The woman was woken up early one morning by police that demanded that she pick up her tent and leave. With nowhere to go and no money to get there, she sat down and thought about what to do with a pensive thought on her face. Angry that the woman hadn’t immediately obeyed his command, the police officer shouted at her even louder, waking the woman’s child up, making the situation worse. Although the woman did have a job, she didn’t have a permanent address because she lived in one of the many tent cities across America. Rising rent, poor choices in life, a deadbeat husband and just plain bad luck had led her to this place in life. Sad but proud, she was going to figure out what to do and how to turn her life around. She wasn’t alone in these thoughts, as various NGO reports state that homelessness in America continues to rise at an unprecedented rate.
As he stepped off the private plane in a new locale, for the fourth time in a week, he took a deep breath and admired his new surroundings, and then he thought to himself that he better hurry, because tee time wasn’t too far off. A quick glance at his watch revealed that he did have time for a quick bite to eat but not too much. Getting into his car, he told the driver that he wanted to do a quick stop at a 5 star restaurant in order to grab a Philly cheese steak; because he had heard that the wagyu beef that they had imported from Japan was top-notch. Although the sandwich cost more than a hundred dollars, money wasn’t an issue as he could just pass the bill on to someone else. After getting his food and back safe in his car speeding along to the golf course, the man thought to himself, “My life is good.”
Although the story seems as if it is from a different time, maybe a different world, it really is about America today. For many, the times are tough and becoming tougher, while for those at the top, the times are good becoming better. As proof of this, Bloomberg recently ran a story called, “Why this year’s Christmas season is so angry.” In that story, it was noted that-“As everyone knows by now, a winner-take-all economy is producing big gains for a thin stratum at the top but little for anyone else. Bernie Sanders likes to point out that the top 10th of 1 percent of families control as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. The inflation-adjusted income of the median American household is lower now than in 2000. On average, young men are earning less after inflation than their fathers did at the same age. According to Census Bureau data, more than a fifth of American children live below the poverty line.” In fact, according to a Public Religion Research Institute survey released last month — “Even though the unemployment rate is down to 5 percent and the last recession ended in 2009, 72 percent of Americans think the country is still in a recession”.
In fact, things are about to get much, much worse for the working class American as a recent bill passed by a Republican led House of Representatives saw, as the Washington Times reported — “Tax deal doles out year-end goodies for NASCAR tracks and racehorses”. You know, the kind of thing that the bottom 90% need in these troubling times. However, one of the more interesting things to emerge as part of that bill, as reported by the Washington Times again, was the — “….more than $1.6 billion to resettle illegal immigrants arriving at the U.S. border through 2018.” That’s right. More than 1 and half billion dollars are going to be spent on resettling illegal immigrants. Now, there is debate as to what an illegal immigrant is, some say that people can’t be illegal, but the simple fact is that by crossing a country’s border without the proper paperwork is a violation of that country’s laws. That is why a person has to get a visa. A visa is legal permission to cross that border. If you don’t have a visa, and if you cross a border, you are illegal. If there is any doubt about this, fly to a different country and then just try to walk across that country’s border. Then try calling to the American embassy, explaining what you did. See how far that gets you.
So, back to the massive amounts of money that Congress is giving to people that aren’t American citizens, and we can see that — “Last week, federal agencies said they were opening two temporary shelters with 1,000 beds in South Texas to cope with the surge. A 400-bed shelter is also to be opened in Southern California. In fact, a local CBS affiliate recently ran a story that noted that — “About 50 teens arrived Friday afternoon, the first of hundreds expected to stay at the Lakeview Camp and Conference Center over the next three weeks. Organizers say the teens were checked in, assigned rooms and given dinner. A local person commented on the situation by saying — “They have an indoor pool up in there. It’s awesome! It’s a really great place.” That’s right. Illegal immigrants are being given free indefinite housing and even access to an indoor pool. How many legal residents and citizens of America have an indoor pool at their disposal?
As Dickens wrote long ago — “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us….” America today really is a tale of two cities, or of two classes. The haves and the have-nots. With nothing projected to change and with things becoming worse for the little man and with even more non-native people coming to take a bite of the ever shrinking pie, many Americans are starting to wonder if they will be looking back in a few years and say, “Remember when things weren’t so bad?”
So, what do you think dear listeners, “Is America really a tale of two cities?”