Reality Check: A Poor Economy Is Violent

Reality is hitting home harder than ever, and what was hidden behind Curtain 2 is now out in the open for all to see. That second curtain contained the accepted fallacy that credit = wealth, or at the very least, stability for the general state of the US economy and family households. It all comes out now with an article titled "Hard Times Heighten Long-Felt Unease" by AP writer Adam Geller.

I wasn't working yet in 1973, but back in that era, a job paying $6.83 per hour was a darn good job. I had no trouble making my $120 rent, $7 phone and $13 electric monthly bills - in 1976. Even so, I didn't yet feel financially stable enough to have children. Here's a nice slap in the face concerning wages - Geller says that Americans are earning less now than 35 years ago:

Except for the late 1990s, pay has been stagnant for more than a generation, barely keeping pace with inflation. In 1973, the median male worker earned $16.88 an hour, adjusted for inflation. In 2007, he earned $16.85. ...For many families, the stagnation has been moderated by the addition of a second paycheck as more women went to work, and their pay rose over the same period.

That families now have no choice but to have two incomes to survive has had a dramatically detrimental impact on our children. Interestingly, WebMD is calling the youth of today the "Columbine Generation" to illustrate this negative impact and says that "...young people have been exposed to more violence than perhaps any other previous generation just because of [its prevalence] in television, movies, and actual coverage of violent incidents."

Because violence has become so common, the article continues, it may not shock today's youth as much as it does older generations, though you'd expect them to be more fearful because they've had far more incidents of school shootings - and 9/11 - in their lives. Kids are left unsupervised and few have an adult around to offer comments and advice about the events they are witnessing, nor do they have a role model to compare their reactions with. Both are crucial in formative years.

But, there is no choice but for both parents to work. Imagine how dire the situation is for single parents! No matter how inoculated kids may become to violent events, none can deny the necessity to secure basic needs, as Geller elaborates:

Now, economic worries are rising fastest in households with smaller paychecks, and that chasm is widening. Over the past decades, whether inflation was much higher or lower, or incomes grew faster or more slowly, there has never been such a wide divergence in the experiences separating richer households from poorer ones.... That insecurity shows in small, but telling ways... Wal-Mart Stores Inc noticed that many people who received its gift cards for the holidays used them in January to buy food and other necessities instead of extras.

It is way past time to honestly and realistically address today's issues. Our children need us. Our generation fought many fights back in the day, and though we lost that war, we need to stand up against "the establishment" again. There is power in numbers, and we cannot allow ourselves to be beaten down into the role of helpless sheep any longer. It's time to take life back.


  1. Humans are violent. When ever I start creeping out about the things you are letting overwhelm you I think about how much worse it already has been. Imagine yourself a jewish mother hiding in your attic while SS officers storm through your house looking for you. Inagine that you realize once they are gone that you have smothered your infant to death to keep it quiet to save the rest of your family. Imagine a father in such a situation feeling so helpless and castrated to protect the ones he loves from the harm below. Think of the scene in Sophies Choice where the Polish mother has to decide which of her children shes keeping and which one she has to send to their death or lose both. There have always been horrible atrocities commited by man and there always will be. Its the nature of the beast. We should not let it overwhelm us but instead work harder to keep the ugly side of man beaten down. Take pride in the fact that your heart knows better.

  2. Yes, humans are violent by nature. Violence permeates every aspect of society today, and has a page in every chapter of history.

    One of the most popular modern day authors is Stephen King. Why? His stories are violent and gory. The DaVinci Code, a novel written about something so seemingly benign as the nature of the Holy Grail: opens with a murder and is pushed along by a stalking assassin. Hell, even Harry Potter is ripe with violence - people start dropping dead halfway through the series, and it's concluded with a battle to the death between Harry and Voldemort.

    What are some of the most popular TV shows, aside from reality shows? 24, Battlestar Galactica, Lost, and CSI. All of which are just dripping with blood. Look at CSI in particular. Poor writing, cheesy one-liners, and sub-par acting. Why is it so popular? Gory crime-scenes.

    Religion is even neck-deep in bloodshed. I heard somewhere that the bible mentions "war" somewhere around 100 times. I'm sure "Thou shalt not kill" is said only once. There are even words that specifically mean "holy war". Christians call it Crusade. Muslims call it Jihad.

