This Can’t Be Life: America

Posted on March 11, 2010

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This Can’t Be Life: America  

 In the land of the free, we expect to be able to live our lives as we see fit. What we ingest, how we raise our kids, and how we spend our free time is entirely up to us, correct? Think again. 

 Imagine this scenario: 

 Extreme social anxiety has plagued you your entire life. Among other things, it has crippled your efforts to finish college. After four attempts (and government loans to repay,) you find yourself unable to sit in classes with strangers. Move right back at square one. Any well-paying job nowadays requires a college degree. You have been out of high school for nearly fifteen years. You’ve cycled through countless dead-end retail positions. Not only have you burned bridges with the biggest employers in your county, but there are generations of 18 year-old kids willing to do the same jobs for far less money. Your best money-maker was a job you held four years ago. You worked a legitimate job for a man with more wealth and whims, than brains or self-control. As you worked hard to earn $17,500 in a single year, your boss decided to supplement his income by trafficking prescription pain medication. While employed, you found yourself facing potentially violent situations on a daily basis. An armed robbery attempt forces you to fire your gun into the torso of another human being. The shooting was ruled justified, but you soon learn that it is a lot to deal with emotionally. The state fails to renew a grant for victim’s counseling, so you keep working without it; thinking you’ll be okay. But you’re not. Mood swings, fear, paranoia, and depression set in; and you don’t understand why. You’ve never really heard of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Didn’t that used to be called “shell shock?” You struggle to do the right thing and continue working. You don’t have health coverage, so you resort to self-medicating with black market marijuana and Xanax to keep calm. One morning, you find yourself unable to look around your workplace without tears rolling out of your eyes; still, you don’t understand what’s wrong with you. On foot, you head home; which is five miles away. You stagger aimlessly down the street trying to make sense of it all. With your workplace under the scrutiny of federal investigators, you decide to leave the state and start over fresh. They approached you the day after the robbery, and asked you to stay and snitch for them. You refuse, even though you KNOW they now consider you part of the problem. You explain that you are leaving town, and you have no interest in helping lock up a friend. Your attempts to leave are hindered by mooching and controlling family members who think they know what is best for you. They hinder every effort you make to get away. You have not been to the doctor for a checkup since age ten. Years of unloading and stocking trucks in grocery stores have taken their toll on your body. The physical pain you’ve been living with has become unbearable, so you finally make that trip to the emergency room. When they diagnose you with a hernia, you’re referred to a specialist for a $3,000 procedure. You can’t afford that, so you limp on ahead, leaving it untreated. You fold up your diagnosis paperwork, and pack it up with everything else. You scrape together any savings you still have, rent a car, fill it with any possessions you can fit, and drive 1,200 miles north. You find yourself in a frozen state with one distant family member and no friends. Once the rental car is returned, you suddenly have no way to get around. You notice that you have burned through most of your savings contributing to the house you’ve been staying in. After lying numb and depressed for 4 months, you realize that you HAVE to find work. You apply and get hired in a grocery store pharmacy. It’s not a bad job; but you get frustrated when your pay is far less than what was agreed. After promising you a fair rate, the store manager says the issue was “out of his hands.” Management refuses to discuss it with you further; literally avoiding you within the store. You are torn between keeping the employment that you now have, and standing up for yourself. You’re sure you can find something better. On your 11th day (after a LOT of thought,) you clock out for lunch and never return. You’re mad at yourself for quitting a job this way, but you recognize abuse and refuse to let them do it to you. You’re in a small town now, and know that employment is a must. You apply and get hired at a pizza shop down the street. You quickly work your way from part-time prep guy to assistant manager. Two months after you are promoted to store manager, the shop sells. The new owner bought the franchise to reinvest the $1.7 million he recently obtained through mortgage fraud. When the purchase is official, his first move is to fire the entire crew without notice; to replace them with ignorant teenagers. It’s the middle of winter, and you have a lot of bills to pay. However, the job market has essentially died since you had to look for a job last. You drop resumes around town and follow up on them, but it seems like nobody is hiring. The construction industry is huge in your town. When you see that your friends in construction are hurting for shifts, you start to realize that this “bad economy” really is affecting Americans. You