“A rising tide lifts all boats.” That was something a fiscally conservative (or what is called fiscally conservative these days, but I digress) professor of mine once said. He was quoting a favorite pundit of his, I cannot remember who at the moment. The idea is that it should not matter if the rich are getting richer, because if they are, then their wealth will push everyone up. The analogy fails of course, even as an analogy because it refuses to see that many boats are anchored, quite against their “captains'” wills and will sink in that rising tide.
I look around and I see so much unnecessary suffering due to wealth and income inequality. I see the pie growing (to skewer another analogy he liked to use) but meanwhile for all but a select few the portions are getting smaller. When we point this out are told we are jealous of the wealthy, which is, of course, unmitigated horse shit.
Not one of us is jealous of the economic elite. We are just sick to death of working day in and day out wondering if we will even have the basics. We are tired of being told we are lazy despite working our bodies to their limits. We are tired of doing all this while watching the one percent complain that they are asked to do their part as members of a civil society. We are tired of being the only ones to share in the sacrifice. In short, and to wear the imagery out, we are tired of being asked to tread water with an anchor in our arms.
People I know give all they have to help others and work tirelessly yet at the end of the day wonder if they will still have a roof over their head. I am just getting by thanks to the generosity of others despite working. The one percent would tell me to get another job, like they know what it is like to break their backs or wear their fingers to calloused nubs. I am not averse to work, quite the opposite, I like having something to occupy my mind, my body, and my time. I am averse to doing so to fill the pockets of a moneyed class only to have them spit on me.
What is it going to take to change this? Maybe I am just in a bleak mood, events in my life, and in the lives of people I love have kicked me in the gut, I will be honest. We are not alone though. Most Americans can relate to everything I have just written, yet they either hide from it, or rally behind the people abusing them under one of two banners, banners designed by the powers that be.
It is nothing new for me to call for folks to get out in the streets and get angry. They need to see us, they need to see as many of us as they can. We need to stop bickering over the scraps they throw us, and to stop deluding ourselves into thinking they will treat us well if we just behave. Behaving is what got us into this mess to begin with. We trusted them and followed, wagging our tails waiting for that pat on the head that never came. It is time we bit, or at the very least, gave an honest growl.