Posts Tagged ‘Capitalism’

Welcome The Immigrant

October 2, 2022

            The upcoming midterm elections are deemed significant, or at least as significant as any, by national politicians, pundits and pollsters. Analysis finds it ironic how local politicians choose to remain silent on the matter. A recent AP article on Pa. politics made the astute, and ubiquitous, observation that the midterm elections are “about the high price of everything, about finding workers and good paying jobs, about the culture wars.” Analysis finds the first of that list to be code for inflation, and the last of the list to be a polite way of saying politics after the rise of Donald Trump. Put simply, inflation is too many dollars chasing too few goods. Analysis finds it obvious that no election, no matter the outcome, will solve the culture wars. The last one didn’t so why should we believe the next one will? Analysis finds the nebulous middle term to be the most incongruous. For all it is worth “finding workers and good paying jobs” could be used during any election for the last 75 years. Funny it is used so much today. The current national unemployment rate is 3.7%. The Ohio rate is 4% while the unemployment rate for Licking County is that of the nation – 3.7%. These are numbers that 50 years ago would have been considered “full employment”, meaning all those able and willing to work would have a job. So why is “finding workers and good paying jobs” an election year, or any other year, issue? It’s obvious that the very nature of capitalism is that it takes money to make money. And if you don’t have any money, you sell your labor. In a capitalist democracy, anyone can open a business. There is nothing to prevent the new business owner from laboring themselves on the job they have created as a self employed business. But capitalism is about using money, to make money. So the new business owner seeks to find individuals who can’t help but sell their labor to work for them, to make the business function. The old saw was that in every successful business there is eventually a spouse or offspring found working in a back room because they are “family” (for no remittance). Americans have no difficulty understanding the “high price of everything” yet they see the lack of workers and good paying jobs as somehow a 1930’s Depression era issue. It is not. It is a case of job inflation – too many employers chasing after too few workers, who have only their labor to sell. In Ohio “Jobs!” has been a political rainbow stew since the author of the Kent State massacre originated it (galloping Governor Jim Rhodes). The Intel plant isn’t being built in Monroe County (which has a 10.6% unemployment rate). Rather, it is appearing in a county that matches the national rate of unemployment. With the spin off industries and support businesses that accompany such growth, there will be a lot of “entrepreneurs” looking for someone else to labor for them so that they might become successful capitalists. Although this same phenomena is taking place all over the US, hence the 3.7% rate, it is assumed that these folks will just magically appear to fill these jobs, trained or not. Job inflation – too many employers chasing after too few workers – is a real issue. But the solution presented by some, mostly the GOP, is not a solution at all, but rather an aggravation of an existing unsustainable condition. Getting baby boomers to fill these jobs by securing the borders is totally unsustainable. At some point, sooner than later, the only sustainable solution is to welcome the immigrant.

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We’ve Seen This Movie Before

June 24, 2022

            The nation’s news blockbuster this summer is God, Guns and Babies: God with the US Supreme Court ruling in favor of religious schools with equity of state public funding, Guns with the recent SCOTUS overturning of New York’s centuries old gun licensing regulation, and Babies with the Supreme’s latest hit single covering Roe. Is the reader beginning to detect a theme here? In Licking County Ohio the news has been pretty much a monogamous relation with Intel. Now Intel has floated the Idea of a possible split if they don’t get all of the expected dowry (kinda like old Elon Musk). Within the same week we get word that New Albany has agreed to a 30 year, 100% tax abatement for their suitor, Intel. Meanwhile, Intel has let slip that it won’t formally dive in without passage of the Chip legislation which has been languishing in congress. That legislation is to provide billions of dollars in federal subsidies to domestic micro chip manufacturers. No need to reference Fox Con’s Wisconsin debacle, heralded with much fanfare during the Trump administration (also another debacle, of a more sinister kind), and likewise on an enormous scale of jobs promised, economic redemption – Not! (but paling in comparison with Intel’s over the moon swooning) Licking County residents can’t tell if the current iteration of news they are forced to watch is a remake or rerun (does it matter?). They’ve seen it so many times before with the public private partnership deals made by JobsOhio, Grow Licking County, Newark Development Partners, as well as all the “just private” commitments to develop, only if the funding is provided by the state, county or municipality; usually in the form of tax credits (historic are the preferred genre), abatement or infrastructure subsidy, etc. They include, but are not limited to, things such as the Arcade, Central elementary apartments, “affordable housing” behind the north side Walmart (Not!), west and north Newark single family residential development, etc. All this involves community resources (public funding) used for the profits of private individuals (in archive news the Supremes designated corporations as individuals). It has all the earmarks of the “socialism” condemned by the right wing, free market fear machine. Only, because it is destined for Capitalist entrepreneurs, it can’t possibly be state sponsored socialism; more like state sponsored Capitalism which in the case of “Communist” China is considered negatively (how far off was Orwell?). The movie ends, as we all know, with the Intel tail wagging the Licking County dog.

