Monday, November 26, 2018

America: The Let’s Pretend Nation

I started hearing something during the big hoorah a couple of years ago in the Seattle area.

The big hoorah was a debate centered on whether people ought to be paid enough for their labor so that they can have a home and family – or not.

The banner under which the leaders of the hoorah marched was “Fifteen Dollars an Hour”.

I was totally in favor of fifteen dollars an hour; I was totally unsure that that was a “living wage” that could allow for workers to have home and family, but I had to agree that it was a lot better than the Federal Minimum Wage of about half that.

But back to what I started hearing then.

Small business after small business said that their “business model doesn’t support that level of income”.

All I could think of in rejoinder was “maybe you have a bogus business model if it requires employees but doesn’t support paying them a living wage”.

But that is in the past.

Right now the reason I finally started writing this is that I am listening to NPR on my KUOW worldwide app.

I just head Tanzina Vega honcho a feature about the recent and ongoing romaine crisis.

The net summary of what I heard is that farmers, large and small “have business models that don’t support assuring that they don’t sell life threatening products to the public”.

Some American Association of Civil Engineers whose exact name eludes me goes on record every year with a detailed statement of the state of America’s infrastructure.

And as a summary they give a grade: D minus.

Infrastructure is what allows a country to be a world player.

Maybe we ought to be investing in it.

Maybe we should have been investing in it all along.

But, as Mitch McConnel can be heard saying “with trillion dollar deficits extending into the future as far as we can see, our business model doesn’t support infrastructure investment, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or Public Education”.

I guess when your business model is based upon distributing the fat of this fair land to one percent of its inhabitants the downstream conclusions are obvious.

But that doesn’t mean there is any sense to that.

As an aside, it is interesting to note that Mitch’s business model is designed to reproduce the serf class.

Speaking of serfs, people teetering on the edge of that economic state are everywhere in America.

And they are all one minor problem short of ceasing to teeter, but to, instead, fall into homelessness – serfdom in modern day parlance.

So what happens when people who have been hunkering down in trailers, mobile homes, homes inherited from family that they can’t afford to buy homeowners insurance for, or repair or make storm durable, because, if they hadn’t inherited it, they couldn’t be living in it in the first place - and a list of similar circumstances too long to be documented here – are hit by 18 feet of water and 155 MPH winds, or find themselves suddenly one day, in the middle of what amounts to being in a crematorium?

I suspect there are nearly a thousand who won’t have anything happen to them because they were in the middle of what amounts to being in a crematorium.

And the rains are taking their remains off to oblivion.

Lest you think that I think that I am making an allusion to a lyric from Bob Dylan, I am not.

I know what oblivion means.

From Webster: 1. “the fact or condition of not remembering” or 2. “the condition or state of being forgotten or unknown”.

Sounds like America’s imminent future.

For legions of us.

And what other kinds of catastrophes are lurking out their just waiting to continue the onslaught?

“America’s business model doesn’t support its citizens having a decent life, with buffers against disease, misfortune, or in favor of having a family, having a home, getting an education, and an honorably earned retirement; it can’t or won’t honor the promises made to its military veterans; it does support gated communities, segregated schools, posse comitatus violations on the Mexican border, massive border walls, hate, racism, lies, stupidity and all their additional and extended kindred.”

This rather long quotation is destined to be emblazoned on the arch spanning a path.

The path leads to a second arch on which is emblazoned: “ thou art a villein and a villein thou wilt remain”.

Setting the dramatics of the arches aside, the remaining conclusion is that America is a pretend nation.

For sure the facts don’t line up with the long believed bullshit about the city on the hill.

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