Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Letter (Plea) To Government

This is not a letter that is easy for me to write, but these thoughts have been on my mind for a long time and so I'm going to have to do something about them. It's time to take stock of what is happening to this country. I can't just silently stand by, watching my nation keep sliding downhill, because this unnecessary decline matters far too much to me. Slowly but surely, you are putting most all of your citizens into positions of solitary confinement like that of any prisoner, where they can neither help themselves nor one another. And even though you are no longer in a position to be able to help anyone but your rich friends, you adamantly remain unwilling to admit it.

You only know how to "help" your citizens with various schemes that mostly enrich you and your favorite rich friends. But your 30 year mortgages, non negotiable student loans, and mandated healthcare are now about as far from any practical reality for most of us as it gets. Even the hospitals with plenty of money at their disposal, are losing the ability to play this game of captured suppliers, for the most basic of necessities. All the while, you continue to expect people with a pauper's salary - or nothing at all - to buy the goods you insist on fashioning for the wallets of the rich.  When confronted with that fact, you mostly get indignant and say people should "have a living wage". How is anyone ever going to have a living wage when you constantly raise the bar of entry and access on their living and working standards for your own gain?

Let your people learn to help themselves and one another again while they still can, while there is still a chance. Quit needlessly dividing them and setting them against one another for your own gain. Don't let them remain in their solitary confinement, convinced that if they do something for their very survival, they are somehow breaking one of your endless laws. Laws were supposed to be about creating ways for people to have understandable ways to work and live amongst one another, but you have used them mostly to put people down and destroy them for no good reason. That has all but destroyed the very society that was once so strong. People have great resilience and have tried again and again to survive, but you have insisted on knocking them down time and again, every time they try to stand up.

You have allowed people in the U.S. to believe that they were actually part of a free nation, when every day you have proceeded further in your intent to make it nothing of the sort. You pretend to know the best answers for everything, in spite of expecting people to become educated for a substantial part of their lives, and yet you stand in the way at every turn of allowing them to utilize the knowledge they learn in the belief it can be of benefit to them. It matters not to you if the skills of your citizens are wasted, or that it becomes ever more difficult for all of us to utilize the knowledge and skills of one another in either economic or social terms. You continue to pursue policies in which you pretend to have the best interests of the public at heart, all the while as a ploy to allow someone to gain advantage over others in the marketplace.

Worse, you scoff at the monetary policies which could actually help people regain their economic livelihoods and destinies. Sadly, too many in Washington have come to believe that getting monetary policy right does not really have anything to do with potential solutions at all, when nothing could be further from the truth. There are days when I think that your ignorance is going to win the day and ruin us all, and I have to remain strong in my belief that this is not in fact going to happen. In your efforts to divide us, it has become mostly about legislating how we might actually be able to fight one another in the streets, instead of coming together to find solutions and moving away from the need to fight one another at all.

Stop. Just stop this insanity, if for no other reason than you are not going to remain strong either, if you destroy the majority of your own citizens in this madness. Quit obfuscating the issues. Quit grandstanding. Don't regale us with speeches of hope and change when you intend nothing of the sort, and don't tell us how you're going to end the Fed or the free market for that matter because it seems like the latest fad. Don't write healthcare laws that expect everyone to pay up even when they are unemployed, and especially don't tell people to cease and desist offering advice for the unemployed who have no where else to turn to for help. You mostly ignore such admonitions when they come from people with money, will you ignore them too even from the people who are no longer gainfully employed, and have figured out exactly what you did to put them in that position?

Perhaps you think that the unemployed are not paying attention, or that it doesn't matter if they are. But they can't help but see how you seek to put even more in their position, through the arbitrary limitations that are your rewards to the ones who are willing to pay for your big party in Washington. They see how you force people to travel to cities and stay there, for hospital care that can no longer even account for such basics as nutrients and lipids. Only a few years ago, any patient who could barely eat (or nor at all) could at the very least expect to receive something as important as lipids during their hospital stay, to help keep their weight up.

But in the present, the arbitrary limitations of suppliers means that even something as basic as this cannot be maintained, and patients now have been known to stay in the hospital for more than a month with almost no lipids (despite the protestations of onlookers) until the Medicare runs out and the patient has to foot the entire bill for the remaining stay. In the circumstance which angered me so, only when Medicare wasn't paying anymore, were lipids finally hung by the bed. "I was there and I saw what you did." Even basic toiletries that one might expect to find at a dollar store are now out of reach of the hospital's budget and the patient expected to do without unless they are brought from home, but even then may be removed from the patient's room. It's been said repeatedly that something as important as healthcare should be run without the free market. There's no free market here, and this is what it looks like.

One often hears that marginal governments are bound by extractive institutions which have too few means to redistribute wealth, but in the present it almost seems that the U.S. government is the most extractive of all. After all, it feeds off the unrealized dreams, knowledge and skills capacity of its own citizens for its own glory, people who could be tending to one another in the places where they actually live if laws only allowed. Meanwhile, those in the vicinity of Washington are gradually becoming the most prosperous area of the country.

I know you think the Great Recession is over, because all of you spend your days around others who are gainfully employed and thus it seems life has returned to normal. But it hasn't. Please don't ignore that fact. There is still a chance to turn this around, regain faith and trust in your own citizens and give them a chance to do what they were born to achieve in the first place. Let them help themselves while they still can, please do not stand in their way any longer. Quite ignoring us, while there is still time. And no, no one paid or asked me to write this letter on their behalf, for I am a long term unemployed individual. When I pray for this country and for the people of the world every night, it is solely my own doing.

Becky Hargrove

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