America has a slew of economic, political, and social problems that hurt people every day and hold back the progress of humanity in the long run. When the stock market is doing well and all the grocery store shelves are stocked, it’s easy for most people to accept them as normal and either completely ignore them or make lazy excuses for their existence. The corona virus has put enough stress on the system to show us these problems aren’t normal or excusable. They’re the weak links that threaten to collapse society if left unchecked.
The housing market is a crime against humanity.
The mortgage system in America is designed so that, if you can’t afford to pay the whole cost upfront, then taxes, interest, and fees will double the price you have to pay over thirty years. Buying property doesn’t have to be this way. The only reason this happens is because that’s how the banks designed it.
As long as middle class workers who managed to save tens of thousands of dollars could afford a downpayment, it was easy to ignore how the system prevents poorer people from being able to afford to own their own homes. As long as everyone took the system for granted, it was easy to justify giving away hundreds of thousands of dollars to the government and banks over the course of your life in exchange for nothing.
Now that 30% of the work force and landlords who live off of collecting rent don’t have a guaranteed stable income, the risk, cost, and injustice of perpetual debt has become harder to ignore. Under the current system, America already has more empty homes than homeless people. If our housing market doesn’t change, millions of middle class Americans could be thrown out onto the streets as well. So far, the amount of human suffering and wasted savings caused by overcharging property owners hasn’t gotten high enough to elicit reform. I almost hope we have to bite the bullet and reach that tipping point so nobody has to ever be exploited by their mortgage lender again.
Landlords are parasites.
Most landlords don’t have enough money to buy multiple properties. They just have good credit scores and enough savings to cover the down payment. For those two reasons, they have the ability to borrow money from banks, take out a mortgage on a property, and have renters pay off the overpriced loan. In exchange for a lifetime of hard work, renters gets a temporary place to stay, and the landlord gets an almost free house that they can cash out whenever they need a few extra hundred thousand dollars. The landlord doesn’t get that house/money because they worked harder. They got it because their renter worked for them.
Life doesn’t have to be this way. If charging rent were illegal, then banks would have to price and sell properties in a way that works for poor people. The system only favors landlords because, if you’re collecting income from dozens or hundreds of poor people, then you have the power to write the rules. If you can only afford to take out loans on a few properties and get poor people to pay off your debts, why would you ever raise a fuss? You’d find a way to justify your actions too. If you’re too poor to afford a down payment, then nobody cares what you think, and it’s easy to blame you for not being able to save any money… even though you’re already paying a third of your income on someone else’s mortgage when, in a just world, that money would be working towards giving you ownership of the house you’re paying off.
Since rent collecting has been unfair as long as we’ve been alive, we assume this is just “how it works.” Now that so many people are unable to pay rent, and landlords are still demanding poor people to pay their bills, we’re finally forced to ask ourselves, what purpose do landlords serve other than to exploit tenants? And do we really need landlords?
Healthcare and health insurance costs are price gouging.
Healthcare costs are the number one cause of bankruptcy in America, and it’s easy to see why. There are countless stories of people being charged outrages fees for basic medical care. It’s blatantly obvious that hospitals are price gouging their customers. Probably the only reason we’ve put up with it for so long is because the medical insurance industry has been feeding us propaganda justifying the problem and blaming the victims.
Health insurance companies say any attempt at health care reform is communism that will bankrupt the country and lead to families killing each other in the streets. That was an easy lie to sell when the main victims were poor people. But when a third of all Americans get bankrupted in one year and lose their grandmother because she can’t afford to pay extortion prices, we might take a serious look at reigning in hospitals’ and insurance companies’ freedom to exploit their customers.
Employers should have nothing to do with their employees’ healthcare.
In America, most people get their health insurance through their employer. This is a win/lose situation for employers. On one hand, many employees stay at jobs they hate, working for people they hate, and enduring working conditions they hate, because they’re afraid to lose their health insurance. On the other hand, employers have to pay a lot of money to give their employees a perk that has nothing to do with them.
For employees, this system is a lose/lose situation. They’re at the mercy of the healthcare offered by their employer, and they have to worry about losing their mediocre employee-sponsored insurance if they try to improve their life by quitting.
Nobody likes this system, and I have no idea why it works this way in America. This is just another shitty system we all accept because, “that’s just the way it’s done.”
