At least Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Our representatives in D.C. give tax breaks to the rich and welfare to corporations, cut vital services to the working-class and poor, and threaten Social Security and Medicare while the American empire crumbles. Give me the fiddling any day.
America is fast becoming a third world nation. The disparity between the haves and have-nots just keeps widening. Why do Americans stand for it? Are we so anesthetized by our technological toys, the buds in our ears and the cell phone screens that are eyes are constantly glued to, even when we’re driving cars, that we don’t hear the rich laughing all the way to the banks they own?
Or see the corporations that are destroying the environment and shipping jobs overseas pulling the strings of the politicians we supposedly choose in “democratic” elections. It’s hard to have democracy when money buys elections and even the “people’s candidates” end up doing the bidding for big money once they get into office. It’s not even absolute power that corrupts in America, it’s any smidgen of it.
The Middle East may be rising up against this type of economic and political inequity, but here in America people get more upset that a congress member is sending pictures of his member to women on Twitter than they do about the bailout of the banks that last year alone caused a million of them to lose their homes.
The presence of all these former homeowners in the rental market has spiked rents in cities such as San Francisco, where they’re already outrageous. Again, not a peep from the masses. Marx was wrong, religion isn’t the only opiate. The American Dream, that we can all be well off and enjoy the good life, is the biggest drug of all.
If only the fact that 45 million Americans go without basic healthcare coverage every day of the week generated as much copy as the Casey Anthony’s murder trial. The media learned a long time ago that it was far cheaper to feed us crime stories than investigative pieces about the wheelings and dealings of those in power. Besides, stealing copy from the police blotter doesn’t get them in trouble with the rich guys who now own the mainstream newspapers and TV stations.
Instead of going berserk over some sports team winning a championship, wouldn’t it be something if people went nuts about the fact that more kids go to school without a meal in their tummies every day than during the Great Depression (talk about child abuse!). Or that 43.6 million Americans now live in poverty, the highest number since the 1960s. Or that, according to a study by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, between 2.3 and 3.5 million Americans are homeless.
Or that unemployment is routinely under-reported by our government, only reflecting folks who are eligible for benefits, not those whose checks have stopped coming and yet they’re still out of work.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if instead of being glued to the TV to see who will be “America’s Next Idol,” people organized meetings in their communities to demand housing, jobs and healthcare for everyone.
Obama should learn to play the fiddle.