Friday, February 03, 2012

What Do I Think?

People are asking me what I think about the announced 13,000 layoffs and major restructuring at my employer American Airlines. Well,our family has for several years lived a life within our means and stayed out of debt because we didn't see things staying the way they have been. Too many industries in the United States, not only the airlines, are farming out work to lower paying facilities elsewhere because people demand cheaper, better, faster.

Well, usually you end up only getting two out of the three in the end. I think the fate I and many of my co-workers are facing is the same fate that the American working middle class in general faces. As Americans, we have voted for this every single day and with every single dollar we choose to spend with companies who put profits before people. Eventually, in the interest of being competitive in the marketplace our children may well see the day when 13 year olds live in company owned dormitories to work 12 to 16 hour days to be roused out of bed and given a biscuit and cup of tea before being led to their workstations. If they are lucky enough to have a job. It is, after all, what we as a people seem to be voting for. Sure, there are a few weirdos like myself who read labels and pay attention to where things are made and what the companies who make them actually stand for but the vast, overwhelming majority of my countrymen and women shop by price alone. I'd say easily 80% or more never look any further than that. Don't think it can happen here? It has before and it can again if people let it.

In this world we are all interconnected. Whether or not you care about that impoverished wage slave in Bangladesh making the parts for your electronic gizmo for pennies a day and living in a hut. When all the jobs are gone here and people are hungry enough, and desperate enough, and the already bankrupt government can no longer provide unemployment insurance and social services because their tax base is mostly out of work. What then? Never mind the "official" unemployment rate where after you haven't found anything in two years you're magically no longer counted as unemployed. I mean the actual number of people who can't find a job that will actually support a family.

I am reminded only of this quote:

"The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views. Which can be very uncomfortable if you are one of the facts that needs altering." - Tom Baker as the 4th Doctor Who. 

This quote is from the 'Face of Evil'. He's describing the Tesh and Sevateem.

So what I think is this. Keep living as self sufficiently as possible. Build your life towards increased liberty. Stop trading your time and money for material things that will be obsolete before you're finished paying for them. Leave something worth inheriting behind for your children. A piece of land they can grow their own food on. Our previous generations should never have left their family farms behind and moved to the city. It only ended with the rich getting it all and the working people getting crumbs and self imposed slavery via massive consumer debt to pay for mountains of things that have no real value. Then when you're old and sick big pharmaceutical companies, medical insurance companies and other parts of the medical industrial complex pick over whatever things of value you might have had left leaving nothing behind for your kids but bills. It's not the way things used to be and it's not the way things should be now either.

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