The world can certainly do better than this. Here's why.

Thursday, November 4

"Debt encumbered home-owners don't go on strike."

(Paraphrasing) "You won't want to butt heads with your principal... at least not for your first ten years of teaching. That's what your union reps are for. Because you'll take a look at your mortgage and then you'll decide to keep your mouth shut." [2010 Nipissing University]

This is disheartening.

Granted, the system (ETFO, OSSTF, OTF) builds in an outlet for teachers. It does. I admit it. Its a pressure release valve. And, it depends heavily on the effectiveness of the union reps. However, to believe that you are bound to silence because anything you say could get you into trouble and then you might lose your job and therefore your house...! I know that the case is the same or worse in most jobs and in most lives where a mortgage and job (in)security is involved. Working at Wal-Mart or McDonalds or Disney or Nike, conscientious criticisms or contests can win you worse positions or a pick slip. How depressing is that?

I don't want to grow up.

Then, I was watching the Crises of Capitalism video again on YouTube. It reminded me that home ownership is a value drilled into Americans backed by the mortgage (read: banking) industry and supported by the government in the form of a mortgage interest tax credit (in the U.S., since the 1930s). This means that you get some of your own money back from your income taxes ("intaxication") if, and only if, you've paid interest on a mortgage. The same interest that was wished into existence by the banks in the first place! Thank you Margaret Atwood for Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth.

Anyway, the purpose of this post (previously: email/rant) was made by the video: "Debt encumbered home-owners don't go on strike." In other words, they don't stand up to authority, or for what they believe in, and they certainly don't stir up any trouble. The fix is in, the war against Americans won without firing a shot. Banks exploited millions Americans by writing mortgages people couldn't afford. Then, when economic and environmental blowback took their jobs, the banks took back their homes, along a healthy extortion of tax-payer's dollars, and depressed... er... "recessed" the economy. Recess, such a school word. It seems America's economy, the playground bully, is out for recess right now, learning nothing. A lesson in society and social skills is apt.

The Crises of Capitalism

The Crisis of Credit: Part I

The Crisis of Credit: Part II

It makes me wonder, why haven't America's domestic victims taken to the streets? Why weren't there more people at the "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear"? Why is financial system given regular bail-outs by tax-payers? Why have Americans voted the right-wing, uber-capitalist f*cks who caused this mess back into a majority in the House of Representatives? It could be because the voters who are having the problems are not represented by the vote. They no longer have their previous addresses. They no longer have their jobs. Any available new jobs people cling to lend employers enormous power. Employers are not required to ensure that employees can go and vote. Employers are not required to permit employees to attend demonstrations in Washington, D.C. Concerned people are rendered voiceless, unrepresented, and unable to represent themselves. Bail-outs go forward and politics (read: lies) and business (read: thievery)-as-usual continues.

The same professor started today with a Armistice/Remembrance Day reading that was thoroughly depressing. Not because the end of World War I isn't something that should be celebrated. It is. But because "the war to end all wars" wasn't. War has moved steadily from being the end of diplomacy to being the end of economy. War is waged against the powerless abroad and at home. Where is the ode to the 21st century war? Until it ends, there won't be one.

(Incidentally, there is a work-around for Canadians so that the interest on your mortgage becomes tax deductible. It also explains why Canadians are sleeping in tents in order to buy the next release of condos. If they don't live in them, the interest paid on them is tax-deductible. Without the workaround, it explains, partly, the strength of unions in Canada and the reasons that Canadians are more willing to stand up for what we believe in. Well, we were, until the workaround came into play in 2001. What does Canada stand for now?)

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