Monday, February 20, 2012

BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE A DIME? On poverty as malfunction of Capitalism and the way we soothe our Conscience



So long as there shall exist, by virtue of law and custom, decrees of damnation pronounced by society, artificially creating hells amid the civilization of earth, and adding the element of human fate to divine destiny; so long as the three great problems of the century—the degradation of man through pauperism, the corruption of woman through hunger, the crippling of children through lack of light—are unsolved; so long as social asphyxia is possible in any part of the world;—in other words, and with a still wider significance, so long as ignorance and poverty exist on earth, books of the nature of Les Misérables ( The poor ones) cannot fail to be of use.

HAUTEVILLE HOUSE, 1862.




The word that becoming more and more popular in politics of today, the word that is commonly used all over the planet as the crises is spinning out of control, is crony Capitalism…

It seams that the good old Capitalism enter a phase that capture and twist his soul from fair system of Free Market Economy into some ugly creature of some apocalyptic schizophrenic imagination, known as Crony Capitalism…and all we need to do is to go back to its basic principle in order to safe him from blowing up in our faces depleting the Natural resources, breaking every moral norm we familiar with and growing into a monster that sack the daylight of every living creature of this Planet but the top cream of the Wealthy who by the way, never ever complained at all…

Now that will be salto mortale worthy of David Copperfield grand illusion…

Those who even entertain the idea that we can turn back the clock and return to foundation of the 18 Century Capitalism need to visit a library and look beyond the economics of Mises, Friedman and Keynes, who's only job as economists was to justify and blur the reality about the sole character of the system since day one witch always was and always will be THE SAME SOLE CHARACTER of the system:  

  “Capitalism by definition is market oriented economic system based on private ownership of the means of production and motivated by profit…”
Source: Dictionary.com
 

All those cheer-leading economists ever did is dressing him up in new clothes, sugarcoating his nature with sweet illusions to diminish the ugly reality...
   - Capitalism worked well yesterday, it is working well today, and it will always work perfectly well for the Wealthiest people among any given Nation...not for the majority of the common people...

Deal with it...slowly...
We can call him “Free Market Economy” as much as we want, sound so liberating, I mean is there a human on this world who do not love freedom?
Attaching freedom to its character of Market Economy is plausible, but never the less it is still the same system…
Those who adore the phrase “Free Market Economy” have themselves deluded!
There is Market they like and Market they do not want without making a clear distinction who is who:


   - What is Market anyway?

Is it a place like in those Medieval picture of merchants offering their Earth produce, a rainbow of colors, green pea, red tomato, orange carrots, ripe apples, violet grape, purple blueberries and yellow potatoes, an offers of plenty and a woman with a basket smelling the pink peaches thinking of a delicious tart she can make with them…
Or...
Is it a Wall Street  wholesale in a sole click of the button, simple blip on the computer screen, and the destinies of so many workers families are thrown into a mergers that can discard them just cause they are a cost that jeopardize the bottom line?
Market is both…
Those merchant are motivated to bring the product affront that woman and make a back for themselves, as well as the shareholders behind those clicks on the screen…
The Capitalism evolved…the place where the offer met demand become elusive but that do not change the soul of the Capitalism at all…
We like the idea of that woman freely choosing what will go into her basket…but we do not like when we are the one on display and that someone can buy and sale us without even concerning our will…we don't like the idea that our lives, our dream and our very being as human can be no more then a subject to transaction just like those peaches are!
Well...Grow up…wake up and smell the coffee…Cause we all are subject for sale, like it or not...

Sooner or letter we need to realize the reality: everything is on sale on the Market…that’s what Market Economy is…winners and losers…pick and choose…eat or be eaten by the competition...
Instead of dropping your jaw in discontent due to hurt vanity, ask yourself a hard Question:


   - Did Capitalism ever, ever work for the common people?

