by David Glenn Cox
I walk through this economic battlefield as evening falls on the land I once called my home. How I wonder, did these things come to be? The weapons of economic mass destruction fall around us, missiles of misery, policies of perverse petulant profundity. Abandonment, aggrandizement, alienation of the victims accompanied by slavish hero worship of the perpetrators. Tent cities of the poor, warehouses of the wounded, cathedrals of the children crushed, bled white with leaches, sewn with smoke and fire.
Our cities, our people left in heaps of smoking ruins as the bombers of free trade return to us day after day. When the all clear is sounded the leaders like totalitarian monarchs emerge from their bunkers to cash their checks while excoriating the wounded for not fighting harder.
There are three realms in this America, the first imaginary, illusionary, a media fiction of American life. A make believe dream, a fantasy state of prosperity and rising income, happy with health care, happy children in good schools. Everyone is welcome here, admission is free to all. In the second realm the sliver cats remain as a vestige of the old way. Street survivors, ghosts of a former economic prosperity, legacies, homeowners, debt holders, the fruit of the vine, inheritors on the installment plan. Under attack from all sides, all that is required for admission here is blindness, faith and a belief in your own personal superiority.
I once lived there, misunderstanding the message of the messenger. I once had the fine house and health care, with a new car in the driveway. I thought these things were mine to keep when I was merely buying into that hazy dream on the installment plan. When I could no longer make those payments these illusionary things vanished and I entered into the third realm. It has been reported that seventy percent of American families are living paycheck to paycheck, living with the sword of Damocles hanging precariously over head. Many are poor and just don’t know it yet, an accident, illness or stubbing of the toe away from the sudden and dramatic realization of America explained.
Your so called freedom is but a euphemism for license, to pick your pockets, to exploit you for all that you are worth and then to throw away the husk. I am poor, my teeth need work but I have no money, I need new glasses but I have no money. You are poor as well, that is the purpose for the first realm. To hide from you just how common your poverty really is. To create the illusion that you are alone in this and that you have failed while everyone else has succeeded.
When you enter the third realm the indoctrination is on going, suddenly those who you thought were on your side are on the other side. You thought that there were laws to protect you didn’t you? Instead, the law is used as a tool to persecute you. Sheriff’s deputies deliver armed and uniformed threats as government has decided to take an active part in your dismemberment. From the cop to the Congressman they answer, “I’m just following orders, I’m just doing my duty.” In the halls of American justice the only justice is in the halls.
Your leaders have only scorn for you; you weren’t competitive enough in the new economic reality they created. You were over paid anyway and besides the new jobs will be along shortly. No reason for compassion or understanding, you millions who have been foreclosed upon brought it on yourself didn’t you? You should have known you’d get sick someday or that your health insurance wouldn’t pay the bills. You should have known that your jobs would be done away with!
Government by amnesia, forgetting that promise A somehow has something to do with promise B. That somehow the disappearing jobs and middle class lifestyle can now be ignored by the political class. To bomb with banality and strafe with surrealism to wound with words and maim with manacled machinations of one thousand mean spirited paper cuts of cruelty. Cuts targeted at the young and the old and most of all, the poor. You are poor aren’t you? Our leaders wrapped in cross and flag praise our heroes so far away fighting for …? Just what was it that they were fighting for again? Oil? Pipelines? Fruit? Sweatshops? Democracy?
Billions for tribute but not a penny for the defenseless, military madness, military shadow government. A lifetime CIA officer in charge of the Defense Department, a Federal Reserve protégée in charge of the treasury. A Health and Human Services Secretary who as Governor once oversaw $300 million in budget cuts in her native Kansas, earning her stripes and qualifying her for this Quisling regime. When she ran for Governor her running mate was the former chairman of the Republican Party in Kansas, more the witch than Dorothy.
There is a light coming, a glimmer on the horizon for the cold water of reality washes the millions clean. Clearing their heads and opening their eyes to the new reality, I am poor, you are poor, we are poor but we are millions. Do not fear the future with trepidation, rejoice and welcome a chance to change ourselves. A chance to right the wrongs done in our name, a chance to make the bugger’s eyes water.
Put away the paltry partisan wrangling and understand that in the grand scheme of things they can only derail us as we make steam. White, Black, gay or straight have no weight in the scales versus jobs and income. Understand the long forgotten truth that those in your class are your brothers and sisters and those outside your class are your oppressors. The Wisconsin state workers are fighting for your future as well as their own, while the Quisling regime would take the last dime from your pocket and leave you naked in the street.
We are fortunate, there are sign posts laid in stone. Immovable, immutable, words of American thunder. The pure unadulterated condensed truth in a Dixie cup, the fountain and foundation of rejuvenation,
“We have joined with like-minded people in order to defend ourselves in a world that has been gravely threatened with gangster rule. But I do not think that any of us Americans can be content with mere survival. Sacrifices that we and our allies are making impose upon us all a sacred obligation to see to it that out of this war we and our children will gain something better than mere survival.
We are united in determination that this war shall not be followed by another interim which leads to new disaster- that we shall not repeat the tragic errors of ostrich isolationism—that we shall not repeat the excesses of the wild twenties when this Nation went for a joy ride on a roller coaster which ended in a tragic crash.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
We are like minded people who must join together to defend ourselves again from gangster rule. We are not satisfied with mere survival and we must take up that sacred obligation if only for our children. We have repeated the tragic errors of the twenties only this time around rather than a savior we’ve found a Satan. The prophet of profits, the prince of pusillanimity, the messiah of money, come to save America’s millionaires and billionaires souls, but since they have no souls corporate Jesus will just save their money.
“There are pests who swarm through the lobbies of the Congress and the cocktail bars of Washington, representing these special groups as opposed to the basic interests of the Nation as a whole. They have come to look upon the war primarily as a chance to make profits for themselves at the expense of their neighbors- profits in money or in terms of political or social preferment.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Once their was a time when the government worked for average Americans, our problems have been created by greedy, heedless, shortsighted individuals. We must take it back by educating our friends and neighbors; we will fight battles of education. Our people aren’t stupid only mis-educated.
“Therefore, in order to concentrate all our energies and resources on winning the war, and to maintain a fair and stable economy at home, I recommend that the Congress adopt:
(1) A realistic tax law—which will tax all unreasonable profits, both individual and corporate, and reduce the ultimate cost of the war to our sons and daughters. The tax bill now under consideration by the Congress does not begin to meet this test.
(2) A continuation of the law for the renegotiation of war contracts—which will prevent exorbitant profits and assure fair prices to the Government. For two long years I have pleaded with the Congress to take undue profits out of war.
(3) A cost of food law—which will enable the Government (a) to place a reasonable floor under the prices the farmer may expect for his production; and (b) to place a ceiling on the prices a consumer will have to pay for the food he buys.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Across this battlefield taxes for America’s wealthy have been cut over and over again with promises of a new prosperity for us all. Instead, we have a created a new gilded age and a new underclass replacing the middle class. Sixty billion dollars in tax revenue legally dodged annually by corporate America. A Supreme Court justice who thumbs his nose at the system, no man is above the law or the system is beneath contempt.
Today I own a twelve string guitar and a suitcase full of old clothes. I need glasses and dental work but I have found something that has been missing from my days. I have found a purpose in life which is more important than eye glasses or teeth. To few generations is given the change to change the life of your country, in our poverty we are powerful. In our need we can become a new nation.
“We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.
Among these are:
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
The right to a good education.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
If it had not been for the discontent of a few fellows who had not been satisfied with their conditions, you would still be living in caves. Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.
Eugene V. Debs