It was a very few year ago when I travelled through the Middle East and Eastern Europe. I found friendly, gracious, welcoming people wherever I went. Those days are gone. Travelling anywhere poses a vulnerability that I no longer want to experience. I stay in my nice, comfortable, cool home, drinking coffee in the morning and iced tea in the afternoon. My food supply continues unabated, the neighbourhood Mom and Pop hardware carries many of the items that big box stores carry. I get my gas from a neighborhood service station where they continue to perform services. My medical care people and facilities stand only 11 blocks away.
Living with fear, real or imagined, leaves a tension that focusing does not erase. There is always an energy that flows as if getting ready for a confrontation, a most unpleasant feeling for me. Individual problems can fairly easily be overcome, however, problems that confront individuals who have unwanted attributes implies a lifetime of living in that tension.
Institutionalized fear, that which comes through the culture into which one is born, takes heavy tolls on everyone. A whole group of people, fearing for their livelihood, housing, health care, education and retirement remain silent for fear of being the individual who will be scapegoated for all the others of their group.
Individual small business can't compete with big block stores and either do all the work themselves or go out of business. Service industry notoriously pays low wages and use their wealth to defeat any attempt to bring minimum wage into the work environment.
The net result is the have-nots remain silent and compliant, the haves enjoy their growing wealth with conspicuous spending and supporting political individuals and groups that vote for their policies.
The money takes over our commerce, our public schools, our politics and our banking and financial institutions. Wage-workers, undereduated, badly eduated, young dependents, the elderly and the infirm suffer increasing insults and deteriorating economic conditions.
With our economy now linked to the world economy, the standard of living for people who produce the goods and services we consume falls in the rich nations as the standard rises for the poor ones. In the end there will be a balance of production, consumption, income, and distribution of profits.
In my humble opinion, the expected changes will involve warfare. No one wants to give up privilege, no one wants to stay the under class. These competing interests do not change without a battle with bloodshed and war wounded.
I think you are correct, Joan, but most people do not want to face it as a fact. The politicians want to continue being in bed with the religious for the sake of elections, but this might backfire on them. In fact, what if all this nonsense with ISIS and ISIL was just a beginning of the "have nots" wanting to have more? If this was even remotely true the wealthy had better get ready for one hellava ride! There will come a time in all this mess where the average person will be able to see the truth. I'm not saying that I condone what is going on in the world. I'm just trying to explain the insanity.
Your point about institutionalized fear is well taken. But global war wouldn't redistribute wealth. Did WWII make the rich less powerful? Anyway the poor aren't well enough organized for class warfare on the 1%. We're all too sedated by the entertainment industry and spin doctors.
Indeed so, Ruth. They are creating a false reality for us in order to keep us out of the way. Most of us don't even mind unless things become personal.
Mike, I agree many try to make sense out of the insanity. Just listening to the rhetoric of the right wing political groups makes my head swim. No! I don't condone what happens either; insanity seems to follow nonsense.
Wars do not redistribute wealth, however, that didn't stop WW I or WW II. We came out of both conflicts with some being richer and some being poorer. Ruth, you write correctly, "We're all too sedated by the entertainment industry and spin doctors."
Comedy shows with canned laughter, reality shows with security just beyond the camera range, and mega-churches with all kinds of contrivances to give people, grown-ups and juveniles, an artificial high, do not increase a sense of safety.
Simple pleasures can bring genuine joy, realistic tasks can improve ones life experiences, and living more simply can increase a sense of stability.
We are not helpless in face of some idiots running for office, or others trying to silence those who object to policies and practices in public places. A healthy resistance movement, even ones based on peaceful means can reach honorable ends.
I have a glimmer of hope that Obama will shed his mantle of corporate power and express the value of people-power. Do you suppose that will happen?
In the case of Obama it might take him being out of office a couple of years for people to start seeing he wasn't really such a bad president after all. I firmly believe that the majority of anti-Obama rhetoric is all because he is a black man. I always have beleived that and I never saw racism properly until I married a black woman. My wife had no influence on my views personally but I started paying more attention at that time. Racism is as alive and well as it ever was.
