Wednesday, June 3, 2015
A lot of times I hear pundits and anchorpersons and politicians say the world economy is crippled. I take offense when I hear that because it is a terrible, insulting misuse of the word crippled. They should be saying that the world economy is crippleized. Or maybe it should be spelled crippleyzed, as in paralyzed.
In a crippleyzed economy, most everybody, crippled or not, who isn’t rich lives like most cripples have been living since like forever. Cripples have such a hard time finding decent jobs that if they do find one they hang onto it like a neurotic octopus and never let go until it’s pried away from them. It doesn’t even have to be a decent job. Lots of cripples hang on tight to jobs that don’t even pay minimum wage. It’s perfectly legal to pay cripples way less than minimum wage in the U.S. Some cripples are paid less than a buck an hour. How it works is a company gets money and/or good publicity for hiring cripples. So they give a spastic guy a job threading needles. And then when all he’s managed to do by the end of the day is poke someone’s eye out they say he’s not “productive” and thus they can justify flipping him a dime, based on his lack of productivity.
Now of course there’s always the safety net. Ah but that’s like living on a fault line too. It may be Social, but it ain’t necessarily Security. It’s like trying to sleep on a hammock in a hurricane. You’re terrified that any minute now it’s going to snap and send you hurdling. But even if the safety net remains firmly fastened to its moorings, in order to remain cradled in its caressing arms you must constantly endeavor to honor the vow you made when you signed up for it:
Social Security: Do you solemnly swear to stay broke ass, completely broke ass and nothing but broke ass for as long as ye shall live?
You: I do. (Do I have a choice?)
And if all else fails, as a last resort cripples can always do what our crippled forebears did before there was even Social Security or buck-an-hour jobs. We can always join the freak show. That’s why I worry about those poor people who aren’t even crippled but yet are suddenly finding themselves trapped in a crippleyzed economy. It’s going to be even harder for them to survive because they don’t have the freak show option: “Ladieeeees and gentlemen. Step right up and see the amaaaazing middle-aged white man of average height and weight!” Who’d pay to see that?
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