the corporate states of america

October 7, 2011 at 1:26 pm in News, Work & Money by Sharon Lee 123

Around 14 million U.S. folks are out of work. Some for two years or more. Those are the people counted via government entities such as our local employment offices. There are thousands (millions?) more that do not fall into that category. This last group has had lifelong employment issues and falls between the cracks and isn’t counted—ever. Though they are citizens, they are typically unskilled, poorly educated, and have a family history of poverty going back several generations and possibly mental issues or other factors such as addictions. Not so much in the teeny tiny less than 1% percent of our population, our wealthy corporate citizens with their hands in our Congressional pockets, the so-called “job creators.”

We have way too many poverty level citizens in this country and the count is growing. They are often unemployed or marginally employed and now it’s worse for them than ever. It is difficult for them to break out of that state in good times. In bad times when millions more are out of work the latter group falls so far behind that they will never recover even if it rains gold tomorrow.

Add to that the people who have lost their homes and jobs due to natural disasters of which we’ve had many over the last few years. They are counted in the first group but many more fall into the second group, unrecorded. Many soldiers who return home went into the military because they had high hopes and expectations they would learn skills for a career when they returned. Sadly, many of the skills they learned do not translate into today’s employment pool. If they went in uneducated they often received duties that were likely to kill or injure them rather than train them for a career at home. If they return injured their medical care is spotty and sometimes nonexistent unless they have an injury or illness that would work well in the headlines. Many soldiers return with
injuries that are not glamorous but keep them from jobs for a long time.

My daughter has a friend who has multiple cancers and war related injuries and he has spent years trying to get a disability claim with no luck. He served in Viet Nam and he has been put through unbelievable tasks to prove his injuries were related to Agent Orange. He now has an advocate helping him that my daughter found for him. The government did not find an advocate to help him.

We are not in a recession, not even a depression. We are in the midst of a disaster and we’re barely holding on. Our capitalistic society is out of whack. Furthermore, there are countless forms of capitalism and if we research that word we can get a brain freeze from the various meanings of the many systems of capitalism. What we have now is not what the majority of Americans believe we have. And what we have today is not what we had when our nation was formed. It’s all out there to discover but watch alcohol intake when researching. It can turn you into a blithering idiot.

I know people out of work and some have been out of work off and on for several years now. They find something only to have it disappear after working for a short time. Companies are closing by the thousands. My son and I drive around and visit popular shopping areas to ascertain vacancies (it’s a hobby) and we keep a little list of the shops as they disappear one by one. Each time we do this we spot more business closures. Some are quite large and leave huge gaping black holes in the middle of shopping malls or industrial complexes. (Black holes, as we all know, suck up everything around them.)

People have recently started protesting on Wall Street and in various other financial districts throughout the country (and world). Congress has the lowest approval rating ever. Many blame it all on Obama when in fact we don’t have presidents with real power. He just inherited years of crappola from his predecessors. And not just George. It goes waayyyyyyy back. It’s been coming a long time. All the blame lands on Congress. Folks who have traditionally supported our government no matter how poorly it managed our country have stopped that silly behavior and it seems everyone is questioning our government leaders. Even some of our government leaders are questioning each other. (That is called passing the buck.) Anyone who believes we have political parties is asleep. The powerful democrats and republicans have merely melded into one inefficient and deficient entity with varying viewpoints but really they are the same viewpoints just slightly skewed for personal reasons.

China has been manipulating its currency and undervaluing its currency to such an extent that we are facing even more financial disasters (is that even possible?) in the near future because Congress has linked us so closely with China’s financial control over us. Congress did that. Congress has also dug itself such a hole bowing to the corporations in our country and other countries that they can’t dig themselves out. No matter how we vote or who we vote for no changes will take place unless we have massive Congressional reforms. (We need voting reforms too but I already posted a piece on that sad topic.)We don’t need a new president. We need a new Congress. And not the same type of Congress types. We need real people with real lives and no sense of entitlement. We need you and you and you and you and you. We could clean up some of the unemployment problem by cleaning our Congressional hallways. That would include all the employees who got there by nepotism, cronyism, corporatyism. I know. That’s not a real word. But it works.

Banks and other related financial institutions and Wall Street(s) have become horrific behemoths that have gotten away with the most outrageous financial wrong doing since the beginning of time. Oil companies have been doing that for years with no end in sight and no genuine interest in Congress to force automakers and their subsidiaries to create alternative fuel vehicles on a huge scale (creating j-o-b-s).

