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If the Price Is Right

October 3, 2012

The United States of America was conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that everything is for sale — if the price is right. It is illusionary and fraudulent, it is a con job, and so, it becomes abundantly clear that wealth equals freedom and poverty equals slavery. It makes both political parties transparent when Willard “Mitt” Romney says he doesn’t want government to limit his freedom. Well, there you have it.

I went to a job interview the other day; a second interview no less, and for a good job. I don’t think I will get the job because there are too many hurdles to surmount, but the sales manager said to me: “If we call you back for a third interview we will put an offer on the table for you to consider.” He meant a contract, which specified all aspects of my behavior both on and off the job. It sounded more like a real estate closing or buying a car, but that is exactly the point I’m getting at.

Supposedly, we live in this land with mythical unicorn freedom in a garden of earthly delights. But this contract, which offers a monetary figure I’d be ashamed to publicly admit wasn’t just for my services, was for my soul. I do hereby purchase one human worker for the sum of $xxx annually. He or she agrees to live as we prescribe under penalty of instant and grinding poverty. Well, it’s nice to be invited to the prom even if you can’t dance.

My income would be directly dependant on the amount of product I sold. If I didn’t sell enough product, I would be fired. My goal would be to sell as much product in any earthly way possible. On the surface I would be a guy in slacks, a dress shirt and shiny shoes doing the capitalist thing, selling product, baby. Actually, I would be no different than a prostitute getting into a car at a bus stop. I would be selling myself for my livelihood, or more correctly, I would be selling myself for my employer’s livelihood.

This is how Capitalism operates — surreptitiously and insidiously. Capitalism is the carrot on the stick to encourage the little burro to pull the wagon. Capitalism is a juicy promise which never quite meets the expectation; a meal which smells good but does not satisfy. It declares we make one more sales call, unload one more truck or drive one more mile to make someone else more money. The most important principle of Capitalism is the silent directive, which is neither written down nor chiseled in stone: the people must never know the truth; they must be misled and propagandized. Seal team six killed Osama Bin Laden, but who was Osama Bin Laden? What was the real reason Richard Nixon was removed from office? The only thing we ever know for sure is that much of what we are told consists of lies.

The government regulates tobacco and alcohol while deriving significant revenue from their sale. It funds studies to determine their detrimental effects while funding school programs to discourage our youth from engaging in their consumption. In America, any teenager can purchase a high-powered so called “rice rocket”* motorcycle. The salesman will never say, “Hey kid, don’t you think that might be a bit too much motorcycle for you?” The salesman is wedged in between making more money or being fired, so all right then; give the baby his loaded hand gun.

John Steinbeck posed it this way: “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” Of course he’s correct, in the recent remake of “War of the Worlds” Tom Cruise plays a dock worker living in New York City. What kind of car does a divorced dock worker living in New York City and paying child support for two children drive? Why he drives a $55,000, 1966 Shelby Mustang, because in the movies and on TV, working people can afford such things.

This from Time Magazine: “Today’s young people in particular aren’t buying cars. They’re also not driving as much as young Americans did in the past. There has been a notable decrease in teenagers with driver’s licenses and a growing consensus among millennials that car ownership is not necessary—and also, ‘not cool.’   (The fact that Americans in this 18-to-34 year old demographic are likely to be broke lately obviously also factors in.)”

Even when they try to tell the truth, they can’t help themselves and lie. When I first got my driver’s license in the early 1970’s the cost was $20. Today it costs hundreds of dollars with all sorts of add-ons and wherefores. Fewer high schools offer driver’s education. Then there are the fuel costs to consider and who will teach the teen to drive.

Clearly the unspoken directive is at work here. Driving is a life skill and the most dangerous thing most of us will ever do in our lives. Teenagers want to drive just as badly as they always have, only the opportunity is denied to them. The reality is that only one in four American high school students will ever be employed while in high school. A teenager working at McDonalds cannot afford a car. They cannot afford the upkeep, the gas or the insurance, they are poor people. We are poor people who are daily told by the Capitalists that we aren’t poor.

New car sales this year are on track for less than 14 million units and that is the breakeven point.  Slumping new car sales means used cars prices will remain higher. Just as the number of foreclosed homes rises, so does the price of rental housing. This is the unspoken truth about Capitalism, the winners always win and everyone else loses; only they do their level best to convince you that you too can win. Like a carnival barker on the midway offering shiny prizes.

Hard times! What hard times? For the price of one house in 2006, a landlord can now buy three or even four and make more money than ever. Of course these people are the anointed, they are the job creators, the entrepreneurs. You know, those people who work longer and harder than we do. Those people oppressed by big government programs because like Mitt said, 47 percent of us actually think we are entitled to food and shelter in America.

Recently, some new statistics were released. In America, that cornucopia of prosperity, suicide is now the leading cause of injury related death. Of the college graduating class of 2008, over one million have returned home to live with their parents, unable to find a job. The number of 18-to-30 year olds living with their parents has grown to 20.7 million; almost a quarter of their total population. Meanwhile back at the ranch, corporate profits have nearly doubled in the past four years while wages have declined. Let me be brutally direct here. As you travel through this world today look at the fences which are built on nearly every single bridge in America over a highway or a river. They are put there to keep people from killing themselves. This Capitalist society is so wonderful that the state must spend millions of dollars just to keep the populace from killing themselves. A destructive society conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that everything is for sale, if the price is right.

“Fascism is Capitalism plus murder.” – Upton Sinclair

* A sometimes pejorative term used for Japanese motorcycles that are capable of quick acceleration off the line.David Glenn Cox is a senior staff writer for TLR and an award winning author and musician; he is the author of the novel, “The Servants of Pilate”. 


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One Response to If the Price Is Right

  1. liberalvoice on October 12, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    There are dreadful times ahead I suspect for the bottom 50% of Americans if Romney and Ryan get elected. They will further weaken or eliminate the safety net.

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