I want to have a real conversation with some people on my time line today. Or maybe less a conversation and more a rant. Yes, it involves politics, yes it involves the current administration, yes it involves real people. In short, it might make you uncomfortable. You need to get over that.
Over the past 8 months my income has dropped by 80%. I literally make 1/5th of what I made in January. Unlike a lot of people, I didn’t have to go on unemployment or get laid off, I could still work from home with virtually no change in how I do my job. I was one of the “lucky ones”. I can only imagine how hard it is for those that weren’t “lucky”.
So what changed?
I handle freight across North America, which means that all that stuff you see on the shelves, on Amazon, or in your home? Yeah, that got moved via truck, rail road and ship line in order to get to where it’s at. That’s what I do. Shipping is quite literally the life blood of our nation, and a vast majority of it comes from outside of our country, like China and Mexico. Without shipping, our cities would run out of critical supplies in 24-72 hours. When the world shut down, most of that stuff stopped moving. It stopped being produced or shipped. That’s why you’ll go into Lowes, or see on Amazon, that the dishwasher you ordered might take 2 months to get in, if it even has an estimated arrival date. That’s why a lot of stores are re-configuring their floor plans, they’re doing it to hide the fact that they’re way short on inventory and they have no damn clue when it will get delivered to them, if at all.
But the President said the economy…
The President is full of shit. The stock market isn’t the economy. It has almost nothing to do with the economy and doesn’t reflect the state of the nation’s economic health. Production does. Sales do. The act of buying and selling is what moves our economy. All of that is down, way down. As in, ~35% down. The stock market is a vehicle in which the already wealthy are able to increase their wealth very significantly without actually contributing anything to the growth of the economy or industry. That doesn’t make it a bad thing, but it also means that it doesn’t put real money in the pockets of the average American – roughly 65-70% of us, at last count. It isn’t our economy, period.
But the President said Covid….
The President is full of shit. Covid is a real thing. I don’t care what you saw on YouTube or Facebook, I don’t care what the President said. Stop filling your head with Russian propaganda. You know what matters? The rest of the world took it seriously. It wasn’t a political thing, it wasn’t a hoax, it wasn’t a damn conspiracy theory cooked up in a lab in China. It was a real threat with real consequences and almost every country outside of the United States believed it, so they shut their countries down to minimize the spread. It shut down production and shipping. It shut down the world economy, an economy that we rely on and are supported by. All that American exceptionalism doesn’t mean a thing if we can’t get product in from other countries.
And let’s talk about that for a minute. You know that trade war that President Trump started? That one with China and Mexico? Those tariffs? That’s a tax on Americans, not the country of origin. That raises prices for us, not them. It makes it harder to get stuff into the US, and more expensive for us when we do. So when Covid hit, our economy was already hurting, this just made it much, much worse.
Which leads me to this. All those things that used to be produced here, or locally in your state? They aren’t produced here anymore because American companies could produce them cheaper elsewhere. You didn’t lose your jobs and factories because of China or Mexico, you lost them because the American government made it very profitable for American companies to move all their operations over seas due to financial and tax laws that encourage high profits to shareholders over the well being of workers, the economy or our country. Profit above all. And our President? He’s a direct beneficiary of exactly those policies. They’ve made him richer, they have allowed him to declare multiple bankruptcies without any consequences – all paid and covered by the American taxpayer. He’s spent 4 years in office ensuring those very policies not only continue, but are expanded.
And many of you let it happen. You voted your own damn jobs away and smiled while doing it.
I can go on. I can talk about how we got here, how economic policies of the last 50 years or so have led to exactly where we are. I can talk about how we no longer have a news media and how that affects our understanding of events. I could talk about all that and why it matters, but I’m not going to. You’re responsible for educating yourself and taking ownership of your country – or not. And a lot of you have chosen not to.
What I will say is this – I’m looking at working 2-3 jobs right now in order to take care of my family during a time when a significant portion of the country is whining about wearing a mask and can’t understand why we all just don’t get back to work. All I have to say to that at this point is a nice, Southern “Well bless your heart!”