[Marxism] The Mean Country
intnsred at golgotha.net
Mon Oct 5 06:16:53 MDT 2009
The Mean Country
By David Glenn Cox
Last winter I wrote a story about the number of people who were dying in
house fires after having their utilities turned off. I began to do some
research on the growing numbers of tent cities springing up across America.
How, I wondered, will these people deal with the coming months of winter
But, as I find is so often the case, I start off on one story and end up
doing another. Officially there are over fourteen million unemployed in
America. That is the official number that the politicians will own up to;
in actuality the number could be as high as twenty million.
I have been unemployed myself for well over a year. I have twenty years of
management experience, and I have a great track record with a proven record
for results. However, I am over fifty years old and to prospective
employers that is the kiss of death. They perceive you as about to keel
over from a heart attack at any moment.
There are very few jobs to be had; the department of labor reports six
people looking for every one job available. Because of the economy I became
homeless and now live in a garage. I am not an alcoholic, and I’m not
hooked on drugs. I’m just unemployed.
So as I began to research the tent cities across the country, what surprised
me, although it really shouldn’t have, was the attitudes of my countrymen
towards their fellow homeless Americans.
Several years ago I read a book about a woman who was a holocaust survivor.
She described how she would drag out the dead bodies from the barracks in
the morning so that she could have the corpse's clothing. She could then
trade the clothing for extra food or necessities. She said something that
has always stuck with me. “Many people gave up on life because this was a
world where it was very easy to give up on life. When you gave up then you
When you are homeless it is very easy to give up on life. Every activity is
an uphill struggle, cooking food, doing laundry, looking for work, etc. The
industry in which I worked has virtually ceased to exist. Many unemployed
workers were employed in industries that have now ceased to exist. Their
jobs and careers are gone, and yet the public sneers, “Get a job.” They
also offer up the following helpful solutions, direct quotes all.
“As others have said..does it really help the homeless by providing them
with a free home? I bet not. There are other solutions. I notice that when
I give things to my children it does not tend to make them more
responsible.. Just the opposite.”
“I don’t know the actual number, but what, isn’t it like 70-80 percent of
all homeless people have drug/addiction problems? Even if it’s less how is
tent city doing anything but enabling this problem? I know this is more
about tent cities in general but honestly giving someone a free place to
live along with free meals is not really motivating them to change.”
“The poverty pimps will not allow the homeless to be housed without 24/7
babysitting. Without the babysitting the homeless could move on with their
live and thrive; NO MONEY IN THAT FOR THE POVERTY PIMPS!”
Homeless people are not children. For the most part they want the same
things that any other citizen of this country wants.
In my two decades in management I have had to deal with employees with both
drug and mental problems. Mental problems are sometimes masked by drug
problems; just stopping the drugs does nothing to solve the emotional
issues. It is not uncommon for a widower or a divorcee to struggle with
depression and to then medicate themselves with drugs or alcohol. Why
should it be so difficult to understand that a person who has lost
everything they’ve owned and worked for to use the same treatment?
Many of these people have lost husbands, wives, and children. Why is it so
hard to understand their pain? These people are not made of wood or stone;
they are breakable. “Many people gave up on life because this was a world
where it was very easy to give up on life.”
“You don't have to go beyond the first page of a Google search
for "homelessness and criminal behavior" to find several links to studies,
which find much higher rates of drug use, crime, and mental illness among
the chronically homeless. It's sad, but some people are truly beyond
“I understand unemployment is up and some people have lost homes and need a
hand to get back on their feet. These tent city's are not for these people.
History shows that this is just a party camp for the homeless. Help the
people who want to help themselves not the ones who just want a hand out to
support their criminal activity.”
What is truly sad is how these people tend to view crime. They worry about
the homeless man who might steal their purse but don’t give a thought to
the corporate executives who might steal their pension. They want all drug
abusers locked away in prison because they are beyond saving. Then they
listen to and watch talk show hosts with long and chronic histories of drug
abuse and bob their heads, agreeing in unison.
“If I lost my job and house, I would literally have 10 options as to where
to stay til I got back on my feet. I understand I am lucky for having a
good support system. But how does someone get to the point where there is
not even a couch or friends garage they can crash in? the only answer I can
come up with is Drugs. You guys can paint these people as business men down
on their luck all you want, an it might be the case for a very tiny
minority of them, but last I checked McDonald’s is still hiring.”
Almost ten million homes have been foreclosed on in the last three years.
That means forty million Americans have been dispossessed. That number does
not include renters who have also been evicted. So maybe these people are
living with relatives but maybe the relatives also enforced
conditions. “You can stay but that good for nothing husband or lazy,
fat-ass wife can’t!” Take your choice, live with mom and dad by yourself?
Or live in the street with your spouse? If children are involved what real
choice is there?
As I peruse the want ads each day, I see many jobs that literally don’t pay
enough money to keep the lights on. I had written about the job offered by
the storage facility. Be available 24/7 to do sales, bookkeeping,
maintenance and janitorial work at any facility in Atlanta. $300 per week,
no mileage, no gas money, no benefits, no promise of steady work. I read an
ad yesterday to rewrite 400-word articles for five dollars each. I thought
to myself that at ten or twelve thousand words a day I could make a decent
living. McDonalds and many large corporations take applications to keep a
current stock of applicants on hand, but it doesn’t mean that they are
When Chrysler went through its recent bankruptcy I read about thousands in
Chrysler management who had been permanently laid off. Most had worked
their entire adult lives in the automobile industry, and I thought, "Where
will these people find new jobs?" The problem is not drugs or alcoholism or
even homelessness; the problem is jobs. Strange, isn’t it, that when
America had a strong manufacturing base and a strong job market that we had
few so-called defective people.
I live in the South and there are a great many literal Biblical believers
who take the Bible at face value. I’ve always tended to view it in the same
way as the Old Testament was written, in the form of parables. The stories
are told in a way to make us see ourselves in them. Why else would they
dwell on Christ’s long walk to Calvary? Dragging his cross, an innocent man
convicted by society. As the onlookers heckle and throw things at him,
mocking his burden, only one of the multitude stopped to offer him any
kindness or assistance.
As Lenny Bruce said, “If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic
school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks
instead of crosses.” This is a mean country that calls the victims
criminals and the criminals innocents. So I’ve stopped worrying about the
coldness of winter, as it will never blow colder than an American’s heart.
Fast fact: Since the mid-1970s, the richest one percent of households have
doubled their percentage of the US national wealth. As the 2nd richest man
in the world, Warren Buffet, bluntly said, "If[sic] class warfare is being
waged in America, my class is clearly winning."
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