Once upon a time, America was a land offering unlimited promise and opportunities. But for four decades now, our nation has borne witness to a growing egregious and perverse atrocity. For over those past four decades we find that unlimited promise and opportunity replaced by empty rhetoric and empty promises, with opportunities seemingly reserved solely for America’s economic elite… while leaving none for the hardest working people to ever walk the planet, they simply need not apply.
Consider, if you’ve reached age 50, many companies deem you to be too expensive to hold on to, so they’ll take any opportunity to ditch you for somebody cheaper. Ok, so let’s say you are younger than 50, if you’re between age 18 and age 50, you’re still more expensive than outsourcing your job to foreign labor. Using, as an example Texas alone, before the recession began and the second quarter of 2011, total employment in Texas increased by 279,000. Of this, 225,000 jobs ? 81 percent of jobs ? went to immigrants (legal and illegal) who arrived in the United States in 2007 or later. And even though natives made up most of the growth in potential workers, most of the job growth went to immigrants.
Meanwhile, as America’s oligarchs take every opportunity to deprive you of the ability to earn an income, they’re also pressing the Republican Party to defund Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, in short, to shred the American safety net. You’re on your own!
And thanks to their dumbing down of our educational system — with “No Child Left Behind,” privatization of our schools, and funding cuts — our nation may be experiencing a growth in the number of conservatives relative to progressives that we don’t even know about yet. So over time, then Republicans could take more and more races, making it possible for Republicans to defund and shred America’s safety net. (Yes, a study really does show that progressives are smarter than conservatives).
Growth among conservative ranks, could lead to growth in the numbers of people who believe the propaganda and lies told by America’s economic elite. The deficit crisis is a prime example. Since we hold the world reserve currency, there is only one reason for America’s economic elite to continue concocting this “deficit crisis”: So they can press their advantage to access of government over yours.
But there’s a long-term cost that due to the blind arrogance of America’s economic elite, the economic elite seem unable to grasp…
An Object Lesson
This past Sunday, 60 Minutes premiered a segment entitled ‘Three Generations of Punishment,’ a story on the experiences of North Korean’ Shin Dong-hyuk, the son of a man who was imprisoned because two of Shin’s uncles defected to South Korea during the Korean War. Since North Korea practices the policy of Three Generations of Punishment, then not only would Shin’s father be imprisoned for simply being a brother of the two defectors, but also Shin and any offspring Shin might produce while in prison.
The prison referred to in this is Camp 14… North Korea’s Kaechon internment camp, Kwan-li-so (Penal-labor colony), No. 14. Camp 14 serves as a strong object lesson on how abject depravity recalibrates a “moral compass” to a moral turpitude as we view standards of honesty, good morals, or justice.
During the time he was in the camp, at the age of 14, Shin was completely stripped, his legs cuffed and hands tied, and suspended from the ceiling of his cell. His torturers then lit up a charcoal fire under his back and forced a hook into his skin so that he could not struggle. He still has a number of large scars from the flesh burned and from many other abuses. When Shin worked in the garment factory and accidentally dropped a sewing machine, the foreman hacked off his middle finger just above the first knuckle as punishment. Shin witnessed dozens of public executions each year. Another prisoner Kim Yong witnessed around 25 executions in his section of the camp within less than two years.
Shin saw a six year old girl in his school being beaten to death for stealing 5 grains of corn. When Shin was 12 years old, he was separated from his mother and rarely allowed to see her. Instead of attending school, the children had to do all kinds of physical work including weeding, harvesting, carrying dung. Between the ages of 13 and 16, Shin was forced to do dangerous construction work and saw many children killed in work. Sometimes, four to five children were killed in a day. On one occasion, he saw eight people killed by an accident. Shin’s cousin was raped by prison guards and died later and when his cousin’s mother wailed, she disappeared and was never seen again. Shin saw how twelve fellow prisoners were given toxic water for washing by the guards and got seriously ill within a week and then disappeared.
But what was most telling was when Shin told a guard about his mother and brother attempting to escape, Shin was thrown into a small underground cell, where it was impossible to either stand or lie down, and he was kept there and tortured for eight months. Later Shin was forced to watch the execution of his mother Chang Hye-kyong by hanging and his brother Shin Ha-kun by firing squad.
The reason Shin reported the escape attempt was to cut down on his hunger, as he confided in the segment. His mother and brother were not really attempting an escape. And the reason for Shin being thrown into that small underground cell was because the guard wanted to claim the benefit for exposing the escape attempt for himself.
Shin Dong-hyuk’s story tells a story of what happens when people are dehumanized, reduced to mere livestock. By preaching “get a job” while businesses are off-shoring, outsourcing and practicing every other venal perfidy imaginable to separate good, hardworking people from a living wage, and to shred the safety net on top of it, can only lead to people acting out of the same type of desperation. Thus, “get a job” translates to “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Shall Set You Free) ? Nazi slogan placed over the entrances of a number of concentration camps, including Auschwitz.
Currently crime rates are going up. That should be a warning sign, because too many are now getting the message that hard work and perseverance do not pay off in the end. So it’s time for the people of this nation to take a good, hard look at where this perversion by America’s oligarchs is inevitably going to lead. Because that is a dystopia that I… and I would imagine you ? if you could visualize that dystopia… do not want to experience!