When you lose most of your possessions, you also lose most of your identity:
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “The Financial Crisis Is Forcing America To Redefine Its Values”)
Man-made disasters are proving harder to overcome than natural disasters, says the reporter. Why? He didn’t say; but I will: It’s because in man-made disasters, fellow humans with all their energy, intelligence, and powerful tools, are working AGAINST you rather than to help you. They are working to keep you down. A hurricane hits once. An earthquake maybe twice or thrice. But man-made inequality hits every day — again, and again, and again.
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Wage Crisis – The USA’s new underclass”)
Another thing this British reporter didn’t think necessary to mention since his fellows at home all take it for granted (but which Americans need to hear) is that, in his country, or anywhere in Europe – as far as I know – people at the financial bottom of society are never this completely abandoned. Usually, there is some kind of welfare income and housing assistance kicking in below a certain income level; or at least medical care is free.
Why can’t we, in America, the richest country in the world, have the good things others have?
The answer, of course, is our corrupt politics, because a government of the people, by the people, and for the people is the only force which can arrange for social security and healthcare tasked to maximize people’s welfare rather than the private profit of special interests. And only such a government, accountable to the people rather than the special interests, can regulate the economy for the benefit of everybody, keeping the callous greed of bully tycoons in check. Hence my frequent articles about how to repair our broken democracy.
Unemployment is demoralizing. Probably even more so when you are highly educated and have always done excellent work. Even with a job, you feel a failure when you are overqualified for some lousy job you had to take. I know. This is my life, too. Even with a good education, I am sure, one feeling is always the same in and near poverty and as a member of the precariat: that you are unworthy to be alive.
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “The Incredible Shrinking Middle Class”)
Another thing brought up here which we must always keep in mind is that things didn’t use to be this way. A generation earlier, a single earner could feed a family, and jobs were generally long-lasting, often life-long if you yourself didn’t leave. What a difference from so many of us today having to constantly chase jobs which never last, which pay so little that – in a family – all adults need to work, and which make one feel like dirt.
It’s rarely easy, in our personal-responsibility-themed society to believe (or be believed by others) that it isn’t you, but the economy, that is the failure. And not everybody in financial trouble has the opportunity to move back with their parents, by the way (someone should tell Hillary Clinton about that). At the most, some younger people can. Not all of them. And the older ones among us, forget it! Our parents are dead or no longer owning spacious homes, either. It is really sad to doubt you will ever be able to retire, the way our parents or grandparents were able to — especially when, with your advancing age, your health deserts you, even more quickly so when you have no reliable access to healthcare.
Yes, this is no longer the America of the American Dream. The rest of us are quickly joining the poor that our country never completely rescued. If we had pushed harder to end poverty, like our peer nations did, we might be better off now. Well, better late than never. Let’s start to be the change we have been waiting for.
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