A woman in Houston pays 2,100 dollars—apiece—for three blouses in a store that caters to the wealthy, of which there are plenty. She needs three because after a few dry cleanings they’re not really any good any more, to her.
A man makes 32 million dollars in salary and perks running a corporation, and when he does a lousy job gets over a hundred million as a going away present.
Exxon-Mobil, or whatever the gigantic corporation’s name is, has just reported making more money in profits than any business or corporation in the history of the world.
When I applied for social security this morning in preparation for my senior-hood—the only white person in a room with hundreds of people in Newark NJ—they awarded me an extra fifteen dollars a month for the over four years I spent as an enlisted man in the service of my country in the early 1960s.
The cops and firemen in my neighborhood and clan when I was growing up made enough to afford a home, a life there, but these days no cops or firemen in my home town can afford to live there, or anywhere this close to New York City except for ghettos, otherwise they have to move a long commute away, out in what once was countryside and now is sometimes cheap, mass developments.
The fastest growing demographic of homeless people is children.
When the inequities were this extreme before in this country, the so-called “Gilded Age” or during the Great Depression etc., there were revolts afoot to address these and the rest of the obviously unconscionable conditions many people live with now.
So where’s the revolt?
There were a lot of hostile people in that Social Security office, some of their hostility aimed at me, an old gray-haired white guy. But it seemed racial, rather than a matter of class, though that too I assume.
I know communism, as practiced and pushed by the Soviet Union failed, and rightfully so, and that the right has managed to create the illusion in most people’s minds that socialism and liberalism are the same thing and that they have failed too.
But of course they haven’t, especially not in other so-called “industrialized nations”—but even if they had failed, so has capitalism, the way the conservative Republicans have practiced and pushed it.
So, except for the few demonstrators that turn out for the meetings of the billionaires who rule the world, why’s everyone else so docile?
Are the electronic toys and media distractions doing their job so well, people just don’t care? Or has the right manipulated the media so well people actually think it’s the fault of elite liberals or Washington bureaucrats?
Or is everyone just too tired from working so many hours for so little pay—more than any other “industrialized country”—to protest?
More work and less pay has become the standard default position for most workers for most corporations these days and the threat of no job or working at MacDonald’s has kept many of those people compliant I guess, but still, where’s the failed executive who understands the dynamics of contemporary corporations and is fired with rage against the inequities enough to use his experience and class privileged education and insider knowledge to lead a revolt of the masses—which now includes almost everyone who works for a living and isn’t a millionaire?
All these new leftist leaders in Latin America come out of that place, the anger at the huge discrepancies in economic rewards in their so-called “third world countries”—but now we too have those kinds of discrepancies, though with more toys, made by these and other “third world countries” for us to buy cheap.
Is that it? The “bread and circuses” that kept the Roman masses satisfied or distracted enough to not revolt against having their pockets picked by their leaders until it was too late?
Is it too late for us?
Are these questions rhetorical?