Now where did I put those launch codes? Oh, here they are. 3 . . 2 . . 1 . . ignition . . . liftoff. We have liftoff. Welcome to Wryly Coyote, a weekly tour of Kafka’s America., as seen through the tears of a clown. Coyote lives far out on the fringes of society, he stays under the radar, but always watching. He doesn’t need humans, but it’s an easy living. Remember also he is the trickster of Southwest legend, and kin to Raven in the Northwest. If some of what you find here is a little dark, it’s because these are very dark times. If I don’t find a way to laugh, I’ll start screaming again. I may ask your help with questions, questions which plague me. Is Justin Bieber really a lesbian chick? Is Michele Bachmann really serious? And if she is, shouldn’t she be out on a ledge somewhere? Does this blog make my ass look too fat? It’s not my fault, you know. While other kids were reading Beatrix Potter, my dad was reading Dr. Seuss to me. Thanks, Dad! And now, our initial public offering.
Another Modest Proposal
The title “A Modest Proposal” was already taken, by Jonathan Swift in 1719. In it he offered a solution for the starving Irish – – selling their children as delicacies for their tables. That essay partly inspired this more meager effort.
What if I told you we could reduce unemployment down to 2-3 %, while putting 10-15 million people back to work, while restoring our manufacturing base? Corporate profits would soar as well, a given, since this would otherwise be impossible. It’s really very simple – – all we have to do is criminalize unemployment. Oh, I don’t mean pass a law making it illegal to be out of work, no one would go for that. It amounts to bringing back debtor prisons.
Think about it. Millions are unemployed now and there aren’t nearly enough jobs for them. The longer they remain out of work, the less likely they’ll ever be hired. This is even truer for the elderly. Already employers routinely post signs saying “unemployed need not apply.” A few million more have exhausted their unemployment benefits and have had to move in with their children or parents. Then there are the millions upside down in their mortgages or have maxed out their credit cards. All these people are deeply in debt, so let’s just put them in jail.
The fastest growing sector in the past decade is the private prison industry, and they’re just looking for inmates. Late for a credit card payment? Go to jail. Just got laid off and your mortgage is due? You’re under arrest. You just graduated and now you owe $50,000 in loans? Come along with us.
Many of these prisons can easily be converted to manufacturing, and newer ones will be built accordingly. And with prison labor being around 25 cents an hour, we can easily undercut wages in China, India, or elsewhere. Companies will relocate back to the USA. By then, most of the working class will be making minimum wage, presuming that law hasn’t been abolished (they’re working on it). So who’s going to buy all this crap we think we need? In May 2011 Wal-Mart reported sales figures have been declining. Talk about a canary-in-the-coal-mine moment. You know we’re in trouble when we can’t even afford Wal-Mart. As a recent article in “The Nation” pointed out, American consumers are being marked down for clearance. That’s not a problem; there are BILLIONS of potential consumers in China & India alone.
Think I’m kidding about all this? Unfortunately, reality has been catching up with me. Right now, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of warrants out on people for failing to appear at court-appointed default hearings. Oh, you say, that’s for missing court hearings, not debt itself. Just keep telling yourself that. Last year two judges in Pennsylvania were tried and convicted for taking kickbacks from the private prisons. They had been sentencing juveniles for the most trifling incidents.
This last June in California, Federal agents smashed down some guy’s door – – they were looking for his girlfriend, who had defaulted on a student loan. The Dept. of Education is now working with law enforcement to go after old student loans. And when you look at how deeply corruption runs through the judiciary – – especially the U.S. Supreme Court – – you have to be a little nervous. So my advice to you is to stay out of debt, that is, if you can. If not, you have the right to remain incarcerated. Anything you say can and will be held against you in your upcoming parole hearing.
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