Saturday, March 05, 2005

Continued Observations on Free Mark Philosophy

Last month, in a presentation on social security, President Bush had a discussion with Mary Mornin, a woman in her late fifties who told the president she was a divorced mother of three, including a 'mentally challenged' son. Here is the how the conversation went:

MS. MORNIN: That's good, because I work three jobs and I feel like I contribute.

THE PRESIDENT: You work three jobs?

MS. MORNIN: Three jobs, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that. (Applause.) Get any sleep? (Laughter.)

I wonder if the president even realized how absurd it sounded to state "That's fantastic". Didn't he realize what a condemnation on his country it is that a single mother with a 'mentally challenged' son has to work three jobs to make ends meet. Does he realize how difficult this women's life must have been. Uniquely American?

This woman's plight represents the end game for the neoconservative agenda. Time after time, the neocons promote policy changes which push every ounce of productivity out of Joe Average, while reducing regulations on corporations and the rich. They are truly promoting an aristocracy.

There is a new bill in the senate designed to push the minimum wage up to $7.25, the first significant jump in the minimum wage in years. Some in the senate are attempting to limit the raise to $6.25, which will keep those at minimum wage below the poverty line. Daily Kos has an entry stating the Santorum is trying to add an amendment which will eliminate the 40 hour work week.

The end result is a depoliticized America. In the sixties, a family was able to get by on a single parent income. Now, some dual income families are barely scraping by, after spending a significant portion of their income on child care. A tired and overworked population does not have the will and energy to educate themselves and realize what is happening.

Right now, I'm watching Super Size Me for the third time, with my dad. Nominated for best documentary at the Oscars, this movie exemplifies the symptoms of the free market experiment gone awry. The neocons talk of eliminating frivolous lawsuits, like those wishing to sue McDonalds for destroying the health of our nation.

McDonalds servers 46 million meals a day, and has over 30,000 locations worldwide. One in four Americans eat at a fast food restaurant every day. Having families where both parents have to work, along with having to stretch our dollar further and further as each year passes, it's no wonder that people eat at fast food joints as often as we do. Pressed for time and money, McDonalds and their associates represent the best value for the American buck, but they do not provide any benefit whatsoever to society.

Keep on eye on the agenda that the Bush Administration is pushing on us these days. They are passing laws that eliminate bankruptcy for an option for the average American, while keeping loopholes in place that allow corporations and the rich to continue to keep their assets and operate under bankruptcy. They are trying to destroy social security, and pass the money on to corporations and CEOs. They are trying to eliminate overtime pay and the forty hour work week. They have passed tax cuts that overwhelming favor the rich. They have passed laws to eliminate environmental regulations and refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol, yet they continue to push for reform to regulate individual behavior.

The level of complacency in America is alarming, but it is not unexplainable. The combination of a bought-and-paid for corporate media that hold the Bush Administration accountable and a depoliticized population has given the administration a very loose leash.