Is Punishable In America
23 October, 2011
By Pirate Joe
Have you noticed? Poverty is punishable in America. The
punishments are fines, homelessness, death-by-denial-of-healthcare and
outright plunder of your possessions as your property is liquidated and
your wealth is re-distributed upwards.
As the 1960's dissolved into the 1970's, we were subjected to a number
of small changes in the system, designed to be barely noticeable as
they were incrementally enacted, while being devastatingly efficient in
their cumulative effect.
Here are just a few of these changes and what they have wrought:
charges and interest:
Before the 1970's, corporations
couldn't force you to pay interest and late charges on, for example,
utility bills. All of a sudden, it was all
It makes perfect sense, doesn't it?
Most people pay bills late because
they don't have the money; so the best thing to do is make sure
they have even less! Let them know that if they dare to pay the Big Pig
corporation late that they will forfeit even more of their meagre
funds: money they would have spent on frivolous, luxury items
such as food, or
better yet, cause them to be late with yet another payment!
These are nothing more or less than fines. Unconstitutional
fines at that: you are being deprived of personal property without due process. Think about it: where
are the charges or allegations of a violation of law? Where is your day
in court? Corporations have the "right" to fine you for "infractions"
of their "laws": "laws" that
were not written or voted upon by any elected government official;
"laws" that are in no way part of or related to the "consent of the
governed". Here's our new word for the day: "corptatorship".
administration changes to bankruptcy laws:
Who were the main beneficiaries? You? Wrong. Try banks (credit cards,
etc.) the health care "industry" and other Big Pig corporations who's
capability to enslave you beneath an inescapable mountain of debt has
been greatly enhanced.
The self-righteous right was already prepared (as usual) with the
proper propaganda on this one: Lazy,
slothful and indolent lower-class bums purposefully charge credit-cards
to the hilt when they know they're about to declare bankruptcy, causing
the industry to lose money, and raising prices for everybody else!
Let's get those bums! As usual, the highly-effective Republican
right-wing propaganda machine had the very people who were about to be
beheaded cheering the sharpening of the sword.
The gradual changes to the laws regarding ownership of radio stations
and other media to allow (quell
surprise) conglomerates to take over,
culminated in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (signed into law by
Bill Clinton). Ever wonder why talk
radio is 100% Rush Limbaugh? Why all the opinions expressed never seem
to have an other side? Why demonstrations such as "Occupy..." are
ignored until they are Too Big To Ignore? I could write a book on this
subject, so we'll let this paragraph suffice for now.
repeal of Glass-Stegall:
Who knew that Wall Street, the banks and
other Big Pig corporations would go back to their old ways once
regulations were lifted? Don't, by the way, blame that all on
Republicans: yet again, it was Bill Clinton who signed the repeal into
C.A.F.T.A. and SHAFTA:
Now, let's see: Will you tell me once again why all those jobs went
away, and who it was that signed N.A.F.T.A. into law (after running his
campaign against it)? Answer:
Bill Clinton. Lesson:
Don't automatically assume that the Democrats are on the side of the
more cancelled cheques:
A seemingly minor and unimportant change. You used to get
your cancelled cheques back every month with your bank statement.
Cancelled cheques are something you never need anyway...until you need
them. Having those cancelled cheques got me out of many a
Be it a bank, the IRS, the 'phone company or your landlord, xerox both
sides of the cheque, send it in, done.
you get a page of low-resolution scans, which are not, as the fine print says,
acceptable as legal proof of payment. Just how do you get legal proof
of payment? You call your bank to ask for a copy:
"welcome to Amalgamated Huge Bank/press 1, press 2,
press 3/Your call is important to us please hold for the next available
representative/hideous music on hold/please stay
on the line, our call volume is unusually high/hideous music on hold/your call is
important to us......
So whom does this benefit? Let's see: well, for one, the banks, who no longer
need to spend postage on mailing you the cheques (times thousands, and
even hundreds of thousands of customers, that's a lot of money). Of
course, those honest, upright paragons of good corporate citizenry
passed the savings right along to us in the form of lower fees and
rates. Yeah, right.
This can be a bonanza to Big Pig corporations who realise they
can start adding bogus late payment/missed payment charges and get away
with it simply because most folks can't spend two hours on hold to
eliminate an extra five dollar charge. They count on the fact it is an
unproductive use of our time that can easily cost far more than the
amount in question. Yet when you multiply that $5. by their hundreds of
thousands, or even millions of customers, it's a lot of money.
Those are just a few examples of how corporations are enslaving us. We
haven't even touched monopolisation, free-trade agreements,
privatisation, "people hood" the New London decision or bought and paid
for elections; all future subjects, to be sure.
Yet the most important question now is how do we break capitalism's
iron grip on our throats? How do we make this monster just a part of
certain processes rather than a modern day oppressive feudal lord?
Taming capitalism can only be achieved by neutralising its biggest weapon,
the weapon by which it controls us all; the weapon that keeps us as
grovelling slaves at its feet: money. What if we
could live decent lives without money? What would the effect of high
unemployment be on a society where you don't need a job to survive? (I am not, by the way talking about any kind of entitlement
here) Living that
lifestyle might not be for everybody, but it would be an excellent
fall-back, which would compel the "economic
royalists" to realise that there were growing numbers of people beyond
their control: beyond their late fees and high interest rates, beyond
their juggernaut of job exportation, beyond their shrivelling wages and
"service economy". The ability to leave "the system": not for a
life of sub-subsistence starvation under a bridge, but to a relatively
that they, (the ruling class) could not control, an alternative that
would become more attractive the more oppressive they got. An
alternative that could lessen, or maybe eliminate the dependence on money, a 21st century
"get back to the
land" movement. A secure back-up you could use, if necessary. It could
happen, except for one
impediment; one shakel
that keeps us permanently chained to capitalism, an impediment that
robs you if your ability to survive independently, (a privilege that
only ruling class enjoys):
You can't live off the land and home you paid for. You can't just get
some solar panels, wind generators and pumps, chop your own wood, plant
your own garden and say to hell with this brutal, oppressive and
ruling-class friendly system. No. You are locked in to having the need
for money by a tax that is imposed without regard to income, a tax
which enables the (local) government to rob you of the home and land you paid for,
and in the process
robs you of your ability break the chains of capitalism and the ruling
class. A tax that requires you to "buy in" to a system that is designed
to work against you.
We don't charge sales tax on necessities, such as food or rent, on the
grounds that it is oppressive to tax a person on something they need to
survive, and rightly so. In light of that, it is curious that we will
tax people out of their homes if they fall into poverty, while not
their homes if they rent them (no sales tax on rent).
Rail against the IRS if you will, but they at least decrease your tax
as you make less, and eliminate it entirely if you make below a certain
The solution? Quite simple, actually. Eliminate the property tax, and
substitute a graduated income tax (based on IRS tax tables) in its
stead. This way, we, the 99%, could be secure in our homes, ( a
constitutional right, by the way) and need not worry about homelessness
when Wall Street sends our jobs to China, (or whatever other place is
in favour at the moment), destroys the world economy, hoards all the