Kudos to the fine hit song by War entitled ‘ The World Is a Ghetto’ ( 1972). Again, as with so many other incidents, issues and complications within this empire, can you comprehend that this song, resonating so well now, was written 50 years ago? If anything, we have regressed further down that rabbit hole as I write this. Corporate America, part of and in conjunction with this Military Industrial Complex, owns us! If you are not secure in your livelihood and earning more than the 99% of us, then YOU are US! Look around you. Saddled with too high a rent or too long a mortgage, paying too much for car loans or car insurance, home and apartment insurance, definitely health insurance, exploding cable TV and cell phone bills… we all become serfs and indentured servants to the Man.
When you turn on the boob tube you can see that just about everyone in front of the camera is at least a millionaire. Television actors, newscasters, sports journalists and pundits, including the professional athletes ( Any sport of importance) are all Super Rich. How many millionaires are in political office? Check it out. Too many. Why do I say that? Well, how can any millionaire have the correct moral compass… or even proper empathy for us working stiffs and poor? I love it when some mega millionaire or billionaire donates 5% of their wealth to help others, and we celebrate them as philanthropists. The day laborer who makes peanuts and hands a buck or two to a handicapped beggar is doing more. Here’s a good question to ponder: When many of the politician’s constituents has shitty or no health coverage, why don’t we read of more in Congress refusing to get the FREE health coverage afforded them by Uncle Sam? Shouldn’t we hear ‘ I will pay for my coverage the same as many of my constituents have to.’
Why are so many sports fans completely oblivious to the mega millions earned by the owners, the players and the television networks? Never do they call in to their favorite talk shows angry about the skewed nature of things. Many of them will fork out lots of their money for tickets or licensed team apparel… Not me! Imagine, using 50 years ago as a reference point, we could go to a baseball game for maybe $ 10 for a great box seat. Now you are looking at over $100, even $ 150 to watch nine innings. The hot dogs probably cost $ 12-$ 15
EACH , the beer the same… a can of beer that costs what, $ 1.00 in the supermarket. Forget about programs or team caps. How about the parking? Yankee Stadium Parking starts at $ 25 and goes way higher. For a dad to take two kids to a ballgame will cost well over $ 200… maybe $300. Sick!
How about the utter reverence so many Americans give to their elected officials. I have gone to town hall meetings of a Congressman and could not believe the serf mentality. When questioning these people, all some omit is the Curtsy. We ‘ Thank them’ for taking our question. Here’s the skinny: The only one at that town hall meeting who is on the clock is the politician! They are being paid to represent us! Reminds me of the great 1993 Claude Berri film Germinal, taking place in early 19th Century France in a coal mining town. The workers, as usual being exploited by the mine owner, the ‘ Lord of the Manor’, were pissed off and threatening to strike. They not only had to work in those black lung mines, but also pay rent to live in the company owned housing… which were no more than shacks. Most of their weekly pay went for food and rent, leaving them with enough for a Saturday night. Anyhow, in one chilling scene we see the workers forming a committee to go and speak with the mine owner at his estate, in hopes of receiving more pay and safer working conditions. As the small group arrives at the front door, they are ushered into his den. The owner, sitting behind his desk, watches them enter. The group stops and stand maybe 20 feet from the desk. At that moment they all take off their hats and give a half bow. The owner stays seated as they very respectfully have their spokesperson state their case, almost apologetically.
With the fact that our America has Less than 10 % of private sector workers in unions, as more and more states have union busting ‘ Right to work laws’….
Ghetto America has now encompassed what was once called the ‘ Middle Class’ !! You don’t need to go to the beach to experience ‘ Serfs Up’ !!
Philip A Farruggio is regular columnist on It’s the Empire… stupid website. He is also frequently posted on Nation of Change, Countercurrents., Smirking Chimp and Independent Australia sites. He is the son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen and a graduate of Brooklyn College, class of 1974. Since the 2000 election debacle Philip has written over 400 columns on the Military Industrial Empire and other facets of life in an upside down America. He is also host of the ‘ It’s the Empire… Stupid ‘ radio show, co produced by Chuck Gregory. Philip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.