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By       Message David Glenn Cox       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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"Necessitous men are not free men. People who are hungry and out of a
job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made." -- Franklin Delano

I am a child of history; I was a kid who sat in the corner listening to
the stories of the garrulous old men reflecting on life, after having
too much to drink. My parents both grew up poor during the last Great
Depression and occasionally, something will occur which strikes one of
those old memory chords. This morning as I walked out into the sunlight,
at the bottom of the stairs there sat parked, a shiny new automobile
and instantly my brain shouted "Rock!" at me.

My mother had told me about this game that she and the other children
played growing up in inner city Chicago. The girls would be jumping rope
or playing hopscotch and the boys would be doing what boys do when
someone would shout, "Rock!" The children would drop their toys and
cease their play and hunt up a nice, good sized rock. Because the cry
"Rock!" carried with it a special meaning, it meant that there was a new
car coming down the street. Was this class envy perhaps or poor
parenting skills, what could make these children all behave so wantonly?

To these young children the appearance of a new car meant someone with
money was coming down the street. The only people who came into their
neighborhood in new cars were landlords, rent or bill collectors. These
children at ten or twelve years of age well understood the distinction
between rich and poor and what they saw wasn't envy, but oppression. Mr.
Hoover had told them prosperity was just around the corner, the
newspapers, all staunchly Republican, had repeated and encouraged Mr.
Hoover's message,

"Economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive
pronouncement. Economic wounds must be healed by the action of the cells
of the economic body - the producers and consumers themselves." --
Herbert Hoover

A very high and grand philosophical pronouncement, but to these children
they saw it a bit differently. To these children with bright eyes and
eager faces, it meant they would go without enough to eat. It meant
their families would disintegrate before their eyes because their
fathers and mothers could find no work. My own mother held life long
enmity for her own father who had abandoned the family during the
depression. It wasn't until many years later, after I had studied the
times and finally had the message jack hammered into my own brain like a
pounding, before I could begin to understand myself.

Look at the pictures from those times; count the hundreds of men
standing in those bread lines. They weren't men who were broke; they
were men who were broken. They were men who felt the shame of not being
able to care for their families. Men who came home each night empty
handed without a job and without hope. They were men forced to look into
the eyes of their hungry children; they were men hiding from their own
shame and their own sense of failure.

"Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity." -- Herbert Hoover

I guess it's all a matter of perspective isn't it? How a big fat man
living in a big white house eating sumptuous meals can speak about
freedom and sunlight so, as children starved and ate from garbage cans.

"The people of this country want relief, and they do not have to eat a
whole side of beef to tell when it is tainted. They have bitten off the
hoof of this situation in the United States. They know. We have given
them no place to go." -- Huey Long

As you travel through your life today you must see what is unseen and
hear what is unspoken. That man at the convenience store or the waitress
who brings you your coffee, they are poor people. They work for less
than subsistence wages, they don't save for retirement and they don't
have health care. One in three Americans can't make their rent or
mortgage payments. Of fifty million mortgages in America, twelve million
are currently under water. Over ten million homes have been foreclosed
already, affecting at least forty million Americans including twenty
million children and we have given them no place to go.

From the Washington Post: "Foreclosures will probably rise in 2012 -- and that could be a good sign"

Why does the Washington Post think another one million more families
thrown out into the road to live as vagrants is a good idea?

"Economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive
pronouncement. Economic wounds must be healed by the action of the cells
of the economic body - the producers and consumers themselves." --
Herbert Hoover

It is repetitions of the fat man speak, it is sugar coated and dressed
up in fine clothes but when you strip it bare and look honestly at the
message of the naked words they are those of your government saying,
f*ck you!

"The royalists of the economic order have conceded that political
freedom was the business of the Government, but they have maintained
that economic slavery was nobody's business. They granted that the
Government could protect the citizen in his right to vote, but they
denied that the Government could do anything to protect the citizen in
his right to work and his right to live." -- Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Since April of 2006, wage growth in this country has reached 0.1 in only
two months while in seven months there has been no wage growth at all.
Over the same time period the cost of living has averaged a rise of 0.6
percent per month. If you are very, very lucky you are working the same
number of hours you worked twelve months ago. In all private non farm
payrolls the average number of hours worked per week is 34.5 meaning
even at $10 per hour, well above the minimum wage, a worker must try to
survive on $345.00 per week before taxes. The average rent in 2012 has
risen to $1,091 per month; meaning at nearly 40% per hour over and above
the federal minimum wage American workers cannot afford the very basics
of life. The average pay for those in the leisure and hospitality
industry is $349.00, that's bars, restaurants, hotel workers, theaters
and amusement parks. For retail workers the average wage for all workers
is $16.31 per hour or $500 per week, that is, if they get the average
34 hours.

After paying rent they are left with $900 for the month to buy food, pay
utilities, laundry, gas or car insurance. As I walked passed a pay
phone in front of the grocery store yesterday, I heard a young woman on
the phone, "A car? I haven't had a car in six months. It broke down and I
couldn't afford to get it fixed." And I thought to myself, "I bet
that's right." Over eight million American workers laboring part time
for economic reasons and they dream about $500 per week. In May, the
Bureau of Labor statistics proudly announced, 79.1 percent of American
households have at least one member employed. Think about that, think
about what that really means. It means over 20 percent of American
households don't have anyone employed in them.

It is a crime and a travesty, it is the thing which revolutions are made
of. Over 16 million children live in poverty and half of all Americans
will live in poverty before the age of 65. One in six Americans
currently live in poverty and one in two are either in poverty or are
low income. From the CIA world Fact Book: "The wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan required major shifts in national resources from civilian to
military purposes and contributed to the growth of the US budget
deficit and public debt - through 2011, the direct costs of the wars
totaled nearly $900 billion, according to US government figures." But
for you my fellow Americans you get the fat man talk,

"And to all those who have wondered if Americas beacon still burns as
bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our
nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our
wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty,
opportunity, and unyielding hope. -- Barack Obama

Somehow, blowing smoke and up my rear end got left out of that equation,
what about the sunshine and the open windows? Fat man speak says,
ignore the needs of the people, speak in lofty platitudes, tell the
hungry, the poor and the dispossessed just how wonderful they have it.
Then tell them why we need to make even more cuts.

"A mob is coming here in six months to hang the other ninety-five of you
damned scoundrels, and I'm undecided whether to stick here with you or
go out and lead them."

- Huey Long to the United States Senate


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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 I (more...)

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