On the streets of London maybe?…Charles Dickens will have so many stories to tell You…
On the streets of Paris?…Victor Hugo will have so many stories to share with You…
On the streets of Chicago?…Jack London will even show You the streets cover with blood stains…

The glorious past of Capitalism that so many Republicans and Libertarians call for is this ugly reality:
- working 14-16 hours a day, six days a week, just because you need Sunday to hear the Church fathers tell you how much Jesus loves poor people...he just happened to bless the rich all  of the other days of the week...
 - winter comes along with a crises, if you are lay off, chances are you will freeze  to death ...
 - no medical plans, none...market health care, if you get sick, and have no money for a doctor or medicine, you die...
 - children work since the age of eight, full working days, many never reach adulthood...
 - woman are valued twice as less as workers then men...
 - no public schools...You are born and you may die never to see the light of Knowledge...

Everything we have today, every so called benefit, wasn't given to us by the grace of some wealthy man, we fought for our workers right every step of the way for over two hundred year...
Nothing was given to us, we won those battles one at the time...
And then many years go by and we forget...
It is us who choose the stories of Red Barons to uphold and worship and stories of Les Miserable we tend to forget…
We like to believe in Horatio Alger “rags to riches” lifetime opportunity for every one of us...
We don’t even wanna mention that poor little servant, smaller then her broom, Cosette, much less her mother...


Ebcosette.jpg

Portrait of "Cosette" by Emile Bayard, from the original edition of Les Misérables (1862)

Every crises that come around blow our perspective on capitalism and humanity and we feel bad for those unfortunate among us who fall trough the cracks of this merciless system and our conscience ask to help them…one way or another…charity…soup lines…Government programs…

Last couple of centuries we entertain those solutions, cause we forget our past…
We live in a digital age, but we act as history start yesterday…
Those who love capitalism, those who hate Government welfare programs, those who blame the poor for being poor, are those who forget history and therefore are bound to repeat it…
While the people were falling through the cracks of the merciless system, those who blame them, have no idea how that happen because they never bother to ask, or look, or wonder!
Fat chance that any business owner ever wonder what is happening day after people loose their jobs!

     - What are the chances to get another job in ones profession…?
   - What are the consequences for their livelihood if those being lay off are over forty and they can't compete with the young more productive working force eager to replace them for less salary or no benefits at all…
How many of those self-righteous Republicans even ask themselves:

     - When unemployed loose their houses, where do they go? What is the fabric of their live the day after? What kind of school their children all of a sudden have to go to?
We never connect the dots between us and the poor...
    - Who are the poor people anyway? Where do they come from?
We tend to judge them most of the time as lazy...or worse, cause our hard earn money trough taxes go to support them in various programs...
Ah, all those welfare queens and their babies on food stamps...
How many self righteous Republican who are so eager to cut back their food stamps ever ask: why do they grow up without parents guidance in the first place?
Do those well dressed business owners wives holding charity foundations to safe the polar bears or to help the hungry in Africa ever ask:
    - What is happening with all those teenage mother and their babies in the street of ours cities?
All those ardent pro-life supporters who condemn abortion, did they ever ask:

    - What opportunity the system offer to those high school drop outs mothers searching for a job without any education…or what time they can afford to spend with their babies working double shift, or what value they can pass in absenteeism to their children rising them from kids to adult!
Do those ardent pro-life evangelists even consider while fighting for the lives of the unborn babies, that being born is just the beginning of those babies lives! Not really, cause their fierce fight end at the maternity ward...
   - Why should they bother to ask who look after those babies growing without fathers, while their mothers need to work two jobs?
   - Who should pay attention to them?
Maybe teachers in overcrowded schools?...

Those teachers Republicans don’t really wanna pay taxes for their wages, but expect them to educate and install values in our kids?
Maybe they are the social workers responsibility?...

