Older workers too are worrying, for they see the burden staying here has in store for them – a subsistence retirement. What’s the incentive to work hard when you’ve hardly got anything to show for the work you did? That’s Montana today – a place where there’s not much incentive to do anything.
Why is this?
- First, my wife gets paid poverty-level wages, but if she moved to another state, she could double her income. Certain businesses in Missoula collude on keeping wages down, and that’s what we have here.
- Next, Amazon changed things with Kindle Unlimited, giving readers 750,000 books a month for $9.99 or so. That means eBook sales are going down, and I’m worried my income will be affected. People in France are worried too – that’s why they just ruled Kindle Unlimited as illegal.
- Then, I’m getting a whole lost less writing work. What’s more, I’m seeing more and more employers give jobs to people in India and Pakistan and the Philippines for $40, something that I’d do for $500, and used to do before quality standards suddenly plummeted in the West.
- Finally, why not? I’ve tried very hard for the past year to get some political dialogue going and incite some change, but I’m afraid I’ve failed. What’s more, I just don’t have the money to keep doing it. I mean, when you’re starting January with $2 in the bank and no money coming in…what do you do?
So it’s pretty depressing and it seems no matter how hard you work, you just can’t get ahead. But then that’s America today, and Montana has always been at the forefront of America.
Most Americans are hardheaded and will tell you if you don’t like it, leave. What do you say to that? And what do you do when you see someone digging their own grave? I guess you just let ‘em, because they’re so hardheaded that they can’t be convinced otherwise. Or is America not charting high on all the bad lists and falling below on all the good ones?
- Pew Research tells us that 72% of Americans think the economy is fair or poor.
- The Horrace Mann League tells us despite our wealth, we’re falling more through the cracks than ever:
Despite high educational levels, the United States also reflects high levels of economic inequity and social stress compared to the other nations. All are related to student performance. Measures included rates of childhood poverty, income inequality and violence. For example, in American public schools today, the rate of childhood poverty is five times greater than it is in Finland. Rates of violent death are 13 times greater than the average for the other nations, with children in some communities reporting they have witnessed shootings, knifings, and beatings as “ordinary, everyday events.
But then you get tarred and feathered for saying something like that, and that’s a symptom of not only a lack of leadership, but dangerous leadership. That’s mob rule there. And when you have that, there can be no civil discourse and all sides will never be presented.
What do you do when someone insists on driving down the freeway the wrong way, saying they’re right and you’re wrong? In Montana we’d pull them over and give them a DUI, but what do you do when your country is doing that? How do you put a state or a country in the drunk tank to sleep it off? Who can do that?
I don’t see anyone, and it’s incredibly frustrating. And what’s more, instead of trying to allow those people to come forth, we stifle anyone that may try to challenge whichever heir apparents may or may not be out there.
Money, everything’s always about money. I think about money all the time myself, and the fact that America’s business is business doesn’t help that. Right now that business is wildly corrupt, with rich billionaires buying politicians and subverting the infrastructure of the social and economic institutions of justice we built up over the greatest part of the 20th-century. Now those accomplishments are about to lie as rubble at our feet.