Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Shit We Take for Granted

One thing I've noticed about America is that we've turned into a culture of whiners.  Any time the status quo is even slightly deviated from, there's usually a large group of people that get super pissed off about it and start raisin a rucous.

Sure, unemployment is high, and the economy sucks a lot of ass, but can we really whine all that much about it?  First, let's take the notion of poverty for instance.  What we consider to be "poverty," in America is not what real poverty is.  We have a "poverty line," an income at which people are considered to be living in poverty, or poor, or whatever the fuck we want to call it.

How laughable is that shit?

In other countries, there's no "poverty line," because poverty means that you actually have virtually no income whatsoever.  In places like Liberia, which is widely considered to be quite literally the worst place in the world, poverty means you eat only what you can steal or barter for with sex, and you're likely living in a card board box on a disease ridden street.

Poverty, in many places on this planet, means that you are very likely to die from disease or starvation.  It means that you have to slowly watch your children die from starvation or malnutrition because there's no such thing as food stamps or wellfare to save them.  it seems fairly fucking silly to me that we tell people here in America who still have roofs over their heads and food on their tables that they're living in poverty simply because they have to forego a few creature comforts.

I know that there are people in America that are actually living in real poverty, and I know that families who live near or below the poverty line are struggling quite a bit, but lets not pretend like poverty in America means the same as poverty in a 3rd world country.

We also bitch and moan whenever our freedom of speech is curtailed even slightly, and even in cases where it's probably best that people be told to sit down and shut the fuck up.  Now don't get me wrong, we should always be vigilant against people trying to stifle free speech.  But what pisses me off is when people haul off and call the government "Fascist," or "tyrants," for minor shit.  The people who pretend like they're so repressed because they were told that they should be polite and respect others should go try this same shit somewhere else.

Recently in Bahrain, a protester was sentenced to death.  A bunch of medical professionals who provided medical care to injured protesters were all handed prison sentences.  What do you think happened to protesters and dissidents in Saddam's Iraq, or Ghadaffi's Libya?  What do you think happens to people who oppose the Chinese regime?

Everyone should count their lucky fucking stars that they live in a country that is so wealthy that our "poor," are people who still collect pay checks, that we live in a place so free that we're allowed to say any number of hateful and vitriolic things about our government and leaders without fear of ending up in a rape prison.

So while we bitch and moan and pretend that the next election is going to inevitably destroy the country (that's pointed at Liberals and Conservatives alike) how about we actually take the time to appreciate what we have compared to the rest of the planet.  America is really not that bad of a place, and we should stop taking for granted all the fruits of liberty and prosperity we enjoy every day.

And really, anyone reading this should doubly thank their maker, because by reading this that means you:

1.  Have enough money to afford internet and a computer.

2.  Have enough leisure time to listen to some blowhard rant about people being ungrateful.

9 comments:

William McCullough said...

Between the ages of 5 and 8 yrs I lived in Detroit. When the auto recession of 1957 hit my stepfather instead of whining got a job delivering for a dry cleaners and in the summer we sold cherries off the back of the truck - no welfare, no whining and no recriminations.

But that was then and this is now where professional victims and generational entitlement bunnies, most of whom don't even vote, have the attention of politicians. Whatever happened to self reliance?

Jack Camwell said...

"Whatever happened to self reliance?"

We turned it into a government program =(

Jersey McJones said...

It's all well and fine to be thankful and appreciative of our country. But that certainly doesn't mean we should just shut up about anything else.

JMJ

Silverfiddle said...

I agree, Jack. Spoken like a man who has been around the world a little and seen true poverty.

Harrison said...

The average poor person has a DVD player, a car, a cell phone, a computer, and an Internet connection and is fat.

Jersey McJones said...

Ya' know, I've seen all this bashing the poor shit before. Every decade or so it comes to the fore.

Yes, of course, a poor American is not the same as a poor Liberian, but then there really isn't any comparison of anything between America and Liberia. I mean, it's like saying, "Hey, we have lots of air, ya' know! Those poor bastards on Mars have NO air!"

The measurement and impact of poverty are relative to the society itself. Liberia has such crushing poverty, the people have turned to constant and extreme violence. Our poverty is different - but it still leads to crime, burdens the social safety net and the schools, brings down property values, etc.

In other words, poverty effects the entire society in many ways. "Poverty" is simply the bottom end of a society. Regardless of the reality of the poverty itself, is the bottom of a society grows to large, it can be catastrophic to that society.

You can never get rid of poverty entirely, but you can keep it as managable as possible.

I am grateful and appreciative that I live in a country that cares for it's poverty stricken. I do not live in poverty (though these days it sure feels like it!), but because I understand the ethical, moral, and intelligent reasoning for caring for the poverty stricken, and trying to help them out of poverty.

It's the smart and right thing to do - AS A SOCIETY, A CIVILIZATION.

JMJ

Anonymous said...

Let's talk about poverty in the workers' paradise 90 miles to the south. While there as a missionary in December, 1999,I witnessed first hand the gov't rationed food and water, the bad skin, poor teeth,untreated disease(unless you're a member of the party's ruling class elite),lack of medical facilities, crapping in a hole in the ground, the absence of opportunity, neighborhood spies, machine gun toting military on the streets, the whispering in public places and one's own home- necessary for survival in a police state. For 45 years these people have come to this country as refugees and have succeeded by applying their Judeo-Christian work ethic hand in hand with their love and appreciation for their new found freedoms. Thanks to a state fostered dependency class here we are witnessing increasing poverty and less work ethic in spite of the hundreds of billions spent since the inception of The Great Society; not unlike the hundreds of billions sunk into that black hole we call the educational system. We obviousely have a poverty of leadership and accoutability as we look to a failed system to remedy the poverty it has done so much to help create and sustain. Even though, along with poverty, here there is also the opportunity to lift one's self out of the muck and mire, a rare commodity in most poverty stricken areas in the world. God bless America.

Jersey McJones said...

Anon,

America has less upward social mobility than "socialist" Europe.

Cuba is just a bizarre comparison. Like Liberia. Can't you guys find a comparison that is not completely insane?

JMJ

Anonymous said...

You are so right, America is fucked up as evidenced by our refusal to throw ourselves on the mercy of a benevolent socialist system. My friend, Cuba is the true Garden of Eden except that a communist dictaor fucked it up 50 years ago after throwing out the other criminals and continues to do so today. There is nothing bizarre about the Cuban comparison; Fidel took power, took away the guns and in true socialist fashion subjugated his people to the hardships and depravations which are the logical extensions of this idiology we know and love as socialism. On the contrary, Europe is bizarre.