Half of loaf and the desire for more / by kevin murray

America has what appears to be a permanent underclass, of which, such is a rather huge embarrassment for this is within the richest nation the world has ever known.  So too, this underclass appears to prove the point that capitalism, is not now, and never has been, the best economic system, for a rising tide does not appear to lift all boats, but in fact, appears to keep some people perpetually in a state of near drowning.


Beginning with the "New Deal" as perpetuated with FDR in the 1930s, and the Great Society along with voting rights brought forth in the 1960s, America's governing body has tried to provide for its population the semblance of a minimum standard of living conditions so as to be of aid and help to all those that are indigent, old, or crippled in mind or body. Yet, despite all that has been done, virtually every major city in America, has an uncomfortably large underclass of people that are ill-educated, impoverished, of poor health and mind, that are typically unproductive, and suffer from the effects of high crime, incarceration, dilapidated housing and infrastructure, and an overall quality of life that is sorely lacking.


To actually fix such an intractable problem takes not only a lot of money as well as sustained commitment, but also requires systemic change at the grassroots level, because in order to relieve the underclass from all the problems now besetting them, then that current poor infrastructure and the lack of so many necessary things must be thoroughly and completely replaced with lasting and meaningful change.


If, such was accomplished in America, one might think, that this would therefore become the template of the model modern state.  Perhaps it would, but what many people have a hard time comprehending is that if, for instance, this country should pass a bill mandating a minimum wage of $15/hour, along with guaranteeing some sort of employment for every adult, such would initially undoubtedly be of a great boon for those that have suffered for so long.  However, the very fact, that those that have been left behind, and marginalized, would now appear to have a seat at the table of the great American prosperity, would provide those people with real hope, and for the very first time, a realistic belief that all those other things desired and needed, such as: good public education, affordable housing, safe neighborhoods, and fair justice, would also be theirs to be had.


That is to say, if those that have had nothing, were to finally have half of something, they would surely not be satisfied with just half, because the very fact that after all this time, they have received and achieved something of real substance, would prove the point that they would now surely be wrong in settling for just half, when in fact, the edifice still stands, indicating that they truly would have ready access to the whole thing. 


This signifies the paradox of a situation in which if those of the underclass, were to receive something of real substance, that materially improved their outlook and lives, they would not ever, simply accept this new order as being good enough, but would rather soon storm the gates of exclusion, knowing that just beyond that barrier, would lie everything else that would make their lives even better.