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Working Until It’s Time for Your Grave


#1

Working Until It’s Time for Your Grave

Tiffany Williams

“My plan is just to work until I die.” That’s how my mom sums up her retirement prospects.

She’s worked more than 40 hours a week as a legal secretary in north Florida for as long as I can remember. When my brother and I were kids, we went to her office every Saturday and entertained ourselves by sliding across the floor in fancy law firm chairs while our single mom worked overtime in her cubicle.


#2

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#3
 My heart breaks every time I consider the inequity of our system and the suffering it causes for our people and our planet. 
 The USA is the worst nation in the OECD and amongst the worst in the world for wealth inequality. According to a study by Harvard researchers in the British Medical Journal one of three Americans will die of wealth inequality.
 It is not that there is a scarcity of wealth, it is simply that there is a flowering of greed  Our economy produces a Gross National Income equivalent to nearly $60,000 per year for every man, woman and child after you factor in hidden and off-shore wealth. That is $240,000 for every family of four if wealth and income were shared equally.
 If we shared, if we cared for each other, there would be no fear as to whether the next paycheck will come or to whether one must work till the day they die. 
 We all are complicit to some extent in the actions and results of the system, either as workers or owners or both. Taking responsibility for that is a big step for people of conscience as it means profoundly looking at our relation to money, wealth, property, power, domination other people and the earth. For some of us it can be as radical as turning your back on a fortune to adopt a life of voluntary simplicity or it may be as simple as volunteering as a care giver. In any event the decision will actualize with the greatest potential if you help others to understand that we are all part of this economic/social system, that it can be changed and that making personal change leading to organizing with others is the most effective route for creating a new world.

#4

Dariel, what you said is probably great but you needed to use some returns to make your sentences fit the box, like this:
"My heart breaks every time I consider the inequity of our system and the suffering it causes for our people and our planet.

The USA is the worst nation in the OECD and amongst the worst in the world for wealth inequality. According to a study by Harvard researchers in the British Medical Journal one of three Americans will die of wealth inequality.

It is not that there is a scarcity of wealth, it is simply that there is a flowering of greed Our economy produces a Gross National Income equivalent to nearly $60,000 per year for every man, woman and child after you factor in hidden and off-shore wealth. That is $240,000 for every family of four if wealth and income were shared equally.

If we shared, if we cared for each other, there would be no fear as to whether the next paycheck will come or to whether one must work till the day they die.

We all are complicit to some extent in the actions and results of the system, either as workers or owners or both. Taking responsibility for that is a big step for people of conscience as it means profoundly looking at our relation to money, wealth, property, power, domination other people and the earth. For some of us it can be as radical as turning your back on a fortune to adopt a life of voluntary simplicity or it may be as simple as volunteering as a care giver. In any event the decision will actualize with the greatest potential if you help others to understand that we are all part of this economic/social system, that it can be changed and that making personal change leading to organizing with others is the most effective route for creating a new world."

Ah, much better now. Yes, I can see that I agree with you (to some extent.)


#5

Thanks very much!! :blush:


#6

An article about Occupy existed in approximately this position on "Today's News" just moments ago. Why was it deleted? This poster needs to know.


#7

Tiffany is describing the condition of the US working class prior to FDR's New Deal when most workers' retirement dates were the same as their death date.

The New Deal created what came to be known as the us middle class whereby most of the working class could retire prior to death. That is why the Raygun revolution accelerated the 1%'s effort to dismantle the New Deal and every president since Raygun has furthered that effort.

The most effective way to add funding to Social Security is to lift the cap on Social Security deductions so that high income folks don't just have deductions on the first $100k of income.


#8

Put a stick in it!

This "we are all responsible crap" suggests equivalence between the most powerful sectors of society--like America's own royal families, you know the oil barons, Walmart heirs, scions of giant land tracts, etc.--and everyone else.

I take that as a right wing talking point.

It's similar to the way that "Black Lives Matter" is transformed into "All lives matter."

Naturally the latter sounds very Democratic and all-inclusive when in reality what it attempts to accomplish by stealth is again, setting up a false equivalence.

I notice this in the pains taken to not include gender in most political commentary, too.

And then "taking responsibility for it is a big step" is ludicrous in terms of:

  1. The Deep State apparatus that runs this country
  2. The Vichy elections that present but the veneer of Democracy
  3. The power handed to corporations in ways that legalize bribery ("Citizens United") and legitimize their purchase of politicians and law makers
  4. The FACT that trade agreements like TPP and TIPP literally eviscerate all those provisions and regulations bravely fought for over the past 7 decades--mostly pertaining to Environmental protections and labor rights

Also, your cut and paste job is a drag to read. It doesn't conform to readable margins.

Did some think tank just hand you the already-written copy?


#9

And I can't find Koehler's piece... which, for once, I agreed with.


