Look like anyone you know?
Data from an as-yet unpublished survey reported on by The Associated Press today predicts that four out of five U.S. adults—an astonishing 80%, so guess what, this depressing figure probably includes YOU, bucko, unless you were born rich—will face grinding unemployment, near-poverty and a reliance on welfare for at least a part of their lives. The stated reason for this widespread economic insecurity is the lack of stable, good-paying manufacturing jobs, but isn’t that just a polite way of saying “because the fucking system is rigged by the 1%”? Of course it is.
Eighty percent? EIGHTY PERCENT???
Yeah, that’s right, eighty percent. How much longer will people put up with this? All for them and none for you? The pessimistic answer would be to shrug it off and say “it’ll never happen”—I thought this myself for decades—but I’m not so sure about that anymore. With grim figures like these—and so many “have nots” standing on the same side of the gated communities—this country will surely become a tinderbox. Sooner rather than later, I’d suspect.
Hardship is particularly growing among whites, based on several measures. Pessimism among that racial group about their families’ economic futures has climbed to the highest point since at least 1987. In the most recent AP-GfK poll, 63 percent of whites called the economy “poor.”
“I think it’s going to get worse,” said Irene Salyers, 52, of Buchanan County, Va., a declining coal region in Appalachia. Married and divorced three times, Salyers now helps run a fruit and vegetable stand with her boyfriend but it doesn’t generate much income. They live mostly off government disability checks.
“If you do try to go apply for a job, they’re not hiring people, and they’re not paying that much to even go to work,” she said. Children, she said, have “nothing better to do than to get on drugs.”
While racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to live in poverty, race disparities in the poverty rate have narrowed substantially since the 1970s, census data show. Economic insecurity among whites also is more pervasive than is shown in the government’s poverty data, engulfing more than 76 percent of white adults by the time they turn 60, according to a new economic gauge being published next year by the Oxford University Press.
For non-whites the economic insecurity figure rises to an an even more astonishing 90%!
And right at the time when the GOP wants to gut welfare, Social Security and stop the implementation of the Affordable Care Act cruelly denying healthcare coverage to all those poorz who thought they finally were gonna get some. Nice timing Republicans, you must really like the thought of your heads being hoist on pointy sticks by pitchfork wielding mobs. You’d have to think that even a rah-rah red state Fox News viewer might finally wake up to the abject stupidity of voting for a Republican who wants to gut social programs, when they are OVERWHELMINGLY STATISTICALLY LIKELY to amongst the legions of the shit-out-of-luck themselves—HELLO NORTH CAROLINA—but I won’t hold my breath waiting for that.
By 2030, it’ll be even worse: Based on current trends of widening income inequality, in a blink of an eye, historically speaking, 85% of EVERY working-age adults in the U.S. will experience economic insecurity. What’s wrong with a system like this BESIDES EVERY DAMNED THING?
Do they OWE US a living? Of course they fucking do!
Think about it, under such circumstances, obviously being in the top 20% would be the way to swing, but even so, would you WANT to live in that sort of Mad Max scarcity society? How walled off would the wealthy have to be in a world like that to feel truly safe? Their children would have to have armed guards at all times!
What was it again, that Senator Huey Long said in his famous “Every Man a King” speech? Oh yeah:
How many of you remember the first thing that the Declaration of Independence said? It said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that there are certain inalienable rights of the people, and among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”; and it said, further, “We hold the view that all men are created equal.”
Now, what did they mean by that? Did they mean, my friends, to say that all men were created equal and that meant that any one man was born to inherit $10,000,000,000 and that another child was to be born to inherit nothing?
Did that mean, my friends, that someone would come into this world without having had an opportunity, of course, to have hit one lick of work, should be born with more than it and all of its children and children’s children could ever dispose of, but that another one would have to be born into a life of starvation?
That was not the meaning of the Declaration of Independence when it said that all men are created equal of “That we hold that all men are created equal.”
Now was it the meaning of the Declaration of Independence when it said that they held that there were certain rights that were inalienable—the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Is that right of life, my friends, when the young children of this country are being reared into a sphere which is more owned by 12 men than it is by 120,000,000 people?
Of course Huey Long was assassinated for saying things like this in the 1930s, but things are different these days.
This simply can’t hold. It’s not going to. It can’t.
Hey Mr. Tea party man, try telling someone who is 26, owes over $100,000 in student loans and who works slinging coffee because no law firms are hiring that cutting taxes for the rich and abolishing the minimum wage is going to create jobs. Try telling them that the way things worked in the 20th century are the way things are always going to be and that “the system”—this system that is keeping them from realizing their full potential as human beings—should be preserved and that the same solutions that (supposedly) worked back in the Ronnie Raygun era are exactly what the doctor ordered. If they’re even remotely aware of the world around them, they will laugh right in your fool face. No wonder the millennials can’t wait for the baby boomers to die off. I can’t say I blame them.
It’s just getting to be a joke. The Democrats are a booby prize, of this I am only too well aware, but for all of their faults, at least they tend to be SANE. The Republicans, well, they have to be pushed out of the way. And soon. Hopefully this will be achieved democratically, but if not, the entire shithouse looks increasingly like it’ll blow in the coming years.
Look at the options. YOUR options. They’re closing down. Look at what they are taking from us. In the near future, these roads will become even narrower, more crowded, more dog-eat-dog for your children, should you be lucky enough to be able to afford to raise a family.
This is what we’re facing. What should be done about this? And WHO is going to do it?
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
American Obscenity: Corporate CEOs make 380x the wage of the average American worker!
Below, George Carlin on the American Dream