Those social workers who's pile of files are rising while their department budgets are shrinking cause Republicans don’t wanna pay taxes to support their wages too…
Then again, the Conservatives wing will raise its voice:
   -Why should we bother with them at all...its their parents responsibility!...
Those parents who Republicans wanna keep on minimum wage cause they do not value their common Labor forcing them to work multiple jobs just to make the ends meet?
Even worse outcome is that we don't wanna know do those babies even reach adulthood at all, or they are swept into the penitentiary system for some petty crimes they commit in order to stay alive or blend into community of the poor underworld…

Ahh, damn drug war so dear to the bleeding heart of the Libertarians wing who will legalize marijuana in a blink of the eyes, but will never shake the corporate boat of their aspiring masters, nor will change the system that breed poverty...
The accusations, the excuses, the patchwork of solution is going in circle, year after year, generation after generation, election after election...
Vicious cycle we don’t wanna see, cause its not us…its them…the poor one…Les miserables…
True modern day slaves…
And their numbers are keep rising year after year...crises after crises...


No, we don't wanna connect the dots between us and them...
We don't wanna admit that they are Us, We are them, just a few paychecks away from their destiny...just a job away from their neighborhoods...
Its easy to blame someone for a failure, but the failure is not theirs...the odds are stuck against them every step of the way...

They say poverty bread poverty...
Not True...not True at all...
    - Babies are not born poor or rich, babies are born as Human…
Poverty is not a decease one catch walking on the wrong side of the street...This economic system bread poverty every step of the way...its his DNA...
Turning a blind eye is our collective shame, not theirs...
In a land of plenty, being poor is not one person individual fault but mismanagement of our Society resources...
We can eradicate poverty overnight, but that will crash the system...
That is the ugly truth...
Its a simple mathematics that even a child can perform...
We just never set the task...
All we ever did is placing a band aid to soothe our Conscience, that we did the best we can to help them...in fact we just helping the atrocity to continue:

   "The Worst form of violence is poverty" -Gandhi

The Republicans tragedy is that they even wanna peel that band aid, cause they never look back where they come from...
Its a level of ignorance that is amusing in a sense: They do believe they are untouchable...but so did Marie Antoinette...so did Romanov...and Les Miserables grow so many in their time that they swept them into oblivion...
Some people learn from Marie Antoinette, some learn even more from Romanov's destiny and create the safety net that will prevent Les Miserables to roam in horde on our streets, but they accept their destiny as the way it is...
And that is equally wrong...
My dear Democrats, slave owners that never use whip lash to teach their slaves order are maybe good slaves owners but they are still slaves owners...slavery is not freedom as welfare is not wages...
Its the way we organize or economy...the way we utilize our Human resources...the way we set priority of our economic system to be...not a choice between rich and poor, have and have not...but a system of economics...
Capitalism have profit set ahead of people...
What is a minimum wage but a fertile ground for poverty...
What is any Social Program but an attempt to curve the sharp age of profiteering...
All the Laws and Regulations can't make Capitalism become Human, cause the drive for profit will always tear them a part...
Workers wages, Taxes and Regulations are just cost for the system , cost that take away from the profit, ergo the system Nature will force Capitalism to break loose of any regulation, to cut any cost...
If any of us get on the way, the system will chew and spit Us, as a side effect...strait in the gutter of Poverty...with the smile on the way down...
   -Its not personal...its just business...
Color him pink as much as anyone wanna color Capitalism pink, but the color will always be bloody red...even if it has to swirl us in yet another World War in order to get out of the crises...
The Great Depression end by giving us The World War II in 1939...

 'War is the health of the state..." Randolph Bourne

Indeed...when nothing else work, War is the ultimate Broken Window Economy...
Present day crises...we witness the clouds gathering over Middle East every day more and more...

