Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dear TARP Wife:

Oh boo fucking who for you, my dear.

Let me play my teeny tiny violin.

You're struggling with reduced finances. Your hubby's portfolio is down 95%. You think you understand why we poor plebeians are so mad that some of us are picketing the homes of banksters.

You haven't faintest idea. Your shame about not being able to spend like you used to is not the same as our desperation. We cannot feed or clothe, or house, or educate our children. You eat macaroni and cheese and think it's virtuous. We eat ramen noodles because macaroni requires milk and butter, ramen just needs water.

You're worried about your husband's health. I bet that if he started having chest pains, you have the health insurance to take him to the hospital. We don't have the luxury. Instead we use homemade remedies for alleviating an abscessed tooth while hoping and praying that it doesn't lead to death, like it did for that poor boy in Baltimore.

You snipe about unworthy borrowers, but don't have the brain power required to consider where they come from. 30 years of stagnant wages while men like your husband rail against minimum wage increases plus the loss of traditional pensions and skyrocketing education costs mean that the only way for average Americans to get ahead and send their kids to college and retire in some form of comfort was through home ownership and equity. Those who you call unworthy were doing the only thing they could to give their kids a chance at a better life. They were doing exactly what they have been told to do by society, by the government, and by people like you. And when that fails (and fails in a way which this semi-educated poor person had been predicting for years) you have the gall to say "no one saw it coming". Everyone saw it coming, but the rosier-viewed among us thought it could be put off a bit longer.

So pardon me if I don't find the details of how tastefully you choose to celebrate your husband's birthday or how you duck into society events after the cameras are gone, humanizing. Forgive me for not having an ounce of empathy while you shop in your own closet, as I had to buy my kid thrift store shoes when his last pair become more aerated than a colander. And excuse me for my absolute lack of pity. You are the worst of America. And those poor people now populating the Hoovervilles (or Nicholsvilles as we call them here) would gladly trade their problems for your anyday.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Things I have learned

watching PBS' version of Dickens' Little Dorrit (damn that seems like a shit ton of apostrophes)

There are only a few methods the rich use to fuck over the poor, but we keep falling for them. Over and over and over and over. In Little Dorrit's case, I smell a Victorian ponzi scheme in the making.

Also, Victorians like Dickens and Gaskell use the term "speculation" with a snear, the same way southern women use the word "cute". At one point the main character wants to invest in a bank that is doubling people's money in a year. His partner snears "Isn't that speculation?". Main character assures him that it's not, it's "investment". Same thing, new word. Not unlike "mortgage backed securities".