By Joe Fuller
It took me a long time to realize America hates the underdog, berates anyone attempting to improve their lot, and worships entitled billionaire bullies.
This morning, a friend posted a story about an adult (gentlemen’s) club, somewhere in Ohio, getting busted by federal agents because the establishment accepted food stamps as payment for lap dances and drugs.
I’ve got nothing against the bust. Based on the report, tens of thousands of dollars were made via the illegal use of these benefits. I believe all parties involved should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
But my friend, the guy who posted the article, added this headline: “Feds discriminate against poor people having fun.”
I usually enjoy this guy’s blunt, direct manner. In fact, whether or not I agree with the content, I tend to click “like” on his posts. But this time I couldn’t bring myself to choose an emoji or comment. I read the article and then scrolled the screen for other FB news.
I didn’t acknowledge his post because his comment was one-sided. Were the poor people the only folks having fun? Why didn’t my friend also say, “Feds discriminate against businesses making money off of poor people and the government.”
Why didn’t he ask, “Who made more money out of this illegal venture—the criminal, sex-crazed, drug-addicted poor or the business accepting food stamps from petty thieves?”
He didn’t ask because his ire was not focused on the business. His ire was focused on the people illegally paying for their entertainment. People he assumed were either poor or successful in convincing an imperfect governmental agency they needed food for their lap dance family. He didn’t ask because maybe he doesn’t like individual scam artists more than he disapproves of unethical, illegal and illicit business practices.
Maybe he didn’t ask because he doesn’t like poor people.
Who knows? I don’t.
One time, when I was focusing my ire on Big Pharma for making too much money and not doing enough to help poor people, he said, “Are you against companies making a profit?”
And I said, “No, I’m all for corporate moneymaking. What I’m against is people dying because they can’t afford the best medication and most effective treatment.”
I’m tired of money being the bottom line for who lives and who dies. For who is good and who is bad.
In 2008, when the economy tanked, radio, television, Internet and newspapers were filled with stories about “a few bad apples” bringing down established financial institutions. These reporters maintained, “Most CEOs and administrators are decent people filled with remorse for what has happened.”
On the other hand, the coverage of individuals losing their homes because they could no longer afford their subprime mortgage payments was different. Poor folk were painted as dumbass deadbeat losers who thought they could bullshit their way into an overvalued house—a house they supposedly “knew” they could not afford.
Many reporters, private sector and government people said, “This recession was caused by poor people trying to better their lives. It’s their fault, and not one of them is sorry.”
I’m sorry. I’m sorry I tried to buy my parents’ house. I’m sorry I believed the financial agent who said, after I told him my credit was very bad, “Don’t worry. I think I have found a way to work around your credit. I’m gonna get you that house.”
And he did.
And for over 14 years, with one or two refinances of my loan, I managed to barely hold on to the house. I had nothing paid on the premium, and I spent more each month on penalties than I did on interest/escrow.
One winter, I stopped paying the mortgage company because I had no money. I was the only one in the house at the time, so I gave up trying to be a responsible person.
It took over two years of me not paying before the house went into foreclosure and was sold back to the mortgage company. Over two years before I was evicted.
I won’t go into all the crap that went down during those two years, but I will say—and the record will show—I was upfront with my reasons for not paying, and I demonstrated much willingness to cooperate and work with the mortgage company.
Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the corporation laying claim to the deed. They were underhanded, threatening, engaged in phone harassment, and, in one instance, broke the law (judge’s words, not mine) to confuse and frustrate me.
I thought, for a minute, I was going to slay Goliath but, in the long run, the reality of the “justice system” prevailed when the court ruled in their favor and I had to leave.
I’m not sorry for all I did “wrong” to stay in that house, I plead guilty, but I am not ashamed.
I’d do it, and will do it, again. I’ll do it again because, though my opinion is absolutely contrary to my friend’s, it’s just as strong and twice as caustic.
I’ll try to sum it up into a couple of sentences. I’ve heard fancy words to describe the assholes in both big business and government.
Some folks think these entities are oppositional towards each other. In my opinion, they are not. I consider them to be the right and left hands of the same gigantic body determined to blame all of our problems on the poor, the feeble and the helpless.
And this so-called military-industrial-governmental conglomerate wants the rest of us to believe their empty promises, and engage (on their behalf) in brown shirt thuggery, stomping our jackboots all over downtrodden, genuine article, ain’t-got-shit underdogs.
Screw them. Ain’t gonna do it.
The weak, the poor and the powerless are not the problem.