Guess you could say there is a theme this week here at BGIM land. That theme would be how Average Jane and Joe used to be able to go to their average job and be assured that if they put in 40 hours working for the boss, the boss paid them a decent wage, provided access to healthcare and even tucked a few bucks away so that when Jane and Joe got old, they didn’t have to live in a shoe and eat cat food. The boss used to understand that by treating Jane and Joe well they were loyal and worked hard and in the end happy workers meant the boss made money too! It was a good system until somewhere along the line the bosses got greedy decided to fuck Jane and Joe and I am not talking the kind of fucking that curls your toes and makes you smile.
Suddenly Jane and Joe worked longer and harder, realized their cash didn’t go as far, the boss started devising clever ruses that on the surface made Jane and Joe feel empowered but really didn’t. The boss told Jane and Joe rather than giving you that gold watch and a fixed monthly pension when you retire, I am going to take some money invest it in the stock market, you invest some money and well the stock market will go up and up and shit! You can be rich like me! Jane and Joe liked that, so that said great! The boss took away the health insurance instead telling Jane and Joe now you can have choices…oh, but those choices will cost you a little more money but soon, Jane and Joe couldn’t afford that coverage.
Right now in America it sucks to be an average worker! Whereas many of us used to live in the middle class or at least aspire to it, now we are too busy trying to pay that mortgage we can’t afford anymore and keep Visa from ganking a portion of our wages. Suddenly Jane and Joe realized the whole system is corrupt, the boss don’t give two squats, they see whiz kids creating items they can’t even figure out how to use making billions…hello, Mark Zuckerberg! They see their jobs at the plant being shipped overseas where the boss doesn’t have to pay $18 an hour, instead he pays $18 a day and gets his product manufactured and makes 600 times what his average worker makes. The boss is so rich, that bastard can wipe his ass on $20 bills and flush em down the toilet all the while Jane and Joe have to tell the kids it’s pasta again and no, don’t answer that phone! Just another bill collector calling.
Jane and Joe are fed the fuck up, everywhere they look people are either scrapping to get by just like them, or when they log on the computer or television, they see latte sippers talking about how desperately they want the new iPhone5…while Jane and Joe are still using Motorola Razrs from 6 years ago and barely able to keep the cell bill paid.
The gulf between the haves and have-nots is huge. Eventually Jane and Joe snap there has got to be some out there who stands up for the average folks…oh, but there is! Enter the Tea Party, where they use folksy sounding people who look just like Jane and Joe Average. The Tea Party tells Jane and Joe we want to take America back, support us, never mind that the Tea Party is bought and paid for by real rich folks…hello, the Koch brothers!
Jane and Joe used to be card carrying union members who always voted Democrats but lately they feel like the Dems have let them down. Now it seems when they see Democrats, they are well educated folks who earn way more than Jane and Joe ever will and frankly are disconnected from the real woes of working people. Oh, the Dems talk a good game but ultimately life is hard when you are trying to fit in your next yoga class and figure out your new iGadget. Today’s Dems in the eyes of Jane and Joe have abandoned them for folks who think well just go to school, never realizing that even if everyone in America had a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree that someone still has to do the shit work. Someone has to watch the kids, serve your food, and make the lattes. If you want organic cotton panties, someone has to sew that shit and shouldn’t the people who do all those tasks be well compensated? Yeah, today’s Democrats say they should, but they don’t really put their money where their mouth is. For them activism and involvement is signing an online petition, sending a few bucks to a good cause and maybe posting something on their Facebook page.
On the other hand those Tea Party folks take action, shit they demand that the Republicans listen to them no matter how insane they sound. Jane and Joe know the Tea Party is a tad nutty but shit they are so frustrated, they feel they have to do something.
Where are the Progressive Americans? Why aren’t they out doing something? This past weekend there was an Occupy Wall Street event organized that considering how bad Wall Street has screwed this nation over, you would have expected non-stop coverage; instead the coverage has been a blip. When did we become so damn passive? Or is that we are so scared to lose our little bit of the cheese that we are too fucking scared to speak up and do something? Seems to me those of us who consider ourselves progressive like to talk lofty talk but when it comes to doing something that creates change…well we are out to lunch. How many of us will put our money where our mouth is? Will you create change even if it means less money in your pocket? Or are we just like the greedy bosses, indirectly fucking others over. I admit I rarely get political in this space but I am just frustrated, real change and hope comes from taking action at the grassroots level.
