Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Will Economic Inequality Turn Us Into A Bad Science-Fiction movie?


We’ve all seen them a time or two.  Those science-fiction movies where everything is gloom and no one’s gonna get out alive, yet life isn’t quite worth living.  And with the exception of a few matriarchs or patriarchs of well-armed and sociopathic families and communities, there are no old people.  Everything is covered with grey ash while trash fires burn in the streets, as lone adults walk along with heads bowed and every man and every woman are for themselves.  All the children, meanwhile, have banded into small gangs just to survive and, there are no families, and bandits roam the country side.

Welcome to the freedom and free market loving of a possible New America.  Everything is privatized and out of reach.  There are no police.  Neither is there a post office.  If you wanna send a letter more than twenty-five miles you either hire a smuggler, or pay the matriarchs and patriarchs whatever they might demand.  And forget about healthcare.  If you’re in an accident or come down with an illness, you’re screwed. 

Back in the day, when politicians said, “if elected I’ll run this (country, city, state) like a business,” little did voters who did not possess a Masters of Business Administration (MBA), realize what that would eventually look like.  It only made sense that if you’re going to run things like a business, you might as well become a businessperson.  At least the mission and goals become clear and concise, increase profits for shareholders, first and foremost.

Those old science-fiction movies always seem to have the same theme, the rich separate themselves from the rest of us and, over time there is total separation.  The rich know nothing of our lives and we know little of theirs.  Now we are separated only by gated communities and distance.  Tomorrow, the rich may live in a ring of luxury, circling high above us, upon which we can gaze only at night. 

Right now, it may all seem like silly science-fiction, but that kind of future is possible.  Between recent Supreme Court decisions that allow states to take away rights, deny health care to its citizens and take away most all limits on how rich people and corporations (also said to be people) can spend their money in our political process, we may well be heading in that direction

But it would be both a sin and a shame, to have our democracy end up looking like something from a bad science-fiction movie. 

Another good reason to get out and vote.  And if you don’t, things will only get worse.
Walter Lide


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