Sunday, August 30, 2015

Hard Times

 America is one hot mess. How do you get a weird mash up like Sarah Palin interviewing Donald Trump trying to convince us all that he's "avant-garde"? A mentally ill man shoots three people and it's broadcast live, nothing will change. China is melting down and the stock market crashed, however, the rich won't pay a price for a rigged "free"market. It's common knowledge that greed and corruption rule the day in the USA, God only knows what they will think of next to prop up the stagnant financial times most of us are dealing with.
I didn't study economics in school, I was terrible at math. I am an artist and what I was taught was to observe. To look at what's around you, whether it's a landscape or still life or people. What I see, are people struggling, not recovering. People working for less, not more. I work for a failing company, a free publication that sells advertising for the auto industry and no one is buying cars. As a matter of fact, most of the people I work with don't have cars, it's too much of a money suck.
They live with relatives or with their parents. They can't afford an apartment or a house. They are not consumers, they are not buying furniture or dishwashers.
In an economy that depends on consumer spending, there's no way from what I see, that things are getting better or "it's coming back" whatever the hell that means. However, I hear it from the hopeful all the time, even though nothings improved for them. There's continued apathy by most people I know, unless you are a senior citizen, then the story changes, there are too many "giveaways" and "people don't want to work", when I report to them real statistics about how many people in this country are living in poverty, they just scoff. Since they grew up in the Great Depression, they think we have it good and maybe we do, it just doesn't seem like it. They tell me they had "to make do" and so should we. There is no idea in their head that maybe things don't have to be that way. They profited from the biggest economic boom this country has ever seen. What they don't see, is an entire generation has been left behind, they demonize them as lazy, even though they are working more than one part time job because that's all they can get. Young people dying in droves from heroin overdoses and despair. It's not an accident that this is happening. It's the result of a country in decline, when people feel as if there is no way for them to succeed. They know cronyism and corruption is the only way to get ahead and Donald Trump exemplifies that, from his real estate mogul father, he inherited everything from and his four deferrals he received so he wouldn't have to fight in Vietnam, to his brothers high school buddy who got him into the Wharton School of business.
 Seriously, this is the way things work in America, very likely it's the way things work in China and everywhere else. America works for the well connected, the con artists, the wealthy and snake oil salesman. If you are honest, hard working and just trying to pay back your student loans, well good luck, It's make do now in this depression, according to shadow stats, our unemployment rate is upwards of 20%, if China continues on it's current course, we may be in for worse. While we ponder what is actually going on versus the narrative we are been sold about this "recovery" why don't we watch something more uplifting?
                   Yes, if you can afford investments, you too can dance and go to the mall, life is just one big happy feet dance.

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