Now that one third of the population is out of work and both the workers and employers aren’t getting anything out of the deal, it’s making everyone wonder why the hell we’re all forced into accepting a deal that’s detrimental to everyone.
Workers should get a higher percentage of their company’s profits.
There’s an age-old question, “If a worker adds X-amount of profit to a company, how much of that money should they get to keep?” According to the law of supply and demand, the answer is, “As little as the law and market will allow.” And that’s how we calculate the minimum wage. As a result of this formula and the other factor previously mentioned in this post, the rich are always getting richer, and the poor are always getting poorer.
Since the corona virus has laid off millions of workers, companies that make billions of dollars of profit each year are asking the government and the general public to give them bailout money … even though the owners and investors have hoarded enough money to cover those temporary loses themselves.
So billionaires are asking people poorer than them to give them free money so they don’t lose their existing money that they don’t have time enough in their life to spend anyway. At the same time, the workers who earned all that money are getting laid off but are still expected to pay extortion prices to their landlords and hospitals.
This raises an interesting and important point. If the people who earned all that money for their company were getting paid a higher percentage of their company’s profits, then they wouldn’t be destitute during an economic crisis. But we are paying workers the lowest amount possible in order to maximize wealth-hoarding by the richest people on the planet. Now we’re finding out that this system is unsustainable. We’ve been told our entire lives that the welfare of the many outweigh the welfare of the few. Now that the welfare of the many is in dire risk, why are we still sacrificing the welfare of the many for the benefit of the few?
I’m not saying we need to institute total communism. Just pay workers a slightly higher percentage of their company’s profits than the bare minimum. If that’s a radical idea, then we live in a dystopia and Jesus is crying. Also, the poor are going to die en masse at the slightest economic downturn.
Poor people dying en masse isn’t good for the poor because… they’re suffering and dying. It’s also not good for the rich because after a certain amount of poor people die, then the rich will have to pay higher wages anyway because demand for labor will outweigh the supply. This already happened after the Bubonic plague. So the outcome is inevitable. The only question is, do we wait for people to die to give the survivors higher wages, or do we do the right thing without being forced to by inhumane market forces?
We should not have a two-party political system that gives lip service to the dumbest people in society while serving the richest.
America’s Democratic political party says it wants to help everybody, but when a politician like Bernie Sanders shows up who has a plan to help everybody, they rig the election process and have him pushed out. The Republican party says they worship Jesus, but they consistently support policies that allow big businesses to exploit workers. This accusation will offend people who only listen to political talking points, but it’s obvious to people who follow the money trail. Rich people make the biggest campaign contributions to political campaigns and spend the most money lobbying (aka legally bribing) politicians from both parties.
Money controls politics, and propaganda controls voters. This isn’t radical or new. Everyone knows it, but nobody is angry about it enough to get behind any kind of revolution. Politicians sure aren’t rallying against the status quo because they’re all on the payroll of their rich campaign donors and lobbyists.
I don’t want a violent revolution, and I don’t see one happening, but if there was ever a time for a non-violent one to happen, this is it. The American government’s response to the corona virus has been ham-stringed since the beginning by partisan bickering, blaming, and leveraging. During economic boom times, we might write off partisan bullshit as regrettable drama, but during a pandemic, it’s a matter of life and death for tax payers and voters.
Before the corona virus, America’s two-party system was hurting Americans by holding up progress due to ideological infighting, but we’ve had blood to spare. Now that America is facing a global pandemic, the roadblock to progress caused by our two-party system is an existential threat. If there was ever a time to move beyond our fake two-party system that divides the nation based on lip-service in order to best serve investors, the time is now.
Political personality cults aren’t helping.
Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize even though the American military killed thousands of civilians fighting illegal wars during his presidency. That’s not logical, and many Americans still yearn for the “good old days” of the Obama presidency even though he allowed the National Guard to shut down the Occupy Wall Street protests that sought to get money out of politics and fix all the problems that lead up to their politicians not being able to handle the corona virus.
Since Donald Trump got elected in 2016 by the electoral collage despite losing the popular vote, conservative Republicans have spent the past 3.5 years reverse engineering mind bending excuses to justify all of his immoral, corrupt, and insane actions because they are just as enamored with his cult of personality as liberal Democrats were with Obama.
