Jackknifed, Jilted, and Jury Rigged – Welcome to America’s Middle Class

We have been left in the dust to fend for ourselves while the ever-growing distance to prosperity escapes us. All seats of government have been ground to a halt by the rigged system that began during the Reagan administration and continued by Clinton, the Bushes, and now Obama. The theatrics of the two-party system are a hoax meant to keep the broadcast channels hopping while we tap into the round-the-clock “news” cycle.  It’s no wonder the kids are playing first-person shooter video games morning, noon, and night until Mommy or Daddy pulls the motion detecting game controller and hides it. Forget your joystick, junior, it’s time to crack the school books and learn something.

So, what are they learning? The “reformers of education” certainly aren’t working on a plan to have them think for themselves, but rather quite the opposite. Rigorous testing of learning outcomes will prove that they can pass through to the expense of college education and then find themselves in the hole of extreme debt to the corporation and without a job while Silicon Valley works diligently to replace the need for humans in every way possible. Have you heard about “drones of innovation“?  I remember when it used to be an honor to attain a college degree.  It meant that you were on the path to “be somebody”. And yet, today, the people making the big bucks are sport stars, entertainment moguls, actors, and politicians.

Oh yes, the politicians.  Set for life to be freed of the financial damage of medical costs and with pensions and lobbying jobs to keep them propped up until Richard Branson builds Elysium for them all to scurry off to leaving us to fend for our children on the ravaged earth.

The California State Legislature just passed AB955 which is a bill that handily gives those who can afford the higher price in tuition a race to the top to completion. Here we go: “those who can afford it” which is the difference between $46 per unit and $200 per unit. The Community College system traditionally serves the underserved. So, now the Democratically-controlled legislature has just slipped the system a Mickey.  Let’s find even more ways to keep the poor from completion of their way to a better life, shall we?  Really California?

Everywhere we look we see the American middle class life (well, those of us who are old enough to have taken part in for awhile) jackknifed.  You know the term, right? Jackknifing means the folding of an articulated vehicle (for example, one towing a trailer) such that it resembles the acute angle of a folding pocket knife. If a vehicle towing a trailer skids, the trailer can push it from behind until it spins round and faces backwards. This may be caused by equipment failure, improper braking, or adverse road conditions such as an icy road surface. In extreme circumstances, a driver may attempt to deliberately jackknife the vehicle in order to halt it following brake failure. Get the picture?

Jilted – to deceive or drop (as in a lover) suddenly or callously. We’ve been absolutely  jilted by our government for decades.

Jury rigged – refers to makeshift repairs or temporary contrivances, made with only the tools and materials that happen to be on hand. It’s meant to be temporary as in to fix the problem just long enough for us to vote for someone again, but it’s not a real fix. The system is broken and there are no real fixes in place. Only pretend fixes to keep us from paying too much attention.

If you want to hear from and read about one person who is not only a former cabinet member of President Clinton (he served as Secretary of Labor) but is a professor at UC Berkeley who has a good plan. You must read the blog (and books) written by Robert Reich. These are troubling times and he’s got some good ideas.

Thanks to wikipedia and the free online dictionary for a few of the “official” definitions herein that I have purposefully skewed into metaphors .

About danaj33

writer * department chair of Broadcast Electronic Media Arts and audio faculty at City College of San Francisco * music composer and producer * always in discovery mode, learning, living, loving, and laughing.
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