Sunday, October 26, 2014

Are You Comfortable?

As my dad got older he settled into his day to day routine and seemed to have go to phrases he enjoyed using.  For example if asked if he was comfortable he'd quip, "I make a living."
He was (is) my dad and therefore I smiled or sometimes even laughed at the statement I'd heard him say 100 times.
Back in his day he did make a living, at least for the years after World War II.
In his youth he struggled as so many of his generation did.
He lost his parents while he was in his teens and had to go out and earn money to help support his brother and sister.  He even took two jobs in order to make ends meet and be somewhat comfortable.
During the depression, the one back in the 1930s many people had to hold two jobs or possible more to keep one step ahead of wolf.
Those of us in my generation look back at those intrepid survivors and marvel at their selfless stamina and will to survive.
Sailor Sol being honored
for his service before
America decided to forget
about him and others of his
generation in favor of the
wealthy business owners
and their bribe money
He served honorably and courageously in the South Pacific during the second World War and returned to his growing family.
Then came Levittown and the fifties and the start of an extended period of  good times for the so-called middle class as the returning war heroes and their families realized there was an American Dream to aspire toward.
As the middle class grew and their lives became relatively easy compared with their childhood they grew a tiny bit complacent.  They figured America would always have their backs and the country would keep improving conditions for the backbone of society.
They were wrong!
Greed is a terrible thing.
It's a cancer on the soul.
But it's a strange type of cancer, one that eats at the fabric of  society and ruins the lives not of the host but of those around them!
Little by little the wealthier among us realized that they could have a larger piece of the apple if they could control the orchard.  If they could offer lawmakers a sort of commission (bribe in common terms) to keep things in line they could forge ahead of others and grab the brass ring without even working up a sweat!
No more did the wealthiest among us have to worry about two jobs or in many cases even one!  They could own a business and let it run comfortable in the notion that no stifling regulations would be placed in their path even if their products were harmful to humans.
Suddenly every business owner and CEO realized that the key to success lay not only in having a good product but also in owning cheap disorganized, non-unionized labor as well as the occasional Congressman!
Slaves or serfs were the way to go.
If they could keep the worker down, keep their friends in power by blocking the votes of those who figured out their evil plan, and tilt the playing field in their favor the game would most assuredly be theirs to win.  It was a blueprint on 'How to Truly Succeed without Even Trying!
And suddenly almost as though some evil telepathic agreement on price and wage fixing spread throughout the land and every business owner was in cahoots in the collusion.
Some smaller communities or closed sets of owners have their own unspoken rules to keep lowly workers down.  For example if an employee tries to better himself by moving to a different company for a penny more in salary he cannot do so if the new company is owned by a member of the same faith as his current one! Don't believe me? Ask me in private and I'll give you intimate details of how this evil scheme works and who perpetrates it every freaking day of the year!
Businesses have sent so many jobs overseas there is really no way for things to get back to the way they were in our lifetime until Americans allow these evil creatures to dismantle the minimum wage law.
But there is a way for our government, if they would start acting like OUR government to at least level the playing field a touch.
If they would start taxing these large corporations and even the smaller ones in a fair and American like equitable way then at least we could make these giants pay for their anti-social acts.
Stop subsidizing big oil; stop allowing tax breaks for companies who send jobs out of America; Scale back gerrymandered districts designed to screw the average human; stop allowing partisan State and Local lawmakers from blocking citizens from voting; and start being real!
Hard working veterans such as my dad would be spinning in their graves if they knew how poorly our current legislators are treating their children and grandchildren.
If big business, hell any business cannot pay their workers a fair wage then they have no right to be in business!
And any CEO or just plain owner who pulls so high a salary out of the company at the expense of the backbone, the workers of that company, who were a major reason he was able to make that money in order to buy his next BMW or corporate jet while his employees are applying for food stamps deserves to be placed in a jail cell.
It's about time to make my dads statement a reality for the average American worker so that when he or she is asked how are you doing, they can finally and proudly say, "I make a living!"