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Joe Shlabotnik

(5,604 posts)
15. People recognize that changes need to be made,
Wed Jan 30, 2013, 04:53 PM
Jan 2013

but they think that its others who must do the sacrificing. Its pure arrogance and selfishness. Perfect examples are the tea partier on Medicare, or the corporate world who don't pay taxes but insist on public austerity.

Even 35 years ago, people went apoplectic at the audacity of Jimmy Carter suggesting that maybe we put a sweater on and turn the thermostat down a few degrees. Soon after they choose a Don Draper type of president who sold them reassurances like Lucky Strikes: Every thing's OK, despite being toxic. Delusional.

Many interpret hardship as not being able to go on vacation or buy a new car. Never mind that they have 2 cars in the driveway. Sometimes I think about my grandparents, who like millions of others came to the new world in the late 1800's - 1950. They worked their asses off each day plowing fields with a horse, and when the old horse finally died, they were consoled by the fact that at least they got to eat it.

Dirt poor immigrants that suffered repressive governments, fear of being 'disappeared' in the middle of the night, religious persecution, famines, wars came to the new world with a sense of community, and an understanding that through shared sacrifice and working together (gasp! socialism) everyone benefited. Those were the common heroes that advanced civil rights, created labour unions and fought Robber Barons and tycoons, demanded that advances in productivity were shared among all. We've forgotten all of that.

By contrast we're too spoiled and stupefied by relative comfort, hype and gadgetry. Unfortunately I agree that nothing is going to change until something drastic happens, and yes, this time it's probably too late.

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