    American history is one long chain of wars. First it was the British, then the French, then the Native Americans, then the Civil War, then some more Native Americans, then the Central American countries, then the Germans, then the Germans again and the Japanese, then the Russians, along with the Koreans, and the Viet Cong, and now its Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran. Speaking of America's history of violence, we discovered the awesome power generating properties of the atom, and what's the first thing we make with it? A damned bomb. Nuclear power plants were an afterthought.

    The feudal Japanese are widely considered one of the most cultured civilizations in history. The Samurai were considered so well educated and so sophisticated and so disciplined... and would hack a peasant to bits just for bowing too slow.

    The Romans were another group that were so highly-regarded that American government buildings are modeled after Roman architecture. How did they get as powerful as they did? They beat the snot out of everyone around them. And then they enslaved them, and set them to fight as gladiators for their amusement. Or just let them get slaughtered helplessly by wild animals.

    Most of our technology today has its roots in military application. Even the internet started as a system to organize a counter-strike in the event of a nuclear attack. It was called ARPA-Net. Microwaves, if not practically weaponized, were seriously considered as a possible death-ray. The first reaction to Sputnik? It wasn't "Yay, we're finally reaching out to the stars," but instead "oh shit, it's gonna drop bombs on us."

    Lastly, think on this: Jesus brought a message of peace, of understanding, of helping your fellow human. He got nailed to a cross. Martin Luther King, Jr. tried to get black people and white people to stop committing acts of violence on each other and see each other as equals. He got shot. Kennedy averted a crisis that was the closest thing we'd ever come to all-out nuclear war. He got shot, too. The Native Americans would've been happy to coexist with white people, but no, they were slaughtered. Muslims in the thousands, if not millions, flock to Jihadist leaders and follow them blindly and with so much loyalty that they turn themselves into walking bombs.

  3. Oh, and the economy thing. The rich got to where they are by riding on the backs of the poor minimum-wagers like you and me. What was it? 90% of the country's wealth is held by 1% of the population? Something like that.

    In short, there's at least 100 poor people for every rich person, and I'd say it's probably more like 100,000 poor for every rich...

    Well, with a number advantage like that, and the fact that the poor are still poor and the rich are still rich, I'd say we deserve it. People don't that don't want to get off their asses and do something about such a disproportionate distribution of wealth when it would be so easy to just revolt and take over are a bunch of sheep, and should be treated like such.

  4. I agree with both of you. Humans, as a biological organism, have all the instincts that any other species on this plant has: To survive and to reproduce.

    But, what man has that all the other species do not is reason and understanding, and the ability to create. Thus, there is a marked evolution as humans also possess potential.

    The lines of historical violence and attrocities you both note are those of 'groups' following 'one' lunatic or another, or based on illogical and unreasonable premises - but still as a group. IMHO, it will take a concerted effort of individual growth and realization to derail the current history of opressed individuals' senseless violent acts toward each other. We are now "developed" and you would think that the fight would be against the opressors instead of lashing out at each other. Humans as a species are way past the point of only depending upon instincts to survive. Yet, that is exactly how groups behave. It's as though humans as a collective become de-evolved, regressed and instinctual.

    Why individuals fall into that mass group mind, I believe, has more to do with needing to focus entirely on fulfilling basic needs than acting on reasoned and objective choices. There is no time or energy left over, and that has more to do with the 'leadership' of a capitalist economy than anything else. However, I do believe that this impotence can be waylaid based on the potential in each individual.

    It's time to change history.

  5. Maybe us americans will watch that show ?? Brain fart forgive me the guy who did the show on Bush and the war. How it was to get back at Husian over his father. Anyway comes on Dish or Direct. Show how the French have it so nice. Government pays for people to come to first time mothers homes and prepare meals for the family, or do laundry, house work, or all of the above. Also, in France automatic 5 week vacation for full-time, or part time workers anywere they work manditory, in France. And not to mention the free health care. People over there live longer, wander why?? Everyone in France says it is b/c in there gov. the Gov. is affraid of the people in. US people are affraid of the gov. Sad but true... Maybe if US people would rally aginst this would be more like France... Something to think about... So guess how I influence my child??? Speak whats on your mind or no one will Know what you think....