Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The invisible victims of casino capitalism

I may as well have titled this "expendable people." Those would be the millions struggling to cope with having lost everything that formerly defined their comfortable lives. They live among us, nearly unnoticed by the throngs of the still secure who stride confidently down sidewalks to their next appointment or linger in cafes absorbed in their mobile devices. In the vast halls of our policy makers, they only exist as random numbers on charts and spreadsheets. The political overlords do not see their faces. They're too far removed from the reality of the invisibles' existence to have even the faintest understanding of their misery.

The luckier invisibles can still afford tenuous shelter in cheap motels but there is little hope they will find a way to return to any semblance of the middle class comfort they once enjoyed. Once the jobs they performed were essential to the creation of wealth for the investor class. Casino capitalism changed all that. Workers are expendable, a negative expense to be eliminated from the balance sheets lest they interfere with the profit margins.

Most of the invisible newly poor played by the rules. They worked hard to build decent lives. They were cheated out of everything, in one way or another, by the investor class. The end of their road looks like some version of this.

No one thinks it could happen to them before they get there. Truth is, it could happen to anyone.

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