Whoredom Is optional
By Jason Miller
16 September, 2006
Are we not the whores of big business, selling our product for their
When George Bush spoke at a maritime
training center in Piney Point, MD on Labor Day, 2006, ostensibly he
was a respected leader paying tribute to the hard-working men and women
forming the backbone of the nation’s economy.
In reality, Bush is a pimp
for the moneyed interests and corporations who wield most of the wealth
and power in the United States. Bush, his administration and Congress
represent the interests of this tiny slice of the United States population
with unwavering dedication. Money, profits, and property are the paramount
elements in their perverse system of values. And by their reckoning,
people are commodities. Those amongst the population who are fit to
work are whores who exist to service their needs and satisfy their desires.
And the aristocracy’s goal is to entice or extort their whores
to perform as cheaply as possible. Disabled, infirm, elderly, and unemployable
individuals are “useless eaters” who have no intrinsic value
because they cannot produce profits. Ergo federal programs supporting
their meaningless existences are rapidly shrinking.
Consider this excerpt from
Bush’s laudatory speech (even a whore needs to have their ass
kissed once in a while):
Today, on Labor Day, we honor
those who work, and we honor those who work because, in so doing, we
recognize that one of the reasons why we're the economic leader in the
world is because of our work force. And the fundamental question facing
the country is, how do we continue to be the economic leader in the
world? What do we do to make sure that, when people look around the
world next year, and 10 years from now, they say, the United States
is still the most powerful economy in the world? I think that's an important
goal to have, because when we're the most powerful economy in the world,
it means our people benefit. It means there's job opportunities. That's
what we want. We want people working. We want people to realize their
Bush wants to keep the “people
working” so he and “his base” can continue to “realize
their dreams”. Wage slaves in the United States who still believe
they can achieve the American Dream are chasing a one in a million shot.
Not unlike a gambling casino, the odds they face are tremendous and
the house almost always wins. Almost no one successfully scales the
craggy peaks separating the poor fro the rich in the United States.
Yet like those who run the gaming industry, the aristocrats atop the
economic order need that occasional “big winner” to “prove”
that the system is still a meritocracy.
“One of the reasons
why we’re the economic leader in the world is because of our work
In an exceedingly rare moment,
truth actually slipped out when George Bush opened his mouth. As he
stated, our work force in the United States is indeed one of the principal
reasons that this nation is the economic leader in the world. Bush and
his people know that if the work force acted in unison and ceased performing
for its paymasters, the merciless machinery of corporatism and predatory
capitalism would quickly grind to a halt. And the parasitic three to
four million who comprise the “uber-class” would realize
their worst fear. Stripped of their tools of domination, they would
experience the quiet desperation members of the working class perpetually
endure as they scramble to satisfy their families’ basic needs.
If the man had an ounce of
integrity, instead of delivering his disingenuous monologue trumpeting
opportunities that barely exist and dreams principally reserved for
“his base”, George Bush would have been begging forgiveness
for his numerous serious transgressions against We the People and laying
out a plan for wholesale changes in domestic economic policies. Our
socioeconomic and political systems are almost hopelessly awash in corruption.
If the United States has a prayer of avoiding a cataclysmic upheaval,
the powers that be need to make significant changes in their exploitative
and rapacious laws, policies, and behaviors. In other words, major corporations,
wealthy elitists, and their proxies in DC need to start giving the Proletariat
healthy doses of Aretha’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T and economic justice.
What are some of the specific
factors driving the need for significant changes in the prevailing socioeconomic
paradigm in the United States?
Let’s dissect and analyze:
While New Zealand enacted
the first minimum wage law in 1894, it took the “land of opportunity”
until 1938 to permanently establish a minimum wage. In 1968, the purchasing
power of the United States minimum wage was $9.12 per hour. Since 1997
the real amount of the minimum wage has remained frozen at $5.15 per
hour. An employee working full time at minimum wage earns less than
$11,000.00 per year. That is $8,000 below the federal government defined
poverty level. France, Australia, and New Zealand each require employers
to pay their employees at least $10 per hour. Obviously, they lack the
heartlessness to be “the economic leader in the world.”
