~ Economics for losers.
The average temperature in Albuquerque today will be 19 degrees Fahrenheit. This means (obviously) that I will not be “on the roof”, in part because there is ice up there and maybe it (too) will be snowing. In a nutshell, in my case, “employment is down”.
I don’t get paid for my roof work. Sure, it benefits me, but it also benefits others. Others stay warm and dry because of a better roof, the innovations may catch on in the community, the improved aesthetics create the beauty (in the world) that everybody really wants.
I don’t work on my roof because of capitalism or greed or selfishness. I work on the roof because the work probably harms no one, endangers no one, exploits no one and also improves both my life and the lives of others. Occasionally I hire a helping hand (day labor), but the wages I pay will probably not result in the increased payment of taxes – the hours are too short and the pay (that I pay) is not enough to really matter.
I pay $14 per hour for someone else to do what my hands (given my arthritis) can no longer do and what my muscles and my back can no longer lift in dead weight. This amount is 42 to 70 times the amount that Walt Disney (Inc.) or Apple or Gucci shoes pays to create the toys and consumer goods that will create the Holiday shopping that creates America. Most everything that everyone consumes is “made” by people getting paid between $2 and $5 per day for working shifts of 10 to 12 continuous hours. Bottom line, these work-a-day wages ARE the capitalist system, is CAPITALISM.
America has become accustomed to living the “good life” off the backs of slave labor. The lives of most (actual) slaves and serfs and indentured servants of the past were actually better than most of the factory laborers and farm laborers in the world today. They had more to eat, better clothes to wear, and better air to breathe and more beauty in their daily life. They were allowed more time to be with their family and children. They had more nighttime hours to sleep.
The continuous planting of cotton might have done the soil harm, but no pesticides were used and no chemical carcinogenic based fertilizers. Cotton farming, without contour plowing, was a blessed event compared to the chemical based consumer goods and factory processes that make I-Phones, computers, cell phones and modern plastic (toys and cars) possible. Celebrating capitalism and the capitalistic consumer system is like celebrating a level of death and destruction that make the U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria seem like an “affirmation of innocence and life” if it were not for the simple fact that the object of these wars is “more democracy” so that more people can join the coalition of willing slave-labor slaves.
I may be wrong, but I don’t think that the image that Walt Disney had for the world was tens of thousands of slave-laborers working to make toys in his image out of rooms allowing less than 18 square feet of personal space per person 358 days per year. How many people think about all this when they see the Disney mall shops or buy new Mouse Ears for their kids or take them off to see Captain Nemo? I-Pad users and cell phone devotees are not so different. They live their lives in destructive denial.
Once, (according to Americans and the popular propaganda) the dream of the world was that America would “step in” and “step up” and make the world free and the life of every individual better. That veneer has now worn off. The U.S. has made the Egyptian military leaders rich (as an example) and the military (leaders) now own most of the Egyptian factories and industry and $2 – $3 per day is all they pay. “Democracy and America” has worked for them and created 400 thread count sheets, but has not improved the life of the average Egyptian very much. Life was much better under Nassar.
There is an honesty in owning a 1957 Chevy or a 1940’s Philco tube-type radio. The truth is that fair wages were paid to create these products, people like Michael Moore’s father (his mother worked for free in the family home) were the craftsmen, creating objects of both durability and beauty. In the 1950’s most of America’s factories offered tours. You could see the conditions under which people worked, talk to the workers and learn their names, know of their wages and benefits and where the houses were in which they lived.
There SHOULD be a bar code on EVERY product that identifies exactly WHERE the item was made and a second barcode that identifies each worker and the members of the team on each shift of workers. An independent website could then identify wages, working conditions, hours and have pictures of family and family life like Life magazine once did (for American workers). Freedom is “the RIGHT to know”. And freedom is the right to care about the human beings that are your earthly sisters and brothers. FREEDOM is the right to NOT BUY products that are made by corporations and corporate communists and corporate fascists that could care less about human dignity and a decent way of life.
How much are the workers paid to make that “green” fluorescent bulb? Where is the mercury for it mined? Under what conditions? If YOU knew you would know that it is mostly blood money that drives the green machine, and much of the “red and green” of Christmas is just the flow of blood and cash and profits for banks that benefit from businesses that are incapable of getting legitimate investment capital (to operate) because no real human being (except bankers) is such a cold and hard-hearted Scrooge as to finance a business plan as destructive to the human spirit as those that create most of what America holds dear.
And THAT dear reader is the way it is, and just the way it is, and THAT is why the whole colossal and monstrous mess must be at an end (and soon) or there will be NO HOPE for anyone because all the downtrodden consumers in America are NOT victims, they are only losers that live off the slavery and servitude of others. No wonder nobody does anything anymore than give lip-service to freedom, the (new) cult of America is that freedom should be reserved for just the fortunate few and without a doubt America will reap what it sows.
Jesus was born with nothing, no IRA, no trust fund; not even a Christmas tree, a menorah, or a votive candle to celebrate his birth. He did not “get ahead” by slaving away for some corporation, starting one, or even investing in one either. His father had a family business and worked too for others, as did Jesus in his time. Everyone was treated fair, or fairly, or at least was seen to have a future if that was what they wanted if they would just give up the “want”.
So yes, once again the holiday is coming and Christmas is coming too. I hope you are still clear about the message, buy only what you need, and buy it from caring people and not corporations and not from the dead people otherwise known as the 1% ultra rich. Occupy Wall Street might be a little “off message” for awhile and “the web” is looking a little less attractive every day. Really, where was this Apple made and the silicon in it mined and are the workers in those places as happy about the modern technology as I once thought I was?
Capitalism has outlived its usefulness (if it ever had any). Isn’t it time for something NEW and a whole lot better; maybe something WONDERFUL this time?
2011.12.05 – 19:15.