#10

Only in the USA can one's Social Security wages be garnished if they are in default on student loans. A lot of us went back to school later in life looking to change careers and seeking jobs with good healthcare coverage and retirement.


#11

In your last sentence, you say "lift" the cap... I suspect you mean REMOVE the cap. I think we agree; I just urge people to be more clear about this, since the government HAS been "lifting" the cap just a little each year. That gives weasel-politicians the opportunity to say "Yes, I support lifting the cap.." and continue screwing us. Sorry about the semantics, but sometimes it's important when dealing with demagogs. Thanks for your post.


#13

In fact, let's exempt wages and salaries and tax the rest."


#14

Realizing how ones personal actions and beliefs reinforce the system is an important step to change for many people. Can a radical activist shop at WalMart, eat GMO's from Monsanto, work for the military or participate in an abusive relationship of any kind? Not so far as I am concerned. To a great extent I still believe in the old saying "You are either part of the problem or you are part of the solution" Taking personal responsibility for the decisions in my own life has been life-changing for me.


One persons actions may not generate societal change, but many working together might. There have been over 50 nonviolent overthrows of authoritarian regimes in the last 30 years. Many of those were far more dictatorial and brutal than our government. The understanding and effectiveness of strategic nonviolent civil resistance is growing rapidly and the information is spreading here in the USA. Indeed I see more and more resistance everyday.


#15

I agree that semantics are more critical than ever in today's sound bite propangandized world and appreciate your pointing out the substantial difference between "lift" and "remove" !

Kind of like Hillary telling us she "opposes TPP because it no longer meets the gold standard" (whatever that is) giving her cover to go back to championing TPP when the time is right. Electeds and hopefuls who want TPP to be permanently canned post haste are unequivocal, others are just hedging.


#16

For those of us who don't accept censorship lightly, Mr. Koehler, please re-submit, at DK if necessary.


#17

What exactly was the problem with his post - the way it appears in a box without the normal line breaks? There is normally no need to do what you are suggesting.


#18

Taxing Wall Street transactions also seems like A great strategy to me- (Robin Hood Tax) I would like to see usury in some way taxed all to hell also, and most of those taxes going to help people pay off their overburdening mortgages- High interest Payday loans and Credit card usury needs to be seriously regulated.....These Fkn HUGE Banks are the root of all evil IMHO....


#19

Well, on my screen, his post just goes and goes and goes . . . and has only five lines instead of the almost 20, excluding paragraph spaces that I probably added. I have never seen that before either but I thought I'd make it more amenable for others to read/attack?
Maybe on yours it looks fine. That would be worth knowing.


#20

From everything I have seen that you have posted here, I actually don't think you mean that none of us have any responsibility towards making this a better and more livable planet and society. Just consider the implications of such a position. It's very easy to go from: you are not responsible for where we are as it's all rigged by TPTB, to there's nothing you can do to fix anything; you are helpless to change it so don't bother thinking you can.

Now I agree that it is important to recognize that there are different degrees of who has got us to the sorry state of the world and society but that is quite different than what I believe Dariel said or what I thought he intended. To say we have a responsibility to make a difference does not equate to equivalency of responsibility, and by this I think you mean blame. Although these two ideas, responsibility and blame, are often conflated, the two are not always equivalent.

To recognize that there are degrees of responsibility/blame for the present situation ought to be so that we can keep a close eye on those 'responsible' parties and ideologies, more like 'irresponsible,' so that we aren't focusing our own 'responsible efforts' in the wrong direction/s. Alienating those who may not have expressed themselves to our liking, yet might be on the same side, is not always a winning strategy. To overcome TPTB requires large numbers of people committed to change. Causing people to turn away from us and possibly from our ideas, for whatever reason, works against building a movement. The forum here is good place to practice a more inclusive and forgiving approach to others mistakes. Better to try to enlighten and fail than alienate and succeed.


#21

I have been thinking about this article and some of the related issues. Obviously, to me, anyone who wants to retire, at any age, from this parasitic system (Killing the Host - Michael Hudson) should not only be allowed to but paid generously to do so. OTOH, those who want to keep working, hopefully at meaningful and productive jobs or vocations, should also be able to do so with generosity.
I have seen many older people who do not have self-direction, lose all sense of purpose in life and end up dying fairly soon after they retire so for them, working longer might be a life-saver. For me, the issue is how to create a reasonably fair society, that allows older people to work or not with dignity. That is closely related to a society that values all workers and the planet, where no jobs are abusive and extractive.
Where's the money going to come from? Money is a fiction so it seems like there ought to be some imaginative solutions to solving how to share a non-existing yet vital (?) component of our society. Right now, the fiction is setting the agenda, controlling us and ultimately leading to destruction. Samson, Macbeth, Frankenstein, Emperor's New Clothes, Sorcerer's Apprentice? Maybe.