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Author Topic: Spreading the Wealth  (Read 644 times)

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PersephoneTopic starter

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Spreading the Wealth
« on: November 08, 2008, 02:20:59 PM »

Now that the election's over, what WILL we talk about?  This might belong in the "socialism" thread, but it's kind of verbose and I think there's enough fodder for a separate conversation. 

I hate conversations about economics and, despite what I do for a living, I'm not overly concerned about big investors losing a little money - or even a lot of money - in the Market. Playing the stock market is exactly the same thing as gambling, you should never invest more than you can afford to lose. If you are so very worried about your financial future, put your money somewhere safer, like in your mattress.  What I AM worried about, and what I think we should ALL be worried about, is what's going on with those of us who don't even make $25,000 a year, let alone $250,000.  There are people in this country, The Land Of Opportunity, struggling to live their lives on less than $100 per week.

Welcome to The United States of America, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, particularly in terms of resources and talent, where we send children to bed hungry.  You can sit there and tell me that it's because the parents are lazy-ass drug addicts with no ambition who don't care about their kids, and many times you'd probably be right. But does that make it okay? And what about the ones who aren't? The so-called "working poor" who struggle to feed and clothe families they thought they could afford when they had them?  And it's not just the uneducated, or undereducated, or the addicted, or the lazy.  Do you know what the starting salary is for an "editorial assistant" in NYC? For someone with a BA from a really good school? $22,400.  The average one-bedroom in the boroughs (that's Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island as opposed to the prime Manhattan neighborhoods) is about $1400 per month plus gas and electric. You do the math.  Now throw in the student loan payments, the cost of transportation, food, clothing... Should no one help the struggling newer workers? The ones that bought those "American Dream" speeches their parents and grandparents made? Most people now live with their parents well into their 20's. Not out of immaturity, but out of necessity.

Welcome to The United States of America, where the elderly freeze in their apartments all winter with indoor temps hovering at 48 degrees because no one holds their wealthy landlords accountable and, when they're finally dragged into court, the landlord cries about property taxes and being unable to afford repairs, then sells the property at an obscene profit, leaving the tenants homeless and forced to sell off what's left of THEIR retirement "nest egg" and move to nursing homes.  Because in order to qualify for Medicaid (not Medicare, which by the way doesn't even cover prescription drugs unless you buy a rider from AARP at $89 per month), you must have total assets of less than $2500 plus a car.  Same for food stamps.  If anyone in this country deserves a helping hand and healthy food on their tables, isn't it our elderly? Why should your grandmother have to go stand on a line for three hours and prove to her government that she hasn't had the wherewithal to buy nutritious food in six weeks?

Welcome to the United States of America, where a good half of families use the already-overburdened hospital emergency room system as a means of primary health care for themselves and their children because they simply cannot afford to avail themselves of the services of our "best and brightest," where mothers and fathers make the decision between the antibiotic for their feverish infant or milk for their 4 year old, because God (or whoever is up there shaking its head in disgust at our use of free will) knows that a national health care system is as un-American as borscht. I HAVE good health insurance, and half the time I don't go to the doctor when I should because I just don't have the spare cash for my $150 office visit co-payment or my $1200 annual deductible. Then there's medication; I am so fortunate that my plan charges $10 for generics, $30 for name-brand and psychiatric medications and certain other drugs are only 50 cents with the ability to waive the co-pay.  The documented poor (that's poor on paper and has nothing to do with citizenship status) are eligible for Medicaid, which charges $3 for name brand, $1 for generics, free psych meds and a copayment waiver for those that state they cannot afford to pay.  But as I said earlier, look at the income requirements for Medicaid; a good portion of the people on it are also living in emergency housing situations, not working people earning $12 per hour.  The people making $12 per hour don't QUALIFY for medical assistance, nor do they, in most cases, get coverage from their employers.

Party politics is bullshit. This country is not divided by race, it is divided by class. It's Rome and Nero is fiddling, and it's time we rid ourselves of the bread and circuses and started to build something more solid than what's crumbling. None of the above scenarios that I've outlined is exaggeration - it happens every day, both in New York and in tiny little towns across the country. How can anyone be proud of that? The only conceivable way I personally could be proud of living in one of the richest countries in the world is if it were a country that took care of its weak, its young, its elderly, its less fortunate. Granted, everyone in this country is free to make their own way, but we are not all born with the same opportunities. I'd be the very last person to tell Torch that he had to take his profits from his small restaurant and split them equally with the deadbeat parent (male OR female) down the block who is deliberately not working on the books so as to avoid taking care of his or her own family. But what about the man or woman who spent their lifetime building their own small business and got wiped out due to the fat cat property owner who held the mortgage on that building selling it and turning it into a parking lot for his own profit?

