We Can’t Make It Here Any More

by JAMES McMURTRY

There’s a Vietnam Vet with a cardboard sign
Sitting there by the left turn line
One leg missing and both hands free
No one’s paying much mind to him
The VA budget’s just stretched too thin
And now there’s more coming back from the mideast war
We can’t make it here any more

The big ol’ building was the textile mill
It fed our kids and it paid our bills
But they turned us out and then closed the doors
We can’t make it here any more

See those pallets piled up on the loading dock
they’re just gonna set there til they rot
cause there’s nothing to ship, nothing to pack
just busted concrete and rusted tracks
empty storefronts around the square
there’s a needle in the gutter and glass everywhere
you don’t come down here unless you’re looking to score
we can’t make it here anymore

The bar’s still open but man it’s slow
the tip jar’s light and the register’s low
the bartender don’t have much to say
the regular crowd gets thinner each day
some have maxed out all their credit cards
some are working two jobs and livin’ in cars
minimum wage won’t pay for a roof, won’t pay for drink
if you gotta have proof just try it yourself mr CEO
see how far $5.15 an hour will go
take a part time job at one of your stores
bet you can’t make it here anymore

There’s a high school girl with bourgeois dream
just like the pictuers in the magazine
she found on the floor of the laundromat
a woman with kids can forget all that
if she comes up pregnant what’ll she do?
forget the career, forget about school
can she live on faith? live on hope?
high on jesus or hooked on dope
when its way too late to just say no
you can’t make it here anymore

Now I’m stocking shirts in the Wal-Mart stores
just like the ones we made before
‘cept this one came from Singapore
I guess we can’t make it here anymore

Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
or the shape of their eyes or the shape i’m in
should i hate em for having our jobs today
No I hate the men sent the jobs away
I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams
all lily white and squeaky clean
they’ve never known want, they’ll never know need
Their shit don’t stink and their kids don’t bleed
their kids don’t bleed in their damn little war
and we can’t make it here anymore

will work for food and die for oil
will kill for power and to us the spoils
the billionaires get to pay less tax
the working poor get to fall through the cracks
so let ’em eat jellybeans let ’em eat cake
let em eat shit, whatever it takes
they can join the Air Force or join the Corps
if they can’t make here anymore

So that’s how it is, that’s what we got
if the president wants to admit it or not
you can read it in the papers, read it on the wall
hear it on the wind if you’re listening at all
get out of that limo, look us in the eye
call us on the cell phone tell us all why

In Dayton Ohio or Portland Maine
or on a cotton gin out on the great high plains
that’s done closed down along with the school
and the hospital and the swimming pool
dust devils dance in the noonday heat
there’s rats in the alley and trash in the street
gang graffiti on a boxcar door
we can’t make it here anymore

From JAMES McMURTRY’s fantastic new CD Childish Things.



























CLARIFICATION

ALEXANDER COCKBURN, JEFFREY ST CLAIR, BECKY GRANT AND THE INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF JOURNALISTIC CLARITY, COUNTERPUNCH

We published an article entitled "A Saudiless Arabia" by Wayne Madsen dated October 22, 2002 (the "Article"), on the website of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalistic Clarity, CounterPunch, www.counterpunch.org (the "Website").

Although it was not our intention, counsel for Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi has advised us the Article suggests, or could be read as suggesting, that Mr Al Amoudi has funded, supported, or is in some way associated with, the terrorist activities of Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

We do not have any evidence connecting Mr Al Amoudi with terrorism.

As a result of an exchange of communications with Mr Al Amoudi’s lawyers, we have removed the Article from the Website.

We are pleased to clarify the position.

August 17, 2005



 

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
August 27, 2015
Sam Husseini
Foreign Policy, Sanders-Style: Backing Saudi Intervention
Brad Evans – Henry A. Giroux
Self-Plagiarism and the Politics of Character Assassination: the Case of Zygmunt Bauman
Peter Lee
Making Sense of China’s Stock Market Meltdown
Paul Craig Roberts
Wall Street and the Matrix: Where is Neo When We Need Him?
Kerry Emanuel
The Real Lesson of Katrina: the Worst is Yet to Come
Dave Lindorff
Why Wall Street Reporting is a Joke
Pepe Escobar
Brave (Miserable) New Normal World
Ramzy Baroud
‘Islamic State’ Pretence and the Upcoming Wars in Libya
Paul Edwards
Capitalism Delenda Est
Norman Pollack
The Political Culture of Rape in America: Further Thoughts on the St. Paul’s School Case
Stephen Lendman
The Monied Interests That Run America
Pedro Aibéo
Democratizing Finance (With Bitcoin?)
Alfredo Acedo
Climate Change and Capitalism: Challenges of the COP21 Paris and Climate Movements
August 26, 2015
Paul Street
Overworked and Out of Time: a Democracy Issue
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Behind the Market Crash: the Smoke and Mirrors of Corporate Buybacks
David Mihalyfy
Reform Higher Ed? Treat Badmin Like Bankers
Ruth Hopkins
Police Shootings in Indian Country: Justice or Else!
Gary Leupp
ISIL Advances While Its Foes Cannot Unite
Fred Gardner
The Psychiatrist’s Bible: Defining ‘Marijuana Use Disorder’
Yorgos Mitralias
The Catastrophic International Consequences of the Capitulation of Syriza and the Criminal Responsibility of Mr. Tsipras
Walter Brasch
Katrina: a 10-Year Review
Jim Connolly
Seven Questions and Seven Answers: a Sandernista Makes Reasonable Predictions About the 2016 Contest for the Democratic Presidential Nomination
Pedro Aibéo
Selling Austerity to Finland
Franklin Lamb
Heritage Destruction in Syria is a War Crime
Binoy Kampmark
Tourism’s Disaster Temptation: the Case of Nepal
Jeffrey D. Pugh
Trial by Fire for Ecuador’s President Correa
Vacy Vlanza
A Palestinian Novel Par Excellence
Alvaro Huerta
Confessions of an ‘Anchor Baby’: Open Letter to President Donald Trump
August 25, 2015
Gary Leupp
Why Donald Trump is So Scary
Jonathan Cook
Israel’s Thug at the UN
Steve Early
How “Brother” Bernie is Making Labor’s Day
Carl Finamore
An Affordable Housing Victory: High-End San Francisco Development Implodes
Henry Giroux – Chuck Mertz
The Spectacle of American Violence and the Cure for Donald Trump
Robert Eisinger
Trivializing Anti-Semitism
Brian Platt
It is Time We Discussed Abolishing the Police
Alexander Reid Ross
Trump the Fascist
Nicola Perugini - Neve Gordon
Mohammed Allan at the Door of the Israeli Supreme Court
Ted Rall
The United States of Stupidity
Heather Gray
A Message to American Mothers About Sex in the Military
Jo Leinen – Andreas Bummel
How to Democratize the UN
Lawrence Davidson
The Iran Agreement and Israel’s Claim to Speak for the Jews
Mark Hand
A Well Pad Next to Every 3-Car Garage: Suburban Sprawl Collides with Texas Frack Jobs
John Laforge
U.S. Bows Out After Plowshares Conviction is Vacated: Appeals Court Ill-Informed on Nuclear Overkill
Norman Pollack
Gender Freedom and Sexual Liberation: The St. Paul’s School Case
Kathy Kelly
Let It Shine