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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Stagnation of Political Will

It is difficult for many of us bloggers who readily devour the political back and forth in Washington, or our local capitols, with a quick wit and a healthy suspicion to understand the utter disconnect from that world that so many of our fellow citizens enjoy. I say enjoy with a purpose. Ignorance is bliss. To engage in the awesome problems of the day is just one step too far down a road they are barely able to navigate with the tools they have at hand. That is not to say that they are less capable or less intelligent than others, only that with the limitations of a public education and a full plate of dealing with their own lives, the political realm is a step too far.

Now, does that mean that those of us who do pay attention and who are engaged in the bigger issues of the day, than say the cost of bread, that we are otherwise not engaged in the daily struggle for survival? No. It is not a zero sum game; it is not an either or scenario. The fact is, some are engaged on a broader scale, who bring to the cost of bread the wider economic issues which have caused that condition, whereas the others simply see a higher price and start looking for ways to pay it.

I have recently undergone a full-emersion into the populace as a whole. While a business owner and also the labor part of the business I felt in touch with the average citizen at least in many ways. They were my customers, my fellow business people, my vendors, etc, but what I missed in those relationships is that I was always dealing with another person like myself, i.e. in business. We had shared the economic slow down, the fight to survive, the appreciation of a good customer, or a good reputation, etc. Then, stepping out of that situation and into another where I was surrounded by others who were merely employees, I found a new understanding of the stagnation of political will.

What we might see as apathy and occasionally castigate as unhealthy and perhaps even a bit treasonous, these employees, the people who see themselves at the mercy of corporate policy, government policy and even personal policy, are the life blood of the nation and they are fearful. Even in the boom of the North Dakota oil fields, there is fear. They know of friends and family who are struggling and often failing. They have picked up the tab for some, or helped others in different ways, but they are not immune to the understanding of the pain that the greater population is suffering and they dread the day it comes to them.

It is a bunker mentality. They are making money as fast as they can and are doing some smart things with it, a phenomenon that was not present in the last generation of oil field workers I knew.

The average oil field worker is impacted directly by policies of the oil company, the drilling company, the rig and the shift they work for. They are impacted directly by the EPA and by OSHA and sometimes even DOT. They have become the mules for all of these policies and asked to do their jobs with these weights pulling them down. It is a struggle, but the cautionary tales of friends and relatives who have no jobs and no ability to do theirs is on their minds.

So, if you wonder why there are not more people like you out there banging the drum, raising the alarm, they are deafened by their own responsibilities. And, like you, I know that the loud crashing of the system will shake them awake, but for now they are heavily sedated by obligation and compliance. They have no will or ability to challenge the wave of regulation that daily engulfs their efforts. They are treading the dangerous waters and fearful of the next wave. Unleash the rebellious nature of the average worker struggling through much the same burdens and you will find the army you need to change the world.

7 comments:

  1. I hope you're doing well....

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  2. Hope your ding well,also.

    Waking up my fellow workers is what I have been doing for close to two years now, with just a little success. Like you I was also attempting to be my own boss for a while. Did this while keeping the job I had in order to have $$$ to live on while reinvesting everything else back into the business I was trying to start up with my wife.

    Dennis
    III
    Texas

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  3. Hey Mister,
    Hop this finds you well.

    I am starting to see more people with their eyes open.

    I am starting to hear from folks who are making plans.

    I am advising folks what they need to buy before the paper goes bad.

    The undercurrent grows stronger.

    Put your ear to the track. I hear the train a coming...

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  4. Take a look at the Yahoo article on ND not being a state -- check out the comments, but more importantly the "like/dislike" counts on them.

    The "like/secession" pairing is running about 10-1 over the more "lefty" comments -- and yahoo isn't exactly a right-wing site!

    When the S starts to HTF, we're going to see a whole lot more people willing to raise hell...

    Most who still have jobs are too scared to "rock the boat" - or to even say anything that might make them seem less like "part of the inner circle."

    Seems to me the best place to recruit would be the unemployment line -- which is going to grow exponentially before it's all over....

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  5. TL, you have the right of it. I know of many people who have tunnel vision which allows them to continue to enjoy the comforts of their personal status quo, in spite of what is occurring all around them. Caring for themselves and their families, not rocking the boat to where their livelihood becomes jeopardized, and even those who look away from the ugliness they understand we all will face, but don't want to face any sooner than they absolutely have to.

    Unfortunately, they don't realize that, by the time they do face it, it may be too late to do anything about it. It is already to late to avoid what is coming, but for many it may be too late to find a way to survive what is coming.

    I can't really condemn them for their fear, their unwillingness to contemplate where we are headed, but it saddens me that they don't understand their denial is more destructive than facing and dealing with it would be.

    As DD says, as long as these people retain hope that it will "all work out", they will cling to their hope until they find themselves out of a job, out of unemployment benefits, and living in a shanty town. And even then many will wait for .gov to rescue them.

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  6. Check out S.S. Pitchfork on Facebook

    ReplyDelete