Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Separate Worlds We Inhabit

Yesterday, a friend of Mrs. Trifecta, who reads this blog occasionally, came over for lunch. We got to discussing online dating (she is single), and she said how she didn't care for e-harmony. I brought up the point that the founder of e-harmony was good friends with James Dobson.

She had never heard of him. We mentioned SpongeBob Square Pants, and then she sort of got the reference. But it got me to thinking. Even though there are many people interested in politics to a certain degree, those of us who obsess about the subject need to do a better job in bringing others into the conversation. I am often guilty of assuming that people I speak to know who Carol Lam is, or what crimes Duke Cunningham committed.

The simple fact is that with so much noise out there right now, unless you have an absolute obsession with politics, getting the right details is something that takes a pro-active attitude, it doesn't filter down to people through osmosis.

People live busy lives, with grueling jobs, kids at home, pets to take care of, bills to pay, and can you really blame them for not focusing on what Ron Paul's position on immigration is when it's 7pm, they just finished scraping a meal together for the kids, are trying to organize bath time, and just want a little sanity at the end of the day?

What I am getting to in a long way is a realization that corporate America likes things just the way they exist. America is the only industrialized nation that does not guarantee paid time off, we average less time off per person, than most countries guarantee as an absolute minimum. With stagnant wages over the past thirty years, the top 1% getting ridulously wealthier as everybody else struggles to float in a swirling sea, one thing I want to start focusing on is leisure.

The Haymarket massacre, involving workers protesting for the eight hour work day, occurred 121 years ago. People are often forced to work longer than eight hour shifts if they are lucky. The unemployment rate is kept artificially high in order to surpress inflation in worker salaries.

We get Dancing With The Stars and Brittney Spears instead of time with our loved ones. It's the modern equivalent of bread and circuses. Those who scream the loudest in Washington about family values are the ones who employ policies that don't value family life. If people had to work less, and/or were payed more adequately, the family could thrive on one income, and spend more time together.

The next time a fundamentalist lunatic mentions family values to you, please ask them why they support politicians who strain family and civic life.