Economic depression. We lack an equatable and just society, so we are depressed.
I have been reading much on the economy on Daily Kos and thanks to Bonddad, I have a better understanding of the situation at hand.
I would like write about the economy in Rockford, IL. We have been hammered by one of the worst winters in 30 years, our roads are in a state of neglect from the lack of road money. The schools erupt in mass melee. Chrysler hired a 3rd shift only to lay it off a year later. Rockford is full of empty factories. We used to have many manufacturers. We were the screw capital of the world. Screw manufacturers with the names Rockford Products, Textron, Elco, Camcar, Rockwell, Greenlee to name a few. Funny how a smaller manufacturer is bought out by a larger one and then the smaller one is shut down and the machines are shipped overseas.
I have witnessed this city transform from a proud city to a shell of a community. The number of residents of Winnebago county that receive some sort of government assistance is 68,000 in a county of 270.000 this number is high compared to the numbers from the great depression.
I live in the urban area of Rockford on a street called Broadway.
Broadway is suffering from the lack of persons with money in their pockets. 40 years ago Broadway was filled with diners, shops, single room occupancy/hotels and the services needed to fill the needs of the workers. Around 15-17 thousand people worked with in a mile of Broadway, now it is around 2 thousand. The lack of work is heartbreaking. I mean real work, sure you can flip burgers or work at a retail store/call center, but a job were you can earn enough to join the middle class is a thing of the past. The word is that Rockford does not have a population that is employable, apparently we can not pass drug(cannabis) or background tests in enough numbers to warrant a major corporation from opening a manufacturing plant.
I read of the things we could build here. Such as Windmills, Electric cars, Solar cells, Nano-tech manufacturing and Titanium processing, the list can go on. Our city lacks capital to invest in itself. Gone are the days of the Industrialist who would build a plant here. We have lost the ability to shape our destiny. Our manufacturers were homegrown who cared for this community. They died off and their heirs, sold off the plants to the titans of finance, who looked at our capital as something to be shipped overseas. The City of Rockford has not recovered from Nixon/Ronald Reagan. My home town is now a place were the only way to earn a living is by selling drugs or your body to people from around Illinois and Wisconsin. That's why we have so many felons.
Rockford has many good things about it. Emigrants from Sweden, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Poland and Lithuanian settled in Rockford. To work in the furniture factories and other industrial ventures. Union organizing was part of our proud past. We had a Socialist mayor in our distant past. Rockford was a center of Socialist thought and is reflected in the number of parks in our city. Al Capone was a big player in Rockford using his money to develop the southwest quadrant of the city. Rockford also was the home of Camp Grant a Army training camp that trained boys to fight in WW I and later medical corpsmen for WW II, also Camp Grant was the home to German POW's. We are ideally located along the Rock river in Northern Illinois, just hours away from Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison. We as a city have a good infrastructure of rail, roads and air, along with a good quantity of empty factories. Improvements regarding rail service to Chicago are in the works. Rockford is also working to improve its waterfront by adding a river walk.
The most important issue facing our community is the breakdown of society. Rockford is a microcosm of the nation. We are often used as a test market for new products. Reflecting that we indeed are a mirror of the nation. Rockford is suffering because of the lack of hope. We need hope to restore our faith in the Union. We are on the brink of becoming a feudal society. The permanent underclass that is established is a result of the war on drugs.
Felon's are unable to work in many fields.
Many of you think that is a good idea but when you examine an issue based just on money value. For example Drug possession is the quickest route to becoming a member of the permanent underclass. So $10.00 worth of a contraband product is enough to permanently alter your ability to earn money in the corporate world. Felons are being exploited for crimes that did not exist 100 years ago. Felons are lining the pockets of the robber barons. Felons have created a industry based on the misery of their incarceration. Corporate run prisons and industries based in public prisons are lining the pockets of the rich. Prisons are nothing more then warehouses full of workers. Then they soak the taxpayer for the care of the inmate. while extracting profit from the labor performed by the inmates. This is nothing more then slavery. Funny how most of the slaves are black or brown.
Upon release from prison your life is forever changed. From this day forward you are now a member of the permanent underclass. A wide range of employment opportunities are permanently closed to you. I wont even go into the list of jobs it excludes you from, it would fill the entire page.
So this results in hope being stripped away from you.
Folks start to act out when they lack hope. The lack of hope is a virus, it spreads through the community. The symptoms of this can be seen in the abandoned factories, houses and businesses of our city. The decay of America is heartbreaking. It seems overwhelming the amount of work that needs to be done to bring our Society in to 21st century.
Change is the only way towards a future of peace and harmony. Peace amongst the tribes of man and harmony with the natural world around us.
Barak Obama represent that hope for a better future. The speeches that he gives warms my heart, touches the part of me that has not been addressed. His oratory strength equals JFK or MLK. At this time what this Nation needs is a courageous and intelligent voice. To me Barak represents the healer of this nation. Let it be! whisper words of wisdom, let it be. He is the light that is shinning through the cold night, the darkness is lifted when he speaks. The audacity of hope is right. I was sitting on the side lines waiting to decide on the candidate to back as Dennis was not going to carry the day. I was at first backing Clinton. I thought it was time to put a woman into the White House as a president and not the First Lady. Part of me wants a return of the "goodtimes" that were associated with the Clinton years. That changed on the day I heard Obama's speech on a more perfect union. His speech moved me as no speech has done. If we can not as a nation come to the consensuses that our Society has become the victim of exploitation by the Upper classes, then we are indeed finished as a nation.
Society is divided by Class. The upper class has work very hard to keep the lower classes divided, at each others throat for the scraps that trickle down from on high.The
Barak Obama represents to me the hope of a better way. A restoration of the Constitution, of government for the people, not just rich folks. A return to a logical system of checks and balances that were established over 200 years ago and diminished over the last 30 years of conservative rule. Yes folks, the Clinton's are conservative. Mr Obama is a Constitutional Scholar, a teacher, a father, a husband, and he is the best candidate that we have been allowed to choose from in a long time.
The job of restoring our standing in the world is going to take a man of conviction and moral character that has been absent from the White House for 28 years. Barak Obama is that man.