EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN

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If you harbour any doubt that the United States is in the cold, hard grip of an economic depression, a recent magazine advertisement for a fast, cheap meal idea should remove your doubts:

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Microwave some rice. Pour soup over it. Feed it to your kids. Make them eat it because they may not see a hot meal again for a while. Eat it!  And thank God you’ve got it.  You think the Hendersons down the street have it?  I said eat it, and like it. It’s all we have.  McDonalds?  Are you kidding me? That would cost us five times what this costs.  I said eat it.

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It has happened before.  Back in the days of the Great Depression in the 1930’s soup was king, and for the same reasons.

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Eat like a king for only 12 cents.

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God help me, I have no choice but to appreciate the sick irony that is again manifesting. Breadlines grow longer as our leaders, proclaiming our comparative superiority, grow louder. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Good news, everyone! The chocolate ration has been increased from 25 grams per week to 20 grams per week!


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But this time there will be no war that will devastate all other industrial economies – leaving us the last man standing and the de facto rulers of the earth – to lift us out of the hunger and darkness.  Sure, some will still prosper – that always happens (I and my family are likely to be among them) – but what about those who slip down to a point where, just to pretend that everything is fine, they are reduced to microwaving rice, pouring a can of soup over it, and serving it up for dinner? What about them? What about their children?

I don’t know the answers. But I see the rise of a permanent economic underclass new to America whose membership is multi-generational and without meaningful hope of escape.  And that isn’t good for rich or poor alike.  A society is safest when the number of people cold, uneducated, starving and without hope of changing their condition are few.  There will always be people like that, but there is a critical number, a critical mass, when violent revolution becomes the only means of escape and no wealthy upper class can be repressive enough to save themselves from the seeds of destruction their short-sighted, cold hearted greed causes them to plant with every footstep they place upon the earth.

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9 Responses to “EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN”

  1. You’re the weirdest Conservative Repug I’ve ever met. How did you make it through the 80s. Just wondering.

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  2. The 80’s weren’t hard for me at all, primarily because I didn’t realize the blow back from Reagan’s inclusion of the religious right into his coalition. My main focus was defeating international communism and the existential threat the Soviets presented to the US. As long as that slow battle was progressing well, I was more or less content. I never realized it would end in my lifetime, leaving behind a meaner, leaner, richer nuclear armed Russia.

    But my feline friend, to understand me you have to accept that I am a true conservative intellectual who thinks and acts in the William Buckley modus operandi. Wanting to keep an economy growing so as to instill real hope among the lower classes of the chances for upward mobility through hard work and education is a traditional conservative value. Fearing the combined concentration of wealth and political power is a traditional conservative value. Do I want to hand out money? No. Do I feel good about investing in social and economic infrastructure that will enhance societal prosperity so that I don’t need an electric fence around my house like I’ve seen in Johannesburg around every house? Yes, I do. Do I want to be part of the society I saw in Mexico City where the wealthy live in fortress communities and are in constant fear that their loved ones will be kidnapped and held for ransom? No, I do not.

    I see the Republican Party being hijacked by a bunch of short-sighted idiots who either don’t realize the long term consequences of what they are doing or don’t care because they are gambling that, when the end comes, they can take their stuff and leave, letting everything burn behind them. I don’t want to have to plan to be one of them. It is hugely expensive and, in the process, you lose your soul.

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  3. You analysis is accurate, heartbreaking and fraking terrifying.

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  4. What Barnes said. Exactly.

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  5. *stares blankly*

    Yeah, but flowery rhetoric aside, didn’t you vote for Dumbya twice?

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  6. I will neither deny nor admit doing that, at least not here.

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  7. Very. F**king. Scary.

    And it’s here now from what I read. A little factoid from today’s paper: In the U.S. 1% of the population control 24% of the country’s wealth. Ouch.

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  8. I have to send you this article from the Guardian Weekly that talks about a study that shows that the income/wealth gap increases every time the Republicans are in power. Its counterintuitive but true. So many Americans vote for the party that helps to economically marginalize them. So many Canadians make the same mistake with our Conservative Party too.

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