Letter: Manufactured crisis
The U.S. Congress keeps manufacturing false crises, such as the “fiscal cliff” that everyone is talking about. These semi-annual congressional crises are distractions that prevent us from focusing on creating an economy that would work for the majority of Americans, not just for the privileged few. We have seen a similar distraction technique used by the profit-hungry big oil companies. First, the big oil companies jack up oil and gas prices, which causes most of us to become very anxious about how we are going to pay our bills. Then, when the prices go down — in other words, when gas and oil prices are less high — we all breathe a sigh of relief. This roller coaster of anxiety makes us forget that the oil companies should not be charging such high prices, in the first place, and that our paychecks are lining the pockets of people who already have more than enough.
In the same way, those in control of Congress create terrible hurdles that our country must leap over, if we are to avoid various kinds of disasters. When the disasters do not occur, we can breathe freely again, grateful that we have not lost everything, or that we have not lost as much as we had feared. This repetitive, anxiety-provoking cycle makes us forget that we deserve a lot more, and that the very rich deserve a lot less. In other words, these cliffs, chasms, and other manmade problems keep us isolated in our fear and distract us from banding together to push for more jobs, higher wages, and access to affordable housing and health care.