Tag: desperation

Poverty causing people to snap, commit violence.

Cross-posted from www.Progressive-Independence.org

I was perusing a certain kind of ideological web site when I came upon the following article by Nicole Colson.

ONE AFTER another over the last month, the reports of terrible incidents of violence kept coming:

— A Vietnamese immigrant in Binghamton, N.Y., increasingly paranoid about police and upset after losing his job, kills 13 people at a center for immigrants before committing suicide.

— An Alabama man who had struggled to keep a job kills 10 people in a shooting spree before committing suicide.

— A Pittsburgh man, recently unemployed and afraid that the government would ban guns, opens fire on police responding to a domestic disturbance call, killing three.

These are just some of the recent eruptions of violence to make the headlines in U.S. newspapers. In the 30-day period between March 10 and April 10, there were at least nine multiple shootings across the U.S., claiming the lives of at least 58 people.

The individual motives and stories differ widely, but there’s a common thread among these incidents–the worsening economic crisis is becoming a factor in pushing some people who are already on the edge over it.

It seems nearly everyone is concerned with the ever-shrinking middle class, but almost no one is willing to discuss the social class those middlings are being tossed into: the POOR.  The platform, speaking for the poor, that John Edwards ran on during last year’s presidential election primaries resulted in his marginalization and eventual banishment from the public discourse as the elite weeded out those candidates who dare point out the disease of poverty.  But just because the messengers were silenced does not mean the larger problem went away; it continues to fester, with disastrous social consequences.

McCain, Obama, and the politics of desperation

A strange thing is happening in the Presidential race. The increasing economic pressures on American voters are not resulting in a resurgence of rationality and pragmatism. Instead, we seem to be witnessing a desperate grasping for magical solutions. McCain and Palin are dispensing Republican magic, and Obama is offering Democratic magic. Poor old Biden is just peddling the same old, same old.

What can one say to a population that refuses to face facts and believes that a ferocious old Vietnam ghost or a perky hockey mom can be a “game changer?” What can one say to people who believe that sports and gambling metaphors are the best way to describe American Presidential politics? America is like a broken down gambler at a craps table in Las Vegas risking his last few dollars on one more high-stakes roll.

Unfortunately, even if the gambler wins another throw of the dice, the odds remain against him, and that is his doom. Maybe we dodge a flu pandemic, and maybe we luck out of the next warming-related cycle of droughts and weather disruptions, and maybe we slink out of the Mideast without igniting a global war, and maybe the Chinese decide to keep lending us money for another few years, but how long can all this “good luck” continue. Not much longer. We appear to be past the point of no return in a politics of national self-delusion that features instant messiahs of varying degrees of credibility and durability. Each one promises that magic will solve our problems. But there is no such magic. You can’t get something for nothing, and you can’t lie your way to the truth.

Prudent people should be making plans to move their dollar-denominated savings into stable assets likely to survive the repudiation of America’s foreign debt and the resultant hyper-inflation. Those with the option to relocate should consider moving to nations with sound economies and responsible leaders. Americans are spending their last night in the casino praying for magic, but they will face the dawn with empty pockets and broken dreams.