Thursday, August 04, 2011

The semester gets over this coming Wednesday and it's been a challenging one. In part because I've been really stressed about money, not having as much work as I need to pay bills. Imagine if your college teachers had to pick up painting jobs on the weekends to make credit card payments. Imagine John Boehner picking up dog shit. Imagine buying a BMW on a whim. Imagine, wait, actually you don't need to imagine any of this. Two comments from the article linked to just a few lines above, Otis writes:
"So sick of these comments about the rich not paying their share. Do folks know that the top 10% of wage earners pay 70% of all the taxes collected? Do you know what percentage the bottom 50% pay in federal taxes? 2%. That's right 2%."
And Kevin responds:
"Do you want to know why they pay 70% of all the taxes? Because they own 85% of all the wealth. Pretty straight forward. What if they own 100% of the wealth and pay 100% of the taxes? Would that still be unfair to them?"
Unbelievable. I was having dinner with Amy last night and naturally, we were talking about debt ceilings and the economy and the turned worm of America's fortunes, and man I wish we let those investment banks fail when we had the chance. Hardship for all, possibly, but from my perspective, I really don't have much to lose. I've been out of college for twelve years, and have been working in two of the least valued fields in the country: education and art. Asides from my two years in graduate school (a full scholarship that was barely enough to live on, but was still a step up from what I was making) I've had one job that provided health insurance, and I'm not even going to talk about my debt. If it's like this for me, a person of relative privilege and very relative talent, what's it like for everybody else?

As our global rank declines in terms of education, income, livings standards, health, and obviously, happiness; where exactly are we headed? In the last couple years I've transitioned from a vaguely optimistic, though cynical perspective on politics and opportunity, to being sullen and bitter and straight up angry at the obliviousness we are invited to marinate ourselves in. The best advice I ever got was from CD (Wright), during a workshop somebody was ripping into somebody else's work, and she said, "Put your anger into your work." I find this advice, and this kind of propellant, to be helpful.