understand their struggle now. For the first time in your 15 years in the workforce, you decide to apply for unemployment. You are denied. While you have been in the past job for over 1.5 years, the new owner has only been there for three weeks. You quickly grow overwhelmed by the frustrating website and give up. Your family comes to town for a visit. You’re happy to see them; it’s been two years since you have. When they leave, you feel a loss. You sit alone in your small house night after night, taking stock of your current situation. You realize that there are no jobs to be had where you are, you’re missing out on your nieces and nephews growing up; perhaps the grass is not greener here after all. You stay in close contact with your family down south. You’ve recognized all along that they are attempting to get you to come back. They paint a pretty picture of endless job opportunities, decreased population, inexpensive housing, and new ventures. They promise to lend all the support under the sun; a temporary place to stay, leads on jobs, even a truck and trailer to help move the furniture and appliances you rebought over the past two years. You make the decision to return. Suddenly, help not an option. They offer to fly a family member up to make the drive with you, and that plan falls through. You’ve already given notice to your landlord and friends; you HAVE to go. Sadly, you do it alone. You abandon your couches and appliances, pack as many of your possessions into the car as you can fit, and leave it all behind again. Driving through the night alone, you realize how uncertain your future really is. There is an apartment waiting for you down there to move into it. You’ve never seen it, have no details on the neighborhood, and have no input on the lease agreement. When you arrive, you immediately start applying for jobs. Even with 15+ years in customer service, you find yourself unmarketable. You’ve updated your profile on Monster.com, applied for countless positions online and got dressed up to submit physical resumes in person. You’ve applied for over 200 jobs, and not one of them has panned out. You wonder, “Is it me? Or are the jobs just not there?” What is a person to do? You sell off all of your possessions over time, for pennies on the dollar, to make bills. Family blindly yells “Get a job!” You have tried; and they don’t seem to understand or care about the decline in employment opportunities or anxiety/PTSD. It’s been years since any of them have tried applying for anything. Even local Wal-Mart stores are on a hiring freeze. When you worked there in 1998, they turned over 14 cashiers a week! You were also with Sam’s Club for nearly two years; even won a Front-End Associate plaque once. Yet these inept cashiers in their stores hoard precious positions. You’re trapped now. Your family begins calling in favors; you’re a good person, so you do what you can to help.  Your window for a Victim’s Assistance claim has closed, and you feel as though your mind is collapsing under its own weight. You finally find a therapist who offers you counseling sessions at $10 per. When you realize how she views you, you sign with a law firm, believing you might just be determined eligible for Social Security Disability. After all, you put in fifteen years of hard work and never asked anything in return. They’ll do the right thing, won’t they? No. You meet with their shrinks, and they rule you perfectly suitable to work; despite your constant fear, nausea when faced with social situations, and crippling depression. You petition for a hearing with SSA, but it could take up to 18 months to get a hearing. You die a little inside, realizing that in your time of need, “the system” has turned its back on you again. Your application for disability doubles as an application for Medicaid. You hate the idea of being a burden on the system, but remember, you’ve not had a doctor checkup since the fourth grade; a physical to play basketball. You apply, hoping to at least find out if you’re doing okay, and are promptly denied. Anxiety and lack of a running/legal vehicle keep you from inquiring at walk-in, sliding-scale clinics in the neighboring town. You broke bastard, you don’t have bus fare! You ignore your constant headaches and groin pain. While not working, you decide that if you can’t find a job, you’ll create one. You dedicate all your free time to writing, drawing, and submitting to anyone with an e-mail address. The same people, who pushed you to return, are now sick of you; the honeymoon’s over. You can’t ask your friends for help, because you just left them all up north. Most of the people you knew down here before are now immersed in drugs and crime. They want nothing to do with you, and really, you want nothing to do with them. So with a dream inside, you continue on alone. Your apartment’s electricity system is faulty, and the landlady won’t fix it. Between that, your neighbor stealing power, and price increases, you find yourself paying $300-$350 per MONTH, to keep the lights on in a 2-bedroom apartment. The landlady also rents out the place next to you for less than she’s charging you. You know you’re getting screwed on both fronts, but have no recourse. You must not let the power or water get cut; if child protective services find out, people could start getting their kids taken away. You squeeze out every remaining possession left to sell, and keep the bills paid. (This