We may judge a society on how it cares for its weak. The lady in the Obama video is saying that, at least on election day, for once, she wasn't going to be sitting up all night worrying about making the choice between putting food on the table or having to sell the table to keep a roof over herself and her children. She was voicing hope. Spin that whatever way you choose, but hope is something of which this country is in dire need.
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And I'll dance with you in Vienna, I'll be wearing a river's disguise. The hyacinth wild on my shoulder, my mouth on the dew of your thighs. And I'll bury my soul in a scrapbook, with the photographs there, and the moths and I'll yield to the flood of your beauty my cheap violin and my cross.

Lrd. Greymure

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Re: Spreading the Wealth
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2008, 08:27:43 AM »

I agree with you 100% on this one but I think Allen Ginsberg said when in poem AMerica>

Allen Ginsberg's "America"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

America I've given you all and now I'm nothing.
America two dollars and twenty-seven cents January 17, 1956.
I can't stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb
I don't feel good don't bother me.
I won't write my poem till I'm in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes? 
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America why are your libraries full of tears?
America when will you send your eggs to India?
I'm sick of your insane demands.
When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks?
America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world.
Your machinery is too much for me.
You made me want to be a saint.
There must be some other way to settle this argument.
Burroughs is in Tangiers I don't think he'll come back it's sinister.
Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke?
I'm trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my obsession.
America stop pushing I know what I'm doing.
America the plum blossoms are falling.
I haven't read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for
murder.
America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.
America I used to be a communist when I was a kid and I'm not sorry.
I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet.
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
My mind is made up there's going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Marx.
My psychoanalyst thinks I'm perfectly right.
I won't say the Lord's Prayer.
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.
America I still haven't told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over
from Russia.

I'm addressing you.
Are you going to let our emotional life be run by Time Magazine?
I'm obsessed by Time Magazine.
I read it every week.
Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore.
I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library.
It's always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie
producers are serious. Everybody's serious but me.
It occurs to me that I am America.
I am talking to myself again.

Asia is rising against me.
I haven't got a chinaman's chance.
I'd better consider my national resources.
My national resources consist of two joints of marijuana millions of genitals
an unpublishable private literature that goes 1400 miles and hour and
twentyfivethousand mental institutions.
I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of underpriviliged who live in
my flowerpots under the light of five hundred suns.
I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers is the next to go.
My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I'm a Catholic.

America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?
I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his
automobiles more so they're all different sexes
America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe
America free Tom Mooney
America save the Spanish Loyalists
America Sacco & Vanzetti must not die
America I am the Scottsboro boys.
America when I was seven momma took me to Communist Cell meetings they
sold us garbanzos a handful per ticket a ticket costs a nickel and the
speeches were free everybody was angelic and sentimental about the
workers it was all so sincere you have no idea what a good thing the party
was in 1935 Scott Nearing was a grand old man a real mensch Mother
Bloor made me cry I once saw Israel Amter plain. Everybody must have
been a spy.
America you don're really want to go to war.
America it's them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.
The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia's power mad. She wants to take
our cars from out our garages.
Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Reader's Digest. her wants our
auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations.
That no good. Ugh. Him makes Indians learn read. Him need big black niggers.
Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help.
America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
I'd better get right down to the job.
It's true I don't want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts
factories, I'm nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.

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PersephoneTopic starter

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Re: Spreading the Wealth
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2008, 04:18:13 PM »

That's one of my favorite poems, but you probably already knew that.
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And I'll dance with you in Vienna, I'll be wearing a river's disguise. The hyacinth wild on my shoulder, my mouth on the dew of your thighs. And I'll bury my soul in a scrapbook, with the photographs there, and the moths and I'll yield to the flood of your beauty my cheap violin and my cross.

Lrd. Greymure

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Re: Spreading the Wealth
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2008, 11:16:42 PM »

I need someone to spread the wealth a little this way. i am still waiting for the trickle down theory to trickle down.
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PersephoneTopic starter

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Re: Spreading the Wealth
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2008, 01:36:07 PM »

Trickle down economics was a Reagan-era myth that failed miserably. The only thing that trickles down is shit - it rolls down hill and lands on the people at the bottom.
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And I'll dance with you in Vienna, I'll be wearing a river's disguise. The hyacinth wild on my shoulder, my mouth on the dew of your thighs. And I'll bury my soul in a scrapbook, with the photographs there, and the moths and I'll yield to the flood of your beauty my cheap violin and my cross.
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