Punch And Judy 2021

October 25, 2021

            In a news exclusive, Rolling Stone headlined: “Jan. 6 Protest Organizers Say They Participated in ‘Dozens’ of Planning Meetings With Members of Congress and White House Staff” (Hunter Walker, 10-24-21). The article swirls around the accounts of two anonymous individuals involved with the planning and organizing of rallies and events prior to the grand finale of January 6. The members of congress included “Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)” as well as Georgia’s Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Walker reports that in an email to Rolling Stone “Nick Dyer, who is Greene’s communications director, said she was solely involved in planning to object to the electoral certification on the House floor.” “Dyer also suggested the public is far more concerned with issues occurring under President Joe Biden than they are with what happened in January. “No one cares about Jan. 6 when gas prices are skyrocketing, grocery store shelves are empty, unemployment is skyrocketing, businesses are going bankrupt, our border is being invaded, children are forced to wear masks, vaccine mandates are getting workers fired, and 13 members of our military are murdered by the Taliban and Americans are left stranded in Afghanistan,” Dyer wrote.” Analysis finds that to be a pretty gloom and doom, negative and dire to say the least, assessment of America today. Shelves were empty, unemployment was skyrocketing and businesses were going bankrupt in 2020 when Biden wasn’t President. Just trying to steer the conversation like Youngkin is doing with school board controversies in Virginia? Perhaps. But Analysis is intrigued by the description of America presented by Dyer, not in the strategies of rhetoric. What if it is true? If it were true, one would expect the repercussions to be pervasive, across the board. September 2021 unemployment rate was at 4.8%, the lowest since before the pandemic. Supply chain issues are causing shelves to be emptied. Economist point to the pent up demand creating a tsunami of buying as one of the factors involved with this gap (and our methodology is as old as the extinct Sears Roebuck catalogue – we order it and expect it to arrive on demand). As for businesses going bankrupt, as of this writing the S&P was at 35,700. It has and continues to rise. In the past that would be an indicator of confidence in the ability to make money in America. But wait, didn’t we just assume that Dyer’s description of America was true? If the dire assessment is so, that conditions in America suck, then what creates the rising value of stock certificates, continuously increasing the wealth of the 1% who own most of it? Analysis finds a disjunct between what Dyer says (as spokesman for MTG) and what the financial wealth actually being made and determined says. Analysis finds that, true or false, Dyer is trying to steer the conversation (and have MTG benefit from the fear and anxiety it creates). But Analysis also finds that, true or false, the controversy and strife caused by “the conversation” has not dampened the ability of the wealthy to make more money from their money. It seems that the greater the chaos and crisis, the more opportunity there is to reap financial reward for those not caught in the fray. Analysis finds it all to be an obverse Punch and Judy Show, where the puppet masters are heartily enjoying (and benefitting from) the spectacle of their audience pulling each other’s strings while beating themselves senseless.

