OPINION: The rest of us are broke

By Mitch MacKay of East Jordan


Though life is but a hundred years duration, give or take, some think that accumulation of wealth is the end-all be-all to existence.

We all know, though many have forgotten or too young to know, of the postwar boom-time when the middle-class arose from the ashes of Industrial Revolution to foster prosperity for their children as well as themselves.

Prior to that and continuing to varying extents was and is the stash-under-the-mattress or sewn-in-lining of overcoat cache actual cash money of lore, which really happened as reports continually verified.

Bag ladies were found to have many thousands in cash on hand though secured surreptitiously, discovered only at death.

But that was a holdover from less-prosperous times, like the Great Depression.

Well, time marches on, winds will howl, rains will fall, the declension of economic buoyancy continued from the 1970s on down to our time now when a substantiated 43.5% of Americans live in relative poverty, that is, the proverbial lack of $400 emergency funds beyond barely scraping by each month a day late and a dollar short, payday loans, lotto tickets, stretching dollars &c.

Why is this?

Okay, the interest rate topped 10% in 1973, at least in the US and Canada, presumably Western Europe or surely England, meaning that investors were raking in the dough which pretty set the stage for taking advantage of such a windfall.

Bankers, businessmen, and bureaucrats, um, colluded shall we say, to hasten that investment potential to its full maximus.

Now we know they did, they succeeded.

And the rest of us are broke.

Now, wait a minute, say the economists, the unemployment rate is way down, economy way high, so where’s the problem?

That is a false assessment based on partial and faked factoids.

Were it not for Obama’s bailouts and stimulus, this country, hence this world, would have endured Great Depression 2.0, this without doubt for we stood at the brink of that disaster.

This was exemplified by home foreclosures from Poverty Flat to Hungry Hollow, Eagar, Arizona to Petoskey, Michigan respectively.

Media sources continue to mostly avoid this reality, though, the rhetoric sufficing to keep the advertisers happily chirping along with endless repetitions of highly-paid ads with jingles and insouciant vacations in sun and sand, endless highways of fun and frolic, “living free” like a “Vagabond” in your $469 a month leased sport-mobile.

C’MON!  43.5% of us know the real deal.

When we see foreclosed homes with swing sets and toys abandoned in the yard, donation boxes for homeless students at the grocery store, we know for sure that all is not well in America.

Backing up just a little but not much, it was Karl Rove, Bush Lite’s deputy consultant boy, who infamously said, “When people start doing better they vote Republican, unless they have too much education and vote Democratic.”

That statement was tweaked to relate to working folk post Obama who were misled to believe that the Great Recession was actually caused by Obama.

That in turn led to some very real bigotry surfacing in national politics as well as visible demonstrations still ongoing in America; note the perpetrators of mass murders, trigger-happy cops, spreading worldwide not just in the US, even New Zealand, Scandinavia.

Statistics tell of income disparity percentage-wise but this doesn’t seem to leverage much interest in offset to the claimed prosperity margin touted.

Is somebody lying to us?

Well, there are some untruth tellers daily focused on in the news media so that’s a possibility.

What is it lately: ten thousand lies to date, or is that daily?

You get the gist, along with Uncle Scrooge McDuck swimming in his pool of coins and paper money, comic books circa 1950s long about the time you-know-who began to come into inheritance of hundreds of millions.

That certainly substantiates Karl Rove’s assessment. The Bushes were no slouches as to money-grubbing either, beginning with Prescott and Herbert Walker.

This is the stuff of song and storytelling to be sure but it also tells of human want and misery since bigotry tends to coincide with cupidity.

Desire may lead to suffering as per the Buddha but it also leads to totally unequal riches for the few and poverty for the many.

We’ve heard of karma and satisfied mind and so on but it’s usually not so apparent to the immediate viewers of inequality, i.e. folksong: How many times have you heard someone say, if I had his money I’d do things my way…

It doesn’t work that way, the nouveau riche usually joining the ranks of old money in thought and deed.

How little they know it’s so hard to find, one rich man in ten with a Satisfied Mind.

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