one man's conspiracy is another man's business plan
Tuesday, February 15, 2005 | The Common Enemy
A couple, whose income would once have been called middle is now low. They married late, they have a young son. At first, they had hoped to put aside something for his education, but as conditions have changed, the mother tells me, they have changed their strategy, and are now doing all they can to pay off the mortgage on their little starter home, the only one they could afford. They had thought at one time, that they might even get a second mortgage, if it came to that, to pay for their child's education, but now they say, their first concern must be that he has housing. If they can pay off the mortgage, at least they can leave him that. Unless he becomes wealthy, his chances of being able to purchase his own home are slight, and the cost of an education beyond a couple of years of community college has become so high that it is no longer a realistic goal. Paying off their mortgage is, though, and that is what they will do.
A single mother lives with her parents. It is cramped, but she is lucky there is any room at all. Her dead-end low paying job has health insurance. There is no way I could afford housing on my own, she admits, and without the health insurance, I could not afford even doctor visits, much less medicine. Her parents did take out a second mortgage to send her to school, and she makes more than minimum wage. Still, when her parents die, their life insurance will still not be enough to pay off the house. They had had different expectations, back in those days.
Another young mother wipes juice from her four year old's chin. She too once had high hopes for him, but now, she says, she will settle for keeping him out of the army. To this end, she is looking for job opportunities overseas. I know what the jobs of the future are in America, she sighs.
Politicians no longer even bother with the pretense of empty promises to the poor. Now they address themselves to the shrinking middle class, but even there they do not hold out glittering dreams of prosperity. The new rallying cry is vote for me and maybe you will be one of the lucky ones who does not slip into poverty.
As the costs of higher education itself skyrockets, the latest trend is for educational institutions to require that students have health insurance. For children of affluent parents with family health plans, this is not an issue, but for the less well-off, for whom paying the tuition itself has cleaned out the family assets, purchasing health insurance is no more a possible dream than it was before the child was accepted at the university.
For many young people, the decision of "what to do" after high school involves more than where and what to study, but whether they want to start their careers with a crisp new degree and a crisp load of debt that dwarfs that assumed by their parents when they bought that starter home as newlyweds.
With traditional slavery technically outlawed, the US has been obliged to develop creative workarounds over the last century and a half, and they have done a yeoman's job. From usurious credit card companies to ghettos, social programs that do more to help politicians' cousins get jobs as bureaucrats or construction contracts than they do to actually reduce the number of poor, to the concerted effort to keep medical treatment a commercial product, which is quite effective in reducing the number of poor, quite literally, to laws that permit companies to fire the worker who earns $60 an hour and hire someone in India to do his job for $8 an hour, to the creation of an under-underclass of (mostly Latin American) underserfs, who toil for nearly nothing for the privilege of sending a sack of beans home to feed children who would otherwise starve, and on and on.
The fresh college graduate with a debt he is increasingly unlikely to pay off in his lifetime is just one more element.
No one knows exactly how many Americans, every day, reluctantly accept the fact that they can no longer afford housing. The luckier ones move in with friends or family, others simply wander the streets, acclimating themselves to their new life, or something like it, long before it came to this, they were already The Enemy.
The idea that a day's work should be at a minimum, equal to the value of a day's survival is considered as preposterous, as dangerous, as the idea that medical treatment is a human right.
PBS is currently showing a series on the role of slavery in US history, and even for those who attended "liberal" colleges and took "Black studies" courses, it may offer some food for thought for those interested in just what is meant by "American values."
David Walker's Appeal is just as relevant today as when it was written. Issues of race, ethnicity and class in the US have reached critical mass, as the domestic gap between have and have not has widened, and moved closer to its international counterpart.
They may not like it, they may prefer to "frame" it in all kinds of elegant and attractive ways, but the affluent know, they cannot escape the undeniable if unlovely truth: the common Enemy is the Poor. posted at
Actions like Sep 11 do not happen in a vaccuum.
Long before those hijackers ever stepped foot on the planes the damage
had been done. They were brainwashed with the same type of garbage
propaganda that is spewed from Fatwa's weblog.
Middle Eastern countries are so much more barbaric today and preAmercia than America can ever hope to be...America has only been around 230 years...who did you blame for everything before that Ductape? I am calling a Fatwa on your bullshit!
IMO - terrorist plain and simple. He is an Al queda operative who
should be put in a cage on gitmo Skinner
My favorite..."In Defense of Holocaust Deniers"
I always thought that "The Enemy Within" was just a metaphore for liberalism, that is, until I encountered Ductape Fatwa. He should be in an orange jumpsuit for sure.
peopleforchange.netductape is either a commie, al queda, or a deep cover mole
Tells you something about this asshole doesn't it. He's really serious.
I believe that DF is nothing but a Republican plant...
Ductape is a commie, a terrorist, and he drinks blood too. He drinks
Capitalist blood. He eats unborn babies too
Give me your address and I'll send you $20 and a thank-you note for taking your hatred elsewhere.
A terrorist with a sense of humor!
He ain't nuthin' but shit
inadequate, halfway house bullshit
You are a dumbass. Fuck you and your condescension about us "benighted sheeple." hamletta
Untruthful, damaging bullshit
no better than the neocons and no different than Timothy McVeigh
dailykos.coma turd in the punchbowl...if DF were Joe Hill he probably would have killed himself rather than get put to death.
A compost pile of fecundity
dailykos.comdespicable and literally mentally ill