The Stuff Of CRT

July 10, 2021

            The news of note during the past week was also the news that “almost” flew under the radar. Nationally, it was the continuing coverage of the American withdrawal from the endless war in Afghanistan, accelerated by 10 days to the end of August. Locally, the headline read “Velvet Ice Cream moves production to out-of-state manufacturing facilities” (Kent Mallet for the Newark Advocate, 7-7-21). In an odd way, the two events are analogous in more ways than meets the eye; sort of a meta history that creates the stuff of CRT where individual events don’t mean as much as the accumulation of actualities does. The most common denominator the two news items share is that they make perfect sense to some while leaving others in the dark, insecure. To a space alien finding itself on earth in Ohio, the former president opted to end the endless war in his not to be experienced second term. The actual president is fulfilling that chore. The space alien could only conclude that this was foregone policy no matter what the party in power. “Luconda Dager, president of Velvet Ice Cream for 12 years, said the recall, the move of production and resulting layoffs were the toughest days she’s had leading the family-run company. The family gathered to discuss the best course of action. “It was a difficult decision,” Dager said. “We’ve been making ice cream in Utica 107 years. Unfortunately, this listeria plagues our industry. It’s a bacteria you can’t see. We do everything to mitigate it. We really don’t know what happened.”” Given the long history of ice cream being produced in Utica, that nationally ice cream continues to be produced throughout the country, and that Velvet ice cream will continue to be produced, only elsewhere, the space alien could only conclude that this policy also was a foregone conclusion, no matter the events described as reasons for its actualization. Butt weight, there’s more! America’s endless war has produced an emotional attachment, a bond for those embracing active military service, both actual members as well as flag waving supporters. An analogous emotional attachment bonds those advocates and proponents of local business, jobs and development. On a mini scale, Velvet’s production facility was for Utica what the Rockwell/Walker plant was for Newark – a source of reliable, well paying employment for those in the surrounding area (Rocky Boots in Nelsonville, Anchor Hocking in Lancaster, etc.). In many Advocate business columns, Luconda Dager herself wrote of exactly the need for that. The space alien wouldn’t be surprised but to those in the Utica area with an emotional attachment to their geography of choice it must come as just another reason to feel once again opportunity has been stolen, another validation of mistrust. To the space alien, premiere loyalty to the profit motive obviously underlies both news events. But to those with an emotional attachment…? Finally, the meta history that makes this the stuff of CRT (where individual events don’t mean as much as the accumulation of actualities does). We all know about the reasons (both real and fancied) and timeline of America’s endless war in Afghanistan, as well as the convoluted path of actual destruction left behind. So much for individual events in light of the accumulation of actualities. ‘Nuff said. On the other hand, “[Luconda] Dager, great-granddaughter of Velvet founder Joseph Dager, who started the company in 1914, took over for her father, also Joseph Dager, in 2009. It was a year after a new 1,100-square-foot viewing gallery was unveiled to allow visitors to watch ice cream being made.” Wiki gives the boiler plate: “Velvet, founded in 1914 in Utica, Ohio, by Joseph Dager, a Lebanese immigrant, is a family-owned and operated fourth generation ice cream manufacturer. Dager began the company in the basement of a Utica confectionary.” (Ice cream made in a 1900’s small town basement…?!) Not given by Wiki, Luconda, or the Advocate was that people were leaving Lebanon prior to the start of the First World War because conditions there for the Lebanese were unbearable, bleak as part of the Ottoman Empire. Another penniless immigrant story that benefitted the community (Utica) in which it labored? Could the same be said for today? (No, we don’t make ice cream in a basement) Were the original 1900’s middle eastern immigrants welcomed and applauded by the “native” inhabitants of Utica because their future success was an aura that enveloped them as “special”? All the stuff of CRT, where individual events don’t mean as much as the accumulation of actualities does.

