I have come to the conclusion that too many people would rather talk about old people than listen to one. That people are more interested in talking about disabled people than listen to the opinions of one. And especially, that far more people are are interested in finding ways to blame the right for the plight of poor people in this country than in hearing what’s really wrong from… well, from a poor person.
Even among the so call leading lights of the left on the social networks, far too many of those “lights” are way too busy making sure they improve or at least maintain their little spot in the pecking order of online mini-pundits than in being forced to admit that the people actually suffering through what they can only speculate on might have a valid opinion or two even if it disagrees with theirs.
For an example, you can happen upon a Twitter thread involving four or ten people gushing over the Affordable Care Act (there are dozens of them every day) and acting as if PBO was the ultimate savior of humanity for having achieved it, yadayada. And you can say something like “I have mixed feelings about it since I’ve actually LOST medical coverage over the past few years to help finance it” or whatever and, just like poor old Arlo in the police station in Alice’s Restaurant, “They all move away from you on the bench there.” because nobody wants to hear that their hero might not be perfect and that his “signature” piece of “landmark” legislation might have a few holes in it and left a few people… or even more than a few… behind with less coverage than before and, even more significant, less coverage at a higher price than the ACA provides to all those newly insured folks who were standing in line to be part of the historic occasion.
Me… I tend to look at all the compromises and giveaways and the stuff that was taken off the table before anyone had ever sat down, as losses, pure and simple. You don’t win when you give your opponent 98% of what he wants before he even has to come to the table and then don’t get anything back. There was never anything that made any sense in terms of actual “reform” other than universal single payer… just like all the other developed countries have… and to take it off the table without firing a shot and require nothing from the Republicans in return was… not so much a mistake but a signal to some of us that this was going to be yet another example of style over substance and political theater that in the end simply pitted one group of us against another with any gains for one requiring “offsets” from the other in order to make it at least appear to work.
Just like the “financial reform” that was introduced by the administration back about 2010 when they said beforehand that they wouldn’t be breaking up any of the offending institutions that “had” to be bailed out because they were “too big to fail” nor would any of the CEOs and other execs of any of those banks and other institutions face prosecution for their part in the financial destruction of the country and that they would be free to go right on doing what they were doing with the addition of almost a trillion taxpayer dollars with which to invest in high yield schemes that made billions for their companies and millions for their top executives and institutional shareholders. Yeah sure, most of them supposedly paid back the bailout loans, but only after having received billions in return on investment on monies that were supposed to be used to make banks safe for the public to walk into again. If we’d had any balls, most of those profits would have gone into the treasury to pay for their next round of thievery which is already looming on the horizon.
What happened when our government finally had to admit that many of the same companies that were being subsidized by the taxpayers with bailout loans were not only still paying their CEOS and other honchos hundreds of times more than the average working stiff makes but instead of using them to make loans available to consumers were investing them and then offshoring the bloated profits they were making on them in order to avoid paying taxes? Why, we punished the person who brought it to light of course. That’s what this administration may perhaps be noted most for when history passes judgment in the light of hindsight. They were more apt to punish or help marginalize the people who exposed criminal actions than to prosecute those committing them.
Many of the prime time players in the machinations that ultimately brought this country down… far from getting what they actually deserve for doing so… have been placed in positions of oversight over the very industries they served and as soon as they were done playing fearless leader, went right back to the those same industries which were in many cases bolstered financially by the actions of these people with the added fillip of them having been paid by the very people whose interests they were working against… Not a damned one of them has ever been called to account unless you want to count those mini-circus “hearings” for people like Jamie Dimon who basically told the people of the United States to go get screwed or Lloyd Blankfein who claimed to be doing “God’s work” by helping force more than half% of the population into abject poverty and scaring the water out of the middle class.
I’m sorry people, I’m neither happy nor satisfied when the President of the United States looks me in the eye… during an election campaign of course… and says he’s finally gonna get me piece of the pie that I’ve paid for and spent 47 years helping to bake only to find out later that Wall Street had been allowed to ship the pie to China again. I didn’t like it when Reagan and the Bushes did it, I didn’t like it when Clinton did it and I don’t like it now, ESPECIALLY with the administration pushing TPP and on second thought, I’m NOT sorry for being pissed off about it.
The fact is that for many of us who are unfortunate enough to be considered part of the “lower” classes, things are simply worse than they were six years ago. If you, in your so far secure little middle class niche, can’t or won’t understand that then let’s just say your little nest in the 99% is obviously way farther up the food chain than mine is.
You can blame it on the Republicans or the Tea Party all you want and yes they are hugely significant… hell, even the MOST significant… factors in what has gone on for six years but if they hadn’t existed Wall Street would have had to invent someone or something else just like them to do their job. For once, just be objective enough to ask yourselves… if we had been going to see any real and meaningful reform in any of this.., why were and are there so many financial industry and global conglomerate CEOs, execs, lobbyists and such in the mid to highest levels of this administration and why are the institutions and individuals that have all but destroyed the “American Dream” for all but a tiny little fraction of the population still free to go right on doing it with the only really visible consequence that any of them might suffer as this shakes out being that the health insurance industry might only make five billion in profits this year instead of six?
I’m old and maybe not quite as sharp as some of you or even as sharp as I myself might have once been but dammit even I can still recognize a wind broke horse when I see one. I never bought one back in my horsey days and I’m not buying one now. You can have freedom or you can have unbridled capitalism but there’s no way you’re gonna get both.
You keep electing leaders solely on party affiliation or… worse yet… on your perception of a candidate’s personality… like you’re buying a used car or aluminum siding based on how slick the patter and how brightly the salesman’s teeth flash when he smiles at you… and you’re gonna deserve exactly what you get. Unfortunately, your kids and grandkids won’t and that’s who’s going to pay the ultimate price. I’ve been saying it ever since I realized that “Cowboy” George W. Bush was nothing but a damned Connecticut goat roper and and I’m sticking to it, at least for the foreseeable future.