While the United States’
predacious form of capitalism inflicts horrific damage on people of
other nations, many people in the United States are not exactly “sitting
pretty”. Thirty million people working full time live below the
poverty level. That is almost 10% of the US population. Both the US
Census Bureau and the Department of Health and Human Services have agreed
that a family of four living on less than $18,000.00 per year is impoverished.
[Note concerning the federally-determined
poverty level: “In 1964 the government's poverty level was arbitrarily
set at three times the estimated cost of modest food purchase requirements
for a family. The official rate is now below the amount required for
basic necessities, and far below what is needed to function adequately
in society.” World
In a shameful testament to
the avarice and cruelty of the United States’ socioeconomic system,
impoverished families of four “raking in” less than $18,000
a year (and even “low income” families earning up to $36,000.00)
suffer needlessly in the wealthiest nation in the history of humankind.
According to studies by America’s Second Harvest, 36% of families
seeking food from their relief pantries included at least one working
adult. 32% of those seeking help from Second Harvest faced the cruel
choice between buying food and obtaining medical care. Second Harvest
also found that in 2002, 25% of low income families with a member working
full time experienced food and shelter insecurity. The United States
Conference of Mayors did a study which determined that 40% of people
requesting emergency hunger relief were employed.
From 2004 to 2005, the number
of US Americans without health insurance climbed from 45.3 to 46.6 million.
One of every six US Americans faces the most expensive health care system
in the world (both per capita and as a percentage of GDP) without the
safety net of insurance. A shamefully low 60% of US workers receive
coverage from their employers. Lamentably, over 11% of children in the
United States have no health insurance.
To add some perspective,
the 46.6 million uninsured are or represent:
Over 12 times the number
of millionaires (3.8 million) in the United States
Almost equal to all Americans
age 65 and older (35.9 million)
12 million more than the
population of Canada (32.2 million)
Nearly 7,500 uninsured Americans
for each hospital in America
Over 84,000 uninsured Americans
for each Member of Congress
(Thanks to the Center for
American Progress for the above information)
Increasingly empty wallets
and hunger pangs are painful reminders that corporate America has shredded
the social contract with the working class in the United States. Organized
labor struggled for over a century to pry job security, fair wages,
and benefits from the greedily clenched fists of the bourgeoisie. Ronald
Reagan initiated an assault on unions that has virtually erased over
a hundred years of progress in less than a third of that time. Employing
tactics which are extremely averse to the working class, pathologically
acquisitive multi-national corporations have taken their quest for global
domination to new heights with disastrous results for human beings around
Thanks to the zealous efforts
of moneyed interests, a growing number of people in the United States
are exchanging their blood, sweat and tears for slave wages. Forget
the American Dream of picturesque homes in quiet suburbia, the annual
rite of experiencing the “new car smell”, 1.5 healthy children,
college educations for everyone willing to work hard, and a “happily
ever after” existence. Over ten million US Americans are engaged
in a struggle for their very survival. Their American Nightmares include
periods of homelessness, food pantries, soup kitchens, the isolation
of urban ghettos, and choosing medicine for baby over dinner. And these
are the working poor of the United States of America.
So the next time Bush crows
about an unemployment rate of 4.7%, remember that an additional 10%
of the US population is working and wanting for basic human needs.
And when Bush boasts of the
“robust economy”, why doesn’t someone scream at him
that the fruits of this “robustness” are being devoured
by a relative few? The 30 million working poor, 16 million unemployed,
and 46 million uninsured obviously aren’t accessing the cornucopia.
