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Government has failed us
What have we become? I worked in industry and engineering for many years. Thirty-five years ago, a movement began supported and encouraged by government to convert our economy from manufacturing durable goods to a service industry. Good-paying jobs with benefits were sacrificed for low-paying jobs with no benefits. The word of the day was offshore, send these manufacturing jobs to China.
It was very profitable for corporations to take advantage of their low-cost labor. What is the result? Our country is crippled by debt, millions live in poverty, millions are unemployed due to having had to work in a vulnerable service industry crippled by COVID-19 now begging that government for help.
The rich have become richer thanks to that government, which helps its friends with the rest of us hoping for help. We see people in lines by the thousands waiting for a box of food to help feed their family. Something we haven’t seen since the Depression. Hospitals filled with sick and dying. Now we are in the worst situation since the Great Depression.
What is our government’s response to this? Print more money and give it to their friends on Wall Street. Make them richer still. Want proof? Look at the stock market and see how it has soared while other people’s prospects have declined towards poverty. This will not end well! I believe we do not have a government, only a bunch of self-serving corrupt politicians interested in the next election cycle. They have failed us all.
Lessons from the past
As the Trump era comes to a close, many of us ask: How can a man with such apparent disregard for his job, with so many lies and unscrupulous friends, and such seeming disdain for our Constitution and democracy, maintain such a large following? Well, history clearly explains that.
Let’s use the ultimate extreme example: Nazi Germany. After World War I, Germany was in complete chaos. Few jobs, food, solutions, or hope. The German people are no fools. They are inventors of rocketry, jet engines and even nuclear fusion. So how do people of such intellect fall to a lunatic like Adolf Hitler? Simple, when people are confronted with the kind of chaos and starvation the German people were facing, they would listen to anyone with a solution.
Our situation is far from what the German people faced, but I think there are enough people from small steel and coal towns, right here in the U.S., living in conditions very much like those in pre-Nazi Germany. Steel mills and American manufacturing have gone overseas. Coal is a less viable fuel, and American working families feel betrayed. They are living in dire poverty.
Donald Trump showed up on their doorstep offering aid. It gave them hope. When someone can no longer pay the rent or put food on the table, they couldn’t care less about democracy or the Constitution. To quote Bob Dylan, “When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.”
In 1999, the minimum wage was $5.15 an hour. Some costs have quadrupled in the past several decades. Even for many people who have a job today, they are barely making ends meet. If this government wants to protect democracy, they could start by living up to the oaths they took, and caring for the people they represent.
A new comic suggestion
I’ll add my voice: please replace the new “Mark Trail” comic. The drawing is poor, and the storyline is muddy.
Allow me to recommend in its place, “Wallace the Brave.” This comic features a quirky boy who lives in Rhode Island with his lobsterman dad and homemaker mom. With his active imagination, he has outlandish adventures accompanied by his eccentric friends and mysterious seagull.
Say, here’s another idea! After more than 40 years, maybe those tired reruns of Doonesbury need not be banished to the editorial page any longer. Move it into Mark Trail’s slot, and run more letters to the editor. And save money!