How many times in my life have I coasted into town on fumes?
Here is where the Myth meets the Reality, in the starkest of terms.
When I began working, in 1985, I made $3.85/hour…
When I “Retired”, in 2006, it was $7.50.
Figuring in Inflation, thanks to the Fed’s handy calculator, just to stay even, I would have needed $7.85.
That’s with no Real wage increase, in almost a quarter century.
The Bosses seem to see no great problem with this…a Job is a Job is a Job….
But it’s not. I was a Chef/Kitchen Ninja…20+ years experience…
Yet, in my last “Real” job, as Kitchen Manager of a Café “Run” by a late middle aged Widow, who had been to the Manor born…Offering me $8 was presented as if she was doing me a favor.
I was made to feel Greedy when asking for a raise, after 7 months.
She ran the place into the ground…only her great wealth kept it animated, after it’s demise…
My salary worked out to $9/hour.
It was the most money I had made in my life.
One is supposed to love one’s country, without question…unless one, presumably, lives in France….but I cannot.
Aside from the Evil Foreign Policy we have visited on the world in the last century…aside from the sneaky machinations of Spooks, on “My Behalf”…my country has, long ago, abandoned it’s Poor, as well as the lower end it's Middle Class. Now, it’s putting the finishing touches on the abandonment of everyone else…save the Super Rich. Will it, one day, abandon them, as well?
The aphorisms and advice from my Grandfathers, was no longer applicable, even as they were uttered. Hard work, sacrifice, taking Pride in the Product of one’s Labor…all of this was Moot, at the beginning of my working life. Only no one could see it. It was right there, stinking on the factory floor, but we couldn’t see it…wouldn’t see it.
The lower levels saw it first….but no one listened. Those on the bottom rungs were simply not working hard enough…or were spending beyond their means…or were drug addicted lazybones. Let them join the Legions, get some discipline…and a leg up. But the Legions were already, increasingly, relying on food stamps, and the like, themselves.
The Truth of the matter is that wages, across the board (except at the tippy top, of course) have been stagnant, relative to Inflation, since the mid-70’s. No one below the top 5%, or so, has had a real “Raise” in around 40 years…instead of Parity in Wages, we have all been encouraged and cajoled, and made desperate enough to fall for it, to “Take Advantage” of “Easy Credit” to make up the difference.
Official Numbers were cooked…Burger Flipping = Manufacturing, Steak= Hamburger,the Hiding of M3, Inflation didn’t include such luxuries as Food and Fuel, and folks like me, who fall off the back of the Hay Ride, are simply not counted, any more.
There are likely deep psychological reasons that so many are able to swallow this whole, while the Abyss grins.(see:Fromm)
The myths are clung to, like masses of fire ants (Invictus!), clambering atop their own dead, when the flood is come.
Perhaps this is due to the inclusion, in the Mythos,of the fallacy, that if you ain’t rich, it’s yer fault…God hates you, otherwise you’d be smiled upon, in the Marketplace( Hear, Oh Israel…). It doesn’t matter the circumstances, it’s you and your weathered bootstraps that are to blame…always. Welfare Queens in Cadillacs, Hawaiian Vacations paid for with Food Stamps (which no longer exist…it’s a debit card; and as fraud-proof as bureaucracy can make it), Lazy Stupid Drug Addicted (unwhite) Folks are so crafty that they routinely Game the System…and vote for those Librul Socialists in the Other Party(rats), who promise more largesse….wealth transfer from the deserving rich to the undeserving (unwhite) Poor….
It’s a fine narrative…and it was fine when it was first crafted in the mid-70’s(note the date), by a few rich white guys…
It is also total bull shit.
It carries as much Value as the current American Dollar.(around four cents, in 1913 $’s)
This is no big surprise(see the state of education in Economics, for elucidation. Economics= Balancing a Checkbook)…
What is a big surprise is that so many folks who have ,like me, fallen off the back of the wagon, still believe this…Evidence doesn’t matter. Math is a Librul Plot. It’s Socialism.(??!!)
This is Psychological…if we begin to admit that we, too, are fallen behind…that we, too, have spent beyond our means, that we’ve been suckered into upside down mortgages, just like the Evil Poor…that our kids will Not have it better than we did….then, under the Mythos, We are solely to blame. The Wages of Sin are Just, after all…and we must’ve sinned mightily…to be counted among those Untermenschen…
….and yet it still has to be, somehow, somebody else’s fault…likely the Great Librul Conspiracy, between the Poor and the Librul Elite, and Hollywood…and….France!
I never intended for this to be one of my favorite quotes…the man was the epitome of Evil, after all…but credit, where credit’s due; “What luck for the rulers, that Men do not think”.- Adolph Hitler.