Obama said so many things with which I agreed before he was elected and then on inauguration day he revealed who his cabinet members were. His more recent appointments have been corporate people.
"JANUARY 7, 2015
Monsanto Controls both the White House and the US Congress
No Matter Who Wins the Presidential Election Monsanto Benefits"
"Monsanto/Michael R. Taylor is to the FDA/USDA as Goldman Sachs/Henry Paulson is to the Treasury Department."
Remember Hank Paulson, Obama's former Treasury Secretary? Paulson’s testimony shed new light on the 2008 financial crisis, and "on the immense sway that too-big-to-fail banks, such as Citigroup and Bank of America, continue to have over politicians and regulators. If there are any folks left who still need persuading that these cosseted financial giants ought to be cut down to size, they should go and read Paulson’s testimony."
Remember Obama's Financial Advisors, March 31, 2009
Ben Bernanke: Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, central bank of USA. a South Carolina macroeconomist
Pete Peterson: businessman, investment banker, fiscal conservative, author, and politician. United States Secretary of Commerce, Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, Senior Chairman of the private equity firm, the Blackstone Group. In 2008, he was ranked 149th on the "Forbes 400 Richest Americans" with a net worth of $2.8 Billion. In 2008, he established The Peter G. Peterson Foundation
Henry Paulson: 74th United States Treasury Secretary, International Monetary Fund Board of Governors, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs. Time magazine named Paulson as a runner-up for its Person of the Year 2008, saying, with reference to the Global Financial Crisis of 2008: "if there is a face to this financial debacle, it is now his".
Franklin Delano Raines: former Fannie Mae CEO, received $50 Million bonus, White House budget director under President Bill Clinton. His role leading Fannie Mae has come under scrutiny. former Fannie Mae CEO, received $50 Million bonus, White House budget director under President Bill Clinton. His role leading Fannie Mae has come under scrutiny.
Jim Johnson: former Fannie Mae CEO, received $35 Million bonus. managing director with Lehman Brothers, An Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) report 2004 found that, during Johnson's tenure as CEO, Fannie Mae had improperly deferred $200 million in expenses. This enabled top executives, including Johnson and his successor, Franklin Raines, to receive substantial bonuses in 1998. A 2006 OFHEO report found that Fannie Mae had substantially under-reported Johnson's compensation. Originally reported as $6-7 million, Johnson actually received approximately $21 million. Vice chairman of the private banking firm Perseus LLC, board member at Goldman Sachs, KB Home, a home construction firm, Target Corporation,Temple-Inland, UnitedHealth Group. Chairman of both the Kennedy Center for the Arts and the Brookings Institution, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Friends of Bilderberg, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission. Johnson a source of controversy when it was reported that he had received loans directly from Angelo Mozilo, the CEO of Countrywide Financial, a company implicated in the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis. Although he was not accused of any wrongdoing and was initially defended by Obama on the grounds that he was simply an unpaid volunteer, Johnson announced he would step down from the vice-presidential vetting position on June 11, 2008, in order to avoid being a distraction to Obama's campaign.
Rahm Emanuel: White House Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama. served on the board of directors of the federal mortgage firm Freddie Mac at a time when scandal was brewing at the troubled agency and the board failed to spot "red flags," entire board was later accused by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) of having "failed in its duty to follow up on matters brought to its attention.” Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Illinois's 5th congressional district, chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2006 mid-term elections. chairman of the Democratic Caucus, member of the New Democrat Coalition. noted for his combative style and his political fundraising abilities,he articulated his view on the role of government as a positive force to face difficult challenges and solve national problems, notably combating global warming through green energy policies and completely restructuring the health care system. Citigroup executive at the center of the current meltdown.
Chris Dodd: #1 recipient of Fannie Mae contributions
Larry Summers who pushed the repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act,
Tim Geithner who masterminded the bank bailout,
Robert Rubin, a disgraced Citigroup executive at the center of the current meltdown.
Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States from 1987 to 2006.
These bankers, financial market manipulators, and exploiters of the financial disaster of 2007 were appointed as advisors by Obama.
A little heavy on BIG BANKS AND FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS for my taste.