Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The Recession and 401k's
I haven't talked about the Recession for a reason--it's been talked to death by people who (at least think...) that they know more about economics than I do... Also, as this recession is a cyclical thing, it's not as though it jumped out from behind a bush and seized us by the balls. In a Capitalist economy, we should be ever ready and even expectant of a recession. Like the economists say, 'It's how the system works,' after all! 'Don't you all see? Suffering is an integral part of the system, a necessity!' they say in their 20 room mansions, laughing behind stacks of money.
The thing that I find most incredulous, most absurd and most infuriating is the fact that the working people, the people grinding the gears and doing the labor, did NOT get us into this recession. Still, with bankers, brokers, investors and CEO's at the top, not wanting to topple from their thrones built on our labor, it is only the working people that suffer. Sure, Bill Gates, Pickens, etc. will take a hit, but in the end, they will still be billionaires while the working people shuffle to the bread lines. The bosses got us into this mess, the bosses and their investors, the bosses and their lust for meaningless green paper, the bosses and their greed.
So the main problem I have with this is that the good people, the gears that make this world go around, the people that give us electricity, water, fix the cars, build EVERYTHING we use, are getting blasted because of the greed of millionaires. Doesn't that sound absurd to you?! Why should people with so much money be greedy at all? What facilitates this endless thirst for money, for numbers on a sheet of paper? Surely it's not a survival instinct--they can survive and more, they can live in lascivious, hedonistic luxury. All the while, unemployment rises, people go hungry, and the urban populace turns to drugs to combat the hopelessness.
Again, to reiterate, because I find myself more and more often falling into rants, the bosses made this mess, we have to clean it up. That being said, I do believe there are ways that we could stall this machine, and one big one is by not agreeing to pool money into a 401k.
I think that 401k's are the biggest racket the government has going. We pay them a portion of the money earned from our labor (and don't get me started on how meager this sum is to begin with...), and we let them use it to prop up their stock-market and make ends meet when some investor fucks up on his guesstimations about what that market will do. We give them this money in hopes that we will have some extra when we're ready to retire. We do this because we want some extra crumbs from the table when we're too old to toil. But what happens when the government is left in charge of directing our investment choices? Well, in Capitalism, a recession happens, and then we're left in the shit-storm. I know various older people, not yet retired but getting there, who are now looking around desperately for second jobs to fill the difference so that they can retire on schedule, on their terms.
401k's, in my opinion, are just a way for the government to squeeze more money out of us and prop up an economic system that chronically fails and breaks down. It is a more up-front form of extortion, a psychological shakedown, that we comply to because it is portrayed as being in our better interest. Stop listening to everything the politicians say!! Think for yourself, do some light economic research, beacause KNOWLEDGE REALLY IS POWER!
Don't be milked like cattle, don't be manipulated by a game piece.
The Capitalists and Politicians will sedate us with words and quick-fix solutions just long enough for the system to right itself, and then we will forget about the hardships that many had to endure and be 'thankful' that it's over. We will neglect to look to the future until it comes.
I can only hope that with each recession, the strength of the proletariat and the people affected by the economic downturn will come together in solidarity. I hope, most truly, that a sense of unity among working people will come about as a result of what the bosses got us into.
Read books, Cultivate yourself!