So what of the rest of the
According to an Economic
Policy Institute study:
Wages stopped rising and
actually began losing ground starting in 2001, despite continued growth
in productivity and corporate profits, according to an analysis of government
data in "The State of Working America: 2006/2007"
From 2000 to 2005, US American
productivity increased 18.6%. Meanwhile, average family income diminished
by 6.5%. Corporate profit share is at its highest level in the United
States since the 1960’s. And what of the employees producing these
profits for their corporate masters? Salaries and wages now represent
the lowest percentage of GDP since the government began tracking such
statistics in the 1940’s.
And for a real eye-opening
statistic, consider that in 2005 the average CEO received compensation
that equaled 821 times that of a minimum wage earner and 262 times that
of an average employee. At that income level, the CEO accrued enough
pay by noon of their first day to eclipse the minimum wage earner’s
annual salary. By the end of that day, the CEO racked up enough pay
to surpass the yearly salary of their average employee.
Unions, the driving force
behind the movement for workers’ rights, continue to experience
plummeting membership. From its soaring heights in 1960 (when 33% of
the work force was unionized) to its pathetic low (in 2005 about 10%
of the working class belonged to unions), organized labor faces the
real possibility of forced extinction in the United States. Feeble enforcement
of labor protection laws by the federal government coupled with abusive
and illegal anti-union tactics by corporate behemoths like Wal-Mart
have virtually crushed the organizational power of the US American work
It is not looking too robust
for the rest of the working class either.
Yet We the People are not
powerless. Consider some ideas for individuals or groups to pursue,
implement or demand:
1. How about increasing the
minimum wage to a level that would at least put a full time worker receiving
minimum wage above poverty level and tying automatic increases to the
consumer price index?
2. On 10/5/06, The
World Can’t Wait campaign is calling on workers,
consumers, and students to engage in a mass strike and boycott. Participate
and cripple the corporate machine!
3. Join and form unions when
4. Engage in massive long-term
boycotts to support striking unions and to oppose corporations that
are hostile to workers’ rights.
5. Push the development of
an effective and efficient national health care plan back to the forefront
of the domestic agenda. The United States has the most expensive healthcare
system in the world but ranks 37th in terms of quality. “Capitalized
medicine” is an abysmal failure to humanity. If water distribution
warrants public management, so does a basic human need like health care.
6. Organize and/or participate
in a mass drive to add a Constitutional amendment eliminating corporate
personhood, a Constitutional amendment barring corporations from engaging
in the political process, and legislation imposing heavy taxes on corporate
profits (which would decrease proportionally with the distribution of
corporate profits amongst ALL of a corporation’s employees).
7. Buy goods and services
from small entrepreneurs in lieu of corporate chains when it is feasible.
8. Drop out of the culture
of mindless consumption to the extent it is possible. Don’t buy
much beyond what you and your family truly need.
9. Resist the lure of using
easy credit to live beyond one’s means.
10. Reject the lies of the
corporate media. Turn off the television and educate yourself by reading
a book or scouring the Internet for information.
11. Push for state and local
laws to enhance the rights of working people and diminish the rights
12. Press hard for the impeachment
of the Bush administration which would rid the White House of the cockroach-like
infestation of corporate interests, war criminals, and traitors to our
13. Visit, utilize, and support
Barbara Ehrenreich's new venture called United
Professionals. Barbara utilized seed money from the Service
Employees International Union to create this organization
to lobby Congress for universal health coverage, "livable incomes,
benefits and social supports."
For the time being, a degree
of wage slavery is probably inevitable (barring a major revolution to
subvert the deeply entrenched corporatism to which even some of its
victims stubbornly cling). Family obligations, basic human needs, and
the extreme rarity of Horatio Alger successes leave the working class
with little choice but to submit to the ruling class to some extent.
However, We the People are
not powerless. A measure of obedience may be unavoidable, but whoredom
Miller is a wage slave of the American Empire who has freed himself
intellectually and spiritually. He writes prolifically and his essays
have appeared widely on the Internet. He welcomes constructive correspondence
or via his blog, Thomas Paine's Corner, at http://civillibertarian.blogspot.com/.