includes selling 13 grams of gold jewelry at a pawn shop offering you just $50. The pawnbroker smirked as he watched you silently contemplate his terribly unfair offer. Gold is over $1,000 an ounce right now! If you didn’t coast onto his lot with mere fumes in your gas tank and need the money, you would have immediately told him where to cram his lousy $50.) At one point, you even resort to asking for assistance from a local charity. They take your info and give up to $75 towards your $300 bill. Unfortunately, they also pass your info on to a poverty reporter with the New York Times, who promptly contacts you. Against the wishes of your family, you do the interview hoping it will lead to a solution. The reporter screws you; rather than explaining how you fell through the cracks of the system, he publicly humiliates you for the things you’ve done to get by. He prints flat-out lies about you and your situation. He also fails to mention all the positive things you have done in the past, and are currently trying to do. In his relentless pursuit of a Pulitzer Prize, he seems concerned only with getting minor details correct. His wife works for the Obama Administration, so you know better than to make waves. You don’t bother demanding a retraction/correction from the Times like you should; you just visit websites that mention you, putting out fires. Family members disown you for embarrassing them. They vow to give your address to anybody who contacts them angry about the article. You say “Fuck the media” and move on. While you take full credit for some poor choices in your past, you can’t escape the feeling that the cards have been stacked against you all along. Savings were always a priority, but every time you saved something up, you found yourself raiding the piggy bank again in order to stay afloat. You have no money to go out, catch a movie, or grab a burger. Dating and networking are now out of the question. Life is no longer about having things; it’s about survival. You get disgusted every time you see the President or a financial analyst on TV talking about how the economy/job market is rebounding. When your tax return finally comes in, it is immediately eaten up. Family that has lent you money shows up demanding their take. Still, you manage to scrape together enough to move out of the overpriced dump. Everything you find seems to be in the same price range. You find a realtor willing to work with you on deposits. You express your fears of not being able to cover rent in such a nice place. He says not to worry; it’ll all work out. You start getting mail addressed to former tenants. You do the math, and realize that within the past six months, you are the third party to occupy the house. You can’t help but question whether this is the landlord’s scheme; moving in people who can’t afford the place, taking their deposits, and throwing them out. Rent was due ten days ago; plus $250 of the original deposit. With no income and no prospects, you are expected to cover $950/month for the next five months…plus bills. Every cent of money you accepted for student loans was spent repaying personal loans you took to stay afloat. The school refuses to release your second half of the payment, but within 2 months, you’re obligated to start repaying the entire amount. It gets better. A few months back, a family member crashed and totaled a truck owned by your former boss. They asked you to go get it out of impound. You agreed to, and got a speeding ticket on the way. While it was your fault for driving too fast, you are bothered by the fact that you would have never even been on the road that day if they didn’t ask you to do so. Both the multi-millionaire and your family look the other way when it’s time to pay the $144 ticket. It’s Christmas time. You hang your head very low; not only do you not have cash to buy anybody a single gift, but you can’t afford this ticket. The city allows you to break it into three payments. You pay the first, and default on the second. You receive a letter, saying that your license will be suspended if you don’t pay it by a certain date. You sit and watch helplessly as the date grows near. On the final day to pay it, you’ve actually managed to put the full amount together. You get a ride (as your car insurance was cancelled long ago due to non-payment,) to the tax collector’s office. They closed early that Friday; essentially meaning that you will be suspended by Sunday night. You mail the payment out; hoping that it counts if it’s postmarked before the date of suspension. Within a few days, the tax collector acknowledges your payment.  However, you now owe the Highway Patrol a $60 reinstate fee. Over a simple $60 fee and a missed deadline, your right to drive a car has been stripped away. You sit stranded at home now; in the over-priced house you’ll likely be losing soon. The closest store is over a mile away, and you have no way to pound the pavement with your resume. Thank goodness Internet is still on! You plug away endlessly; trying to float your portfolio by anybody you think might hire you. You’ve always held yourself to a fairly high standard of living; car, home, pocket money, decent clothing, and savings. While you realize that there are “Obamatowns” (tent cities of recently homeless people) popping up across the country; many people are living harder than you are. Inside, you know that you are days (maybe weeks) away from that same fate. 

