The local TV news broadcast a segment from a suburban city council meeting. It was a public hearing on an increase in property taxes due to a massive citywide improvement project. The very large crowd in the council chambers were pitchfork and torch angry, screaming, turning red and gesturing menacingly to the council members who tried to justify their decision.
I was sympathetic to the People Rising, sensing that such anger had to be caused by some outrage such as an assessment of a THOUSAND DOLLARS or more. The citizenry must have their backs to the wall to occasion such rage.
Well, it turned out that the average increase per household would have been FIFTY DOLLARS ($ 50.00). So these folks were threatening to lynch their town fathers and mothers for the increase of taxes by $ 4.15 per month. They spend as much on a Latte but they damn well didn’t want to spend it on their town.
During the previous year the oil company owning the service station where they fill-up have added $ 200 to their annual fuel bill, the bank that holds their money has added an additional $ 80 in fees, the electric utility has hit them for $ 300 more, the food market got an additional $ 120 . . . . . and so forth. In response to these assaults the good people of suburbia said nothing, they sighed, they grumbled but they accepted it. A lousy $ 50 for the city they share and they were ready to revolt.
Why aren’t they marching on Citibank, or Standard Oil, or Commonwealth Edison?
Why are they rebelling in the city council chambers?
Because they can.
Unlike all the other outrages committed against them by faceless bureaucracies of corporate vintage, the suburb they live in is the ONLY one which cares what they think. It is the only, albeit imperfect, democracy. And like its kinfolk at the State and Federal levels, it is the only one folks think will listen to them.
Yet, the real oppressors, the elites who are squeezing us dry aren’t the government clerks or firefighters or traffic cops or school teachers, it is the bankers, oil executives, marketing moguls and corporateers who steal from us day in and out. Who don’t ask for our consent, who don’t care what we think or how much it hurts.
Save the Rage and draw on it when the time comes.