Since the corona virus started, I’ve watched Trump downplay the risk, call it a politically motivated hoax, blame China, and threaten to withhold aid from states because their governors criticized him. Every time Trump has done those fucked up things, I’ve seen his supporters spin his fuckups as victories and paint him as a hero. As surely as liberal Democrats justifying Obama’s fuckups have made the world a worse place, conservative Republicans have also made the world less safe by blindly defending their cult leader.
It doesn’t matter if you’re Democrat, Republican, Chinese, Russian, Assyrian, Roman, Babylonian, or Mesopotamian… mindlessly defending politicians has never helped humanity. How many times must we repeat our mistakes before we stop? If ever there was a time to stop worshiping charismatic, rich, idiotic politicians, a global pandemic is it.
There are more important problems in the world than identity politics.
For the past three years, every time I logged onto social media, I’ve been slapped in the face with articles about how white cis gender males are evil, and everyone needs to address people with a pronoun that fits their niche gender identity… and if you don’t, then you’re a Nazi.
I was pro-transgender acceptance before it was cool. I’m fine with equal wages and chicks with dicks. But the social justice warrior movement isn’t about equality. It’s about using semantics and flawed arguments to find scapegoats to destroy so that spoiled suburbanite kids can feel empowered and purposeful in their meaningless social media-driven lives.
The feminazi social justice warrior movement was always destined to fail because it was never really a movement. It was just a virtue-signaling temper tantrum looking for an enemy in utopia. Now that people are dying in the streets, I’ve barely heard a peep from the cis-gender white male-hating crowd because we have a real problem knocking at everyone’s door, and we need cis-gender white male doctors, nurses, grocery store clerks, and garbage men to hold society together while everything else falls apart.
Bill Burr was right when he said, “There are no feminists in a house fire.”
It’s easy to hate the people you rely on when everything is fine. Just like how you always see a lull in man-hating feminist rhetoric around Valentine’s Day when women are expecting free gifts, you’re seeing a big lull in that shit talking while America is in a metaphorical house fire.
After the fire is over, let’s not go back to blaming cis-gender white male wage slaves for oppressing upper-middle class suburbanites whose biggest problem in life is finding a good hair dresser. Let’s focus on fixing the economic policies that oppress every gender and color of people who spend their lives working their asses off supporting the opulent lifestyles of their multi-gendered, multi-racial employers, landlords, and bankers.
Science and action work better than prayers.
Every time there’s a major travesty in America, the government responds by calling on people to send out their “thoughts and prayers.” Despite America’s official stance on the separation of church and state, it’s had an official national day of prayer in May since 1775. Though, after the corona virus hit, president Trump declared an additional national day of prayer on March 15, 2020.
The result of Trump’s redundant day of prayer had the exact same effect as every other “thought and prayer” that has ever been tested: Nothing. The effectiveness of prayer is the most tested theory in all of human history, and every single time it has ever been tested it has resulted in (at best) the same success rate as blind chance.
In reality, thoughts and prayers don’t change anything. The only thing that consistently effects reality is action. You’d think America would have given up on “thoughts and prayers” after it failed to stop the 100th mass shooting, but people kept holding onto the hope that the next time it would work. Hopefully, after it failed to stop the corona virus, Americans will stop putting their faith in wishful thinking and dedicate their minds and bodies to taking solid action.
More food should be grown locally.
For centuries, American agriculture companies have lobbied American politicians to topple governments in other countries in order to allow them to buy foreign soil and employ foreign wage slaves to grow crops that can be sold cheaply to American consumers. This isn’t radical anti-capitalist propaganda. It’s so common, there’s even a term for it.
Americans have turned a blind eye to these human rights abuses and crimes against humanity because acknowledging the truth would require admitting compliance and paying higher prices for fruit.
Selling your soul to the devil is easy when you only have to pay fifty cents for an avocado, but when supply lines are disrupted, you don’t get any avocados.
There’s enough space and greenhouse technology to grow anything anywhere. It just costs a little more in infrastructure to grow avocados north of the equator. Doing that wasn’t possible when profits were the most important imperative of the global economy, but the corona virus has (hopefully) taught us that survival of the species is more important than profits. So if we hope to provide all of society with the necessary dietary requirements, we should spend more money on the agriculture infrastructure necessary to grow exotic foods close to home instead of exploiting vulnerable foreign countries and exporting their resources to grocery stores in your local suburb.
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