Sucking Off Uncle Sam and Getting Screwed: An American Love Story — Part One

Once hailed as the ultimate manifestation of humanity’s raw ambition and undying thirst for personal liberty, America has fallen far from its position as a global beacon of light. Tragically, the grand social experiment engineered by our founding fathers wasn’t built to withstand a twenty-first century onslaught of corporate greed and technological innovation.

As a result, the U.S. finds itself facing an ever-increasing gap between social classes and the emergence of an Orwellian surveillance state. When combined with a two-party system that strangles all progress and national elections that are rendered the mere equivalent of a reality TV show, it doesn’t take a cynic to conclude that the American dream has long been extinguished.

Raised for Disappointment

 

Earn good grades, get a degree, take out a mortgage and live happily ever after. Makes sense, right? Unfortunately, this all-American vision of success is thwarted by a system designed to preserve the status quo. Recently, President Obama echoed the same sentiment in a speech that addressed the nation’s rampant economic inequality. Referring to it as the “defining challenge of our time”, his words certainly ring true, but it’s hard to find them genuine. After all, catering to the special interests of the rich is a political rite of passage. Still, the subject wasn’t brought up for mere shits and giggles. In fact, shortly after this speech was given, fast food workers all across the nation rallied for a livable wage.

While the wrath of pissed off cooks doesn’t pose a huge threat to the establishment, it does serve to put a human face on some very disturbing statistics. For example, in terms of the balance between rich and poor, the United States ranks lower than the majority of developing nations, with only Chile, Mexico and Turkey possessing higher economic inequality.

So negative are the effects of unbridled capitalism that the Pope has made championing ethical economic policies a priority of his administration. Be that as it may, in America, Christians have a tendency to ignore biblical cries for compassion, instead focusing their attention on fighting an outrageous crusade against homosexuality and female reproductive rights. Besides, pissing on the poor is an American pastime.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBr2qxVPUg8

Let the Peasants Fight Amongst Themselves

As made apparent by the venomous coverage of the aforementioned fast-food strike, the collective consciousness of America has a built-in disdain for the impoverished. Truth be told, even the poor hate the poor in this country. So absorbed with perceived social status, the crumbling middle class seize any available opportunity to ostracize those who make slightly less than they do.

In fact, most of us are guilty of walking into a burger joint, placing an order in a condescending tone and watching in amusement as a timid worker does their best to maintain a plastic smile. Almost oblivious to the fact that there is an army of foul smelling genetic monstrosities waiting behind us, we carefully examine our steaming pile of processed food for the slightest error.

As if we were at a 5-star restaurant, we shoot a mean glare behind the counter after noticing a mistake and demand to speak to whoever is in charge. You forgot the pickle? How fucking dare you! We experience a sense of triumph as a meek middle-aged manager halfheartedly kisses our ass. After being vindicated for our $3 purchase, we strut out the door and head to our own soul sucking occupations (But hey, at least we get paid a couple bucks more than these assholes, right?) Despite the obvious hypocrisy, research has actually shown that such an intense hatred for the poor is hard-wired in our brains.

We Hate the Poor

Whether you like it or not, the adult minimum wage worker is an archetype of the American under-achiever. In light of this, such unabashed hatred starts to make sense. According to a study conducted by Princeton, pictures of homeless people and drug addicts elicit the same amount of disgust as images of vomit and overflowing toilets. While fast food workers weren’t featured in the study, they are, for the most part, stereotyped as vagrant drug users that are too strung out, ignorant and lazy to ever do anything meaningful.

American Fast Food

A stroll through the blog-o-sphere illustrates this sentiment beautifully. In articles filled with genuine pleas from desperate mothers forced to quit school just so they can work full-time for a poverty level income, the comments range from “welfare queens and kings should suffer” to “career burger flippers deserve to be broke for having no ambition.” What’s truly fucked up about this situation is that many of the people leaving these types of comments are dirt poor themselves.

Divide and Conquer

The system has created such a warped reality that animosity arises simply because hard working Americans wish to escape poverty. So effective is the elite’s propaganda that we have the audacity to lash out at the working-poor while vast criminal organizations (banks) are bailed out by taxes collected from the very same citizens we force to slave away for chump change.

Can anyone honestly say that the individuals responsible for our financial meltdown deserve to make millions while a hard-working mother can barely pay rent? Conservatives love to insult those who accept government assistance. However, if multi-billion dollar corporations had the decency to pay their workers a respectable wage, the amount of people that require Welfare and Food Stamps would drop significantly. Still, in the sake of fairness, let’s examine the most common criticism of raising the minimum wage.

 

Inflation! Inflation! Inflation!

Whenever the poor demand to be compensated for the billions in revenue they generate for their employers, a prickish conservative economist starts rabidly spewing a rant about the dangers of inflation. Typically, even educated people fall victim to this highly refined hot-air. The argument goes something along the lines of this: If people make more money, companies will charge more for their products, lay off workers and schedule employees less hours. In other words, billionaires will have a temper tantrum and effectively declare war on working class Americans.

Aside from being borderline sociopathic, the assertion is also chock-full of misinformation. In the real world, all credible evidence points towards no more than a 3 cent increase in prices. Furthermore, if congress would have done their jobs properly and adjusted the minimum wage according to the rise of inflation, it would already be over $10. So while the cost of living has risen, wages remain stuck in limbo, which means people must work longer for less money. In an economy that’s been ravaged by the 1%, shouldn’t we reward people who possess such a strong work ethic that they are willing to take whatever job they can get? At least they aren’t just sitting at home and being completely unproductive.

A Nation of Sleepwalkers

 

Although we are bombarded with images of lavish lifestyles and glorified rags-to-riches success stories, the fact remains that the majority of people are severely limited by their environment. If the economy is ever going to improve, we must remove our heads from our asses, stop living vicariously through celebrities and begin opening our eyes to the true enemy. George Carlin articulates this brilliantly in the above video.

The poor exist. You can either give them a chance to earn a livable wage, use tax dollars to incarcerate them, or of course, shoot them in the face. The government can no longer get away with the third option, the second has already been exhausted, so shouldn’t we at least strongly consider the first?

In part two of this series I will plunge further down the rabbit hole and analyze America’s steady and systematic decline.

About the author  ⁄ Aiden Wolfe

Raised by an English teacher and gifted with a silver tongue, I quickly learned the power of words at an early age. The English language is my weapon, and I wield it in a way that produces quality, original web content. I mainly ghostwrite due to my anti-social tendencies. In fact, I kind of despise humanity. However, I really love money. So just pay me and I’m sure we’ll get along fine. Contact: AidenWolfe6@gmail.com or call 888-978-2159

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