Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Follow the Money


When I was a kid, we were pretty poor.
Not Mississippi delta poor.
But pretty poor just the same.
"On relief" -- what they used to call welfare -- a lot of the time.
Even though my old man worked -- sometimes 2 jobs.
Mechanic. Pick-and-shovel man. Truck driver. Jack of all trades.
And my mother worked, too.
Waitress.

With all that working, how come there wasn't any money?
My old man was a big drinker.
Good-time Charlie buying rounds for the boys.
2-3 pack-a-day smoker, too.
Played some cards but wasn't any good at it.

There was never money for things like clothes, hot school lunches, music lessons, bikes, baseball gloves.
But there was always money for booze, smokes and poker.

These days, everybody who can find a job is working his ass off. Most families both parents work.
Paying more taxes than ever before.
So how come there isn't any money for things like health care, education, up-keep on roads and bridges?

Simple.

The "Great White Father in Washington" (who this time happens to be Black) is a no-good drunken SOB, just like my old man.

According to an article by Abby Zimet, (http://www.commondreams.org/further/2011/06/20) we're going to spend $122.0 billion on the war on Afghanistan in fiscal year 2011. For the same amount of money we COULD buy:

  • 62.5 million Children Receiving Low-Income Healthcare for One Year OR
  • 1.9 million Elementary School Teachers for One Year OR
  • 2.1 million Firefighters for One Year OR
  • 16.0 million Head Start Slots for Children for One Year OR
  • 27.6 million Households with Renewable Electricity - Solar Photovoltaic for One Year OR
  • 73.7 million Households with Renewable Electricity-Wind Power for One Year OR
  • 15.6 million Military Veterans Receiving VA Medical Care for One Year OR
  • 25.1 million People Receiving Low-Income Healthcare for One Year OR
  • 1.8 million Police or Sheriff's Patrol Officers for One Year OR
  • 15.5 million Scholarships for University Students for One Year OR
  • 22.0 million Students receiving Pell Grants of $5550
The problem isn't that we're broke.
We're not.
There's always money to hurt people.
There's just not money to help people.

What are you going to do about it?


sj

2 comments:

Professor Bugenhagen said...

"I know that the prophetic vision is not popular today in some spiritual circles... but our task is not to be popular or to be seen as having an impact, but to speak the deepest truths that we know. We need to live our lives in accord with the deepest truths we know, even if doing so does not produce immediate results in the world."

http://ncronline.org/blogs/road-peace/daniel-berrigan-89

i wish i had the courage to put my ass on the line for change

berrigan also said, when asked how one could effect change, "start out small and get smaller"

the truth is outrageous, and it never seems to change much, the war is one war that goes on and on

Spartacus Jones said...

Thanks for your comment, Professor.
That's a great quote.
Sometimes truth is a lot like hitting your thumb with a hammer.

While I don't agree with all of Berrigan's views (I'm not a pacifist by a long shot), I do have the utmost respect and admiration for him and for those like him.

It's hard to know for sure, when you're facing a brutally overwhelming opponent, whether you're moving around the ring looking for the right opening, or just trying to avoid getting hit.

I hope I'm looking for an opening, but one must never underestimate the human capacity for self-delusion.

One thing for sure: we could ALL do more. And we MUST.

sj