 Thanks to government over-regulation, it has become a crime to be poor.  

 (I know…boo-hoo. Things are tough all over, right? Consider this:)  

 If you do get evicted, you have no family that will take you in. You can’t live in your car until you figure things out; it’s illegal to park somewhere and camp out. If a cop catches you sleeping in that car, a simple insurance license/check will tell him you can’t drive it. Whether it’s parked on private or public property, it will be impounded. If you attempt to drive it away, you’ll be arrested for driving without a license; car towed for not having insurance. A driver can be sentenced to a YEAR in prison for not keeping up with payments. The system is geared toward keeping down anybody who can’t pay their way. If one facet of life falls behind, it slowly erodes others around it. So now, you’re homeless and have no car…the cops took it.) As a transient, your concealed weapon permit is no longer valid; you must have a physical address. Now if you get caught with the means to protect yourself, they take your gun and jail you on felony charges. Your Second Amendment Rights have been taken away essentially because you couldn’t afford to keep them. Now you’re broke, homeless, dirty, quite hungry, and living at the mercy of anyone you encounter. You still like to consider yourself halfway self-reliant, so you decide to catch a fish. However, you can’t afford a state-issued fishing license. You used to be able to fish in salt water within 3 feet of the shore, but not anymore. You are a criminal if you catch a fish to eat/survive without “their” license (which is purchased by showing a state-issued photo ID.) You wonder again how you have fallen so far. You are enraged by the fact that the means to make your own living and eat have been removed. You are now essentially forced to take help from the state if you fall on high times, or be jailed for “doing for self.” Shelters generally tend to land women and children in low-rent/Section 8 housing, but men are not so fortunate. You can stay at the Salvation Army shelter with the junkies, or go back to the street to be arrested later for what is essentially a human version of ‘dog running without papers.’ The system expects men to simply “get a job.” Some can’t. Men are routinely denied Medicaid benefits and housing. Unless you are a woman with a child under five years of age, you can expect no help from local government institutions. You even resort to calling the White House! You explain your situation in a recorded message and hang up. Several minutes later, the White House calls you back. The caller ID simply says “713.” The man on the phone gives you all your local assistance numbers; the same ones that have already told you there’s nothing they can do. Most of these organizations start their calls with “Do you feel like you’re going to harm yourself?” All they want is for you to admit that you’re feeling suicidal, so they can send in the storm troopers to “save you from yourself.” If people are poor and feeling despair, the current preferred solution is just to jail/admit them against their will. 

 America is now comprised of “the haves,” “the have-nots,” and “the barely-still-haves.” People who still have the good jobs look down their noses at those who have lost everything. “Get a job!” is still a favorite of theirs. What they fail to realize, is that many of them got their cozy cubicle job five years ago because a family member pulled strings to get them in. They have simply not been downsized yet. These people continue to buy SUVs, plasma TVs, and expensive handbags. Poor folks stare in disbelief as they mentally calculate how many months worth of bills the next guy’s entertainment budget could have covered in their hands. They have been up and down at times, but feel like things have NEVER been this grim. Although you are proud of yourself for not even considering doing so, you understand the increase in bank robberies and other theft across the country. Jobs in some industries are just not available, yet the President simply tells people to ‘hang in there.’ There are however, a few industries still flourishing thanks to public grants and rich benefactors.   

