These days, a bad tooth can break you


How many people have realized that the presumption of belonging to a “middle class” is delusional and dangerous? Enough to toss the reactionaries out of Congress in 2012? Maybe, but wouldn’t the current crop be replaced by a new bunch of corporate-sponsored whores?

These question gnawed at me today after a dental bill took a big bite out of my dwindling savings; after it occurred to me, for the thousandth time, that sheer luck is the only thing that prevents many of us in this country from slipping into poverty.

On the plus side, the Occupy movement has focused media attention on the fact that average Americans are being routinely robbed by bankers, hedge-fund managers, CEOs and politicians who work only for super-rich constituents. As Barbara and John Ehrenreich recently wrote:

One reason the concept of an economic 99% first took root in America rather than, say, Ireland or Spain is that Americans are particularly vulnerable to economic dislocation… Unemployment benefits do not last more than six months or a year, though in a recession they are sometimes extended by Congress. At present, even with such an extension, they reach only about half the jobless. Welfare was all but abolished 15 years ago, and health insurance has traditionally been linked to employment…

… Where other once-wealthy nations have a safety net, America offers a greased chute, leading down to destitution with alarming speed.

So what’s to stop corrupt Congresspeople, indirectly aided by an ineffectual, neoliberal president, from making living standards even lower for most of us? For now, almost nothing. The conniving skunks who control the House and, to a lesser extent, the Senate, remain dead-set on preventing any relief for the unemployed, the homeless, the soon-to-be-homeless, the sick but uninsured and all other poor or near-poor people.

As Robert Reich noted today, “big money is taking over government,” in the absence of campaign finance reform. Nothing will change until we can elect politicians who aren’t owned by big business and can therefore respond to our needs — good schools, an upgraded infrastructure, decent jobs, a social safety net.

Without real change, more and more people will slip into poverty, at roughly the same fast pace our government is becoming fascist.

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This entry was posted in campaign finance reform, Congress, economic collapse, Great Recession, mainstream media, Occupy Wall Street, Politics, The New Depression, unemployment, Wall Street and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to These days, a bad tooth can break you

  1. Pingback: These days, a bad tooth can break you

  2. guest says:

    Who are you calling an ineffectual neo-liberal president? He just put a Goldman Sachs bankster on the board of the FDIC (*pause for readers to unclench anuses and remember to breathe* Yes, that means it’s time to withdraw your savings and hide the cash in your futon). That man is very effectual, and there is nothing liberal about him, neo- paleo- quasi- or otherwise (NO, I won’t even give you “psuedo-“). He’s a FRAUD, a criminal, and a monster, and the biggest enemy of democracy of all because unlike the 7 mental dwarfs debating for the R side of the ballot, Obama controls what used to pass for the opposition party (funny how they pretend to be the powerless opposition party even when the controlled the house, senate and WH). The big money king makers will not be letting him lose next November, because as long as they have both parties locked down like this, there is no way real liberals will even get a toe hold in the party. In the theme of Xmas, he’s a vicious pitbull sleeping in the manger.

    • Dave Rogers says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Obama has been the biggest disappointment and betrayal I’ve experienced in my 58 years. He sickens me.

      • oddmanout215 says:

        Do you remember when we ridiculed “Tricky Dick” Nixon for being a heartless crook? In those days, who could have imagined a Democratic president whose policy decisions are often far to the right of Nixon’s?

    • oddmanout215 says:

      “Neoliberal” can be confusing. I meant it only in the economic sense — i.e., Obama is on the same team with people who believe in the “anything goes” style of capitalism that crashed the economy in 2008. In this regard, he’s a blood brother to Lawrence Summers and the rest of the odious creeps, many of whom think of themselves as liberals, who shuffle between D.C. and Wall Street, never giving a thought to how many lives they’ve ruined.

  3. Bernard says:

    Robert Reich’s comment is inaccurate. The Government is owned and has been owned by Business, for a long time now. The takeover is way past complete. the details are slipping out for those who want to see. Business has owned Government for a while now, starting with the Military, Congressional Complex. Reagan was the first to sell Government out on a “Big” scale.

    • oddmanout215 says:

      Reich always writes as if there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I think he was trying to say the situation has grown worse, to the point where it’s more difficult than ever to run for high office without going deeply into debt to big business. And he probably was thinking of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, a serious blow to hopes for campaign finance reform.

  4. Pingback: Deep thought for the day: Needs won’t wait | Odd Man Out

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