Loan Slavery, Backbone of American Finance; Opportunity Means Crisis Equals Opportunity
The year 1619 marked the beginning of traditional slavery in that part of North America which would one day be called the United States (US). The type of slavery that most people think of when they hear the word. “About the latter end of August, a Dutch man of Warr … brought not any thing but 20. and odd Negroes….” Slaves from Africa. The “Africans were captives removed from the Portuguese slave ship, San Juan Bautista.” By 1800, there were almost a million slaves in the United States. 246 years later, slavery in the US was officially ended by the 13th Amendment on December 6, 1865. It was not long before old style slavery was replaced with new age wage slavery which being universally applied is a slavery of Equal Opportunity.
The brilliant Nicholas Kristoff points out that today there are 60,000 sex slaves in the United States, yet there is a more pernicious form of slavery which governs the economy of the United States and enslaves millions: Wage Slavery. According to the State of Working America by the Economic Policy Institute, at least one out of four American workers earn less than $10.55 an hour. Almost ten percent of these, a total of 3.3 million hourly workers, earn federal minimum wage or below.
Religious texts and poetry are filled with connotation and denotation, so are advertisements. Regardless of what inspires you, if you are driven to buy a car or anything else, you must pay the price. In the Land of Opportunity, if you are not born into assets, then you are considered a liability and as such the opportunity for you to get a subprime loan to buy that car is also a crisis for you, which can eventually become a crisis for everyone else. This is the meaning of the expression that the word ‘Opportunity’ also means ‘Crisis.’
The US is a land with a low level of proper public services. If you do not own an automobile, do not expect to be able to travel easily across the country, must less the county. Only certain cities have proper rail transit and because the entire US infrastructure is on the blink (rated a D+ by Civil Engineers), the rail systems in most US cities are also dangerously neglected.
If you want a WAL-job / Mcjob with normal substandard non-living wages, you have to be able to get to work on time. Do not expect a regular work schedule. Your days and hours will vary. Public Transportation in the US is generally more unreliable than it is in Slovakia.
You might be needed to work from:
5pm to 10pm on Monday;
8am to 5pm on Tuesday;
6am to 2pm on Wednesday;
6am to 12pm on Thursday;
6pm to 9pm on Friday.
The next week will usually have different days and hours.
Working less than 40 hours per week means you will not have benefits, and you will not have the benefit of the doubt if you are late to work. The latter is a powerful argument to have a car. If you are ignorant about automotive technology, perhaps you will feel it is better to get a new car, or to rely on a used car dealer to sell you a good car.
Having a car could free you to get a second job to support your aging father who is sick, or your child whose father was killed for DWB. A second job will help you to pay the subprime loan for the car. You tell yourself “it will all work out, I won’t get sick and the car will be new, at least for me, so it will not have any problems.”
You forgot. You don’t have a regular work schedule. You are powerless to change this because you live in a NeoLiberal nation. You want to believe the best in people, to believe in fair contracts and justice for all. If you are average Joe or normal Jane, you go regularly to church and pray. You believe and because you believe, you sign a subprime loan agreement. This is where your belief meets reality. Because while you live in a nation where you are free to change your beliefs, the car you want is not free and you are not free to change the clauses in that contract.
At some point in time, either the manager at your first job, or the manager of your second job will not be flexible. At this moment, you will be forced to make a choice. Once you have chosen, then you will be back to having only one job. Can you meet the payments, pay the rent and all your other expenses with one part-time job at standard non-living wages? If you cannot, then your vehicle will be repossessed. You will still owe the money, still have to pay off the monthly subprime loan, but you will not have the car because you missed a payment and they took it back. After all, you agreed to the terms. It is your default.
This is because the foundation of the NeoLiberal nation is FU-ism. You might think that you should be paid a fair wage, but the well practiced FU-ist philosopher has the answer: “FU.” You might think that every person is entitled to a regular work schedule which is consistent and reliable: “FU.” You might think that all those land grant universities created so that Americans could have equal access to a great education should fulfill their mission to you and your children: “FU.” You might think these things. Thoughts are free. You can dream all you wish.
If you disagree, then Ben Carson or some other FU-ist philosopher will probably be happy to explain to you that ‘your employer has the right to give you whatever odd or random work schedule desired because he is the job giver.’ FU-ist philosophers are always happy to make the case that you don’t have the right to a regular work schedule. This is because you live in the ultimate NeoLiberal nirvana of your own creation either due to your failure to vote against its formation or because you voted to send an idiot millionaire to congress instead of a regular human being. He and his ilk will explain to you that the public housing paid for by your parents’ taxes, your own taxes and the taxes of your colleagues “should be uncomfortable so that you are motivated to move.” FU-ist philosophers will explain to you that “it is your fault or your parents fault because you, or they failed to buy good water when you were a child and the tap water you chose to drink was contaminated.”
If you argue that government has a “duty of care,” then the philosophers of NeoLiberal nirvana will answer: “FU.” If you argue that you have been hurt by a failure of your local government, state government, or federal government to perform that “duty of care.” FU-ist philosophers will say “It is your fault because you didn’t work hard enough when you were in school to overcome the contamination. If you object when a representative of your local police constabulary shoots your friend or a member of your family without cause. FU-ists will declare: “He or she shouldn’t have have dressed a certain way, or walked in a particular manner.” This is because you live in a nation with two right wing political parties and anyone with basic common sense will tell you that a plane with wings on only one side will spin out of control. You live in a nation where basic foundational values have been forgotten so that natural gas is valued over water. In the FU-ist philosophy, “you and your children are less valuable than the money which can be saved by providing your home with substandard water.” When you, or your children are hurt in NeoLiberal nirvana, the answer will always be a loud and clear: “FU.”