Health Care: 

 The health care industry is filled with arrogant second-year doctors who speak to people as if they are Dr. House. If you’re at the top of you’re field, go ahead…you can get away with being a bit cocky. If you’re just some disrespectful punk kid/doctor talking down to patients, shut up. (We might BOTH end up needing treatment here in a minute. Feel me?) Medical types like to silently feel superior for “helping people” or “saving lives.” What they actually do is dispense medication, arrange costly procedures, and line their pockets at the cost of the poor (or insurance companies of the rich.) Not all medical people are bad; some do try to help. If you’re a scrub-wearing hospital employee who files reports, escorts patients from room to room, and has a dish of candy on your desk, don’t talk about saving lives. You’re in it for the money and social aspect.   

 Local Government  

 While many of us are unable to find jobs beyond the level of day laborer or sign holder (the most degrading profession ever,) county employees have no problem earning their 40 hours and then some. Local news recently reported the unbelievable overtime amounts paid to city/Department of Public Works employees. Last year, a Maintenance Supervisor pocketed nearly $10,000 in overtime pay, a Wastewater Operator soaked up about $16,000, and a Fire Lieutenant got close to $17,000. A Storm Water Superintendent took the prize by grabbing just under $28,000; all in addition to their base pay. I’ve watched quietly as road projects run well past their estimated completion dates. Some days, you’ll see 12 workers leaning on shovels for hours on end, as one guy in a Bobcat digs a hole. Scenes like this breed contempt in people like me. In a city where a councilman is busted for embezzlement and a police captain’s son (also a police officer) is popped for mortgage fraud (back-to-back,) this is business as usual to some. 

 Law Enforcement: 

 Stimulus money swells the ranks and ability of law enforcement agencies. Fresh recruits, new toys, and expanded rights make it far easier to lock away the population. It is appalling that zapping people with tasers has become acceptable over time. That is torture! Hell, I’d rather be water-boarded! Pour some water in my nose/face…I’ll do my best to hold my breath. Shooting a dart into me, and shocking me powerless is no way to get me to agree with you in the long-run. Why should it be up to a beat cop to uncover an undiagnosed heart murmur that kills a suspect? At bare minimum, its manslaughter. However, since they did so in an official capacity, they are cleared…for ending a life. Cops point their guns at both innocent and guilty people all the time; until they get everything figured out. They are endangering innocent lives! Rule number one in firearms: never let your muzzle cross anything you’re not willing to destroy. Example: Police show up at an unknown disturbance, and hold two men involved at gunpoint. They investigate, and find that one was the aggressor; the other was the victim of the assault. Five minutes ago, you were pointing a loaded weapon at a crime victim’s face; because you didn’t know the facts? To an innocent person, that is the most disrespectful thing you can do. Fighting the law in this day and age will quickly land you in a prison cell or a cemetery plot. The brass has the officers’ backs; infractions and brutality are overlooked or covered up completely. Cops are hailed as heroes for simply doing a job for a paycheck. Get over the hype; many do the job simply for the benefits, praise, and authority that come with it. Police officers and first-responders CAN make a difference; but many do the job for the wrong reasons and let the praise go to their head. Look at the corrupt cop who get exposed and disgraced. Does this mean that he was a hero all along, but only until he is discovered to be involved in wrong-doing?    

  Military:  

 It seems like a courageous notion; a young American citizen enlisting in the military to do their service. But who are they serving?  In the days following September 11th 2001, the United States military witnessed an unparalleled rise in its recruitment numbers. Young men and women from neighborhoods across America pledged to stand up and strike back against the cowards that had attacked us. Once trained and deployed, many started changing their minds. Soldiers saw first-hand how under-funding for body armor and suicide missions into foreign lands really affected them. When they were injured, not all received the health care they deserved. These people had given life and limb to secure freedom here, and dole out justice ‘there.’ I am not unpatriotic; I love my country and commend what these brave people did. These past years have simply made me wonder if:    

a) We were actually justified in invading all the places we did,   

b) A handful of rag-tag saboteurs could have really been capable of pulling off all the carnage and security bypasses they did unassisted, and   

c) What are our men and women really fighting for now? 