The individual morals of our Congressional leaders and corporate leaders have hit the news so many times the rest of the world thinks we are a bunch of child molesters and adulterers and criminals and robber barons. Many people who previously approved of our military actions are wondering why we are still out “there” when we have so many horrendous problems on our own soil. Our own soldiers are wondering why we are in those areas. (It’s because war is a lucrative business and billions of dollars are being made by war machine providers. Many of the providers provide poor quality materials to our soldiers endangering their lives but they charge us outrageous prices for basic daily needs of a soldier. Many soldiers report it’s a daily effort just to keep their supplies and equipment in working order. If not for duct tape they’d be lost.)

The war against terror is here, in our country. It’s been here for a long time. Drug/criminal activity has ruined us. Yet, we are being terrorized more insidiously by our Congressional gang members with their corporate buddies than all the drug cartels combined.

But Congress’ poor behavior has rallied the citizenry like nothing before in our history. Nothing has gotten us together as a unifying force as much as the shenanigans taking place in Congress. People who fought and screamed at each other about their own political “values” are coming together and realizing they have been duped by our leaders.

For those who hate Michael Moore, who does nothing but try to keep us afloat and keep our jobs and keep our homes and try to keep Congress under control, watch Capitalism: A Love Story. It’s true he has an agenda. It’s called saving our butts. It isn’t necessary to like him. He isn’t trying to be popular. [Every fact presented in his documentary can be verified. Every single fact. If the reader cares to test that statement, go for it. It’s so easy to find the truth if only we look it up and refuse to believe what our leaders tell us.] Congress, filled with people we vote for and believe in, is totally and completely controlled by corporations and foreign interests. It’s so out of control that our very way of life is not threatened, it is already under attack. We are living in a fog and the people protesting on Wall Street know this.

We must wake up from our fairy tale. There is no prince coming for us. No one person is going to dig us out. It’s all up to us as a country. What can we do? Pay attention. Protect our interests individually first. Family comes first. But then reach out and be vocal about the demise of the greatest nation on the earth. Protest with our buying power, protest with crappy customer service that is outsourced, protest with poor quality items we are forced to buy because these items are no longer manufactured here in our own country, write to our Congressional leaders every day if possible, never believe what is printed in the paper without researching if it’s true or not, never believe hate emails pontificating on stupid stories with no basis in fact. Be responsible.

People without a home or a job will agree with me. People sitting in their nice comfy house with a good job might not. Until they lose it. Think it’s not possible? Neither did those millions that lost everything. That’s in the millions. M-i-l-l-i-o-n-s. (Herman Cain believes if you don’t have a job it’s your fault and you’re lazy. The world is full of people like him.)

It is our patriotic duty, each and every one of us, to protect our Constitution and our government and our soldiers. Don’t believe everything we are told by our politicians and our corporate media “shows.” Research everything. “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” Let’s add women to that too, please.

Oops. I almost forgot. How’s your health insurance working for you? If you have any. MILLIONS do not. Millions never have had it and never will. In the U.S.A.

Recession: The National Bureau of Economic Research defines an economic recession as: “a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, [a few months??? Really??? We’ve had many YEARS now.] normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.”

Depression: “A sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies [one or more??? Really??? We have thousands.]. A depression is a more severe downturn than a recession, which is seen by some economists as part of the modern business cycle. A depression is characterized by its length, by abnormally large increases in unemployment, falls in the availability of credit—often due to some kind of banking or financial crisis, shrinking output—as buyers dry up and suppliers cut back on production, and investment, large number of bankruptcies—including sovereign debt defaults, significantly reduced amounts of trade and commerce—especially international, as well as highly volatile relative currency value fluctuations—most often due to devaluations. Price deflation, financial crises and bank failures are also common elements of a depression that are not normally a part of a recession.

Disaster: A disaster is a natural or man-made hazard that has come to fruition, resulting in an event of substantial extent causing
significant physical damage or destruction, loss of life, or drastic change to the environment. A disaster can be defined as any tragic event with great loss stemming from events such as earthquakes, floods, catastrophic accidents (mortgage failures? employment loss?), fires, or explosions. In contemporary academia, disasters are seen as the consequence of inappropriately managed risk. These risks are the product of hazards and vulnerability.

And to top it all off, Andy Rooney retired this past Sunday. Now what are we going to do?

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