Wednesday, February 29, 2012

IN THE GRIP OF THE NEW BLACK DEATH


February 9, 2012

Hey neighbor, it sure is good to have a decent upstanding fellow like you living next to me. Handsome wife, great kids, neat home, good job. Not like those objectionable welfare recipients that all they wanna do is mooch off me. Wastes of space. They should ship ‘em all off to... well to someplace else, whatsay?
You what? You lost your jo-ob? You can’t pay your mortgage? Geddaway from me, you parasite, you sponger. I thought you were one of us, you leech, you drain on society, and don’t come back.
It’s come to that. Big Finance has managed to split America down the middle. The giant banks were banking (sorry) on a large section of the population believing it’s the Obama government that brought all this misery on the nation. And not themselves and their puppet pals in the previous administration.
They and the multinational companies and the politicians have grabbed all America’s wealth. The House Appropriations Committee? That name should apply to Congress as a whole, and the Senate too, for they have appropriated billions of our tax money for themselves and their corporate masters.
They’re all at it, Republicans and Democrats alike, in bed with Big Money, making their fortunes with sweetheart deals and insider trading - activities that would land us regular mortals behind bars.
They don’t just own all the wealth, they own us, the American people, and through deceit and lies they’ve turned the middle class against the poor, the poor against the even poorer.
Then if you’re mindful of your fellow Americans they’ll brand you a left-wing zealot. I thought it was just good manners to care about my neighbor but that now makes me a Marxist? A communist? What on earth is this country coming to?
Love thy neighbor? Sure, if he goes to my church and eats chicken mull and thinks the way I do, then yes. But if my neighbor falls on hard times, loses his job, his home, well, then he becomes one of those infernal millstones who’s eating up my taxes. Then I hate my neighbor.
True, there are too many barnacles clinging to society’s underside. Unwilling to work is one thing; unable to work is quite another. By all means curtail the handouts to the loafers, this is the Land Of The Free, not the Freebee. But can you simply let them just die? Absolutely, if you heard the Republican audience’s wild cheers of approval when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer suggested such a thing to Ron Paul. Fashionable, now, to hate the less fortunate, to wish them dead. Is this my America all of a sudden?
It’s perfectly understandable for folks paying into the system to complain about those perpetually making withdrawals. Some local supermarkets report that 65 percent or more of their custom is from people brandishing food stamps – up dramatically from ten years ago. But for God’s sake, among these are many who fell into the abyss through no fault of their own, the victims of those cunning banks and corporations who moved America’s wealth overseas.
What have we become? This is like the 14th century Black Death that came from China (where else!) and devastated Europe. At the first symptoms of the plague your loved ones suddenly became your feared-and-despised ones, to be tossed out to perish in the gutter..
Our equivalent is the homeless, the indigent. These are our lepers. The guy with a job and a home today could lose it all tomorrow and be among the millions of desperate unfortunates who’ll do anything to put food in their children’s mouths. In an instant one of “us” becomes one of “them” and it can happen to most any regular American lucky enough to be working still.
How many of us are merely a paycheck or two away from insolvency? You needed a six-month savings cushion to pay regular expenses, experts warned – and that was back when the employment situation was healthy. Three quarters of us don’t have that amount saved. But how much of a cushion is required today? Twelve months? Two years?
Helping a worker who’s no shirker is surely the Christian way, so what’s so wrong with being that kind of liberal? Folks on the right spit the word out like a poison; Ann Coulter, queen of the harridans, calls liberals either idiots or traitors!. Traitors? For seeking a fairer America? For loving thy neighbor as the Bible says? Why do we even listen to venomous shrews like this woman? Are we such a mean-spirited nation?
Official statistics show as many white as black folks are on welfare but some individuals prefer to disregard that data. No need to cram their heads with actual facts. They’ve got their god, their guns, their country and that’ll do, thank you Fox News and Glenn Beck. There’s his cockeyed history to be learned and overpriced gold coins to be bought. Why contemplate anything serious
A local guy I know is stockpiling firearms and provisions, waiting for the day these “welfare recipients” come storming over the hill to take what’s his. He’s retired, his wife’s job was terminated recently. A gust of bad luck, God forbid, could easily turn this good couple into the wretched “them”.
I told him: turn around, squire, you’re pointing your guns in the wrong direction. It’s pilferers versus robber barons. While you’re watching for possible pickpockets the big bank boys behind you are bleeding you dry.

ENDIT

© 2012 Fred Wehner is a journalist formerly with the Daily Mail in London, who then founded and ran the New York News Agency before settling in Monroe 21 years ago.