…At least, that’s what’s our “representatives” and their corporate owners believe at their very core. If they thought the vast number of Americans deserved shelter, food, medicine, a tertiary education, or even drinkable water, everyone would have these things. (We are the richest country in the history of humanity, after all.) The one percent that are puppet politicians and the filthy rich string-pullers that make them move limb and lip can’t stand you or me. We are their adversaries, even if we don’t wish to believe it. Their hatred towards us constantly and brazenly surfaces, daring us to be outraged by the audacity of these elite, entitled million- and billionaires.
The blatant evidence of their scorn that irks me today is the most recent $600 “stimulus” payment. My objection may seem like a little thing, but it’s the little things that should tip us off to their distain, like when people briefly rolls their eyes when you offer an opinion. Not only do most nations (with less wealth than ours) offer their citizens medical care during this pandemic, but they also offer their people monthly checks, a UBI, so they don’t starve to death. So far, the U.S. has offered two payments, both woefully inadequate for even the month in which they were offered. Congress argues endlessly about these payments. They say they are not needed. They say they are too much. They say we should be looking to do other things other than pay citizens to survive. This is because the subtext of the discussion heralds back to the American myth that we are rugged individuals with bootstraps that we are responsible for pulling up (despite that violating Newtonian physics), and if we can’t do for ourselves…well, they don’t say it publicly, but if not, we can just fucking die. We don’t deserve to live unless we are elite, entitled million- or billionaires that graduated from Ivy League schools.
However, these are the large issues that should be obvious. The telltale sign, the eye-rolling moment, that signals just how much contempt our “representatives” feel for us regarding these payments, is that this $600 installment was issued in the form of a debit card rather than a paper check. Review the fine print that accompanied your “stimulus” card. If you wish to use it, unless you memorize the exact circumstances to avoid them, you will be charged fees. There is a fee for using certain ATMs. There is a five dollar fee if you want to shift it to your very own bank, though they will waive that fee the first time you do it.
Even waiving some of the fees are tricky. There are limits on how much you can withdraw in particular instances, so you will surely get charged if you are not careful. I forgot the fine-print item (even though I located an ATM without the high fee) that says checking the card balance costs 25 cents. That seemingly minor charge could easily happen in this country 400 million times, which would yield a cool 100 million bucks in pure profit. (Let’s not pretend that quarter actually is needed to pay for a machine to spit out a number automatically.) Who profits from these fees and from the money poured into these accounts we are forced to use? Does it go to famine relief in this country? Does it go toward forgiving student loan debt or medical debt or towards housing the homeless? Does it clean up polluted drinking water? Is it used to test the thousands of untested and potentially dangerous chemicals that are used in our food and other products that are produced? Does it help to encourage biodiversity or reduce waste or slow carbon emissions? No, we don’t deserve those things. It goes to the lucky bank that was able to score this bonanza of cash. More mansions for the rich! More yachts! More sports cars and diamond tiaras and other frivolous “needs” for our corporate owners! Hooray!
That’s right, your “representatives” decided that the peanuts they fed to you needed to be chipped away at by their masters, in this instance, a particular bank. Imagine their relief, knowing that this money, wasted on you, could, in part, be given to people who matter, people like themselves, who actually deserve it: their Harvard classmates, their buddies at the country club, their donors come election time.
Countless signals from our “representatives” expose the contempt they bear for us, but we have been brainwashed and blinded to these indications through various methods of social control. Rather than go into all that, I’ll just say that if we are fine with being called “consumers,” then we won’t be able to fathom that we are in a class war. We are, and we are losing. We are led by the nose (and other parts) to do what the rich want us to do, and we will purchase the garbage they tell us to buy, believe what their media tell us is important, and vote for the corporate candidates they instruct us to vote for.
Engaging our critical thought is the first step to understanding the machinations of the enemy. Are we going to be able to rediscover that kind of thinking, to lift our heads from comfortable distractions and addictions and corporate media spin long enough to notice that our flanks are being attacked right now, that there is no reason we have to struggle and suffer and die in order to allow a few one-percenters to dance upon our heads?
Everyone wants solutions at the end of articles, it seems, mostly because people tend to resist solutions that are implied. Fair enough: Disengage from the corporate pleasures that make us sleep. Resist being pushed to the margins by valuing ourselves over our rich adversaries. Resist charismatic (or bloviating) leaders. (Occupy Wall Street should have taught us this before it was shut down and shunned under Obama.) Realize that “representative” elections do not equal democracy when no real choice is offered. Don’t accept the frames you are given by “leaders,” “influencers,” or the corporate media. (That corporate lens is not something you need before you believe in something, but is, rather, a reason to question it.) In short, think critically rather than regurgitate talking points from those that oppose you. Then figure out how to act, or how not to act, to force back the Army of the Filthy Rich.
Oh, and for the love of whatever god you believe in, put down your goddamn phone.