If you are poor or working class or just have a mind that works some of the time, you can be arrested, manhandled and treated like crap.
Chris Hedges, a contributor to Truthdig, found out the hard way what happens to mere mortals who dare take on the Goliath power structure that is big money.
Chris, like so many proud but misguided Americans, got confused about when and if he should speak out. The beginning of his statement which caused a hasty and justified arrest is as follows :
"What we are asking for today is simple—it is a return to the rule of law. And since the formal mechanisms of power refuse to restore the rule of law, then we, the 99 percent, will have to see that justice is done. "
Mr. Hedges have you learned nothing from grade school playground politics ? The big mean scary kids rely so heavily on fear and intimidation that anyone who refuses to see them as deities is met with swift and uncomfortable justice.
This is no time for heroics.
Sure, the economy is in the crapper and we are laying off teachers who will be replaced with the increasing need for wardens, parole officers and more prisons a few years down the road, but you dared to speak out and ally yourself with the working man.
I would like to make a few pivotal and powerful suggestions.
For one, it makes no sense to drone on about the gigantic bonuses that Goldman Sachs received this year. In 2011, GS will receive 10 billion dollars in bonuses even if they screw up. If I misplace a check or blow my entire pay on something stupid, it is up to me to sit around with a long face and a feeling of self loathing.
This would be great if I had a job.
For more than two years, I have been unemployed. In this country, teachers, artists and thinkers are of no value. I say instead of incensing those boys at GS, we encourage them to set up shop and train us on how to fail and make money behind it.
Sort of a school of theft for dummies who like to play with billions of dollars that may or may not have been honestly earned.
Where do I sign up ?
Something has gone terribly wrong in a universe where certain things only apply to certain people. If I were stealing to feed my hungry family or had to get on public assistance because there were no jobs, it gets a little difficult listening to the bootstraps mentality.
If I can't put gas in my car to get to the shop to get a snazzy pair of boots how will I ever get to give the straps a good yank ?
Secondly, what is needed here is a serious spending plan. Moneyed folk generally like to know where their money is going and why and when they will have it returned. Luckily, for us and thanks to the generosity of the GS peeps, we know that at least for the least three years on average ten billions dollars has been given in bonuses. These folk understand that part of a good spending plan never involves having to justify what you do financially.
Mr. Hedges, instead of marching down there and spreading your opinion, offer them a simple budget.
Let the good folk at Goldman Sachs know we wish to adopt their financial ways. We have a failing institution (public education) and could use the hefty sum of 2 million dollars to fix four schools. We won't be submitting any paperwork regarding what the money is doing or if anything is being improved.
Actually, we would seriously enjoy the opportunity to have money poured into our educational facilities with no real clear vision as to the best utilization of millions of donated funds.
We want some time to screw up. We, as educators, and those committed to supporting young people want some time to fail miserably. We won't even refer to it as failing. Instead, we will sigh a collective "oops" and shamelessly expect additional funds for another shot at glory.