Real estate agents are independent contractors and we are often coach and cajoled into believing that “you make it happen and YOU are in 100% control of your destiny.” That works until it doesn’t. You can be as aggressive as you want - but if consumer demand has completely dried up very few will survive. Like selling coals in Newcastle - selling houses in the biggest recession since the great Depression is about as easy as selling ice to Eskimos.
In truth we have choices about which path we can take, but no one has a 100% guarantee that the path we take will bear fruit much less continue to bear fruit years down the line. And that path is crooked and treacherous in these uncertain times. One person chooses engineering and another chooses banking. The 20 years ago prospects were bright for both of these tracks. But today the engineer may well be on food stamps while the banker is raking it in with both arms. There is no sense of fairness here, the cards dealt have nothing to do with whether these people worked hard or planned well. The hand dealt has been arbitrary and capricious.
It is this reality that brings us full circle back to the #occupy wall street movement. The protesters are not your rag-tag flower children from the 60s, they aren’t even your current crack addicts that could never hold a job even in a good economy. No, they are people who plotted their course, completed (sometimes) extensive educations, worked hard all their lives and fully expected to bear the fruit of their efforts. Trouble is - it didn’t work out that way. In fact, unless you went down a few narrow and specific paths - the results from all your hard work are more likely to be a lump of coal. Nest egg? Forget about it. Many have lost the ability to make any kind of a living - and with it their lives are rocketing out of control. In short, they have lost control over their lives.
But in fact, full control over our lives has always been something of an illusion. Full control over your destiny is a Marlboro Man fantasy. A simple thing like illness can shatter that notion in a split second. (The Marlboro Man did eventually die of lung cancer). This of course, particularly true when a small handful of plutocrats are controlling the banks, financial markets, Wall Street and large swaths of the news media. Those who were plotting their course - playing their own game of chess are finding ourselves on another players board and the are being discarded like so many pawns….and we all know what happens to pawns in chess.
At the end of the day, this is all about the loss of autonomy, the loss of control over our own lives. Those who would use 300 million Americans as pawns on their financial chess board have reason to fear. This is the stuff that revolutions are made of. The American public was far too complacent while they still thought that they had “options.” People were thinking “Well, if it gets bad, I can always sell my home, or take on another part time job or start a new business.” But as all of these “alternatives” dry up - John Q. Public is finally waking up to the reality that they have to undo the political eggs that have been scrambled over the past 30 years. That reality was so daunting that we all resisted it to the very end. One very wise friend once said - “You just wait, every single alternative that the public thinks it has has to dry up first. When people realize that they are plowing head long into poverty with no alternatives to hold things together - then they will start jumping up and down.” Only then will they will start yelling and then they won’t stop. But now, with plan A, B, C, and D in the dumpster - many of us are working on plan Z - which involves taking back our country from the plutocrats…
© 2011 - Ruthmarie G. Hicks - http://www.thebodypoliticusa.com - All rights reserved.