 The official story echoes through the media. It tells of a pocket of resistance remaining, and we need thousands of additional troops to quell the uprising. At this point, our troops are attempting to capture and kill a state of mind, manifested through Iraqi and Afghan citizens. I know guys serving in Iraq who sit around playing Playstation 3 most of the time; even while working. Soldiers are some of the lucky few that still have steady employment. It’s a damn shame when you have to be willing to take a bullet to the face in order to collect a regular paycheck. 

 The Puppet Masters 

 Al Qaeda is said to be spread across the globe; the task of completely eradicating it is impossible. Obama says that we’ll pull out neatly by the end of next year…if all goes as planned. He is simply a charismatic hand puppet. Clearly enjoying his rock star lifestyle, Obama gets rich and well-known to follow orders and keep things going just as they are. The proverbial middle finger on his prostate is that of the Military Industrial Complex. Obama, Senate, Congress, We the People…none of us run the country. The MIC incorporates parts of all these entities to control the wealth and power in America; even the world. It’s a vague enemy; not a single person, company, or branch of government that can assume liability. It’s “the way things are.” Call it Bilderberg, Illuminati, Skull & Bones; whatever you want. It’s the same thing. Rich, well-connected people silently pulling strings in order to manipulate the behavior of a society. They do think they’re better than you. They are far richer, better insulated against removal, and they have more friends, toys, and employees than you could ever imagine. Don’t bother thinking of ways to dismantle this machine; it simply cannot be done. Chances are you already work for them, without even realizing it. They have found subtle ways to make you pay for their homes, vacations, new projects, and even forces to use against you. As a young firebrand, I always wanted to so something to stop this; but with old age comes wisdom. I am tired now. I don’t fight it because I understand that there is no way to do so. They monitor your phone records and e-mails (calling it the Patriot Act,) tack on unnecessary fees everywhere possible, and allow every entity (from schools to utility companies) to ask you for your PRIVATE social security tax ID number. No wonder identity theft is happening so much nowadays. Speaking out too loudly can get you detained and interrogated. Disagreeing with or questioning official accounts will see you labeled as “unpatriotic” by the media. Remember when America had “due process?” Now we have secret prisons (and internment camps; look it up) set up to hold enemy combatants with no access to a lawyer OR a day in court. We have forced a nice-sized chunk of the Middle East to vote how we do, surrender their weapons, obey curfews we impose on them, and essentially subscribe to the way of thinking that we believe. Imagine if twenty American radicals had hijacked and crashed planes into a few of Afghanistan’s best-known landmarks. Good old militia boys from Michigan or Wyoming. If a connection to the groups they originated in couldn’t be proved, our country would have no right or justification to deport them. Would it be acceptable for Afghanistan’s troops to then invade our borders, impose curfews, launch missiles into cities, and replace our beloved democracy with a dictatorship? Would our leaders stand by and allow it? Or would they dispatch every American who still owned a firearm to repel the invasion by any means necessary?  

