The Most Precious Thing

I remember a while back, a liberal blogger made a big todo about a World Bank report on what poor people want. I’ll never forget. This was a popular diary at Daily Kos with hundreds of comments. The diary went on to explain the findings of the report and describe what the WB found out about what poor people want.

According to the report, what poor people want is respect, dignity, a sense of purpose and other such drivel. I did a quick search of the comments and there was NOT ONE expression of incredulity over this idiotic diary. It had not occurred to one fucking person that, uh, sorry but what poor people want is FUCKING MONEY.

This is the state of the liberal left in this country. So completely disconnected to the poor, that they can’t even see through a World Bank ruse.

This blind spot manifests itself in many other areas, especially public policy. Liberals have come up with a scheme, or program to address every societal ill but the very one that matters – not enough money to go around.

Every single one of the liberal intelligentsia’s pet issues would eventually, be solved outright, or greatly alleviated by a simple policy of never letting any household dip below the poverty line which now adjusted for inflation is about $40,000 p/y.

Teenage pregnancy, drug addiction, domestic violence, racial tension, etc, etc. would all drop significantly if we just had a healthy society.

What makes a healthy society? No. Not more counseling or intervention by liberal babysitters. What makes a healthy society is a family being able to be supported comfortably by only one working adult.

No, this will not solve everything. And yes many liberal programs have great value. But they cannot be a replacement for an economic system that seeks to turn a significant majority of society into serfs.

If you really wanted to reduce the political conflicts of the past 150 years to its most basic component it would be a war between monied business interests and labor. That’s what almost ALL of this fight has been about. Cheap labor.

Free trade, globalization, deregulation, “the war on the middle class”…, it’s all about cheap labor.

And almost all of societies ills, from drug abuse to gang violence, to even school shooting in some respects, are the direct result of the disintegration of the middle class.


One of the greatest achievements of the massive propaganda campaign that has been waged in the last four decades is to change American values. We need to change them back.

The most valuable, important, indeed essential thing in our society is what a friend of mine calls the Human Ecosystem. What is that? It is everything that makes up the immediate world of the modern American. This includes everything from the local community, to band practice, neighborhood schools, a comfortable home, access to healthy food. It is the reality for millions of Americans. It is a dream for millions more.

This human ecosystem is all that goes into making a life for individuals and families. And it absolutely requires above all else, a good paying job.

There is nothing more important than a stable home life for our people. A place where families grow and grow old. Not this sociopathic scheme of “mobility”. People aren’t wired that way. We are wired to settle down and raise families in a stable community.

Somehow, we allowed corporate sociopaths to think that there is something more valuable than this human ecosystem. The ideology of the free market, or a dozen other bullshit excuses to let people, families and communities perish.

I don’t give a fuck how we do it. If we have to hire people to dig holes so that they can fill them back in again, or better yet, rebuild America to accommodate the end of cheap oil, whatever it is, we have to create jobs for every single able person alive that allows for the creation and maintenance of the human ecosystem.



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  1. is often the last recognized.  duh.  of course.

    on the other hand, money itself is a figment.

    what people want is a decent life wherein they are not exploited victims.

    getting there from here is more of a leap into the unknown than we even get to talk about because we are so busy with the total bull that gets thrown around under the guise of insight.

  2. …..and go there often”.—-Willie Sutton

    There’s plenty of wealth in this country, it’s just that a few folks are hoarding it all, with the help of the Dems.

    I would take Willie Sutton over Geithner at Treasury any day.

  3. Guuuuuuuuump! You’re a goddamned genius! That’s the most outstanding answer I’ve ever heard. You must have a godammed I.Q. of a hundred and sixty! You are godammed gifted, Private Gump!

    Seriously. Brilliant diary. And agreed.

    Amazing that the tighty righties that would scream about giving “slackards” a guaranteed 40K are the same folks that are happy to see hard laborers paid a starvation wage.

  4. government has the fiscal means to provide a direct jobs program right now + a Jobs Guarantee.  Ideology and/or lack of political courage is the only thing stopping it from happening.  

  5. we want what most folks want…..

    the ability to conserve what we love……

    and that is of course a matter of physical resources……

    and in this world that has a price……

    so money will do lacking a humane world…..

  6. is what everyone wants.  More accurately I think, it would be enough money.

    For most, true, that’s enough money to eat nutritiously, have a non-leaky roof over their heads, to take care of their children and elders.

    Enough is a infinitely fluid qualifier, of course.  Some people are avaricious.  They never accumulate enough money.  Their possessions are never enough.  Their ability to dominate others through money is never enough.  

    Others are less greedy and share what they can, even if they’re poor.

    And some have no interest in money at all.  Shocking, I know!    

  7. I think this assertion is incorrect:

    Liberals have come up with a scheme, or program to address every societal ill but the very one that matters – not enough money to go around.

