When A Country Goes Insane

One job for every five looking

That’s the headline on a recent article at Common Dreams, a website I visit when I need to refresh my inner liberal, the one who’s deeply offended by a wealthy country that let’s its children go to bed hungry. Where my Governor is bragging about the 65,000 new ‘jobs’ this year – which pay around $20K and replace the lost jobs that paid $40K.

Six million people have lost their jobs. Twenty five million are underemployed. Many will never work again. Eight trillion dollars of middle class wealth has been destroyed in the housing collapse. One out of four mortgage holders are under water, owing more on their home than it’s worth. Fifty million people are living in poverty. One out of eight Americans are on food stamps. One of every two children will be on food stamps at some point .

And meanwhile:

[The country] can’t tell truths from lies . . . Sleazy operators pass themselves off as statesmen . . . and the crowds, unable to distinguish sanctimony from sincerity, bravado from bullshit, lap it up.

Let’s just ignore:

. . . the Republicans’ response? The working and middle class need to pay. Never mind that it was Reagan and Bush I who quadrupled the national debt in only 12 years, and Bush II who doubled it again in only eight, all to grease the pockets of their wealthy base. It’s the working and middle class who need to be bled. They still have assets that can be milked from them. They can still be made more subservient, more docile.

Remember, it’s Obama’s economy. And what about the American people? The ones who aren’t the 1% who enjoyed all the economic gains of the last 30 years?

. . . they need to give up any expectation of security, or dignity. They need to give up any childish illusions that [government] is operated for any such quaint Madisonian ends as “the general welfare.” They need to put on their kneepads and accustom themselves to being grateful servants to their new feudal masters . .

And through it all:

The media genuflect before gibberish and idolize idiocy. They are the media-tors of a Gresham’s Law of public discourse where bad information drives out good. For their own slick whoring they become “players,” while everybody else is left with a debauched civic currency, a crushed economy, and a collective impotence that makes true democracy and true prosperity impossible.

God bless us every one.

22 responses to “When A Country Goes Insane

  1. He does get your goat down there eh, Moe?

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  2. And I’ll agree ..The media brings up a close second….

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  3. Pingback: When A Country Goes Insane…Whatever Works… - Politicaldog101.Com

  4. Ms. Holland ,

    I liked it better when on another thread you said “Clear enough – Democrats, mostly Barney Frank, managed to bring down the world economy. I got it. ”

    So now the 1% got all of the benefit from the economy and caused the middle class to go backwards . The Republicans are to blame for the deficits . The last 2 1/2 years of Obama and the 4 years of Pelosi running the House have nothing to do with the deficits or the economy, , I got it . 🙂

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    • If the economic crash and plunging middle class wages can’t be traced to Bush’s policies, that must mean today’s joblessness can’t be ascirbied to Obama’s policies. Back to Barney Frank I guess – all his fault.

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  5. one who’s deeply offended by a wealthy country that let’s its children go to bed hungry.

    When you say that, who do you think is letting kids go to bed hungry?

    One out of eight Americans are on food stamps. One of every two children will be on food stamps at some point .

    To be fair, Obama has raised the use of food stamps remarkably. Further, by getting rid of the stigma of using them, a debit card for me please, it literally is a transfer of wealth.

    They need to put on their kneepads and accustom themselves to being grateful servants to their new feudal masters . .

    Do you think it’s that hard to make a living in America?

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    • pino, I was brought up Catholic. Although I am today an agnostic, the moral lessons stuck. When a child is hungry, the point is the child is hungry – no matter the reason. I want my ‘tribe’, i.e., my government, to feel obliged to address that. Not to say others can’t jump in – they do so and they do so admirably, but it’s never enough. I feel a responsiblity to that child.

      Isn’t the point of taxes to run our nation and do what needs doing to maintain social cohesion and to do what’s righ tto do for our fellows – like supporting education, libraries, universities, roads, scientific endeavors – whether we ourselves use them or not? I consider that my responsiblity as a citizen whether I use those serivces or not. Every dollar we pay in taxes is a transfer of wealth.

