Life Preservers are Optional

hands above water

Capitalism works well if the wheels are turning, but like driving a car, we sometimes get flats. Socialism is the spare tire or AAA for when we do. Socialism can exist as the emergency part of capitalism, much like your spare tire in the boot. Not everyone will use, but all need it there as a safety measure.

hands above water
Photo by Arun Kr on Pexels.com

Capitalism exists out of excess, and Socialism exists out of needs. You can have socialism without capitalism, but it is very difficult to have capitalism without socialism unless the society does not care about the people within it.

Modern day is really scary. Many of us who thought we had value are very quickly coming to terms with the fact that our value is only connected to the amount of our income that we put into the system. For me, that’s an ethical problem. Not a poor one.

Every person should be able to wake up in the morning feeling hope and that the day may be a bit better than the one before. I am not talking about suddenly winning the lottery but the basic feeling of being part of society.

Shakespeare would agree, therefore making him a socialist. He penned the phrase ‘All Men and Women are merely players.’ Meaning that each part is needed. I worked in the theatre for many years and each piece is almost equally important. The director directs. The actors act. Lighters light. Carpenters build. Sound engineers do sound. Front of the house sells tickets. Without one, the show won’t be complete.

Capitalism is not about the art or the performance. It is only about ticket sales and swag sold. Yet many see it as the golden goose of systems. Ironically, it only keeps moving if the working class spend and don’t save.

At the onset of the pandemic, the working class and poor were blamed for not having enough money to make it through a rainy day. Well, there is the problem. What’s the value in not spending money in a system that only values you if you spend money. It’s a Catch 22.

Not only that, but Obama capitalized on his knowledge of the poor and working class in 2009 when he stated after the financial collapse and bailouts, ‘The only way we will get through this is to spend like we did before the collapse.’

Obama is not a dumb guy. He knew full well what he was saying, who he was saying it too and what the outcome would be. He knew the poor and middle class would listen and do what they were told. So they did. They spent all that they earned and felt valued for it.

Enter Covid, they were blamed for doing not only what was expected of them, but what was predicted. The middle, upper, rich and wealthy classes spend money differently than the poor and working classes, and this is a worldwide phenomenon.

Go to a city and to the poor area. See what people are selling on the street on the rugs on the ground. An old broken Nokia phone is probably on a rug in every city in every country. People buy them. Not to use them. They buy them to give value to the seller so that when they are in the seller’s position, someone will buy it from them. This is the marriage between Socialism and Capitalism. Poor supporting poor. In the modern era we see it with apps like GoFundMe being used to pay medical, rent and other necessities.

But for all the people this type of system works for, millions fall within the cracks. When the product on the rug that needs to sell or they go hungry or the message they post on social media asking for help doesn’t get enough attention, they lose hope.

It’s time that we change. All of us. To create a society in which Hope is not a commodity that can only be attained through luck. The founders wrote into the American Constitution – the pursuit of happiness. I equate that to Hope.

No one is asking for the moon. People are asking to be thrown a life preserver by the Captain who crashed the ship who is safely aboard a lifeboat. If you don’t want to help drowning neighbors and fellow citizens, a simple solution, build a better ship. America is sinking. The poor are drowning first. The Working class are next. When it is your turn in the drink, do you want a life preserver thrown to you?

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