I believe in Science that say: There is plenty for all of Us...We can do much better then vote and support modern day Holocaust known as Economic crises...
How many of Us are even aware to the call of Reason and Knowledge?
How many choose to ignore the past in order to preserve their own selfish status in the Society they are familiar with...
They say there is absolute poverty that people in the Third world Countries live in, those who lack base necessity of life and they are dying of hunger, malnutrition or preventable diseases, while their leaders bath in diamonds up high on the hill...
Then there is relative poverty that half of the people live in the well develop countries in the World, and its not just those who live below or around the set standard of living also known as poverty line...its the rest of us, Us, the 99 % who sadly buy into widely extended poverty line with credit illusion of well being...the last forty years...Cars, furniture, vacation, even all the kitchen gadget we ever posses were due on credit...true...we own nothing but our names on a monthly bills...
Then there is a brand of people  we rather not Mention cause most of us depend on their will...
They are those people with rare ability to justify and support the ugly reality around them even when they know very well whats going on and even they can do plenty about it, but they rather don't!
Its not ignorance that drive them...its not their inability for compassion...its deep rooted poverty of their soul, disability we can't see, but we sure as hell feel their pressure in our everyday lives...
No one is safe from those creature that hold the Wealth of the World in their fingertips, but are so miserable that they can't value other people Humanity more then they value their own Portfolios...
People who will applaud the idea of children janitors, or who will bluntly admit that they do not care about the poor, cause they have their safety net to hold them while working relentlessly to tear that Safety net apart...
People who  think that they are much higher on the scale of Humanity cause they are better off then Les Miserables... 
Marie

12 comments:

  1. The author has empathy for the poor. This quality sits in the front part of the brain. Vulnerable to damage or to childhood molestation, empathy can be lost forever. I lost my ability to empathize through a nasty fall and a vicious punch to my forehead. Fascist personalities have no ability to put themselves in another person's shoes.
    After the punch, my novel writing ended.

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    1. But You can read, you can tweet, and you can try to imagine better...
      Thank You for visiting my site, hope You will tell Your friends...they can use the tissue on the way out...

      Delete
  2. Meh. You harp on and on about the 'evils of Capitalism', but you show no other economic methodology to replace it and maintain the same level of technological sophistication you've become accustomed to. Who gave you your computer? Who gives you the electricity to run your household? What happened before refrigerators, stoves, running water?

    How far back in time do you want to go? because the minute you give up Capitalism, things start going away.

    You want to live in a cave? then go, leaving the keys to your Capitalist-driven society on the table when you close the door. No more cars, planes, air conditioning. No more anything but sweat labor to earn you a crust and water.

    Try not to starve in public now, y'hear? Because to bury you, someone would have to pay someone else to dig your damned hole.

    EVIL CAPITALISTS~!

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    1. You not serious...do you...
      I did offer a solution for those who are familiar, they new its name...and no, its not Socialism I grow up in...its not the system of China cultural Revolution known as communism, that make everyone shiver...
      No Serr...its called Resource Based Economy...its American as American Apple pie...I did not invented, not I dream of going back anywhere...Certainly I cant go back to a country I love but its no more...her name was Yugoslavia...My Macedonia is just a shadow of the glory of her Ancient past or recent history...
      No Serr...I have memories that's all...I can tell You more, but I like to have your affection, not your hate and anger...
      I wish we stay in good term, cause I count on your better side...

      Marie...

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  3. All we need to do is to moderate the system we do have from a Free Market Economy to a Mixed Economy. It could be one third Capitalist, one third non-profit, and one third public sector. That kind of an economy could get money moving around, there wouldn't have to be a poor class - only a strong working class; there would be a very large middle class,and a moderate wealthy class (4 million per family).

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    1. Nordic model...that's the idea you talking about...its well used in the Scandinavian countries, and they dont have such a terrible impact on their economy...the crises did not hit them so hard...
      America will need to openly talk about the Nordic Model as well as the planing that China use to spur the public infrastructure and social infrastructure as a pillow to curve the crises...
      There is an undercurrent that is rising all over America...workers co-op and workers owned enterprises...
      There is so much possibility we need to explore and talk about it, cause the red v.s blue dont work anymore for majority of the people...its worse in EU, then America, cause over there the Conservative actually win: Merkel, Sarkozy and Cameron pose austerity measure on any other Nation in the European Union, hopping the tide of poverty will not hit their Nations shores...so lame...
      We are in desperate need of change, any kind of change till we become aware that even better system is possible...system called Resource Based Economy...
      But that is still Science fiction for many of us, who cant wrap their mind past the separation of Church and State, much less of the way Govt can provide Productive jobs that will lower taxes and benefit whole communities...

