Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The Dying Remains of Free Market Capitalism

there are those who are always on the side of the system. there to support prisons, police, jailers and judges. there to praise industry, corporations, bosses and bigotry. perhaps out of fear or maybe out of ignorance, citing tradition as a justification for keeping things the way they are. but the main reason, i believe, that many people want to keep propping up a cruel and corrupt system, is because they think that it works for them, and they believe they can count on it to protect what they have, or would like to have, namely piles and piles of money.

but for the most part, the vast majority of people don't have piles and piles of money and nor are they ever likely to have it. but they cling to this idea that our current economic arrangement will make them rich, with a tighter grip than a gambler's hand on a one armed bandit. and just like that gambler, they are oblivious to the reality of what's going on around them. so mesmerized are they with the ringing bells of riches, and the promise of profit that their dazed mind keeps them transfixed on that ever elusive pot of gold at the end of the capitalist rainbow.

and as they keep plugging their time and energy into this economic slot machine, that may spit out a nickel or two here and there to keep them coming back for more, the real winners in all of this are the wall street casino swindlers and the multibillion dollar transnational corporations. they're the ones who have the power and the cash to influence our elected officials and even our judicial system, with a quid pro quo contract, whose only purpose, it would seem, is to make it easier for these rapacious plutocrats to accumulate even more money.

but as the chasm between the rich and the rest grows deeper and wider, the chances of making that leap to luxury grows more and more difficult. not only that, but by busting our asses with longer hours for less real money as we continue to make our employers wallet fat, we only prop up a system that has no concern for us and our day to day lives, or the homeless person on the street, or our rapidly disappearing natural world. no, the system we prop up only serves to regard the interests of the wealthy, the interests of the consuming greedy.

when prices on everything from groceries to gas, from electricity to earmuffs keeps rising bit by bit, month by month, and year to year, our wages never seem to keep pace. but surely the labor of millions of people must be making somebody a lot of money somewhere. it sure is, but it sure ain't 99% of us.

you want to go to school, work hard, have a rewarding career and make a decent dollar, i think that's great. unfortunately, that is getting harder and harder to accomplish as more and more people are drowning in debt from such things as ridiculously high student loans. and with no guarantee of a decent job even after completing years of university.

but hey, if you can accomplish this "american dream", more power to you. maybe the system works in your favor. but as one person takes, another has something taken away, and that's just not right.

"well i'm successful, they can be too. all they have to do is work hard. they're just lazy and want a handout."
really? is that what you think? fuck you! yea that's right. fuck you, you arrogant piece of shit! just because somebody is poor or hasn't achieved your level of success, that doesn't mean they're lazy or want a handout from you. but if you want to talk about people begging for handouts, then let's mention the billions of dollars in corporate welfare bailout money that the banks and auto makers received in 2008.

there are many working poor in this country who have multiple jobs to try and make ends meet. there are many more who cannot find work through no fault of their own. there are many with mental illnesses who are literally thrown out of heath care facilities for lack of funding, and are forced out onto the street with no friends or family and nowhere to turn.

not everybody was born into a situation that enables them to have the success of others because their basic human needs are not met. they don't have enough to eat, they don't have the same access to quality medical care that you or i may have. and if a person is hungry and sick they have difficulty concentrating in school and so their education suffers. perhaps there is violence in the home or substance abuse.

everyone is different and everyone has different needs. we don't all act the same under similar circumstances. but if we try and level the playing field and attempt to understand the needs of all individuals of all backgrounds, and appreciate how our choices and actions affect the well-being of others, perhaps we can eradicate this cancer called poverty from not only this country but across the whole world.

but when corporations and environment-destroying industries are pulling the strings controlling our politicians, concern for social programs, education and health care, which serves the needs of all the people and is the whole reason for having a government in the first place, suddenly becomes less of a priority. then it is no longer a government of the people, by the people and for the people, but a government of private industry, by private industry and for private industry.

it takes compassion, understanding and sharing to resolve the world's problems, not wars, secrecy and holding fast to a system that doesn't benefit all of its citizens. if one person suffers because of our unjust economic arrangement, then that's one too many and we need to change it, not make excuses or devise ways to maintain it.

as countries across the world struggle with trillion dollar debts, and austerity measures near and far put a deeper bite into people's lives, and banks are getting bailed out with billions of dollars to keep them operating while the CEOs receive millions in bonuses, people are fed up. they are demanding a fairer distribution of wealth that serves everyone, not just the upper 1%. they are angry and they are voicing that outrage in the streets. it is time we all join together and become the conscientious objectors of an inequitable economic system. we must all heed the call to create a juster, cleaner, kinder, more radiant and democratic world, that will flourish upon the dying remains of free market capitalism.

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