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View Diary: When a Fantasy Becomes a Nightmare (97 comments)

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  •  It's also about ignoring long-term unemployment (14+ / 0-)

    In better days, Dorner might have been able to just move on to his next job.  People who got laid off during 2009 have now been off benefits for around 2 years and out of work for approaching 4.  For people whose lives have gone down the tubes through no fault of their own (and there are millions and millions now) it seems like they're living in Mad Max times.  When you're unemployed, your relationships get strained-- you don't have money to go out with friends and family, so you stop getting invited to things.  People who were sympathetic and maybe offered assistance at first slowly lose their patience with your problems as they continue indefinitely without resolution.  At the same time, you have to go through things normal people don't to survive-- maybe just all the BS that goes along with applying for welfare, but maybe also homelessness, living in a car or couch-hopping, dumpster-diving and trash-picking, or even doing minor crimes (robbery, theft, selling drugs, prostitution, etc.) just to meet basic needs.  Meanwhile politicians, employed people and strangers on the street revile you (because you're a reminder of something unpleasant they don't want to think about happening to them!) and blame you for your problems and spit on you and tell you to "Just get a job already!"  So those experiences can change otherwise normal people, change their world view and their ability to trust others and finally their ideas of right and wrong.  I think the hard truth is that if the government does not DO SOMETHING ALREADY to fix the economy and get everyone back to work and re-connected to their lives and the things that matter to them, we are going to have a LOT more of this kind of rampage behavior.  Because this ISN'T the behavior of "mentally ill" people, it's the behavior of perfectly normal people who have been disconnected from useful occupations and all their stabilizing social relationships.

    •  Absolutely (5+ / 0-)

      Unemployment is a national security problem.

      Add in the fact that many tens (hundreds?) of thousands of people with military training and combat scars are unemployed.  Dorner is just a drop in the bucket of what might come.

      Our insane "national security" spending will be the thing that does us in as a nation.  These sorts of incidents could inflame into a full-bore civil war at some point.  Say what you want about "gun nuts" not being able to stand up to the incredible force of the U.S. military, but the tables turn quite drastically when you consider that we've trained millions of people, many of whom could go the way of Dorner.  Imagine what 50 Dorners with some communication and coordination could do.

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