Addendum To Denial

January 11, 2021

            In the previous post, Welcome To Denial Ohio Jeff Hall Mayor (1-8-21), Analysis makes the claim that Kent Mallett’s report (East Main Street building to become Newark thrift store, not homeless shelter, 1-8-21) was really more about the “growing homeless population” than about the former Family Dollar store recycling into the new St. Vincent’s thrift store. A report by Melody Hahm appearing in Yahoo Finance (who knew?) gives a curious insight without the absurdity of “counting the homeless,” since we know that few will be inclined to self identify as “homeless.” Most are inclined to self identify as middle class, though they are not. So all you “middle class” out there, perk up. Hahm’s report is about you. Entitled “Middle-class homeowners will get ‘priced out permanently’: real estate investor Grant Cardone” it spells out the current road to the American dream paved with, well, Capitalist intentions. “The number of homes for sale reached an all-time low in December, as buyers remained active and eager to buy even during the holiday season.” “But given the low inventory and the quick turnaround of homes, middle class Americans are finding homeownership more inaccessible than ever, according to Grant Cardone, a real estate investor who manages a $1.4 billion portfolio of multifamily properties and also stars in Discovery Network’s (DISCA) reality series, “Undercover Billionaire.” “The middle class are going to get priced out permanently. The great divide will get wider, wealthy people are picking up second and third homes like most people buy Skittles or the way we were buying toilet paper back in March. The average person is not able to grab a house today. After the pandemic, the banks went to 20% down, now they’re doing double and triple checks to see if your future employment is stable,” he said during an interview with Yahoo Finance Live on Friday.” ““It’s going to get more and more difficult for people to buy homes in the lowest interest rate environment we’ve ever had, the middle class will not be able to take advantage of this. This validates the concept which I’ve been pushing… cash is trash and the wealthy are turning cash into real assets,” he added.” That helps shed some light on the current state of housing in Denial, er, Newark Ohio. For those unable to afford the flight to the far west side with its exceptional schools, there is only what remains in the already previously “developed” city. Aspiring homeowners who can’t afford the flight to the west side find themselves in competition with “the wealthy [who] are turning cash into real assets” – rentals. The percentage of rental stock available in Denial, er, Newark increases as a consequence of the flight to the far west side. Newark already has almost half its residential housing as investment property (non owner occupant). If “the banks went to 20% down, now they’re doing double and triple checks to see if your future employment is stable,” then rents themselves will be high. And rentals also demand background checks. No, not that a pandemic is in your background. Rents will be high since the alternative is to compete with the Capitalized landlord. Like the coldest days of winter to be, the flight to the far west side of Denial, er, Newark as a solution to its housing shortage contributes to a “growing homeless population” as a consequence.

