emerging: from where into what?

Cases drop, masking is once again up to us, we’re going to school, eating in restaurants, walking down streets holding hands. Our dogs are behaving badly, we need a hair cut. We’re fatter, unhappier and while some of us are dying to hit the bars, others of us really do not want to go back working three mind-killing jobs while still being desperate for food stamps.

This is the “normal” for many. Working three jobs for $9 an hour while still on line at the food shelves. no child care, medical insurance, housing, fuel. I just read that 40% of American workers do not want to return to their jobs. This is crazy and it’s not because of the generous COVID unemployment benefits killing incentive to work, so why are businesses having trouble finding workers? Because even with multiple jobs and a supportive household, living at these wages is unsustainable. Because low wage labor toiling to make the rich richer is soul death. Because America is based on consumption, we’re told to consume, consume, consume, and we have made of our planet a garbage dump.

We’re a slave society and always have been. We conquer and kill. We starve, manipulate, penetrate those who labor to support our consumerism. Americans want cheap food, cheap services, and we don’t care if the cost is the lives of millions of potential workers. Poverty of this scale in the richest nation in the world is paralyzing, unacceptable. And yet, we accept it.

What else do we accept? That rising prices for the consumer are the fault of workers demanding a living wage of $15 per hour, even though wages haven’t risen against inflation for 40 years. So, when we’re at the counter handed a bill for a Chipolte’s burrito that’s 4% higher than last week, we’re supposed to blame the line cook in the hot, miserable, chaotic kitchen. But guess what: the CEO’s salary is $38 million and the company profit rose to more than $350 million during the pandemic year. And the line chef? Well, he’s maybe not so interested in coming back to work in their crappy kitchen.

Republicans believe the answer is prematurely cutting off unemployment benefits. This strategy is based on a self-serving assumption that normal people don’t want to work, they’d rather hang out in front of their televisions eating poisonous food while their kids commit suicide on bad drugs and the planet chokes on our garbage. How the human species evolved as destroyers instead of guardians of the planet’s diversities is another topic. One that we have to face head on but we won’t.

I love the idea of Jeff Bezos getting in his space ship and heading – where? Nowhere. What I don’t love is that he’ll be back.