    Respectfully, there is plenty enough money to go around and around and around.  And then some. The problem imo is how it is distributed.  The problem is our tolerance of enormous income and wealth disparity.

    If one is not willing to take it from those who have it to give it to those who don’t, the project of making sure that everyone has enough is going to fall short.  And the project, lest I scold, is not limited to the 50 United States.  It’s global.  There are families of four who struggle to live on $1/day.

    Yes, you can make public works and pay people to dig holes and fill them in again.  But that’s not a solution to inequality.  It’s a perpetuation of it.

  8. – safe housing,

    – clothes,

    – safe water

    – sewage

    – power for home machines

    – education for our young

    – retraining

    – health care

    – retirment

    – transportation

    – finance / banking / means of trade

    – liesure / vacation (should only the affluent see the Grand Canyon – doesn’t EVERYONE of 6++ billion DESERVE to see it?)

    – a park and a BBQ and chow with friends / family …

    Let’s do the math – the RICH hire scores and hundreds to take care of all this stuff for them – part of being a rich pig is having enough to have it all!

    Can EVERYONE have 40 serfs? Only if we have 6++ billion TIMES 40 people!

    =>I think there is PLENTY of work to do for everyone.

    Earth is 1 big factory, get over it. Do we run it so a few have plenty of serfs & doormats & cannon fodder, do we run it into the ground? OR, Do we figure out how to run it so everyone has access to the basics++?

    We the world don’t need anymore liberal ‘educated’ people who define WORK as writing fucking tomes and writing fucking memos.  We need liberal people with degrees in math, accounting, finance, stats, biology, chemistry, physics, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, operations research, linear and discrete and nonlinear optimization …

    We need people who know the “render unto ceasar that which is ceasar’s and render unto god that which is god’s” is a GREAT plan for convincing people to STFU & has worked for centuries. We need people who know that The Prince is politics 101. We need people who know that Richard III, Hamlet, Julius Ceasar, Titus, Timon of Athens, King Lear … are played EVERYDAY by powerpoint pushing fucking parasites with fancy degrees and FAT paychecks.

    We ain’t scratched the surface of what we need.


    • Pen on April 9, 2010 at 04:19

    Almost a decade ago, Joe Lyles wrote “Defeat the Right in Three Minutes.” in which he wrote:

    It all gets down to two simple words.

    “Cheap labor”. That’s their whole philosophy in a nutshell – which gives you a short and pithy “catch phrase” that describes them perfectly. You’ve heard of “big-government liberals”. Well they’re “cheap-labor conservatives”.

    “Cheap-labor conservative” is a moniker they will never shake, and never live down. Because it’s exactly what they are. You see, cheap-labor conservatives are defenders of corporate America – whose fortunes depend on labor. The larger the labor supply, the cheaper it is. The more desperately you need a job, the cheaper you’ll work, and the more power those “corporate lords” have over you. If you are a wealthy elite – or a “wannabe” like most dittoheads – your wealth, power and privilege is enhanced by a labor pool, forced to work cheap.

    Don’t believe me. Well, let’s apply this principle, and see how many right-wing positions become instantly understandable.

    •Cheap-labor conservatives don’t like social spending or our “safety net”. Why. Because when you’re unemployed and desperate, corporations can pay you whatever they feel like – which is inevitably next to nothing. You see, they want you “over a barrel” and in a position to “work cheap or starve”.

    •Cheap-labor conservatives don’t like the minimum wage, or other improvements in wages and working conditions. Why. These reforms undo all of their efforts to keep you “over a barrel”.

    •Cheap-labor conservatives like “free trade”, NAFTA, GATT, etc. Why. Because there is a huge supply of desperately poor people in the third world, who are “over a barrel”, and will work cheap.

    •Cheap-labor conservatives oppose a woman’s right to choose. Why. Unwanted children are an economic burden that put poor women “over a barrel”, forcing them to work cheap.

    •Cheap-labor conservatives don’t like unions. Why. Because when labor “sticks together”, wages go up. That’s why workers unionize. Seems workers don’t like being “over a barrel”.

    •Cheap-labor conservatives constantly bray about “morality”, “virtue”, “respect for authority”, “hard work” and other “values”. Why. So they can blame your being “over a barrel” on your own “immorality”, lack of “values” and “poor choices”.

    •Cheap-labor conservatives encourage racism, misogyny, homophobia and other forms of bigotry. Why? Bigotry among wage earners distracts them, and keeps them from recognizing their common interests as wage earners.

    He goes on.  Personally, I’d nominate his article for the Greatest Progressive Blogpost of All Time if they gave out such an award.  I encourage everyone to read it.  He applied it to just the Republicans back then, but it applies – as he’d be the first to agree – to the Democrats as well.  It’s Corporatism 101.

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