Tuesday, December 13, 2022

The Real Person of the Year


Photo by Ahsanization ッon Unsplash

The Real Person of the Year

observations by C.A. Matthews

They great each morning knowing that their day will probably not go the way they’d like it to, but still they soldier on.

They have a family to feed, a mortgage to maintain, rent to pay, school loan debts they owe, car payments to make.

Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash 

They get in their car, catch a lift with the carpool, run to the bus stop, hail a taxi, climb up the steps to the train platform, go down to the subway and head into the office, the factory, the store, the shop, the restaurant, the warehouse, the shipyard, the rail yard, the university, the school, the daycare, the airport, the hospital, the clinic, the nursing home, the group home, the theater, the studio, the courts, the laboratory, the water treatment plant, the power plant, the growing fields, the greenhouse, the stockyard, the slaughterhouse, the construction site…

Once there, they do what needs to be done. They put up with flack from the boss, the management, and/or their fellow co-workers. They dream of a better life for themselves and their loved ones. They dread catching sick or becoming injured on the job because they know this is America and just one illness or accident can mean losing their means of making a living. It usually means they’ll lose their employer-sponsored private health insurance if they do. There goes the means to pay for necessary medicines, surgeries, therapies and treatments. They’ve witnessed friends and family members fall upon hard times under just these kinds of circumstances, so they know they’re not overreacting. They could lose it all with just one small slip.

The threat of job loss and loss of life on the job is ever-present to the American worker. There are no sissies when it comes those who have little to no say over their fate at the workplace. Organize a union and strike for better pay and working conditions? If workers survive the unionizing process without being laid-off by their bosses first, they're lucky. Most won't. That's an essential feature of the capitalist systemnot a bug. Those who own the means of production can choose to shut it down at a moment's notice.

The company CEOs may decide to close up shop and that’s that. No more work. Workers are out on their rears the next day. The bills don’t stop and the debts don’t magically go away. Their need for lifesaving medicines to treat a chronic condition for themselves and/or a loved one doesn’t disappear overnight. A “prior condition” is what it’s called in the United States. It's an unknown term for most other humans on the planet who receive free health care unconnected to their workplace.

Photo by Liam Martens on Unsplash

Without employment, workers are often forced to beg, steal, or borrow to make ends meet and keep food in their children’s stomachs. They're sometimes forced to sleep in their cars or on the streets. Couch-surfing can become their way of life before they even know it.

They had no say so over this cruel twist of fate. Rich people who own the means of production decided that the workers’ high level of productivity has made them a whole lot more money, but it also has cut into their profits. The market is flooded with their products and nobody wants to buy them. Something had to give, and it isn't going to be the billionaires. Workers can’t expect billionaires to give up a red cent of their profits or their extravagant lifestyle, can they?

If they’re lucky, workers will find another job soon enough and back they will go to the same routine. They’ll get in their car, catch a lift with the carpool, run to the bus stop, hail a taxi, climb up the steps to the train platform, go down to the subway and head into the office, the factory, the store, the shop, the restaurant… Sure, this time they’re not making as much money as before, but it is what it is. No health insurance provided by this new employer, but it is what it is. No hopes of promotion, no guaranteed hours, no paid sick days, but it is what it is.

TIME magazine's Person of the Year wearing his favorite color--green.

It is what it is. This is America. This is the trap 99% of Americans will put up with from the time they take their first job until the day they’re forced out of their last one. The lucky 1% who inherit large sums of wealth and capital haven’t a clue.

Braver than any actor who takes billions of dollars in armaments to fight a proxy war for a cowardly government run by intelligence agencies on behalf of the self-same billionaire oligarchs who control the lives and health of workers worldwidethat’s the American worker. Workers used as pawns, brainwashed to take the blame for the recklessness of the corporations/institutions they’re forced to work for, suffering early death and illness because of the lasting damage these wealthy reprobates have inflicted upon the planet due to their addiction to fossil fuels burning and its profits. The workers, dying because of the oligarchs’ total lack of respect of the environment, the water, the soil and the very air we all breathe.

The American Worker. This is who really should be TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year.”


TIME's Man of the Year 1938. Yeah, they went there.

Related Articles:

Zelensky Named Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" https://youtu.be/9ReQ_97k7sI (video) 

Railroad Workers Speak Out After Congress and Biden Block Rail Strike https://scheerpost.com/2022/12/08/railroad-workers-speak-out-after-congress-and-biden-block-rail-strike/

Fast Track to the Gilded Age (short animation) https://scheerpost.com/2022/12/08/mark-fiore-fast-track-to-the-gilded-age-video/  

No Union? You Still Have a Right to Strike https://popularresistance.org/no-union-you-still-have-a-right-to-strike/

Sick Days Are a Human Right https://popularresistance.org/new-york-city-sick-days-are-a-human-right/

Solidarity Rally for Railroad Workers  https://popularresistance.org/solidarity-rally-for-railroad-workers/


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