Thursday, July 19, 2018

A Christmas Story

by Frank J Hopkins (writer), New York, December 17, 2008


A simple question of balance

It is roughly 11:07 pm in New York city, it is cold and the rain falls relentlessly,unsparingly...without prejudice.

In 2009 1 in 7 mortgages will be in default or foreclosed upon. If you turn on any cable news network all you hear is talk, grating discussions descending into minutia; senators and congressmen talking, scheming, pretending offense or principle depending on the day.

Reams of words have been piled high as discussions go on about the bail out of the auto industry-the case for or against, debates on leveraged bankruptcy or even all encompassing failure...Punitive demands must be meet by the auto companies or more accurately the workers of those companies,there must be detailed plans to prove worthiness and financial responsibility because saving 3 million jobs and the ability of a country that makes almost nothing anymore to maintain a manufacturing base that is still home grown is not enough.

That no one asked the same of the economic criminals that head A.I..G, CitiGroup, Merrill Lynch or Bank Of America seems to be not worth mentioning because after all the criminals who have driven this nation to financial ruin have managed without argument to convince the fools that we elect as our representatives that they really are genius’s and our only hope for economic salvation.

That the money handed out so far to these current day robber barons has not freed up the credit markets as was the promise and dire need for the bail out...well it takes time says the mediocrity in Chief and the television pundits and the greedy disingenuous senators and congressmen go on talking and railing and lying and hoping to not have to take any responsibility or serve their country as opposed to narrow constituency’s.

The cold grows and the rain hammers as family after nameless family watches their lives fall apart,watch their homes melt away from them the prospect of eviction a cancerous shadow growing...Lines formoutside shelters and unemployment offices and who knows how many have or will throw themselves into the arms of suicide after the embrace of depression settles into their bones...still talking.

Does it really take such great foresight to know that at a time when unemployment is at levels not seen since 1974 that to deliberately force more unemployment is madness and that to due so because you now have buyer’s remorse about bailing out the banking industry is no excuse.

Hours of hearings and pained recriminations and senators Shelby, Corker and McConnell rail about why they cannot support an auto bail out but leave it to the media to reveal an agenda of foreign car companies who have plants in their respective states and how it just might benefit them by breaking the UAW. We now have the spectacle of American workers being told that they must accept the kind of wage structure as offered by foreign car manufactures in nonunion states like Tennessee and Alabama.

How drool that Republicans who when caught dirty love to speak about the wisdom of the founding fathers and who if indeed were alive would call these men traitors and demand they be tried for treason. In two weeks Christmas will come and no doubt the heads of AIG, CitiGroup, Merrill Lynch, GM, et al will have a merry and opulent one.

What will the millions who have lost their jobs,who will or are in the process of losing their homes...what will they celebrate as they huddle amongst themselves against a coming future that offers only more of the same.


We have become a nation that loves to hear itself talk but not one that demands anything from its elected officials and barely anything from ourselves. We have allowed a war on workers to go on almost unabated, we have given aid and comfort to the notion that ordinary people who go to work without the benefit of degree’s or friends in

high places are somehow expendable...that men and women who work with their hands or their backs are some how less than those who juggle numbers or middle managers.

America and Americans have always been in love with the notion that this country was a classless society,that we were a meritocracy yet if you observe the landscape how can you still cling to such a foolish belief. We have reached a point in America where lowered expectations when compared with the generations before are simply the way of things now...inevitable.

The crawl running under the endless talk on MSNBC says that the bail out has failed to pass and must now wait until next year.

Harry Reid express's sorrow and regret...the words continue to mount,the rain swells falling steadily with no regret and Main Street-that mythical place-that the President elect and the sorrow clowns love to speak of,suddenly worry about and so concerned with its salvation have failed to notice that Main street is burning. A landscape littered with shuttered houses,dreams either dashed or forever deferred,hungry people starving,frightened people ever more scared...If they could eat words,could pay bills with good intentions,could resurrect the future with assurances; if blame could make money grow then perhaps all would be well on Main Street.

Bush the 43rd was right-it is terrorists that we need to be wary of, of course it was not those in turbans nor those with names having too many syllables and hard to pronounce that we should have been fearing but rather those who look like us,who dress in clothes we recognize,who speak a common language.

Banker’s and stock brokers-private sleeper cells-who have done more long term damage to this country than any bomb or threat from any political or religious terrorist could have done. Why are we not calling these men what they are? Why does terrorist not apply to them?

Sooner or later the choices that you make come home to roost, sooner or later the dreams you offer will have suitors who expect that what you promised is what they will receive.

On September 15 when the financial crisis burst like an angry sore there were those who wanted to blame poor people who took loans for houses that they could not afford ignoring that if someone asks to borrow 10.00 and instead they are offered the chance to borrow ten times that amount with the promise that there will be good terms and enough length to payback what was borrowed who among us would say no.

If you sell the notion that you have not fully arrived to the American Dream until you own your own home,have a backyard,have that one more thing you can leverage to buy more things that you do not need how then do you blame the poor bastards who took you at your word and bought into dream.

We do not blame those who trusted that the money they invested in 401k’s or in 520’s would be there...we do not blame them for not paying close attention to where and what their money was doing, we do not say that they were irresponsible because that trusted strangers to take care with their money while they went on with their lives.

Sooner or later a nation must make a choice about who it will allow to steward it...Sooner or later the people of that nation must decide how long they will suffer without representation, how long they will allow others to crawl on their backs without demanding something in return. Sooner or later a nation must look to its past and decide if the time has now come to demand with words and reason that a government be held accountable, that corporations be held to the same standards of decency that you expect from your neighbor-and if words and reason will not do then perhaps the time has come for torches and guns and a return to the quaint notion that liberty is worth dying for and if necessary killing for.

Call your representative,call or e-mail as many congressmen and senators that you can think them and tell them that you-the people who make up main street,the people who struggle to pay bills, to put food on the table have tired of words about greedy institutions, have tired of conversations about mis-managed auto companies and that before one more dollar is spent-we the people need to be bailed out.

That mortgages in default need to be reworked to reasonable levels and not just for the duration this political theater season but for the long term until recovery can begin...let the greedy pay what they owe.

Tell them that you need jobs-not in some undefined future but now, that it is their job and their duty to put the people of this nation first. Tell them that you are not willing to become irrelevant nor will you stand by as the divide between those who have and those who have not grows into some permanent inevitability.

Tell them that patience has its limits and that even those who have grown fat and lazy,allowing themselves to be divided along lines of race or culture can find a common purpose and when at last the true enemy is revealed will stand up and declare that we the people have had can be with words and reason or it can be with pitchfork and torch.

About the Writer

Frank J Hopkins is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
Want to write articles too? Sign up & become a writer!

0 comments on A Christmas Story

Add A Comment!

Click here to signup or login.

Rate This Article

Your vote matters to us