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I want to take a ride to the great divide
Beyond the “up to date” and the neo-gentrified
The high definition for the low resident
Where the value of your mind is not held in contempt
I can hear the sound of a beating heart
That bleeds beyond a system that’s falling apart
With money to burn on a minimum wage
I don’t give a shit about the modern age

I don’t wanna live in the modern world!
I don’t wanna live in the modern world!
I don’t wanna live in the modern world!
I don’t wanna live in the modern world!

– Green Day, American Eulogy, 2009.

What is happening to my beloved America?

Two days ago I wrote about the sizable cracks in the social/political/economic facade of my country. I found additional evidence yesterday which indicates we are headed for disaster, already having fallen off the cliff and just waiting for impact. All of this points to a coming cataclysm. But, what if it means something else? What if this, for now, at least, is the new normal?

Until the end of the twentieth century people lived, worked, earned and bought things. This buying perpetuated the working and earning. Very simple economics, micro and macro, really. Today things are a little different. People live but the manner and conditions have changed. Many work but do not earn enough to buy. Others are either cast into despair or paid not to work. Everything is paid in debt and/or fiat money.

The cost of the non-work alone is staggering. The current budget for the Social Security Administration alone is nearly $1 Trillion – about the equivalent of Ronald Reagan’s entire budget back in 1982. That’s over $6,000 for every job in the nation. When the great ponzi scheme tax was first foisted on the people, there were dozens of working taxpayers for each recipient. Soon, if things continue, those figures may be reversed. Can that continue?

SSA spending also includes, in addition to retirees, disability and other welfare payments. It’s a mechanism for buying off the unemployed. You likely know someone who collects a disability check, lives on it without working, but shows no signs of ailment. This trend and others like it (food stamps, etc.) are growing yearly. The new normal?

By and large, employment and the funny-money field economy have been “crapified.”

From the perspective of employees, the ‘crapification’ of jobs boils down to 1) low/stagnant wages for 2) highly structured, boring, repetitive and often difficult work. The decline in the quality, pay and upward mobility of jobs is directly related to the dynamics of globalization, financialization, and the surplus of ordinary labor and capital:

The reality is that humans can only be pushed to produce more if the tools they’re using become more productive.

The decline in jobs and job quality is having a serious and deleterious effect on society.

The underlying pathology is not hard to describe: employers (enabled by the Fed which has since the 1980s been only too wiling to provide for higher levels of unemployment so as to curb labor bargaining power to keep inflation tame) have succeeded in eliminating labor bargaining power. That program has been aided and abetted by the popularization of libertarian ideologies, which encourage many to see themselves as more in charge of their destiny than they are and thus see success and failure as the result of talent and work, as opposed to circumstance. For instance, one group that could have disproportionate power if they chose to use it, tech workers (particularly systems administrators and key support personnel in large systems deployments) have never seemed inclined to find a way to use it.

Many men, in particular, have decided that low-wage work will not improve their lives, in part because deep changes in American society have made it easier for them to live without working. These changes include the availability of federal disability benefits; the decline of marriage, which means fewer men provide for children; and the rise of the Internet, which has reduced the isolation of unemployment.

At the same time, it has become harder for men to find higher-paying jobs. Foreign competition and technological advances have eliminated many of the jobs in which high school graduates like Mr. Walsh once could earn $40 an hour, or more. The poll found that 85 percent of prime-age men without jobs do not have bachelor’s degrees. And 34 percent said they had criminal records, making it hard to find any work.

Is this what we want? For the elites it seems so. There is an old saying you tax something if you want less of it and you subsidize something if you want more of it. Outright taxes, inflation and regulatory costs are causing less employment and loss of employment choice and quality. At the same time the government, Banksters and corporations encourage more unemployment and dependence and subservience via welfare, off-shoring, immigration, and a host of bailouts for otherwise normal business operations.

This is all insane. It’s demeaning and destructive. The working man lives with a system that hates him and treats him worse than an animal. He toils at a job he doesn’t value. It provides him little value. His employer doesn’t value him. He stops valuing himself, his dignity, his family obligations and his place in civilized society. Micromanagement becomes macro-destruction.

obama-economy-sinking-ship-political-cartoon

Google.

This is the new normal? I hope and pray we can break free of these veritable chains before they drag us into a collective grave. I pray it happens sooner than later. If not, I don’t want to live in the modern world.

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