      Wages in this country have stagnated since the 1970’s. At this moment there are five people wanting work for every new job that’s available. Stability is threatened when the wage inequality gets to broad.

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      • When a child is hungry, the point is the child is hungry – no matter the reason.

        The most important thing to acknowledge is that there is nothing that child did or didn’t do to be hungry. Unlike hungry adults, who may have directly contributed to their current condition.

        I want my ‘tribe’, i.e., my government, to feel obliged to address that.

        See, here we begin to differ. I want my tribe to care as well, but I want them to care as individuals. That is, my neighbors, my churches, my schools and my lodges.

        Isn’t the point of taxes to run our nation and do what needs doing to maintain social cohesion and to do what’s righ tto do for our fellows – like supporting education, libraries, universities, roads, scientific endeavors – whether we ourselves use them or not?

        I don’t think so, I think the point of paying taxes is to run a government that arbitrates individual liberty.

        Wages in this country have stagnated since the 1970′s.

        But not total compensation. Benefits have risen sharply.

        At this moment there are five people wanting work for every new job that’s available.

        Technically speaking there are 5 unemployed people making $300 a week on the government for every job available. It is only through charity that you can say they are “looking for work”.

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        • [ I want my tribe to care as well, but I want them to care as individuals. That is, my neighbors, my churches, my schools and my lodges. ]

          pino, is government not just an extension of neighborhood? And I think it’s great that these entities do good works as I said above. But children aren’t starving where I live, I belong to no church, I don’t go to school and I have no lodge. I can give money to charities (I do) and I can give money to my government to do some of these things in my name. And I do.

          [run a government that arbitrates individual liberty.]

          Not sure what that means.

          Your point about benefits is valid, but the fact is buying power is down and that’s an important measurement of how we’re doing in maintaining a quality of life.

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          • is government not just an extension of neighborhood?

            Not at all.

            Government is meant to protect you from having your Rights and Liberties restricted.

            Imagine your neighborhood. And now a storm blows through and a neighbor looses 5-10 trees and needs them cleaned up.

            I can envision a group of guys calling each other to help cut the trees, load em up and haul ’em away. I can even envision those same guys then sending an e-mail to the neighborhood to ask for donations to repair the broken porch. I can NOT envision those guys taking up a vote and deciding that every house on the block be required to donate $500 to the repair of the porch.

            I see no difference between walking up to a neighbor’s house and demanding money by force of imprisonment or gun to hand over $500 cold and the government passing a law requiring the same.

            Do I think that I SHOULD contribute to my neighbor? Yes.
            Do I think that I SHOULD contribute to the neighborhood? Yes.
            And I think that doing those things makes for a better place to live and raise kids and go to work and all that. I WANT the same things as you; I simply won’t legislate it.

            Not sure what that means.

            You wanna buy a bushel of corn. I wanna sell you a bushel of corn. We agree on a price and make the trade. You get home and find stones in the bottom of the basket of corn.

            The government should “arbitrate” our dispute. That is, you should have legal recourse short of walking over to me and punching me in the nose until I give you your corn.

            the fact is buying power is down and that’s an important measurement of how we’re doing in maintaining a quality of life.

            Our share of income going to food, clothing and shelter has never been smaller. We have more left over money than we ever have.

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          • pino: [Imagine your neighborhood. And now a storm blows through and a neighbor looses 5-10 trees and needs them cleaned up. I can envision a group of guys calling each other to help cut the trees, load em up and haul ‘em away]

            I certainly can imagine it. I’ve seen it. This is hurricane land.

            Now imagine a storm blows through and your houses become unliveable. Power saws aren’t going to fix that and you can’t house each other. And THAT is when the government becomes an extension – able to do for the neighbors what they want to do for each other but are unable.

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        • [ It is only through charity that you can say they are “looking for work”.]

          Are you saying that people aren’t looking for work? If so, I’d disagree strongly. Sure there are those who abuse the system, but they’ll abuse the system whatever it is. Always have, always will. But they’re the minority and probably a slim one.

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          • Are you saying that people aren’t looking for work?

            Yes I am.

            If a person has been out of work for more than what, 6 months, they don’t want the job being offered to ’em. They may wanna job, but only if the job is one they want.

