Out of Time
Yesterday should have been a marker of great American political triumph, for President-elect Obama publicly outlined sweetly sane little people public economic policy at last--this time in energy, infrastructure and ecology--but the words and images did nothing but to probably spawn even more remarkable stories of somehow getting Bush out of office now, today, the hour of frantic effort is upon us! But of course this could never be, we wait, more us falling every hour, the leadership so desperately needed out of reach, hope a tenuously tepid wash in rising storms of pain.
I have deep and enormous respect for the professional economists like Krugman and qualified bloggers who write about economics, it requires the deepest of academic and writing skill qualifications, but I’m starting to get angry at the dry, abstract language of outcome in all of this that doesn’t remotely convey the reality of economic policy failure for our little people. Monetary assets, liquidity preference, TED spread, aggregate demand, hell universal acceptance of Keynes will be ruthlessly slammed home at last, what the fuck all does it matter when thousands of American lives are being obliterated every day!?
“Destructive unemployment,” it’s been so calmly called. Destructive enough to rip your marriage apart, getting the kids used to a new school in the middle of term because your sister’s basement is in another district, blasting apart any career path with 20 years of investment behind it, and worst in all of it the slow, patient twist of the knife, lonely hours of creeping fear, a thumping heart the only sound in the dark when you think about how long it can take to die sometimes in this world.
There isn’t a life in America without a job, nothing but a howling nightmare replaces it, and if change is here than we better god damn well learn just what the consequences of “destructive” are when infuriating DC assholes put on a clown show of humiliating Ford and GM CEO’s begging for a pittance $25 billion just because they employ UAW workers, but AIG gets $152 billion on the fly, no questions asked.
Forget the god damn hurricanes of pain from hunger, unpaid bills and bewildered children, the unemployment numbers just chucked millions of Americans into a nightmare of no health care! Ford and GM are restrained in their ability to compete internationally because of health care costs, fuck you, our people are out there with no way to take care of themselves and their children if they get sick or hurt!
A year of thinking of what might have been with an amazing spouse, gone forever now, the slow bleed of love lost as you stare at your sister’s hot water heater night after night crushing your will to try, that might break you, but try it with a body bleeding in pain or sickness, yeah a career arc with Hawaiian vacations was such a nice life once, whatever, it’s begging and borrowing and anything to keep the pain and vomit at bay, the betrayal of your body as sickening as a country that chucked your life onto the shitpile because some people get the keys to healthcare in America and some don’t. From sea to shining sea.
Just from one report last week 450,000 jobs were lost, but it is so much vastly more than that. How many dreams were shattered, loves broken asunder, children irrevocably maimed and lives snuffed out in an early hell of humiliating pain with those six digits of integer? Many, many souls never get stronger with what doesn’t kill them, will we ever grow up as a people to understand that? Often it just kills them slower.
Times of great change are coming, thank God and President-elect Obama for that. But in these last eight years we have learned to ignore the little people and their lives as if they were mere production units, convenient to cast aside because horrendous mistakes can’t be plainly admitted or AIG needs $152 billion dollars. Congress obviously hasn’t learned a god damn thing about what happens to Americans when they lose their jobs, who needs TARP oversight when you can humiliate a UAW employer?
For just those 450,000 Americans who lost their jobs—never mind the millions more that preceded them—they’re out of time. The horrible searing wait for Obama to finally get that disastrous felon out of the White House has sentenced their American lives to any possible uncertainty of outcome, and for many it will be a hell of degrading slow death of hellish pain. As long as I breathe, I swear on the soul of my daughter, I will do anything to make our leadership learn it and do everything possible to never put our people through this again.