Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Happiness, Misery, Interdependence 2

Or, Does Affluence depend upon Poverty?

I do not believe that affluence depends upon poverty, that the joy of a
few shall be strengthened by the dearth and mourning of many.
American society uses poverty as something to scare children,
teenagers and young adults. Work your fingers till they tremble,
harbor anxiety in your mind about, about, .... THIS. And then they
might point to a homeless person or the individual whose jeans look
too ragged to have been bought a year ago. Yes, we live in a society
where the middle-class is under seige and the wealthy want you,
reader, to believe that it's by the poor. The poor are attacking the
middle-class. They're the criminals-- just look at the type of people
locked up in our copious prisons. You can't trust the poor with your
money, because they just might buy . . . blankets and food with it. And
when you live in the greatest nation in the world, who needs a blanket,
who needs food? Who needs a home? Why who NEEDS anything?
We tell ourselves we are a society of consumers. We consume what we
want.
The problem with the assertions above is that they are lies.
The poor do not want what they buy, they need it.I'll wager the middle-class need at least two-thirds of what they buy.The patient does not consume the doctor's services, nor does he
consume medicine, he needs it.Medicine for profit is like bombs for construction.The criminals in our copious prisons are, in Michael Moore's polite terms, victims of ethnic cleansing, American style. Circumstance applied to the individual is made to serve the powerful, and those who
are incarcerated are easy to control, easier yet to humiliate.The poor and middle-class will serve themselves best when they become ungovernable.
Here, though, courtesy of Daily Kos and Smirking Chimp, is more evidence of the Republican desire to make social neglect the norm, the fashion, the new "moral" imperative.

1. History of Republican Opposition to Social Security
The vehemence of their hatred for institutions designed to serve the end of social justice knows no bounds.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/3/7/162038/6562

2. Opposition to Bush Tax Cuts
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/3/7/2588/77545
Contains Grover Norquist's assertion that the "spenders" are opposing
the tax cuts for the rich. He supports a faction that has demanded 167
billion dollars total so far for a destructive set of external wars. How
can he say that those opposing this kind of policy are big spenders.
The answer is this: the "big spenders" are always those favoring a just
society and a government that serves the people. The "true patriots"
are always those advocating spending for the cheapening of labor,
endless external war and the deepening of internal repression. It's
neocon algebra.

I just had to include some quotations from the following:3. Senate Defeats 2 Minimum Wage Increase proposals.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2005/03/07/national/w160606S03.DTL&type=printable

"I believe that anyone who works 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year
should not live in poverty in the richest country in the world," said
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., arguing for the Democratic
proposal to increase the minimum wage by $2.10 over the next 26
months. ..."Wages do not cause sales. Sales are needed to provide wages.
Wages do not cause revenue. Revenue drives wages," said Sen. Mike
Enzi, R-Wyo.

The latter statement is another assumption of the elites that has come
to dictate the increasingly dehumanizing direction of U.S. economic
policy. A worker's production and wage are irrelevant to the economic
health of a nation. Wealth is produced not by work, not by production
or service, but by the markets. In other words, the wealthy, in their
shortsighted way, see the product, but not the production. They want
to direct, price, and advertise, and they have no interest in the
procedures that comprise education, research, development,
innovation, and creation. It is this erroneous assumption about wealth
being a function of investing and the market alone that has cost the
U.S. its economic and educational standing in the world.
By Enzi's logic stated above, no worker needs to be paid another cent
and the economy is just going to breeze on and on. Investing and
markets would be untouched, but the vast majority of the people would
turn from struggle toward desperation within a matter of days. Enzi's
statement is not just bad economics, it's immoral and the product of a
dehumanized and dehumanizing ethos. This is what the next
generation has inherited from Ronald Reagan and George H. Bush,
and amounts to a new, corrupt reality. The Republican conspiracy of
the last sixty years against the New Deal goes forward. My conscience
and historical memory teach me not to welcome the return of the
Gilded Age.

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