By Walter Davis
December 23, 2009 (San Diego)--Richard struggles with the large blue recycling receptical in his effort to find plastic bottles or treasured aluminum cans to fetch money to help put his child through college. Employed, he is an honorable man; he is honest, caring, devoted – determined to provide the best for his family. He never imagined he would be going through his neighbors’ trash to support his child in school.
James and Mark are clean cut, in their athletic clothing and seem out of place as they go through the trash of their neighbors. Their degrees mean little in terms of getting a job in these hard economic times.
Have you seen the members of America’s disappearing middle class as they descend further and further into poverty?
With American manufacturing shipped overseas to China and our homes filled with Communist Chinese products, amazingly hypocrites state that we cannot open normal trade relations with Cuba because they are communist. Communist China continues to destroy our economy and build a threatening military force with our consumer dollars.
In 2008, 314 American troops died in Iraq; 509 Americans were murdered in Chicago (1) compared to 368 in Detroit (2), 14,180 nationwide (3), and 155 killed in Afghanistan during the same period (4). Americans are being told that we are going to stay in Afghanistan and Iraq until the streets are safe. The streets are not safe in this country. Mothers in Chicago know this all too well with a record level of teenaged murders underway; their kids are safer fighting in Iraq than being at home.
After receiving billions of American tax payer dollars in the “Bail Out”, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein apologized for his company’s part in contributing to America’s financial meltdown. "We participated in things that were clearly wrong and have reason to regret. We apologize”(5). While offering a meager $500 million dollars for small business stimulus, Goldman Sachs is reported to be preparing to release $17 billion dollars in bonuses to its executives (6).
Corrupt financial institutions, the oil industry, arms manufacturers and the military industrial complex benefit from extended wars. The failed “war on drugs” and “war against terrorism” are more manipulations of nationalistic fervor for obscene profits than actual security threats. The greater threats to our nation are the failure to invest in education and infrastructure. Both Republicans and Democrats are guilty of perpetuating irrational fear and senseless war. Those of us who want the best for this country need to focus on solutions that invest resources here at home effectively. What do you think Richard, James and Mark are saying?
(1)Bob Mc Carty Writes. 20 Nov 2009. 20 Nov 2009. http://bobmccarty.com/2009/01/03/number-of-chicago-murders-in-2008-tops-...
(2) Wikipedia Crime in Detroit Michigan. 20 Nov 2009. 20 Nov 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Detroit,_Michigan
(3) Vancouverite: 14,180 Americans Murdered, 89,000 Raped in 2008. 20 Nov 2009. 20 Nov 2009. http://www.vancouverite.com/2009/09/14/14180-americans-murdered-89000-ra...
(4) The Washington Post: Faces of the Fallen. 20 Nov 2009. 20 Nov 2009. http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/search/?age=&branch=&month=&ye...
(5) Cowley, Stacy. CNNMoney: Goldman, Buffet Launch $500 Million Small Biz Initiative. 17 Nov 2009. 20 Nov 2009. http://money.cnn.com/2009/11/17/smallbusiness/goldman_sachs_warren_buffe...
(6) Rooney, Ben. Bankers Bonuses: 40% Bigger This Year. 9 Nov 2009. 20 Nov 2009. http://money.cnn.com/2009/11/09/news/economy/bank_bonuses/index.htm