As I said before, I love America. I was born here, raised here, and I will die here. No other country in the world looks as appealing to me as this one.  I support and uphold the U.S. Constitution to the best of my ability. What I don’t care for however, is the watered-down version that so many politicians and soccer moms would rather replace it with. Gun ownership is nothing that can ever be taken away. To carry a weapon and forbid others from doing so is a form of slavery. It is elitism in its worst form. Freedom of speech and assembly should never end with skull-cracking, long-range acoustic devices, or chemical agents used on peaceful demonstrators. These tactics are relics of a Nazi-era dictatorship; we’re better than that. If the forces that be really wanted to unite the people, it’s as simple as buying them. For the money squandered on an obsolete war, research & development, and incarcerating a quarter of our population, my proposal would be a drop in the bucket. Rather than brutalizing and controlling the masses, befriend them. If every American received a “good citizen” check once or twice a year, financially-strapped Americans would become model subjects. If people knew they would each receive a $500-$1,000 bonus check for staying out of jail and doing the right thing (add your own criteria here,) it would serve as an incentive for everyone to do what’s right. I don’t mean welfare, but a simple “thank you” from the people “we” have put in power. It would give Americans something to strive for. It would also turn our economy around fast, and simplify the census process. Honestly, when we are scorned time and again by our leadership, how can the population be expected to overlook or even be happy about their situation? Some will say that people should be doing the right things already. In theory, yes; but guess what? On a large scale, they aren’t. If our foreign wars ended today, and the money involved were re-routed and invested in America, we would become a utopia. We could have a perfect mix of industry and landscape, free health care for U.S. citizens, and a sense of united pride would shroud us. In both politics and the private sector, people are so busy squabbling over power and their own views, that nothing gets done. If everybody in America shared one common goal and built towards it, we would all end up with something to be very proud of. The nation is currently being run by banks, corporations and a self-serving few. They’ve already grown fat and rich, yet they refuse to stand down even one inch. They won’t sacrifice a single potential dollar of their own, or a shred of control over what they now grasp. They allow their buddies on Wall Street to get richer; no doubt in an effort to earn their cut and forge stronger ties with powerful CEOs. The current leadership in Washington D.C. seems hell-bent on spending its way out of debt. Some of the “non-earmarks” in the Stimulus were shameful; research on mice and proverbial ‘bridges to nowhere’ for their own states. Does it really cost $198 million to compensate Filipino WWII vets for service? We all know whose names are on the “I should resign” list. People are starving and living in America’s streets right now; and we’re building tennis courts? Grade school children could tell you that this isn’t in our best interest right now! As “the beast” continues to eat (buying car companies, providing prostitutes to Blackwater, etc.) Americans are only growing angrier, hungrier, and more divided. 

 An Appeal 

 No amount of speeches or D.C. pep rallies can correct the problem. As yes-men feed the President suggestions on what ‘normal’ people want and need, he seemingly swims in a lake of disillusion. Mr. President, I don’t have a dollar to my name. No credit cards, bank account, or home to be foreclosed on. Your tax credits only help people with children and those who DO have money. I couldn’t take advantage of “Cash for Clunkers; I couldn’t afford to buy a new car, even at a $4,500 discount. I’m certainly not able to consider buying an environmentally-friendly washer & dryer set, hybrid car, or foreclosed home. Some people have NOTHING to begin with. The system isn’t taking them into account. Social services are famous for bouncing people with the least amount of resources to office after office, to fill out form after form. I used to have no problem lining up three jobs and choosing the one I want. Now, even with 15 years in retail management, I’d be lucky if a part-time position at my local McDonald’s opened up. You tell me, Mr. President; what am I to do? I’m not just another poor American who expects Mr. Obama to “help us” personally. That is weak-minded socialism. I don’t expect anybody to do for me. I’m merely struggling to determine a starting point for my climb back up the financial ladder. So far, you sir have offered no plausible solution. ‘Hang in there’ won’t cut it anymore. As I watch you and the First Lady wearing designer clothing and entertaining movie stars, I’m convinced that you have no possible clue what people need. Problems are staggered for the poor; you have to fix three, just to reach the one that needs attention next. Meanwhile, you use our tax dollars on your anniversary to take your wife to a Broadway show in a chopper. Your priorities are a bit skewed, can we agree? When you campaigned on “change,” you must have meant change (for the better) for yourself and inner circle. “Yes we can” must have meant “yes we can get paid and have a lot of fun now that I’m in office.” Your endless lip service and neatly rolled-up sleeves have done nothing to inspire anyone I know since the Inauguration. We see just another comfortable-enough politician who can’t manage to get the country back on track. I’m not saying that Senator McCain would have done any better in your position, but a year in, only a select few are seeing the benefits of your leadership. Like most Americans, I’ll never get to meet you face-to-face. I would love to commend you personally for the positive changes that have been implemented. I’d also like to share with you all the not-thought-of problems that ‘Joe Nobody’ really experiences. Despite all your success and accomplishments, I think you could learn a thing or two from me. 

I’ll cut this short; falling just short of dangerous “manifesto” status. This is simply a recorded thought. Don’t bother dispatching teams; save your resources. I am no threat to anybody, and hope the people mentioned understand what I mean. I’m just a guy in America who is fed up with the whole sad situation. 

 This can’t be life…   

 Regards, 

 -KZ 

 

 

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