Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Fracking the Poor
From early on I realized that Christianity in all its myriad forms was not about the legendary Jesus, but mostly had to do with the establishment and perpetuation of a religious institution which quite quickly became a method for controlling a population, which was formalized when the emperor Constantine came to power in the 4th century.
Today, with some exceptions, Christianity continues on that course set so long ago. In the United States, it is, for most adherents, the basis for their capitalistic economic policy and the basis for the laws they wish to enact to bend all citizens to their will.
The result of this has been a growing "wealth gap." In the past 40-50 years, the rich have become much richer and the rest of us much poorer. The middle-class has shriveled and the poor have been left out of the conversation, often because they are considered to be lay-abouts and shirkers. If you listen to Republican presidential wannabees you'll hear about their concern for the middle-class, which, when you consider the sources of their finances, is very suspect, but you hear little or nothing of concern for the poor. It was Jeb Bush, the scion of the very wealthy Bush dynasty, who said recently that the poor need to work harder and longer hours.
Kai Wright, in an article titled, "What Recovery?", [Harper's Magazine, August 2015], clarifies the economic situation:
"Not counting the elderly, among whom Social Security has driven a sharp and lasting decline in poverty, a greater share of Americans are poor today than at any time since the 1960s. In the United States in 2013, 45.3 million people lived below the official poverty line, with incomes of less than $12,000 a year for a two adult, two-child family. A third of them were children. Twenty million people live in what economists call deep poverty, with incomes of less than half the official poverty line. That's almost three times the number of people who lived in deep poverty in 1976."
President Lyndon Johnson introduced legislation that declared a "war on poverty" in his State of the Union address on January 8, 1964. The national poverty rate at that time was about 19 percent. The "war" worked for awhile, but by the end of the 60s few people cared anymore.
Today, our millionaires in Congress and in our state legislatures, don't give a damn about the poor as they are funded by and beholden to the very rich. Thus, they worry about projecting their beliefs upon the people and they pass legislation to control the lives of their constituents, such as the recent abortion bill signed by the wacko governor of Wisconsin. They worry about drilling for oil in such places as Florida's Everglades. They worry about oil pipelines which would profit very few but put millions in danger. They protect practices such as fracking which are a clear and present danger to the citizens. They get involved in privatizing our prisons and our schools which has no benefit except to their friends who pocket the public monies involved. They worry about pleasing an ancient deity who they, in their delusions, believe will protect our country if we just put up signs and monuments in his name.
And they're very, very good. They've conned so many people with their smooth talking ways that they continue to be voted into office in spite of the fact that their actions are constantly detrimental to the needs of those same people.
God help us! (That's a satirical comment!)