Welcome To Denial Ohio Jeff Hall Mayor

January 8, 2021

            Decades ago in Australia’s capital of Canberra (or thereabouts) there was a native people’s demonstration aimed at renaming the central plaza with its aboriginal name. By the most guileful of means, the existing “colonial” signs were replaced with ones bearing the “pre-colonial” name of the place. Something analogous ought to happen in Newark Ohio. In the midst of all the media outrage posted regarding the events in our nation’s capital (as Gomer would say; “Surprise. Surprise. Surprise.”) Newark Advocate’s Kent Mallett headlined: East Main Street building to become Newark thrift store, not homeless shelter (1-8-21). “The Evans Foundation, working with Newark Development Partners and the now-defunct Licking County Task Force on Homelessness, purchased the building in late 2019 and leased it to the city of Newark as a location for a low-barrier shelter serving the area’s growing homeless population.” The buried lead here is “growing homeless population”, not “building.” Mallett further expounds, later in the report: “The state’s annual count of homeless later this month will provide more data, but Tegtmeyer [Deb Tegtmeyer, director of the Licking County Coalition for Housing] said the problem seems to have gotten worse. “The feeling is that it has increased, primarily for single adults, Tegtmeyer said. “The waiting list for families is short, because funds are available for them. Single adults are kind of a bigger challenge. With the moratorium on evictions (extended to the end of the month), we’re trying to get a handle on what might be coming.”” Factually, the coldest part of winter is coming. But Analysis digresses. Leading civic leaders of Denial involved with the purchase/lease back in 2019 were also interviewed by Mallett. “Sarah Wallace, chairwoman of the Evans Foundation, said the time had come to do something with the building at 200 East Main St. “I worry because it’s been vacant all this time and no concrete plans have been made,” Wallace said. “We just can’t let it sit there vacant. It’s not good for anybody. The longer a building sits vacant, the worse it is. “I’m excited to get it into use for the community. The St. Vincent de Paul Center is busting at the seams and they are in the business of serving the homeless.”” Indeed! Analysis would have preferred hearing something more like “I worry because people have been without shelter all this time and no concrete plans have been made, We just can’t let them be homeless. It’s not good for anybody. The longer people are without shelter, the worse it is.” But then again, with Denial’s downtown redevelopment and all, it is Capital first (and capitalized!), people much later. Analysis digresses again! “Dan DeLawder, chairman of Newark Development Partners, a public-private community improvement corporation involved in the effort to open a new shelter, said converting the building into a shelter failed because of a lack of funding. “It’s still premature to say how we’ll go forward,” DeLawder said. “We need a sustainable funding source to operate a shelter, and we haven’t found a solution to that. We haven’t seen anybody raise their hands and say we can help on a regular basis. We’re really stymied.”” That’s showin’ ‘em leadership, Dan. Throw in the towel after receiving the first punch on the nose. Funny the NDP hasn’t quit with its Arcade project, purchased in Denial the same year as the Family Dollar building. Further digression, mutter, mutter. And finally, the mayor of Denial, formerly a chief proponent of shelters as long as they aren’t located within the city limits, let alone in the heart of Denial (where his office resides); “The mayor applauded the effort of the Evans Foundation and St. Vincent de Paul, and said the effort to help those suffering with homelessness continues. “I fully support the reuse of that building,” Hall said. “St. Vincent de Paul does a wonderful job in the community helping those less fortunate and getting needed supplies for those in the area. “They acquired (the building) in case it worked out to be a homeless shelter. The building doesn’t make or break a plan. It’s complex and challenging in a lot of areas. It’s not an easy fix and not reliant on one building.”” One less lease to clean up after. One less egg to fry. Welcome to Denial Ohio, Jeff Hall Mayor.

Newark Ohio Iconoclash

June 21, 2020

In past posts Analysis has been following the current Iconoclash rather marginally. Nationally (and internationally) the monuments and names keep coming down, the latest being Monmouth University’s building named in honor of Woodrow Wilson. No such bounty of figurative sculpture or names to be found in Newark Ohio; mostly religious icon’s or heroes of industry found on church or business private property. Why’s that? The bronze figures around the square are a pre-MAGA visualization of life as it ought to be; more a tribute to the effectiveness of Walt Disney “in reverse” surveillance technology (if you are good, Mickey will smile on you) than celebrations of any specific person or individual. And the building names, or buildings themselves? Analysis began this blog over 7 years ago enumerating who owns downtown Newark. Most properties are gov’t, church, or corporate owned, with many corporate entities established for that specific property ownership. Ditto building names. The culture has been efficiently anaesthetized through the removal of any structure strongly evocative of history, or the repurposing of those deemed “interesting.” The blog followed the demise of the old Children’s Home on East Main Street, and the repurposing of the downtown Gazebo as replacement. And what of the Roper factory smokestack, the railroad roundhouse, or the east end hospital? Evidence of the city’s actual history has been erased and replaced by branding icon’s like the Basket Building, Canal Market (next to the moldy old county jail), and The Works (Ohio Center for History, Art and Technology). The “branded history” names follow the same “made for general audience consumption” fantasy history as the bronze figures scattered around the square. Yet nationally (and internationally) the statues and names keep coming down. The Iconoclash grows more intense, threatening to topple a Presidency. The optimists point to all this as a beginning, the beginning of a genuine conversation of history, race, and the continuous effects of slavery. An uncomfortable conversation to be had, we are told. Certainly not what one would celebrate with bronze figures around the Newark Courthouse Square. Why Not? The history of slavery and the US, both AS the US as well as with the creation of the US, is premised in a conversation far more uncomfortable than race. THAT conversation IS celebrated continuously around the Courthouse Square in downtown Newark. No matter the volumes of philosophic tomes justifying the rational legitimacy of private property ownership (9/10ths of the law), in the end it comes down to the history and origins of Capitalism. At some point, somewhere, Capitalism requires that something has been acquired from nothing, which allows for the establishment of property and value; whether it be the resources of an entire continent where the inhabitants are not considered human, or labor as a resource, by being considered as owned property (or indentured — as family). Something must cost nothing (be there for the taking, with or without guile). And it is this “costs nothing” which makes the conversation so uncomfortable, and uncertain, in Newark Ohio.

