The scale of the economic disaster is very hard to take in. The staggering amount of debt is sobering. Here are some things that I find dumbfounding.
First, the depth of contempt that the financial sector has for us. Not for President Obama. Us. And I don’t just mean the way that the TARP funds have been abused. It’s not only the record high bonuses for this year.
They work hard? !@#$ them. For years, the average number of hours that Americans work has been going up while benefits and job security have been tumbling down.
And what has all this hard work accomplished? Wiping out the wealth of a generation.
The new job paradigm? The Fox Reality Channel sponsored the Reality Television Awards on Monday. On Tuesday, the division was shut down.
Food pantries are running out of food. Politicians are jostling over the extension of job benefits. And all those empty homes.
Think about what a jobless recovery really means. Are you really secure in your job? business? career? profession? The recession has hit workers at every stage. Is it cool if you’re working but everyone around you is not. Ask the folks in Mexico City and Rio about that.
Americans pride themselves on hard work. I do, too. But every time I see black and brown men scavenging recyclables at dawn, working like dogs, I am forced to recognize that brawn and sincerity, loyalty and commitment aren’t necessarily valued by the transnational economy.
And I’m all about having a positive attitude. It definitely yields better results. But there are limits to it.
Where is the will to confront these issues? I don’t know. When I see the struggle over apparent no-brainers like …
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