If your father is sick, FU-ists will explain that “it is his fault because he didn’t emigrate to Sweden when he had the chance. He had skills that were needed back then, but his fear that he wouldn’t be able to speak the language was his fault.” You may ask: How is it that in a nation that is so wealthy, so many are so poor? FU-ists will explain: “the natural resources of the nation do not belong to its people, certainly not to the First Nations next door.” You might ask: Why there is no proper health care in America? FU-ists answer: “For businesses to stay profitable in these hard times, we can’t afford to compromise.” If you have the temerity to point out that there are more millionaires and billionaires in America than ever before and anywhere else, that if they paid their fair share of taxes, we could afford to to pay for the health care and what’s more to send all citizens to university. The FU-ists will answer: “This is our America, so love it or leave it.” If you don’t think they have the right to force you, you better believe it, because with Citizens United they have all the right in their pocket and when they have booted you out, their drones will send you some rockets.
Thus you can see that FU-ists have a standard answer. “FU! It is your collective fault that you live in a nation without proper health care or work regulations.” If you ask for a collective solution, FU-ists will look puzzled because that part of the constitution has been forgotten. It was forgotten due to the ongoing barrage of corporate mainstream media screaming faux news: “Elected government is the problem, only unaccountable private corporations can save us.” You have already tested this theory thousands of times when you contacted corporate customer service, but do you have ‘empirical evidence’ to provide proof? In any case, your favorite corporate mainstream media repeated the lies so often that their lies might be your mantras and affirmations, or those of Aunt May who shows up for Thanksgiving with her latest conquest: Dr. Might.
If you felt a sense of civic responsibility you voted. Was your vote the result of thoughtful consciousness? Or simply an unconscious action prompted by an App created by a well paid neuroscientist? Was your hand guided by an App on the phone you can’t live without?
In short, politicians are not living in a moment of responsibility, shared or individual, because there is no accountability. Accountability cannot be shifted, so it had to be discarded. Fault however can be placed and responsibility for said placement is always in the hands of the powerful or their viziers. Thus in place of the accountability demanded by responsibility, they have found “fault.” You were found standing by the fault. Thus you are at fault and being at fault you must beware of where you place your feet because when the viziers of the overlords walk, the financial world shakes and you may be swallowed up in a hole, a loophole. You might be able to avoid that hole if you are one of the one percent, but if you are not such an overlord, you cannot avoid the hole. Overlords have personal lawyers, publicists, body guards and viziers. The only thing that you can truly call your own is your debt.
As the sub-prime auto loan crisis looms on the horizon due to the needs of people for cars they could not get a regular loan to buy, you must come up with the solution. It is understandable that you might complain that you don’t have the proper education or training to come up with that solution. The fact that the society in which you live does not see you or your compatriots as the most valuable resource of the nation will also be blamed on you. Thus while you don’t have a right to higher education regardless of your ability, you also have no right to complain. After all, you live in a NeoLiberal nirvana.
FU-ists can explain everything. “There is right. There is more right. There is far right. There is extreme right. You might even vote right, but you will never be right. You will never belong to the right group. You will never have the right amount of money in your bank account unless you win the lottery and even if you do win the lottery, you will not be accepted into the ‘right’ society because you didn’t go to the right schools.” Disagree? They have an answer: “FU.” So even without the requisite education, you must still come up with the solution to solve the crises created by those who are right but never do the right thing at least not for you or your family because their answer to all your concerns is: “FU.”
Today’s combination of NeoLiberal / NeoConservative governance will not allow you to ask for government support because so many of your elected representatives don’t believe in government. All the votes cast, or not cast, have been tallied and the whole is absolutely greater than the sum of your parts. Thus you don’t have any recourse. Not because there is no democratic process in the Republic, rather because the FU-ists have declared that “the Republic is the problem, and so are you, especially if you were born after 1985 and don’t belong to the ‘right’ crowd.”
You might have grown up expecting the government to serve the people. Had you been born soon enough that would be true, but this is the new millennium and while years ago the government was expected to serve the people, today they serve the overlords. After all according to a prominent FU-ist: “Corporations are people my friend.”
Government is no longer tasked to regulate industry, to protect the air or water, and most certainly not you. The government of today is there to funnel your tax dollars to support corporations when they fail in their mission to fleece the sheeple. Are you content? Are you happy with your lot? Are you one of the good little sheep? Or perhaps a black sheep? Be careful if you are the latter, because the police might shoot you and all people who have eyes and can see know that you will get absolutely no justice. Those who have ears should hear the incessant sound of bullshit verdicts which demonstrate the failure of the Republic.
FU-ists will tell you: “You are here to vote the way your voting App tells you to vote. That is why you got an App for that. You don’t need to think, that is your phone’s job. It has AI and that AI has a very high IQ.” You might have an equally high or even higher IQ but the FU-ists created the App ostensibly with the goal to help you and if you argue. You know their answer.
The only remaining question is whether you wish to take up the late 20th Century FU-ist philosophy and say “FU” too. Or if you wish to be part of the New Millennium and stand up and say that people matter, that you matter, that we matter, all of us matter, which means Black Lives Matter. If you feel this way, then you will not say “FU.”
You will say “I care.”