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          • I think that’s untrue and unfair. I hear that Goldman is firing 1000 people in NYC and moving those jobs to Singapore. But they’ll probably be able to get jobs at McD’s; I hear they’re hiring. A little tough on the family, but hey . . .

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          • I think that’s untrue and unfair.

            What do you call it when:

            A. You are looking for a job.
            B. There are many jobs out there that you don’t take.

            I hear that Goldman is firing 1000 people in NYC and moving those jobs to Singapore.

            I;m surprised at your empathy for Goldman.

            Those 1,000 people will indeed have to adjust. Either to lower salaries, a different job or, perhaps, they’ll have to move. No one says that, at the individual level, free markets always mean everyone always makes more money.

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          • pino. when you say there are many jobs out there that people just don’t take . . . first, there just aren’t and second, does your ideology require that someone take a job that pays less perhaps than his unemployment when he’s managing to feed his kids and pay the rent on that but the job wouldn’t pay enough for him to care for his kids; maybe end up on the street. Someone who maybe made 40K taking a minimum wage job? That’s probably exactly what would happen.

            This is where we’ll probably never agree. I want to contribute to their support. I want him to maintain some shred of dignity. Most of all of course, I want him to find a job that will keep his family off the street.

            I’m not a big fan of ‘individualism’. None of us makes it without others and without the supportive social structure we live in.

            And no, I’m not feeling remotely sorry for Goldma!:) I feel bad for the 1000 New Yorkers they’re laying off.

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          • first, there just aren’t

            Go Monster your ZIP code.

            The go for a walk in any strip mall.

            does your ideology require that someone take a job that pays less perhaps than his unemployment when he’s managing to feed his kids and pay the rent on that but the job wouldn’t pay enough for him to care for his kids; maybe end up on the street. Someone who maybe made 40K taking a minimum wage job?

            So, once a brother gets a job payin’ 40 large, he’s entitled to such a salary for the rest of his natural life?

            No, Moe, my ideology does not support that.I don’t like it but can live with it that we help someone for 26 weeks. After that, you are on your own.

            Does your ideology require that the government supply every citizen a minimum amount of money each year? Work or no work? For example, if the man above was making 40k a year, how could it be fair that someone else is only making 25? Perhaps we should kick in 15,000 to make it even?

            That’s probably exactly what would happen.

            Moe, serious? You think that there’s really a better than even chance such a man ends up in the street?

            I’m not a big fan of ‘individualism’.

            I’ve never thought of it. Either way, that’s not what I’m talking about when I mention individual rights. It means that I have rights as an individual. That these rights come to me from somewhere other than government. In other words, they are in existence BEFORE government AND can not be taken from me by government.

            I take the stance that government is meant to protect those rights. Not restrict them.

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  6. Ms. Holland ,

    I will say it . I know people that did not seriously look for work until a few weeks before the 99 weeks were up . I talk to people who will not consider a lower paid job as long as that 99 weeks is going strong . I wouldn’t like taking lower pay either , except that I’ve done it in my life to survive .

    That minority is not so slim as you believe . I do not begrudge the needy taking from the government what they need to feed their kids , but even they see the abuse . A single mom that I know was just telling me how she stood in line to get free food for her kids when times were tough . In the same line with her was a woman who arrived in a fancy car and wearing a fur coat and holding a debit card entitling her to the same free food .

    I believe the story and do not believe it is uncommon .

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    • [a woman who arrived in a fancy car and wearing a fur coat ]

      That’s an urban legend – it’s been around since I was in my 20’s. The story circulating then was that a woman came into a bar and begged and people gave her money but then they saw her go to the curb outside and pull on a fur coat as she got into the cadillac that was waiting. Variations on the story have popped up regularly ever since.

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  7. As I read those quotes, I felt a sinking feeling within me. Power grows more and more concentrated in the hands of the wealthy, and the most vulnerable among us suffer.

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    • That’s the point. The weaker we are, the more powerful they are. And millions of Americans will support this happening because they’re buying some bizarre script that’s saying it’s all about freedom.

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