What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

There's a place where we belong

It's easy to talk about how the "middle-America" problem is new and caused by NAFTA and those "illegal" immigrants taking "our" jobs. And it's just as much bullshit as the other times I've heard similar shit said during my life. "Things are so hard, we have to exit the EU to save our jobs and national identity" and "We need to renegotiate NAFTA because of all the jobs we lost." Bullshit. Want to know how I know this?

Don't Give Up – Peter Garbiel

This was released in 1986, before the EU (1993), before NAFTA (also 1993). I'm old, but I remember. This isn't the first time we've seen the problems that "the poor, rural white" is supposedly going through (and again, the average Trump voter makes above the average income). This isn't the first time Britain had economic problems. And if we keep blaming the wrong people and the wrong things, we'll continue to have the same problems.

(H/T to Dan for pointing to the song)


Random Michelle K said...

Perhaps it says something about me, but I have always associated this song with suicide, and keeping people from suicide.

Eric said...

I got a job working construction for the Johnstown Company
But lately there ain't been much work on account of the economy
Now all them things that seemed so important
Well mister they vanished right into the air
Now I just act like I don't remember
Mary acts like she don't care

- Bruce Springsteen, "The River" (1980)

Yeah, I'm with you: I've been hearing this stuff my entire life. It's automation, and union busting, and the inevitable recovery of the postwar world. And with the automation and postwar recovery, that means a lot of it was inevitable and we should have or could have been more prepared for it (hey, y'know, maybe stronger unions could have helped with the transition).

Steve Buchheit said...

Hey Random Michelle, yes, there's a strong vibe of that. Especially with the stanza that ends, "that river's flowing." Which is when the pleas of "don't give up" hit a little more urgency. As someone who sat with a friend looking down on railroad tracks contemplating similar thoughts, yes, the vibe is very strong there (yes, we worked through issues and ended up walking off the bridge).

Eric, yeah, there were a lot of songs in the 80s about it (Allentown and Honest Work for example). This was a part of my training while I changed political identities and realized much of what I supported was ignorant and wrong. It still shocks me when people can't see how the 1% is tilting the playing field while running a disinformation campaign.

I also posted this because I'm very much feeling the other vibe of being the major income earner and hoping I'm not screwing up a good thing (more on that to follow).