Reparations for the Common People


    by Donald Jeffries, “I Protest”:

    I wrote the book Survival of the Richest: How the Corruption of the Marketplace and the Disparity of Wealth Created the Greatest Conspiracy of All. It received more critical praise than any of my books, from the likes of Arthur Blaustein, a former Chair of the National Advisory Council on Economic Opportunity.

    Look at the book’s Amazon page. It has a long list of impressive blurbs under the “Editorial Reviews” section. These were people I largely have never communicated with. It was heady stuff for a community college dropout like me. Naomi Wolf compared it to the late Barbara Ehrenreich’s excellent Nickel and Dimed. Naomi went on the write the Foreword to the paperback version. Needless to say, I was extremely honored. But the book just never sold well. Even Naomi’s name on the paperback didn’t seem to help. There was a huge distinction between the critical praise and the disappointing sales. That’s why the publisher never put out an audio version. There wouldn’t even have been a paperback if Naomi hadn’t agreed to write the Foreword.

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    What was especially noticeable was the way the Left ignored the book. This should have been a book that keenly interested them, what with their well-known empathy for the common riff raff. Only Naomi and a few others liked it. I couldn’t get the other Naomi – Naomi Klein- to read it. But then I think she hates Naomi Wolf now, so her connection with it might have been a factor. I devoted a lengthy chapter to the life and assassination of my political hero Huey Long. This also probably repelled much of the Left, who despise Huey and consider him a “demagogue,” the label firmly attached to his reputation by the court historians. Huey was the only politician who ever actually provided tangible assistance to the poor, and made their lives better. Good, respectable “liberals” prefer a virtue signaling government bureaucracy.

    The Left also undoubtedly disagreed with my contention that immigration, especially illegal immigration, was the primary cause of plunging blue collar wages and diminishing benefits. Even for most old fashioned liberals, immigration is always considered a good thing. We are a nation of immigrants. Diversity is our strength. The immigrants that came before the diabolical 1965 immigration “reform” act wanted to be in this country, and assimilated quickly. We were mostly enriched by their presence. Can you imagine life without all that great Italian food? Present day immigrants are seemingly asked not to assimilate. Even with ESL classes in school, many Hispanic children struggle to speak the language fluently. And, of course, the millions who are here illegally will work cheap. Doing the jobs “Americans won’t do.”

    Anyone who has read my work knows that my heart will always be with the everyday people. The common man. The unwashed masses. What were once called peasants. That’s one of the many reasons I could never be a conservative. Many of these people couldn’t afford the bootstraps to pull themselves up with. In my book, I documented the reality they face, in trying to gain the upward mobility that is largely unknown in present American society, outside of the worlds of sports and entertainment. You have to see the statistics to believe just how rigged this economy is against the poor and working class. And now increasingly the middle class. What’s left of the middle class. Probably the most significant number to consider is the fact that the bottom fifty percent of American workers make less than $27,000 annually. That’s half the country.

    Obviously, you can’t live independently in many parts of this land on that kind of paltry salary. You’d be lucky to rent a decent room somewhere. Perhaps that’s the new American Dream; no more suburban single family home with a white picket fence. Notables from John Wilkes Booth to Barney Fife resided in boarding houses. We may be looking at the revival of a once thriving industry. Who says Bidenomics can’t create jobs? Adult children aren’t living in their parents’ basements because they’re all “snowflakes” that don’t want to work. Who can’t keep up with the legendary work ethic of our beloved illegal immigrants. They simply don’t have the same kinds of decent paying blue collar jobs that millions of Americans from my generation, including me, once worked. They’ve all been outsourced or eliminated.

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