      Delete
  4. Marie,

    The United States has always been based in an economy of 'haves' and 'have nots' no one really gives a damn until they have nothing left. Then, they notice the disparities. Your previous posters are filled with disdain for others. They are the type that is always envious of those who do better. They hate the fact that Unions provide a better living wage and conditions. Instead of demanding the same from the private sector, they turn their fears and insecurities against their neighbors.

    The disparity in today's America is what has made many take notice and the effort to narrow the gap is what all this political fighting is about. The wealthy need slaves. They can't do anything for themselves. In today's economy, we call them 'minimum wage earners' or 'undocumented' or... what have you.

    The recent departure of Hispanics from Alabama is a perfect example of how economies collapse without the working poor.

    Your previous posters do not offer a solution, but keep beating up on old ideology, because they fear change. Change we must have. It is inhuman to walk by the homeless and only feel disdain. It is inhuman to see hungry children and blame the parents, but not the society that created the vicious cycle.

    It is inhuman to defend corporations while ignoring the wrecked lives left behind in the quest for profits.

    You don't need these people in your life Marie, you need lik-minded folks who are working alongside with your to improve the human condition.

    Thank you for sharing your article and bearing your soul.

    PEACE - Olivia

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    1. Like always Olivia You right on the spot...Its true that we shouldn't accept poverty, but as much we think we can do without some of Us on the other side, until they see Us in them, we will be divided and we have no chance...People who hold our destiny are not spending time on twitter, nor they spend time reading any blogs...its our other half that do...maybe little bit above the workers wage labor, small biz owners, higher educated maybe, free lance entrepreneurs, who dream of becoming the next Bill Gates, or next Koch Brothers, but most of them will never rise so high...all they ever do is support the widening on richer and poorer till we become equally poor...The wages get flatten...the wide is more obvious...99% that Occupy Wall Street use did not come out of some Hollywood fiction...the number is real...we just never pay attention before...
      And that's the saddest part...

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  5. I agree with you that the gap has never been wider in this country. However, change will come from the bottom. It has always been the poor and disenfranchised that changed the system and improved conditions for all. The French revolution, the Russians, the Spanish Civil war, Organized Labor in this country ended the cycle of poverty, child labor, factory enslavement. Now we have an Occupy movement that started in in Egypt.

    These sources of inspiration have fueled an acknowledgement that we, the people are the ones who have to use our collective power to make the needed changes that reflect and attend to the needs of society. Don't despair Marie, more and more people are coming to the realization that they too, are the 99% - regardless of ideology.

    Have a great day and thank you for fighting against injustice and inequality.

    ~ Olivia

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  6. Well said Olivia. To me it all boils down to greed and control. A bit more money would be nice, but I don't want a mansion in the hills, I don't want to live like a rock star. But I do want money for repairs or maybe a little bit of fun. I want to make my money honestly, not at the expense of someone else. Power has been abused for a while here now and it's not going to end overnight. Just like the President can clean up 8 years of Bush. But people are waking up and I agree absolutely that it's going to be the people on the bottom who will make the difference.

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  7. Lee MMBJack McCartyMarch 2, 2012 at 4:20 AM

    Too late tonight, but took time to read each of you. It will take some innovation to make what we have more human and a lot of innovation to also change the system to work for all. FAIRTAXCODEUSA is my one most important way to change the system while still being in an enterprise based economy. MMBJackMCarr

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  8. In other words, the death of Capitalism, in several countries the Capitalism crises have the same problem, corruption, that's it. Great article, dear Marie, Carlos from Brazil.

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