Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Barbara Ehrenreich on Two Americas Today: Dilapidated Trailer Houses for Some and $350,000 Tree Houses for Children of Wealthy

Barbara Ehrenreich's description today at Alternet of the America in which real people outside the bastions of privilege now actually live:

One of her relatives shares a dilapidated single-wide trailer home with her daughter and two grandchildren.  She almost lost the home this year when she was unable to pay the mortgage.

At the same time, the rich are back with a vengeance, and luxury yachts are, Ehrenreich says, "flying off the shelves."  America's super-wealthy are building tree houses for their children in their backyards that cost as much as $350,000, with flat-screen televisions and air-conditioning.

And as all this goes on, as more and more poor people in the U.S. are crowded together in smaller spaces, as people forgo health care too expensive to afford and as they sign up for food stamps, the right-wing think tank Heritage Foundation releases a report claiming that the poor in America live like princes and princesses.  The poor are the ones we're to blame for our problems, for how things now stand in our land . . . .

It would take a Dickens, or an Amos or Jeremiah, to tell the story of the U.S. as it now exists, with the forceful exactitude and moral outrage this story demands.  And why is this story not being told from pulpit after pulpit across the U.S. each week, I wonder?  Why is it not being told from pulpit after pulpit as it unfolds, and as the beltway media and the political leaders who run the nation from their elite bastions of privilege simply ignore the effects of the crashing economy on real families and real human beings in places they never visit or even try to imagine all across the U.S., outside the bastions of privilege. . . ?

The religious and political right and its morally bankrupt "prophets" want to feed us obedience in the midst of this moral cataclysm.  Obedience to them, and to a god they have crafted in their own image.

Jesus and the real prophets of scripture would be talking, instead, about love and justice.  In fiery terms that target the political and media elites who have produced the situation and continue to massage it to their singular advantage, since they benefit from these inequities.

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