Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Christmas Parable

When growing up, there were very few things that myself, my two half-brothers and two step-sisters agreed on.  One that we did agree on though, was our hatred of going to Grandpa and Grandma L's for Christmas.  It wasn't because it was a long drive to their house, because it wasn't.  It wasn't because we didn't like Grandpa and Grandma L, because we did.  There house was always warm and inviting, as were Grandpa and Grandma L.  No, the reason we dreaded going there was because of our cousin Tracy.

Tracy was an only child and she, along with her mom, had lived with Grandpa and Grandma L.  To say that she was spoiled would be understatement.  And on Christmas day, that special treatment that Tracy received was soul crushing.  I think is why Uncle Dwayne and Uncle Bill always waited to bring their families until later in the evening.

While each of us kids received one or possibly even two gifts from Grandpa and Grandma L, Tracy would receive fifteen and sometimes twenty.  We would be required to sit there and watch as she opened present after present.  Each one more valuable than the next.  This would go on Christmas after Christmas.  In my teen years, my parents tried to shield us from it, but it just didn't work.

It was also during my teen years when realized that my Grandpa L was just as appalled at the extravagance lauded upon Tracy each Christmas as we were.  I know that he tried to stop it each year, but Grandma L and Tracy's mom always thwarted him.

Tracy was the 1%.  Through the virtue of circumstances, she was received more than the rest of grandkids (10 of us), combined.

It is through the virtue of circumstances, that the 1% are able to have more wealth than the 99%, combined.  And they use that accumulated wealth and the desire of their allies, to circumvent any attempts by the 99% to share some of that wealth.

This is why  food stamps (SNAP) faces anywhere from $4 billion in cuts over the next 10 years (the Senate version of the Farm Bill) up to $40 billion in cuts over the next 10 years (the House version of the "split" Farm Bill).  This is why emergency unemployment insurance was not extended before December 28th.  This is why the minimum wage was not increased.  This is why Federal employees and Veterans are seeing their pensions cut by 1% each year.

Unlike all of those Christmases of days past, I have a voice that can and will be used against the 1%.  It is my hope that others will join and make our voices heard in 2014 and each coming year.

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