Weakened State: What it’s like Being Working Class Poor in the Wealthiest Nation in the World
May 4, 2017
Do you know what it’s like to be put in the corner so others can shine? When your other siblings got cars but your family sold yours for the cash? When a boy needs his father but he’s the one who leaves you disenfranchised and exploits you? The pain only further wounded by others pride as they stand there and tell you how you’re supposed to live, but when it’s time to take it to the next level, there the ones who drag you down? You’re only expectation is to work. No hobbies. No dreams. No career. No scholarships. No Family. No Wife. No Nothing. except for plenty of Over Time. Do you know how frustrating that struggle is nowadays? I’m more expected to carve my soul out like a pumpkin than trying to have a life where I have a sense of control over my situation, I’m tired of being oppressed with other people’s station in life, from every angle, because they’d rather have it all for themselves instead of empowering the world.
We admire success in this nation. We obsess about money. But we leave the working poor to struggle in a paradigm that reminds me of the Greeks who believed that poverty was a curse of the Gods, and wealth their blessing, which is a sign of greed. We live in a world that reminds me of the Indian struggles with the Bahamian class that led to the rise of Buddhism- whose lower class citizens drifted off into the wilderness to find peace in an otherwise unnatural system of stagnation. We live in a world today where inequality lives behind a veil of such material wealth and Tryanny.
Job Insecurity is a major problem in the United States and the United Kingdom, discussed in a 2000 Kent Univerity study titled Job Insecurity and Wages. My grandfather made Thirty Dollars an Hour in the Printing Business Forty Years Ago. The most I’ve made in one year was less than Thirty Thousand. The country my Grandparents grew into was vastly different than the world we live in today. My other Grandfather got his Mechanical Engineering degree at the cost of Fifty Dollars a Semester in the Early Fifties. That means the average Technical College’s semester cost went up by 500%. My father mentions a time when he could quit one job that paid twenty dollars for an hour and start a new job the same week at the same pay scale. But today, I have to put in extra work just for a measly ten dollars an hour.
My family is beginning to feel this pinch. My uncles was laid off after thirty years as a production manager, and my other uncle is losing his job at General Electric who plans on moving Waukesha Engines, a hundred-year-old company, who recently sold out its legacy to GE, now plans on moving to Canada. Noam Chomsky among others point out the fact that these big corporations make more money moving around money, than they do on actual production. The long term of such insanity will not be substainable. We cannont make something from nothing and expect our quality of life to approve when all your doing is moving numbers around, instead of creating new things.
I remember the day I nervously asked my sister if she could ask my Dad if I could work for him and his company. He loved the idea, and I put everything into that company. I did my job so well, I replaced full grown adults, at only the age of 14.
Then it went up in flames. First in father’s crack pipe, and then in a fire. I lost my future, and since then, have made the transition from Middle Class, to working class poor. I have no place to go, and no way to transcend this struggle. My struggle has become an example, an example of tyranny justifying its selfishness.
We have a major problem with Narcissism in this country. We put image before character and divert mistakes with wealth. We are the richest country in terms of wealth, but as poor in spirit as the Romans, whose arrogance led to the rise of Christianity. This lack of empathy is destroying our country internally, and our world externally. We care more about our own images, our own success, our own prosperity; but at the expense of the aching backs of those we exploit and leave disenfranchise. The world this is going to leave behind is poverty for all, depleted, and left in negligence.
Because I worked for my dad for half a decade, companies don’t want to hire me, out of fear of leaving and going back to old ways. And yet, every time I work at a company, I get subhuman treatment, not allowed to grow, and run out by reactive leaders. I want to grow, work hard, help people, and make compromises. But have found this grounds for people in positions of authority to use it against me. This includes my family. I grew up in such poverty, that there were times we went without fresh water and heat. I remember birthdays where all my cards were stolen out of the mailbox.
I quit my last job because the Union didn’t stand behind me when the company decided I wasn’t going to get the dollar raise and department lead position I volunteered to do during the busiest time of the year in a department from five people down to two. It took four managers including ones from departments I don’t even have anything to do with to tell me I was stuck, kissing the Union Drivers, Management, and anyone with Seniority’s asses, and Welcome to Corporate Fascist Takeover, Goodbye. (I will testify to that statement in court).
And yet, for my hard work, my sacrifices, and all my growth intellectually and Spiritually, I’m still seen as the failure, the loser, the deadbeat, the idiot. I’m tired of living in a world where good enlightened people are kept down so those who put money before their own God can feel privileged.
I could be doing so much more not just for myself, but for my family, and for this country, and this world. But instead of doing what you know is right in your heart, you put yourself and your family before the world as a whole. Which is fine, but then don’t be upset with why you have poop kids. I just hope they can see through the delusions before you leave the world for your children where struggling people are driven into homelessness because you don’t care unless it affects you. Your attitude is poverty, and that is the world you’re leaving because of it.