Don’t Tread on Me, While I’m Exploiting

By David Glenn Cox

Due to this year’s drought in the Southwest, Arizona’s allocation for Colorado River water has been cut by 500,000 acre feet. It means Arizona farmers can either choose to buy someone else’s water rights and put in a crop. Or they can sell their water rights and catch up on their reading. The drought is assumed to be temporary until it is proven to be permanent. The planet is littered with monuments of former proud civilizations that prospered, until the weather changed. Take solace in the fact that maybe someday, ten thousand years from now. They will dig up Las Vegas and think, what the fuck was going on here?

The further South you go, the worse it gets. I mean, the drought doesn’t stop at the border. The Republicans will tell you that these immigrants are dirty, rotten mean people out to destroy America with their feet. Inspired by Democrats seeking voting majorities. Gang members and drug dealers and lions and tigers and bears, oh my! But if you pull out a globe and look at immigration from an equatorial standpoint. The bulk of those wishing to immigrate live close to the equator, and life there is starting to  get rough.

Add in sub-human wages which lead to soaring poverty, which leads to crime and violence. It wouldn’t take long before you’d ask, “which way is the Greyhound station?” Like the Poseidon Adventure, you either hang upside down from a table in the banquet hall or you take your chances behind Shelly Winter’s big fat ass. While neither option is attractive, with the second option you might just survive.

President Zelia in Honduras, tried to raise the minimum wage to somewhere around .22 or .26 cents an hour. He was quickly overthrown by the powers of El Norte, and such riotous non-sense was quickly put to bed. “I got orders from Wal-Mart to fill.” Their economy is dependent on an overabundant supply of poor and desperate workers. Workers who take a job at any wage, in hopes of finding something better down the road. Just like Tom Joad did, and like Tom, they probably  never find it. They make the trek north, cause nothing from nothing, leaves nothing.

How desperate must a parent be to hand over to a twelve-year-old, a twenty-dollar bill and point north. “Bye! Good luck son!” My father was a teenager during the Great Depression and rode the rails for a time. They came across a young boy who had run away from home and wanted to go home. So, they helped the boy, thinking his parents would be grateful and invite them in for a big meal and maybe give them money. What they got was “Thanks!” and the door slammed in their face. No one was looking for that kid; the social program of the day was the door. How do we stretch our food dollars? We get rid of you!

The Chinese have built the Three Gorge’s Hydroelectric Dam to catch the mountain run off from glaciers high up in the Himalayas. Glaciers that will be gone before the end of the century. When that happens, the urge to move away will suddenly strike them. Future archaeologists will shake their heads and wonder, what were they thinking building a dam here?

I saw a news story that in Iran, homemade satellite dishes are a hot property. The Iranians can watch all the shows displaying Western decadence and unholy behavior, denied to them by their government. No one wants to watch the Imam, it’s the same show every night! They want to watch Dallas and be JR Ewing. They want a big car, and a big house, they want the American dream. Tooling down the highway in a convertible, toking on a number and digging on the radio. That’s what they all want. What you got. Food, water, a lightbulb and a flush toilet.

The white man knows how to make everything, but he does not know how to distribute it.Lakota Tatanka Iyotake (Sitting Bull)

We have been told since childhood that Capitalism will save us. We can expand forever, resources are limitless. Someday we will have a McDonalds and a Taco Bell in Antarctica! Amazon can use its fleet of robot drones to deliver anything in the way of consumer goods you might ever desire. From cheap knock off luxury goods that you could never actually afford to phony pharmaceuticals. Sex toys, luxury vibrators, farm implements and even “America Love it or leave it!”  tee shirts made in Honduras. “Don’t tread on me” while I’m exploiting!

The same people trying to build a wall also want a bridge. A bridge to bring in low wage manufactured goods for American retail outlets. The wall is for your benefit. To convince the hoosters in the Hustings,  that they’re really trying hard to keep those migrants out. So, you don’t ask yourself, I wonder why they are coming in the first place?

Why would they risk their lives, and the lives of their children? Abandon their ancestral lands and families and travel thousands of miles to a strange land? The same reason your American ancestors did, they were desperate. Jeff Bezos’s has got a space program and Tijuana needs a sanitation plant. But a city filled with poor people, lured there with low wage jobs, can’t afford one. So, the untreated waste washes up on California beaches.

Two competing graph lines, economic migrants versus ecological migrants. Those forced to move because of what Capitalism is doing. And those forced to move because of what Capitalism has done.

“The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he is on.”
 Joseph Heller, Catch-22

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