Gentle reader, there is something that has been scaring me lately. More so than the situation I currently am with my mother in the hospital and me facing down the prospect of homelessness due to my family's ceaseless bickering.
I'm someone who's lived in abject poverty for several years now. And as such, I've tasted and lived through (and still am living through) a hardship that a good many of our elected officials have chosen to ignore. I am noticing alarming trends and disturbing occurences these days, and I have sincere concerns regarding where we may be headed as things stand.
Follow me below the fold, gentle reader, and I will go into greater detail regarding my concerns, and make several unpleasant observations that I feel must be shared.
People, these are desperate times. People these days are exploited, ground-down, and worker morale is at an all-time low. You can thank years of anti-labor practices by multiple administrations, professional groups dedicated to helping employers screw their employees (I am looking at you, Labor Relations Institute) and worse effectively causing the middle class to shrink - and causing those already poor to suffer all the worse.
And that's just it.
It's getting worse.
As homeowners are finding themselves increasingly underwater, meaning that they owe more on their homes than the house is actually worth. People are living paycheck to paycheck, and even houses with more than one wage-earner are not, necessarily, economically solvent. Often, as has been displayed, all it takes is for one worker in a household to go down - due to disability, a lay-off, a death in the household - for a family to be unable to make ends meet, even with financial assistance. Almost a third of our country's children are on food stamps, and the economic situation is worsening by the day. Various companies, such as the infamous Lender Processing Services, are cheerfully running around attempting to foreclose on any family that so much as misses a single payment, in many cases leaving families across the country increasingly without a roof over their heads.
Stagnant wages. People locked into inescapable poverty. Families being thrown out by wealthy banksters seeking to profit on the unfortunate. Whilst there's always cases that give hope - such as the Sheriff who heroically took a stand and refused to carry out further evictions (and who has sadly been forced by the state to resume them) and the errant judge who holds the foreclosing companies accountable for their horrendous bookkeeping for example - these are rare instances, and far fewer than most wish they were.
The sad truth is that with all this, people are getting desperate. Very desperate. And unfortunately, as is so often the case, desperate people do things - mostly desperate things. Suicides and homicides among the disaffected are skyrocketing with little sign of abatement.
The fact of the matter is that this is ugly business. that people are increasingly being faced with. I don't need to remind you that many people in this country are already in dire financial straights in this country, and increasingly, this is leading to things like this and this and worse. Even people that are somewhat less at risk of financial ruin - such as Jayne Peters, the former mayor of Coppell, Texas - are winding up in economic hardship - and responding with acts best described as monstrous. Peters murdered her own daughter and then took her own life.
This scares the absolute hell out of me. People are already winding up this hurt, this frightened, and this hopeless, as to take what seems like their only way(s) out. And the economic situation for those at the bottom worsens by the day. Making this all the worse is that this is self-feeding; the worse things get, the more common these incidents become. The infamous "Suicide by cop!" incident in which a foreclosed-upon man engaged police officers in a firefight, comes readily to mind.
The longer this goes on - the more that those in office choose to ignore the very real price of the economic policies of the past few administrations - the more people are going to get hurt, suffer, and die; either by their own hands, or because of someone equally-desperate. This is assuming they don't snap and target the source of their misery. These are cases actively being ignored by both the media and those in the beltway, but they are happening all across the country and in distressingly-increasing numbers.
Whilst all this is going on, Obama is freezing wages for federal workers. Whilst things like this are occuring, our elected officials are cheerfully allowing millions of people's only source of income to run dry. While things like this are going on, we get to hear delightful suggestions that the banksters who fucked peoples' lives up in the first place get a second bailout at the taxpayers' expense.
What this portends is nothing short of terrifying when one stops to think about the implications: How do you think people are going to react when this lesson in insanity (because the textbook definition is doing the same thing over and over again with the same variables and expecting a different result; which seems to be the way our government has been going recently) which is only going to further harm the already-disadvantaged, cut their few existing safety nets, and leave more people in the same boat as the unfortunates mentioned above?
The blood is on the hands of those responsible for this economic nightmare situation that normal, everyday people have been left holding the bag for. I fear that the longer this goes on, the greater the backlash is going to be when people are finally pushed too far - and may result in a tragedy that makes the above seem minor by contrast.
....I pray I'm wrong.