Friday, July 4, 2014

Interesting Times!

We live in interesting times, something we are often advised to avoid. The economics of the United States are falling into disrepair as a caste system begins to increasingly assert itself. The verities of what once was touted as the "American Dream" are being plowed under so that those with it can keep it. That's a dim assessment, but alas it is what I see looming. The "I've-Got-Mine-Fuck-You" Society scratches up one lame-brained slogan after another to attempt to justify Dickensian notions which will ultimately reap the whirlwind.

Living in a part of the country where you can still find folks who remember living in "company towns", it's truly sad to see that mindset reasserting itself. To see that people, citizens, are being fragmented and pitted against one another is disgraceful. Once, a few years ago the very folks who tout these techniques would've screamed it was un-American, but now they sing a different tune, one adjusted to soothe their masters. Whether it's cancelling unemployment compensation without any credible jobs program in place, attempting to crush the public postal service with peculiar and onerous healthcare payments, or restricting the core value of any democracy, the ability to cast a ballot for representation, there are too many examples by the modern crowd that the "people" matter less than their paymasters.

The public good is held in disdain as the marketplace is lauded as the solution to all problems. That's obvious poppycock, and why it's given the time of day is intellectually abominable. The marketplace can solve some problems, but it is not and never will be a replacement for the creation of a fully-developed citizen. We are not customers, we are not employees, we are citizens, something other and over those other lesser  and sadly increasingly limiting definitions. 

Right now, me and mine are fine. But it will not last, not for any of us. Hold on to your hats, these are most interesting times!

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  1. The same kind of thing is happening in the UK - the rich and greedy get richer and greedier while the Welfare State and free health care system are slowly being dismantled and privatised. What's galling is that much of the groundwork for this was laid by the 1997-2010 Labour government which was supposed to be centre-left but was really a trojan horse for the worst kind of free-market capitalism. It just makes me glad I've got no children to worry about as I'd hate to think of their future in this increasingly dog eat dog society.

    1. I've been heckling people about this trend for several years now. The same is true here too, the current economic strife which we are just now getting out of (no thanks to our Congress) was set in motion by Bill Clinton before he left office, so it's not just a Republican problem. There has been a decision made that a chaotic but occasionally highly profitable system is preferable to a steady calm model which offers more folks better opportunity over a longer time.

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