Friday, November 4, 2011

Can't Pay the Bills? Tear Out the Lights

After my last post, I received a comment on another blog.
"The problem with numbers is that everybody's got some, and almost nobody knows what they add up to.  The system is intentionally obscure.  If you use numbers, you are just going to get buried with other people's numbers.  Better to stick with visceral evidence.  Who is suffering?  Who is dying?  How?  Why?"
That is fair.  My last point addressed the unfairness of the current political system in numbers.  But what does this do to people?  How does it affect them?  And BLAM!  This morning I find this article about what happens when a Michigan City can't pay the electric bill.

"HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. (AP) -- As the sun dips below the rooftops each evening, parts of this Detroit enclave turn to pitch black, the only illumination coming from a few streetlights at the end of the block or from glowing yellow yard globes.

It wasn't always this way. But when the debt-ridden community could no longer afford its monthly electric bill, elected officials not only turned off 1,000 streetlights. They had them ripped out -- bulbs, poles and all. Now nightfall cloaks most neighborhoods in inky darkness.

"How can you darken any city?" asked Victoria Dowdell, standing in the halo of a light in her front yard. "I think that was a disgrace. She said the decision endangers everyone, especially people who have to walk around at night or catch the bus."
THIS is how the greed of the 1% affects the people of this country.  This is a neighborhood deep in poverty and has had a debt crisis.  It has more people than jobs, burnt out lots, vacant houses, and unused buildings.  Population levels have steadily decreased and the community is in decay.  Most of these local debt problems arise from the banking, housing, and other criminal corporate behaviors.

And yet, the same corporation that is holding Highland Park, MI to its debt, is DTE energy.  DTE energy had a negative tax rate this year, meaning they made billions in profit AND received money from the government.  They hold this community hostage to what is essentially chump change for them!

They have torn out two-thirds of this city's lights.
Torn out.  Nice short term solution.  Lets not think of the long term needs.

Would you like to walk home through the city in the dark?
Would you like to worry about your kids coming home safely?
Would you like to fear every dark space where your home is?

All for what?  Because DTE demands that this city immediately pay off their debt?

The only numbers that are ultimately important here are 99%... and 1%.  The 1% steals our money, and takes money from the government that they control through their lobbying.  The 99% have to suffer as a result of their greed, criminality, and inhumanity.  Are you going to stand for that?  Are you going to watch as the communities of the masses are destroyed?

I look again at the comment the other person left me.  Who is suffering because of the 1%?  How are they suffering?  Why?

Don't let the corporations destroy the social contract that the government has with its people.  It's "We the People" not "We the 1%."

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