If That Just Don’t Beat All

May 5, 2020

The front page of the online edition of the New York Times for Tuesday, May 5, 2020 was an accurate barometer of the contemporary situation. On the left hand side the NY Times headlined “Infection Rates Show the Threat of Coronavirus Is Not Fading.” The top story line beneath the headline read “The U.S. is seeing at least 25,000 new cases per day, an increase of 2 to 4 percent. There have been more than 1,000 daily deaths for over a month.” On the right hand side, sharing equal billing was the headline “Wall Street set to gain amid signs of optimism.” The reflection of today was not limited to the NY Times exclusively. The same day The Wall Street Journal headlined an article with “Why Home Prices Are Rising During the Pandemic”. Again same day, different news source, USA Today headlined “Essential worker just means you’re on the death track”. The headlines for today are as polarized as the politics that surrounds them. Ohio’s Governor Dewine’s daily update on the Covid 19 situation in Ohio showed an increase in cases along with an increase in mortalities. As of this writing Licking County increased to 133 from a previous day’s 130, and the previous to that 114. Yet contrary to the Governor’s initial rationale for nixing the Arnold, halting the March primary and closing public institutions, etc., all systems are go for reopening, without the curve ever reaching a peak. It doesn’t matter? Or is something else at play here? During the Arab oil embargo of the 1970’s it was the simplistic “supply and demand” explanation. During the Reagan recession of the 80’s it was “too many dollars chasing too few goods.” In the 90’s it was the dot com bubble with its enterprising entrepreneurs self justifying mega dividends. W’s regime righted itself with a war economy after 9/11. The chickens came home to roost with his end of term meltdown on the bundled, junk sub-prime securities. B Rock rescued everything through compensating the source of the loss with the mantra of “we can’t let the system fail.” And now this. THIS appears to be the complete unbridled, shameless operation of the market with no other considerations. There is no rhyme or reason, no attempt to justify or rationalize any of it (“Supply and demand” or “too many dollars chasing too few goods” etc.). Those accustomed to making money off whatever situation find no difference in the current situation. Those who always had to pay, no matter the situation, find no difference today except that now it also includes paying with their lives. The polarization reveals itself for what it is: the US as an economy versus the US as a society.