I am sure I might lose some readers for such a post, but that’s okay, this is my reality and my truth.
4 thoughts on “Progressive America, you used to be beautiful”
Dude, lots of errors due to hipster iPhone.
I tend to think people (especially the young folks in college who build movements) are so saddled with debt that a large scale something is out of the question. We need a spark (something truly tragic (unfortunately) to ignite the giant. I had huge hopes for WI, but then they went and re-elected republicans. I’m nov happy with the Dems either. I’ve voted in every election since turning 18 and I’ve always been very political, this us the first time I have ever felt like my voice, my vote means jack shit. Which scares me. It’s the opposite of everything I believe.
“I admit I rarely get political in this space but I am just frustrated, real change and hope comes from taking action at the grassroots level.
I am sure I might lose some readers for such a post, but that’s okay, this is my reality and my truth”
I have actually been spending a lot of time of facebook on a black conservative republican group. Why you have seen less of me on twitter…I hear the frustration and I am frustrated as well…especially frustrated that my kids are struggling so bad and I know their future financially is bleak…They really miss the lifestyle that I afforded them growing up… With that being said, after a few months I know that I could never fit in as a staunch republican and I also recognize that I could never fit in as a staunch progressive, so therefore my frustration lies in the fact that being in the middle of the storm is very difficult! I have a hard time being openly critical of President Obama because I really believe that the hate is so thick, he is being set up to be the worst President in US history and that is simply not accurate. Last night for the first time in my life a read a legislative bill the American Jobs Act 2011, it was fabulous and offers so many people a chance to make a decent income. I cannot imagine the countless hours and thought this piece of legislation took not only to prepare, but figure out…yet here we go again the Republicans saying no! Not caring if people like Jane and Doe have a funking job! But as you state people people need to copy the Tea Party and organize because this is some bullshit…it makes me so angry. I have actually thought about a facebook group for people who are like me and just frustrated with politics and want to take some action…my schedule is just so busy and I know I am not the only one who has a heavy schedule. At this point, the people in my office do not have health insurance through this agency, and this makes me really sad…but they have requested higher salaries and cannot afford to pay 50%… I am not an employer that reaps all the rewards, in fact I cannot and will not take advantage of any person and not pay the salary I feel this small agency can handle…my husband gets made because I always take the hits…this year the profit margin and my salary are on the chopping board..so it means that I will have to spend more time seeing individual clients in my private practice. I am grateful that I am working and truly grateful that I can pay staff a decient salary…If only I had insurance I would be really happy…Although you hear about my vacations here and there, know that I am just a person that cannot sit still but in the end financially I am going to pay a price if I don’t get more serious with my finances… or my house may fall down on top of me for lack of repairs….I remain hopeful, but this change shit is not happening…. I almost wish that President Obama would have used the opportunity with the Democratic Congress to pass the jobs bill I saw last night…I pray he gets the opportunity…this mess will not be fixed anytime soon and although I do not blame him, I do wish he would get more agressive with Republicans and Progressive Democrats…by the way, I am totally surprised to hear you talking about politics! Take care and have a blessed week…I must get to work now. Excuse any typo’s in a hurry but have been missing your blogs and see what I found this morning…
This was a very heartfelt post. Thank you for writing.
I am also frustrated. As a recent college graduate, I am definitely feeling the pinch and I definitely don’t speak for myself. We were brought up to believe in the traditional model: go to school, get a good job, invest in retirement, yadda yadda. Come out of college and see that you are either overqualified, underqualified, or if you’re qualified, they pay you absolutely nothing compared to the cost of living and to pay your loans off at the same time. Granted, I don’t have the responsibilities that the people before me have, namely mortgages, kids, health problems, and the like. I could sit here and blame Gen X and the Boomers, because let’s be honest, as consumers, they were greedy too. None of us thought that far ahead (and still don’t). But what would be the point? Like I said, at the end of the day, we all are feeling the pinch.
I think the only thing that keeps me going is realizing that the game changes every few years, it’s inevitable. I think we’re in a state of limbo right now, where new rules are getting formed. And trying to get things back to the way they were is an uphill battle. It’s better to get smarter, try to adjust, try to find a different opportunity, and stay positive. It’s *way* easier said than done, I know! Maybe I am being overly optimistic and naive, but that’s the only thing I personally have left. That and putting engaging sort of action, instead of talking as you’ve touched on.
Comments are closed.