Mathew Gilman sees economic oppression in the USA
I can not support the protest that have been taking place around the country. I’m not referring to the looting or rioting that has taken place, and which isn’t part of the protest. I’m talking about the actual legal protests that have been taking place to shut down highways and bridges.
From my understanding, people are angry at the system. You will find very few people below middle class who think our system works. Currently we are in the golden age of a constitutional theocracy that feeds us misinformation in order to keep us fighting amongst ourselves and ignoring the issues of our times.
Income inequality is at an all time high.
In order to move up on the social ladder, one has to be born into money. To get a college education is to ensure you are added to the work force as an indentured servant. You are stuck paying off massive amounts of student loans. Because you have to start paying those loans back once you are done with college, you usually take the first job you come across no matter how low the pay is. Then you are stuck chasing the debt and locked into a dead end job.
What about the people who don’t go to college? I live in Kalamazoo, Michigan where we have the Kalamazoo Promise. This is a program that offers free college to graduates from the public school system. The Promise sounds like a great idea. Since it was started years ago, the statistics haven’t been as promising. So far, the kids that were doing well in school and were most likely to continue on to college have done so. The others that were pushed through the system and graduated eventually accomplish some college but never finish, even with somebody else paying the bill. In both cases, the colleges are reporting that the students are not college ready once they graduate from high school. Our public education system is broken.
If wealth in this country is determined by where you are born in the social structure, where does that leave us? In a society that preaches the dysfunctional ideas of trickle down economics, those at the bottom will find it difficult to advance. Poor is poor in our system. People talk about privilege. They have their own definitions that don’t fit the experience I’ve had. Sometimes, what I hear in their definitions is rich privilege. As a guy who is told I should feel fortunate to make ten dollars an hour, I am constantly reminded of my place and how I should show unconditional respect for those that hold authority over me.
It’s funny how people react when they find out I don’t have cable television, Internet, blue ray player, flat screen television, air conditioning, or even a water softening system. These people who make three times more than me question how I can survive without these things they take for granted. This is the reality for many Americans.
As a guy who works two jobs, 60-80 hours a week and barely squeaks by, I can not support the idiocracy that is taking place right now. People who are shutting down highways and bridges in protest over poorly done news reports are not increasing their support. If anything, they are killing some support they could be gaining. If your problem is with the government, why are you not fighting to shut down the government? The republicans did this when they threw their temper tantrum about government spending.
Why don’t the American people shut down the government until their officials remember who they are supposed to be working for?
The path that has been taken so far will do nothing for creating real change in the country. The two places it needs to start is at home with the future generation, and in the offices of government and boardrooms around the country. Until that happens, the future of this country will continue to be bleak at best.
What the country needs is a conversation about poverty. If the poor in this country worked together to be heard, we might be able to finally pass a raise in minimum wage that would help everyone. Instead, the media pushes an agenda to the public to take the focus off the argument for a minimum wage increase. In effect further oppressing the people they claim to be supporting.
If the government is going to continue to cut public school funding while lowering the standards for performance, than they can at least raise the minimum wage for those they are forcing into the service sector of the workforce through their poor governance.