Questions

March 29, 2020

Today the inhabitants of mother earth are asking questions which have no answers. Analysis has found this to always have been the case, only today the earth’s inhabitants are keenly aware of it. The status quo has always been questions without readily available answers. In a heightened state of consciousness, the status quo becomes news. NPR reports that the national approval rating of the US President’s handling of the Covid 19 pandemic is at 58%. WKYC reported like numbers for Ohioans. Reuters reported that the residents of Wuhan China have been allowed to venture out after being under virtual lockdown. The question remains as to what percentage of people in  the US, along with the citizens of Ohio will quit self isolation if and when the US President says it is safe to do so? The state of New York has joined a long list of other states to defer their primary election until June 2, 2020. Ohio legislators opted for a mail in primary, April 28. The census is also begging for an online/mail in response. With other things on its citizens’ minds, was the legislators’ solution a fair and equitable alternative, or a hurried voter suppression (snail mail turn around time for ballot request, receiving ballot, mailing in ballot, receiving and verifying vote in 4 weeks very short)? Various news outlets have been running autopsies on what happened with the Sanders campaign. 3-25-20 Washington Post  Sean Sullivan’s dissection (Insiders recount how Sanders lost the black vote) interviews many current and past operatives. It ignores the Bloomberg factor (which was viable at the time of the SC primary) and answers its one question with what everyone already knew, way deep in the latter half of the article: “In the eyes of some Sanders aides, there was little he could have done to reverse the loyalty that Biden spent decades building among black voters. Others felt that the campaign misjudged how impactful Biden’s institutional support would be.” The valorization of loyalty above all else is now shared as a priority by both the incumbent GOP candidate and the likely DEM challenger for US President. The institutional disdain of the Democratic Party for Mr. Sanders candidacy goes way back. Bloomberg could buy televised enthusiasm but little else. Sanders could get folks to appear at rallies but not at the polls. And Biden? He got the primary vote. Which got the conservative National Review to headline “Does anyone remember Joe Biden?” (3-24-20). Indeed, without an enthusiastic core of followers, Joe likewise hunkered down with a base that is preoccupied with its own high risk of fatally contracting Covid 19. In a perverse turn, never Democrats like Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, propagandist Glenn Beck and Fox News Brit Hume (and others) have promoted a solution to the threat to capitalism in the US (the economic fallout of the spread of Covid 19) – the country should rid itself of its useless eaters, which just happens to be Biden’s unenthusiastic base. Where is Joe Biden?

 

Crowd Sourcing

January 20, 2019

Crowd news of the past week was, well, crowded. Large crowds of teachers turned out to demonstrate in LA along with masses of parents and students supporting their demands. Crowds of various Federal Government workers turned out for information pickets, demonstrations to end the shut down, sign up for unemployment benefits, food pantry and free meal distribution. Crowds of demonstrators turned out in DC for Native American demands, Pro- Life movements and the Women’s March. In France the Yellow Vests took to the streets en masse for the tenth weekend in a row. And in Central America another caravan gathered and began the long walk north for asylum. The contemporary is a time of masses of people taking to the streets in crowds. Anthropologists and sociologists say it is part of being human to band together. Not necessarily the “herd instinct” but reasons given tend to favor the security and strength in numbers, the efficiency of a division of labor (one babysits while another fetches provisions), and the motivational imperative of actually, physically experiencing that we are not alone; that others think and feel as we do (never found on Facebook). Along with this time of a visible sea of humanity there is the insinuation that these gatherings only take place because “someone is paying for it.” This critique ascertains a kind of surreptitious “worldly” validity. Come on now. Someone had to pay for all the organization, promotion and logistics. Unspoken is that this “pragmatic” line of thought disses what the anthropologists and sociologists ground as the characteristic of being human. We are a communal species, not just in sprawling urban manifestations but also rural interaction. OK, hoarding survivalists demand to differ. Their Prepper Conventions scheduled for 2019 beg to differ with that. Analysis finds the need to band together for the reasons given to run deep and be inextricable. But “I wonder who is paying for that?” accompanies most conversation around migrant caravans and spontaneous demonstrations. Analysis shows the question to be a red herring. It assumes that working together, in a group, is not what it is to be human (not exactly extraterrestrial, but extra human). It already assumes that migration is a solitary entrepreneurial activity, that negotiations are always between the single individual and the nebulous powers that be, and that appeals of any sort are purely subjective, pertaining to the isolated subject and not the aggregate. The next time the insinuation that “someone must be paying” for migrant caravans, yellow vests taking to the streets, or opioid addiction demonstrations worms its way into the conversation, ask yourself “Would these gatherings take place without a profit motive, a bottom line, a business incentive?” The incidence of masses of people taking to the streets grows daily. Analysis finds that someone is certainly paying. What they are paying for is to stop, deny, and make this all too human activity disappear. But who is paying to do this?