You see, sir, rich people and theorists, who are usually rich people, think of poverty in the negative, as the lack of riches, as disease might be called the lack of health. But it isn’t, sir. Poverty is not the lack of anything, but a positive plague, virulent in itself, contagious as cholera, with filth, criminality, vice, and despair as only a few of its symptoms. It is to be stayed away from, even for purposes of study. It is to be shunned.
That scene sticks in my head. Has, for decades.
Posts have been few due to research. The kind of research above.
Our current situation is not unprecedented in our history. It was worse in the 1800s — even worse back then than the later Great Depression.
What we don’t acknowledge — or at least what our national leadership won’t — is that we’ve actually had Depression 2.0 in 2008. We know about the foreclosures on houses. What we probably don’t realize is that people were condemned to poverty by forces outside of their control. The stock market crash wiped out the darling of the free marketeers: 401(k) retirement savings. Add to that a new problem: Age discrimination.
Those thrown out of work due to their higher salaries can’t gain re-entry into the workforce at anything approaching a wage that will maintain the standard of living they labored to build — and were forced to deplete their 401(k) just to survive. Many can’t get work at all. (Reminder: See Neal Gabler’s article.)
We don’t have anyone with the intelligence, talent, and trust of an FDR to propose solutions. We’re at the mercy of free marketeers and infantile collectivists. The polar extremes of two theoretical frameworks history has taught us do not work.
We have been abandoned and adrift for over a decade.
I am mired and cannot yet compose a coherent post about all of this in the detail I want.
But to both sides who see us all as disposable pieces on their political game boards: