I would never have imagined as a kid watching Alistair Sim as the ultimate Scrooge that I would someday live in a world where people like Scrooge would be exalted. Nor could I have imagined I would live in a country that would condemn the likes of Tiny Tim as a taker. Who would have ever thought that Tim’s father, the affable Bob Cratchit, would also become a symbol of what some see as the sins of our country. Bob works hard but is paid poorly. For many today he is getting way overpaid based on the market.
What the hell happened, for gosh sakes? Somehow Republicans in this country got the idea that they either are or have God’s answers to everything. One of the answers is that if you are not picked by God to be one of the chosen, then it appears to be their duty to make sure that you suffer on earth. Oh, they won’t join in that suffering because they have been chosen.
Just this week we had a great example of how this works. Republicans, in their role of Scrooge, negotiated a budget that cut out more payments to the unemployed. You remember this group of unemployed don’t you? About 1.3 million folks who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time as a bunch of other Scrooges were having some fun by turning Wall Street into a casino. The game blew up when the bets could not be covered. It was quite a hoot. Well the Scrooges couldn’t be expected to pay for the damage they did. After all, they were too important to society. And the congress critters they owned agreed. The American people, in gratitude for all the Scrooges had done for the country agreed gladly to pay their debt.
But the Scrooges felt someone should pay. So they laid off workers from their factories and stores. Those that didn’t lose their jobs lost pay, bonuses, health insurance and pensions. By God, someone had to pay for letting the Scrooges blow up the economy.
And since their game blew up, they make sure that their hand picked minions in Congress continue to keep their boot heels on the necks of the poor and middle class. Most of these are Republicans. They can easily be picked out by how they answer any and all questions by blaming Obama. Ni matter what the question, Republicans blame Obama for something.
Republicans also stop laws that would increase jobs, or pay, or give a poor kid a shot at an education. Kids like Tiny Tim and his brothers and sisters. So the Scrooges will take away Bob Cratchit’s job, cut off any help the government was giving him. While his family sinks more slowly into poverty the Scrooges kick the future out from beneath the kids by putting them into crappy charter schools where they learn junk science. Even if they survive all this and maybe have a chance at a college education, they rig the system so that the costs are too high and borrowing to go to school is way too expensive.
Where once upon a time, Charles Dickens used the media of his day to air such circumstances in society of his day and got a good listening, such does not happen in our media today. Our media today is owned nearly lock, stock and barrel by the Scrooges of today. From network TV to radio, to billboards to newspapers where there are but a few independent papers left. The Scrooges own it all but the internet and they are coming after that hard. So why should they allow the story of Bob Cratchit and his family to get a fair airing? Thus the economic news is full of praise for Scrooge and his buddies and full of demonizations and innuendo for Bob Cratchit.
Most of our population follow the lead of the media. Thus as a population we cheer for the rich; we don’t balk, don’t even write a letter to our congress critter when corporations and the wealthy pay taxes at a rate 1/10th of ours; and we look at the poor as the ones who are robbing us blind even though they have barely enough to eat or money for heat. And even though we know that certain officeholders will vote in lockstep with the Scrooges and do all in his power to turn our lives into a living hell while making his corporate sponsors even more wealthy, we vote him back into office over and over again thinking history won’t repeat.
So the morality tale that Charles Dickens penned 170 years ago has little effect today. We have been anesthetized to the sins of today’s Scrooges to the point of believing they can do little wrong. The sins of the rich and corporations are blamed on those who are victimized by such sins. The Scrooges of today are left alone to do what they wish by society. And Charles Dickens morality play of good and evil becomes a quaint little story to be read at Christmas time with little relevance to today.