Sunday, June 15, 2014

No Bed of Flowers

I generally keep my camera aimed at "pretty pictures."
I avoid taking pictures of people both because of my reluctance 
to approach people and for personal safety - 
you'd be surprised how many people 
seem to think the cops are watching my blog 
for glimpses of wanted felons (them!).

While always present, scenes such as that above
seem to be more common than in the past. 
While I sat on a bench waiting for the bus, 
I stared straight ahead at the "pretty picture," 
while the sad situation above unfolded just to my right.
God only knows from where he'd come.
He couldn't even say himself, although a band on
his wrist made it seem likely he'd been
to either Eskenazi Health or the VA Hospital.
A policeman was summoned and, as kindly as his
uniform would allow, he tried to get the man
to move away, without success. 
As my bus pulled away from the curb, I heard
sirens approaching, signifying an ambulance or, 
more likely, a paddy wagon, that had been summoned 
to take the sad man away.

As the differences between the Have/Have Not 
in our country become more extreme, 
the sheer numbers of people who have nothing to do,
 no place to go become more obvious.
My generation has seen the country's transition 
from a manufacturing society to the computer age, 
relying on "service jobs" (i.e., fast food industry
and hotel maids) to fill the void left by well-paying work. 
This has helped to create a surplus of people
who often have only a marginal connection to
steady employment.
The greed of our corporate masters, with the legal assistance
of Congress, have returned this country to a culture
of rapacious greed unmatched since the days
of Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, and John Rockefeller.
It took the will of Teddy Roosevelt to bring
them into line, but today's Congress is so tightly
wound, contorted, and entangled with special interest
groups that logical thinking about dire problems
facing our society does not seem to be possible.

We are running out of water, the food supply is at risk.
Our educational system is failing us, meaning that many kids
barely have the skill it takes to press a color picture
on the cash register to ring up our Big Mac purchase.

The state of Indiana has given out so many tax breaks to
businesses *seeking* to do business here that it 
has eroded the tax base. This has led to a shortfall
in that revenue, as well as from the average taxpayer,
because so many of them are either out of work
or employed in such low-paying jobs they
have little or no tax liability.

When I ride the bus to work of a morning,
all I see are people like myself, just trying
to keep roofs over our heads and food
in our kids' stomachs. Most of us are one or
two paychecks from being out on the street,
but we keep slogging away, thinking we'll catch
a break. Some day. But probably not.

The 2% who control the nation's business
don't seem to understand that we are all drinking
from the same well; eventually they will succumb 
 to the same poison they have inflicted
on the general populace.

1 comment:

William Kendall said...

It's much the same here- politicians serving at the behest of their masters, none of whom seem to care about the consequences of their actions or the long term future.