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By Dear Dirty America
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A Cheap Safety & Security Fee To Heal An Extremely Sick Nation

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Los Angeles

A good example of our declining nation is summed up in this simple and deceptive plea:

Chicago should impose a “safety and security fee” — as high as $5 a month on homes and businesses — to generate the $70 million needed to hire 700 additional police officers, an influential alderman said Thursday.

Extra security in exchange for signing onto an easy and cheap monthly payment plan is a dreadful sign of the deteriorating American society. Our police forces can’t keep us safe with the taxes we already pay? We need more officers, and $70 million worth?

Isn’t that kind of like your doctor prescribing heavier and heavier makeup to combat the severe and deforming skin condition you have creeping over your body? What if the doc told you, “You’ll have to raise some money from your neighbors to get this next round of makeup for the year. It’s heavy stuff, boy, and you’ll need to apply it with force, but it’ll make you appear more normal than you do now.”

But my neighbors don’t want to pay, you might argue with your doctor. “They will gladly chip in five bucks a month to cover up those rotting lesions all over your body,” he’ll say, “so they don’t have to look at you. You’re scaring the children. And their parents, too.”

Wouldn’t you investigate what’s causing your gnarly skin condition? It’s your body’s largest organ and, I would think, in your best interest to figure out what’s wrong. Is it something you’re eating? Or not eating? What is your diet made up of, anyway? You should tell your doctor, in this case, that there’s a deeper issue here, moron. Let’s not cover it up. Let’s solve it.

Well, in a way, our nation is extremely sick. Why are our cities crumbling? No matter which city you live in, the crime is getting worse. Kansas City. Indianapolis. Detroit. Philadelphia. Pittsburgh. Chicago. Dear Jesus, especially Chicago. Read about it. Bad neighborhoods, out of control and so unruly the cops can’t manage them. Do we simply have a lot of bad apples living in this society? Or is it because there aren’t enough meaningful jobs? Or any jobs, in general?

People can’t buy homes, or cars, or feel stable and worth a shit. They don’t have a steady paycheck. They’re one paycheck from being kicked out of their apartments. They can’t start families. They’re losing their homes. Some people have to sell drugs. Some people kill themselves for what they consider their personal failures. Low income neighborhoods are languishing. Poverty brings despair and desperation. Dangerous stuff, folks.

Yet, we need more police officers to crack down on people with no hope or chance for a better future? Does that sound like a healthy solution? Throw more bullets and manpower at these tough situations? Why not invest in people?

Give the masses hope. A light at the end of the tunnel. Let them paint murals for money. Let them join large construction crews to rebuild our infrastructure. Throw billions at that. Convert our energy sources to greener technologies. Let people work on bettering society. Pay them good wages. That costs money, but it’ll return in tax dollars, and the rest will be spent at local businesses.

Our dear dirty America is transforming into a society where the elite reside in gated, private neighborhoods with personal armies of heavily-armed guards and access to clean water supplies. Colleges, like the University of Chicago are buying up land at exorbitant prices and then dispatching their own mercenaries to beat back the throngs of impoverished people to other poorer neighborhoods.

It’s hard to blame the university working to keep its students safe. But when will we look into this problem further and consider the deeper issue of long-term poverty. High unemployment with no signs of easing. The financial holocaust waged on the working and middle class families by greedy corporations and investment banks and Wall Street.

We’re heading into even stormier times. What are we going to do if we aren’t willing to throw money into building up people by creating good-paying jobs, making sure everybody has a place to live and food to eat and access to education? Five bucks a month, $70 million a year, would go one hell of a long way to healing drug addictions and assuaging poverty.

But fuck that. Get us an army of police officers first. Get us that goopy makeup to slather over our degenerating social malady and hope nobody looks beyond the surface.


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