Friday, January 23, 2009

French Freedom Revolution

There was a time when I would have been totally down with a full-scale, French-type revolution. There was also a time, not so very long ago, when I was very schadenfreudiciously happy to see the economy tanking. I’m poor. Hell, I’m damned near destitute right now, but at least in my case it’s - hopefully - temporary. I don't have any retirement funds to lose. I don't own a single stock. The extent of my banking is a checking and savings account, the entire balance of both under $50.00 at the moment. I have one maxed out credit card. What do I have to lose? But rather quickly I realized that many good people had been and were going to be hurt by the financial meltdown. At first, the pleasure of watching Citi, for example, go down the tubes was most gratifying; but then I thought of the actual human beings I’d worked with who were being laid off. I thought of all the people who’d received terrible mortgages from Citi who were losing their homes. It made me ashamed.

Now shit like this from Larry Kudlow, Asshole Capitalist Porker Extraordinaire, makes me yearn for bloody revolution, for the people’s justice, for a new Ernesto Guevara de la Serna to rise up and depose those monsters of selfishness. And yet, I’m pretty sure that if that were to happen, there’d be a lot of horrific collateral damage. I also think things would have to get way, WAY worse for the violence and damage of overthrow to be truly justified, not to mention the un-plumbed depths of just how much worse things would have to become in order to stir the American people out of their couch-bound apathy. I have no wish to see people fleeing burning cities on foot with a few tattered belongings strapped to their backs. I don’t want my son starting out on his life-path with no real hope for a decent future.

I do think that we’re going to have to rethink what a decent future entails. The way of life we’ve been maintaining at the expense of the rest of the planet was unsustainable, in more ways than one. I think that this is mostly a good thing. It's not going to be easy, though. I'm willing to give the Obama administration a chance to straighten things out. If the other guy had been elected, I might be singing a different tune about what we need to do in order to clean house. But Obama seems to have some ideas; I'm willing to bet he knows more about how to fix things than I do.

One thing I really think they ought to do - also something they'll never do because it isn't politically expedient - is pump a LOT of money into welfare. Return to the days of decent monthly cash grants and stop forcing parents to work before the kids are in school full time. Every dime of that money, every last red cent, will go for goods and services, much of it local.

And while I'm dreaming, maybe we should nationalize Mall-Wart. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh ..............

1 comment:

  1. Candy,

    I'm most interested in the part about the efficacy of welfare as an economic boost to a whole area. I have wondered about this as well. I wish I had a more detailed understanding of welfare as an economic force. Thanks for pointing that out.