Somewhere around this time in December of 2008, my friend and former neighbor Paul experienced what we all suspected should have happened yesterday 12/21/12....Complete annihilation. It was at this time, some four years ago, that his world came to an end. Paul paints for a living. But Paul is just not any painter.
Paul is one of the more important cogs in a rather large organization named FORD Motor Compay. He was and is responsible for placing the paint on many of the Super Duty Trucks coming into existence.
But more importantly, Paul was part of a demograhic that is quickly disappearing from American life. The single family provider.
Paul took the advice of Countrywide sometime in the early 2000's, and got that home equity loan. Paul worked 70 hours a week at the Ford Truck plant until he couldn't anymore. That was sometime in the mid part of 2007.
Everything went down from there.
For whatever reason, Paul's wife decided at some point after 2007 that life was no longer worth living in that household and filed for divorce. Paul was left to live in a 4000 square foot house alone. While supporting a family of three others in another dwelling...It didn't take long for his world to come crashing down.
Folks, whatever you tend to think about unions, they stood, and stand for the family. At least they used to. Before the multiple compromises.
The compromises began in the 1980's. That was when a man named Ronald Reagan decided to follow what surely, in history, will be judged to be a egotistical urge to hit the little guy.
See it for what it was: Malaise.
We had just been humiliated in Vietnam. We were experiencing everything that followed the big defeat. All of the third world nations that had been beaten about the head were just then, realiziing that the bully was down for the count.
What the vast majority of Americans saw as a momentary inability to save the world from itself, was seen by many as a weakness in an enemy which inevitably resulted from an internal corruption. And they acted accordingly.
Revolutions were conducted. Embassy's were taken hostage.
Instead of learning the lesson, Mr. Reagan chose the easy route. Take out the weak and powerless. The Unions were symbolic of this tactic. Unions and Criminals...Yeah...I know...It's starting to sound like a Tolstoy novel...
At any rate, Mr. Reagan took out the Unions, and shortly there after the Grenadians to the marked approval of a majority of Americans....who came to believe that the enemy of the good was the complicated.
So here we are today. At the end result of history. At least to this point. In what I would like to see as the wake up moment. A moment where Americans, living the effects of climate change, economic failure, and once again, a general malaise,wrought by big bidness and a cavalier belief that the market would solve all problems brought before it's altar has failed.
Will we learn the lesson that power corrupts? That absolute power corrupts absolutely? Will we see that government and regulation amount to something? After more than a decade engaged in wars for oil, after a financial meltdown, where the crooks have not done the oh so needed perp walk, I'm dubious and optimistic at the same time. We do have the first Black President in history...We are on the road to energy independence...But we are also heading over a fiscal cliff...What a dichotomy!
Oh...But there's a light on in Paul's house for the first time in 2 years...That's gotta count for something.