMM: Mass Media, the Massively Mauling Media, or the Masterful Meaningless Media, or, well Masochistic Mentally Minor Media/ Marauding Mentally Minor Media.

It is incessant, the number and breadth of the stories that are meaningless or drawn from the blood and soul of us, the 80 percent. In no way shape or form does the Mass Media care about the realities of us flagging, flailing, failing, floundering foot soldiers for Capitalism.

The real crimes occur daily incessantly and recklessly but with the madness in the method and the method being the madness of the One Percent and their prostitutes. This isn't outrage? We take this over and over, until this entire society 280 million of us out of the 344 million Americans is spiritually pummeled and colonized with fear and Stockholm Syndrome: relating to the masters of the madness that keeps the worker down like a dog in the gutter.

Another set of numbers: 8 million, $35,308, $1.2 billion.

Eight million. That's how many U.S. middle-class workers will be left without strong overtime pay protections under the Trump administration's weak overtime rule proposed on March 22.

In human terms, that means 8 million working people across the 50 states can be made to work up to 50, 60 or even 70 hours a week, missing time with their families, without receiving any extra pay, even if they make as little as $35,000 a year.

The problem is the salary threshold below which workers are guaranteed time-and-a-half overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week has been frozen for decades, with no adjustment for the rising cost of living. As a result, the share of salaried workers guaranteed overtime pay has plummeted from six in 10 in 1975 to less than one in 10 today.

Trump overtime regulation replaces a 2016 Obama-era Labor Department rule that would have restored overtime protections for more than 12 million salaried workers earning up to $55,055 by 2023. The Trump rule slashes that salary level to $35,308 and treats workers earning more than that as if they were highly paid executive who don't need overtime pay. All told, Trump's decision to slash the salary threshold means workers will miss out on $1.2 billion in wages each year they would have received under the 2016 rule.

This all goes back to the flagging American, parents and aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, foster parents, grandparents. Work these children's parents to death.Steal wages. Underpay. Expose kids' parents to toxic work environments, air, water, chemicals, products. Force these children's charges to vomit up fear, anxieties, paranoia, chronic pain, chronic disease, self-imploding thinking, and the lies of Capitalism.

Stealing wages, man, and these deplorables and they are in many regards people who defend a pedophile, a serial stalker, a felon, a mafia thug, a child incarceration zealot, thief, abuser, idiot, narcissist, S/M freak, a traitor, an anti-worker/anti-family billionaire cannot get a pass, man.

"The leisure class is so sheltered from inevitable changes going on in the rest of society that it will adapt its views, if at all, "tardily." Comfortably clueless (or calculating), the wealthy leisure class drags its heels (or digs them in) to retard economic and social forces that make for change. Hence the name "conservatives." That (re)tardiness that time lag imposed by conservative complacency stalls and stifles the lives of everyone else and the timely economic development of the nation."Thorsten Veblen (Think of our neglected infrastructure, education, housing, health care, public transport you know the lengthening list today.)

Accepting and adjusting to social or economic change, unfortunately, requires prolonged "mental effort," from which the leisured conservative mind quite automatically recoils. But so, too, Veblen said, do the minds of the "abjectly poor, and all those persons whose energies are entirely absorbed by the struggle for daily sustenance." The lower classes were and this seems a familiar reality in the age of Trump as conservative as the upper class simply because the poor "cannot afford the effort of taking thought for the day after tomorrow," while "the highly prosperous are conservative because they have small occasion to be discontented with the situation as it stands." It was, of course, a situation from which they, unlike the poor, made a bundle in an age (both Veblen's and ours) in which money flows only uphill to the 1%.

Veblen gave this analytic screw one more turn. Called a "savage" economist, in his meticulous and deceptively neutral prose, he described in the passage that follows a truly savage and deliberate process:

It follows that the institution of a leisure class acts to make the lower classes conservative by withdrawing from them as much as it may of the means of sustenance and so reducing their consumption, and consequently their available energy, to such a point as to make them incapable of the effort required for the learning and adoption of new habits of thought. The accumulation of wealth at the upper end of the pecuniary scale implies privation at the lower end of the scale. --- Thorstein Veblen, the greatest American thinker you probably never heard of (or forgot). His working life from 1890 to 1923 coincided with America's first Gilded Age, so named by Mark Twain, whose novel of that title lampooned the greedy corruption of the country's most illustrious gentlemen.

I can wack the average deplorable over the head with fact, with history, with illustration, with point after point, evidence after evidence to prove to him or her that Trump is a wimp, that he is a cheat, that he hates the common man, that he wants people in the 80 percent as the manure for his fields of dreams and buckets of gold. I can show people that Trump is afraid of combat and guns and soldiers and enemies (perceived) but he is so happy to send the boys and girls those parents' offspring to countries where the ultimate product is pure hatred, and it's deserved, of America, red-white-blue.

I can go out in a field and shot up tin cans, get on my big motorcycle and cruise down the coast, get out on the water and suit up and scuba dive for shark and octopus shots (photos). I can try and get them to hitch-hike in Mexico, hang out in Vietnam, live in Guatemala.

Unfortunately, the average deplorable is a paper tiger, or so broken from racism and white supremacy that they are shells of homo sapiens. White poor people with overweight kids and children on the spectrum and rotting teeth and rotting roof tiles; grandparents stuffed away in old trailers; beer cans and old sofas for landscaping; Jesus Duck Dynasty photos, rusting motorcycle frames, taped up window frames, piled up old 5 gallon buckets that once held Lucky Charms and Blue Bunny ice cream.

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Paul Kirk Haeder has been a journalist since 1977. He's covered police, environment, planning and zoning, county and city politics, as well as working in true small town/community journalism situations in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Mexico and (more...)
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