Okay, is it time to come out fighting yet? Some would say it’s overdue.* Talk about the emperor having no clothes! For example, the number of people who still believe that privatization of everything is the answer, is ridiculous. Pathetic! But then, that’s beliefs for you! Never mind evidence.
I sometimes suspect that many are governed more by their embarrassment at not understanding the situation, than by their fear as they see their bills mounting, the middle class vanishing, the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer. What if we’re wrong, they worry. Haven’t they been warned? The ‘Occupy’ movement vanished; is that because they felt inadequate to the task? Intimidated?
They were endlessly criticized for having no ‘leadership’, no clear direction. And individuals who speak out might be accused of being unpatriotic – accused by the right, of course. Which is the worst accusation? Being anti-American, or anti-Christian?
The suffering often think they’re alone in their misery. Do they feel that somehow they brought it on themselves? I wouldn’t be surprised. We need more media setting the record straight and talking about the realities. Like the good old Guardian** in the U.K. They have their eye on the ball. And programs like PBS’s Frontline.*** And alternative news media like Common Dreams.*
Why do I obsess about American behavior? After all, I’m Canadian. Why should I worry? Well, anyone who’s paying attention realizes that Harper and his ‘Reform movement’ are trying to move us into the great American way, to join most countries of the western world. Despite the evidence. So if we want to know our future, watch the U.S.
The symptoms of this are everywhere. Affordable housing has become increasingly scarce through much of the world – especially over the past several decades when ‘trickle-down’ or ‘supply side’ economics has been the dominant theory. And privatization. The consequences of Reaganomics and Thatcherism. ‘Governments don’t manage anything right’, and ‘governments waste our tax dollars’. ‘The private sector will do it more efficiently.’ That’s as irrational as any other belief system.
Governments of the western world for decades have been selling off public housing, crown corporations, etc. As a friend says, it’s like “selling the family jewels”. Why would you sell off your equity? Short-term thinking I guess. Ignorance about the meaning of ‘equity’? Ulterior motives?
There are so many things that need changing, that I could go on and on. Like disgustingly low minimum-wage jobs with no benefits***– well no benefits for the worker – clear benefits (higher profit) for the boss or the shareholders.
Like building more prisons and introducing longer sentences, when crime has been going down. Like refusing to lower crime even more, by sensibly providing free drugs to addicts as well as shelter – because we want to punish them instead of acknowledging root causes. As I said, I could go on….
And of course that’s the problem. It’s overwhelming to most folks. So the vast majority give up even trying to understand – especially in areas like economics**** or finance. And the moneyed powerful like it that way. They can weave magic spells of fear and wonder, counting on peoples’ passive gullibility. So people get sick and lose their homes because they’ve been taught to fear ‘socialized medicine’ so much.
I have to ask myself sometimes if the ‘reduce-taxes-privatizers’ are really that dumb – or just cruelly selfish. As the rich get richer and the poor*** get poorer, I wonder how bad things have to get, to trigger a revolution.
* http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/07/09-0 ** http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2013/jul/05/debate-decent-housing-human-right *** http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/two-american-families/ **** http://www.economicshelp.org