Thursday, August 2, 2012

Clothing Allowance

I'm driving along this morning, minding my own business, transporting, doing what I do. I transport. Parcels, pallets, plastic shrink wrap. I'm driving along and the national public radio station is talking about atrocities in Syria. I think, atrocities? What about the people who own this company I work for? They commit them every day, in the name of productivity. Productivity my ass. Profit. My pocket to their pocket. My hide to their offshore account. What about those atrocities?

All of a sudden New Mexico public radio comes on and reports that Republican Governor Susanna Martinez is going to give a $50 clothing allowance to certain school children whose parents are on various public assistance programs.

Clothing allowance? Work boots? Uniforms? What, has Republican Governor Susanna Martinez managed to do away with child labor laws? Many Republican would like to, Michele Bachmann said that on the campaign trail. And the minimum wage, too. Rick Perry, campaign trail.

As it turns out, it's a $50 allowance for school clothes, says New Mexico public radio. New Mexico public radio quotes Republican Governor Susanna Martinez as saying that the new clothes will help the children concentrate in class. That's true. Your concentration will improve when the other children aren't making fun of you for wearing ratty old clothing your mother bought at the Salvation Army or that your brothers and sisters wore the year before because your mother doesn't have a job because of permanent high unemployment and the jobs are in China and India.

I was waiting for New Mexico public radio to ask Susanna Martinez if she intends to take back the clothes if the children don't improve their test scores.

Republican Governor Susanna Martinez hired an education director who learned her stuff working under one of the most well known education reformers in the country. By education reform they mean destroy the public schools and the teachers unions, which are one of the few remaining unions they haven't destroyed already. By reform they mean destroy the common wealth, the commonwealth. Anything we do together, as a society, because together we are stronger, not so easy to keep down, which is where we're headed. Together we do it better, we end up having more, of course, but that doesn't matter. They've got theirs already.

I was waiting for New Mexico public radio to ask Republican Governor Susanna Martinez how she thinks giving the parents of school children $50, after they jump through a bunch of hoops, I'll bet, to sure they aren't cheating the taxpayers, because that happens all the time, just like voter fraud, all the damn time, people will cheat you, people will take a big chunk of the little time and energy they can spare from their daily struggle for survival and spend it on concocting elaborate schemes to cheat you, how does she think $50 is going to help after you've destroyed the industrial base with your Neoliberal, trickle down, Reaganomics economics.

I was waiting for New Mexico public radio to ask Republican Governor Susanna Martinez if she thought $50 was going to make up for declining wages, declining standards of living, schools that need fixing up and students who need good books and teachers who have so many students now because structural adjustment has decimated public sector employment in this country that they can't each these students anything, because you have them teaching to your damn tests, not learning how to think critically, not learning how to appreciate literature and art and wonder about the ridge that runs along the surface of the moon.

I was waiting for  New Mexico public radio to ask Republican Governor Susanna Martinez if she thought her $50 clothing allowance scheme would further her political ambitions, put her back in the vice presidential nomination spotlight again, the political ambitions she left the Democratic Party for when she joined the party that's leading the relentless assault on American working people. If they would ask her about the tremendous disparity of wealth which Reaganomics has left us with, which Reaganomics was always intended to bring about, which results in a lesser country, a weaker country, a country where people have lost the purchasing power that gave the US working class the highest standard of living of any working class in the history of the world, but is now in steady, ever more rapid decline.

I was wondering if  New Mexico public radio would ever say anything or ask any questions that might make people start to wake up to what's happening to them, what has already happened.

I was wondering if people still have the capacity to wake up, and admit to what has happened to them, and even if they do, if they will do something about it.

Or if they're like me, and don't have the capacity. If they know what's happening, if they know the system is rigged, if they know the rich will win, know they're already won, know that getting $50 tossed to us once in awhile is the best we can hope for, and just shrug their shoulders and turn on the TV.


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