Just to get it out of the way, my thoughts on this ‘holiday’ haven’t changed since my earlier post. All the spin and political soundbites, the one-day sales and commercials, the war-mongering and propaganda have buried the truth, along with what little decency we had as a nation. The unfashionable virtues of humanity and love, of fellow-feeling and compassion, of peace and good will now only exist on the personal level. Americans as individuals (or at least most of them, including some we all recognize as assholes politically) are generally more caring than their government, even if they loudly support a draconian regime.
The push to raise the minimum wage is gaining momentum and will probably eventually succeed, but it will be a victory in the wrong war. The real problem is that in today’s world, the overwhelming majority of the population is unproductive. That doesn’t mean we cannot produce – it just means we do not produce anything the Elite are willing to pay us for producing. 90% of the necessities and nearly 100% of the must-have-luxuries are produced by 3rd-world wage slaves (and sometimes chattel slaves) or by robots or on a for-profit-only corporate scale far beyond individual capabilities (Big Ag). In the good old days, the world looked forward to a time when robots would do all the work and humans could devote themselves to living the Good Life. We’d all go to the seashore, right? No one bothered to wonder if all the work were automated, what need there would be for humans. It is only beginning to dawn on people today that if they are not needed, they are not eligible to enjoy the Good Life. Millions of Americans are in poverty and millions more headed that way as the Middle Class collapses. When the economy and government became the exclusive property of those who see everything in terms of profit, things changed. Wealth is now a matter of debt rather than productivity (and the debt is mostly a Ponzi scheme, a game of financial hot-potato). If the .1% can’t make a profit off us, they’ll happily leave us free to live on the streets, starve or die for lack of healthcare.
An alternative is to give away free money.
Then the only thing we’d have to worry about would be the consequences of the planetary plundering to support our Good Life – and which appear pretty likely to derail whatever plans we make. And while waiting for our hubris-induced ecological murder of the Earth, I’m all for guaranteed income, healthcare, education and immigration. To be financed by taxing the .1% out of existence, ending all wars and automating the production of all necessities. As long as we’re going, we might as well go out in style. And with humanity.