So last class we discussed Nickel and Dimed, a story- which I find to be very interesting. It’s basically a study Barbara Ehrenreich conducted to find out how people cannot get by in America.
As we all know, it’s impossible for the poor to be living in America; the middle class is also declining. And the rich are better off since they don’t have to worry about a dime (a dime, get it?).
In my mass media class, we watched a movie called Pump up the Volume (I recommend you all to watch it, it’s absolutely amazing). It’s a 1990 film starring a very young Christian Slater. In the movie, there’s a young boy who has his own pirate radio station. In his radio station, he discusses the many problems young people face.
“Think about it; everything is polluted, the environment, the schools, the government, you name it.”
If you think about it, he’s right. I could go on about the environment and schools, but in this case, I want to discuss the government… and how polluted it is.
The government doesn’t care about it’s people, even if it says it does. If the government really cared, then why are there poor people begging for money on the streets? Why is it so difficult for support families on a minimum wage?
If the government really does care, then how do you explain Nickel and Dimed?
It shouldn’t be difficult for a woman to get a decent job to support herself and her family. But in the world we live in, it is. And instead of trying to fix the problem, it’s becoming worse. Instead of opening up new jobs for human beings, machines and robots are now being created to replace us.
In one of the classes, an issue of millennials was brought up- that we don’t get out and fight for what we believe in… that we don’t care… that we don’t protest and go into rallies. Which by the way we do… just not a majority of us. And if we see, that by us protesting for minimum wage (for example), machines are being created to replace us, how would that make us feel? It’s as if we can do whatever we want, fight however loud we want, but nobody’ll listen… they’ll just replace us. Maybe that’s why a majority of millennials sometimes aren’t as loud as we want to be… because what’s the point? Even now, you see movements such as Black Live Matter and most of the time, nothing even comes out of it. It’s as if the government doesn’t see us. The government, in a way, sees no one except themselves and the rich.. not the millennials, not the poor, and not anyone else.
There’s a song which plays in Pump up the Volume; it’s by Leonard Cohen and it’s called Everybody Knows.
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows .
Though the entire song is amazing, I just want to focus on the first few lines. Leonard Cohen says it how it is, the poor stay poor and the rich get rich. And he’s right, everybody knows that.. but nobody can do anything about it. It’s just like what Professor Miller said in class, the rich don’t pay high taxes because of the logic that they’ll use their wealth to build jobs for others… but are they really doing that?
Nickel and Dimed is such a great source of information, because it’s real. Because it’s an actual life experiment that Ehrenreich conducted. Because we can all learn something about the government and how much it really does care about us.