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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

No Place To Go

No Place To Go

By David Glenn Cox
The Smirking Chimp
August 14, 2012

“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 Roosevelt

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, Fuck 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

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/daveparts/44844/no-place-
to-go

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