A 99’er Welcomes Death

A Disillusioned 99’er Shares His Disappointment With The American Dream, Welcomes Death

“Mark”, a member of the ever growing cadre of disillusioned, disenchanted and disgruntled millions of American unemployed, has written a letter shared by A Company of One, in which he explains the plight of 99’ers (those whose extended unemployment benefits are set to expire) in which he chronicles his plight and his terminal disappointment with the American system. One can only imagine how all the “99’ers” would feel if they did not have the benefit of living at least partially subsidized for 2 years in the socialist state of America. If Bahrain is any indication, where the government’s attempt to purchase the love of its people just failed today, pretty soon not even the 99 weeks of EUCs will do much to suppress what is an unmistakably rising anger among the broad US population.

From Mark’s letter:

To the unemployed, sick, disabled and poor:

I’m unemployed over two years now, a 99er without any benefits for three months. I followed Unemployed Friends almost from its start, never posted until now, but am grateful for my time with you all. I did as asked with calls and e-mails, etc. I’ve a confession to make to you all. I’m a criminal.

I’ve obeyed the 10 commandments and all laws except: I’m unemployed and that’s now a crime, I’m poor and that’s a crime, I’m worthless surplus population and that’s a crime, I’m a main street American Citizen born and raised in the USA and that’s now a crime, and I’m euthanizing myself as I write this note — so arrest my corpse. This isn’t a call for help, the deed is done, it’s not what I wanted. Death is my best available option. It’s not just that my bank account is $4, that I’ve not eaten in a week, not because hunger pangs are agonizing (I’m a wimp), not because I live in physical and mental anguish, not because the landlady is banging on the door non-stop and I face eviction, not that Congress and President have sent a strong message they no longer help the unemployed. It’s because I’m a law abiding though worthless, long-term unemployed older man who is surplus population. Had I used my college education to rip people off and steal from the elderly, poor, disabled and main street Americans I would be wearing different shoes now — a petty king. Hard work, honesty, loving kindness, charity and mercy, and becoming unemployed and destitute unable to pay your bills are all considered foolishness and high crimes in America now. Whereas stealing and lying and cheating and being greedy to excess and destroying the fabric of America is rewarded and protected — even making such people petty king and petty queens among us.

Since the end of 2008, when corporate America began enjoying the resumption of growth, profits have swelled from an annualized pace of $995 billion to the current $1.66 trillion as of the end of September 2010. Over the same period, the number of non-farm jobs counted by the Labor Department has slipped from 13.4 million to 13 million — there is no recovery for the unemployed and main street. We taxpayers have handed trillions of dollars to the same bank and insurance industry that started our economic disaster with its reckless gambling. We bailed out General Motors. We distributed tax cuts to businesses that were supposed to use this lubrication to expand and hire. For our dollars, we have been rewarded with starvation, homelessness and a plague of fear — a testament to post-national capitalism.

Twelve years ago, I lost the last of my family. Ten years ago, I lost the love of my life, couldn’t even visit him in the hospital because gays have no rights. I fought through and grieved and went on as best I could. Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with Diabetes and Stage 2 high blood pressure with various complications including kidney problems, mild heart failure, Diabetic Retinopathy. These conditions are debilitating and painful. I am on over eight prescribed medications, which is very difficult without insurance and income. But I struggled on and my primary caregiver was very pleased with my effort overtime with my A1C at seven. Still these physical disabilities have progressively worsened, and I have had a harder and harder time functioning in basic ways. All the while, I give thanks to God because I know there are many more worse off than me — and I tried to help by giving money to charities and smiling at people who looked down and sharing what little I had.

I am college educated and worked 35 years in management, receiving written references and praise from every boss for whom I worked. Yet, after thousands of resumes, applications, e-mails, phone calls, and drop ins, I’ve failed to get a job even at McDonalds. I’ve discovered there are three strikes against me — most 99ers will understand. Strike one — businesses are not hiring long-term unemployed — in fact many job ads now underline “the unemployed need not apply.” Strike two — I am almost 60 years old. Employers prefer hiring younger workers who demand less and are better pack mules. Strike three — for every job opening I’ve applied, there are over 300 applicants according to each business who allow a follow up call. With the U3 unemployment holding steady at 9.6percent and U6 at 17 percent for the past 18 months, the chances of me or any 99er landing a job is less than winning the Mega Million Jackpot. On top of that, even the most conservative economists admit unemployment will not start to fall before 2012 and most predict up to seven years of this crap.

I believe the Congress and President have no intention of really aiding the unemployed — due to various political reasons and their total removal from the suffering of most Americans, their cold-hearted, self-serving natures. Had they really wanted to help us, they could have used unspent stimulus monies or cut foolish costs like the failed wars or foreign aid, and farm subsidies. The unspent stimulus money alone cold have taken care of ALL unemployed persons for five years or until the unemployment rate reached 7 percent if Congress and the President really wanted to help us — and not string us all along with a meager safety net that fails every few months. In any case, if I were to survive homelessness (would be like winning the mega-millions) and with those three strikes against me, in seven more years, I’ll be near 70 with the new retirement age at 70 — now who will hire an old homeless guy out of work for nine years with just a few years until retirement?

So, here I am. Long term unemployed, older man, with chronic health problems, now totally broke, hungry, facing eviction. My landlady should really be an advocate for the unemployed — she bangs on my door demanding I take action. A phone call and a “please” are not enough for her — she is angry. She is right to be angry with me, I am unemployed — as apparently everyone is now angry with us unemployed.

Two hundred and eleven and social services cannot help single men. Food banks and other charities are unable to help any more folks — they are overwhelmed with the poor in this nation. So I have the “freedom” to be homeless and destitute and “pursue happiness” in garbage cans and then die — yay for America huh? It’s the end of November and cold. A diabetic homeless older person will experience amputations in the winter months. So I will be raiding garbage cans for food, as my body literally falls apart, a foot here, a finger there. I have experienced and even worked with pain from my diseases — hardship I can face. I just cannot muster the courage to slowly die in agony and humiliation in the gutter.

I have no family, I have no friends. For the past two years, I’ve had nobody to talk with as people who knew me react to the “unemployed” label as if it were leprosy and contagious. I am not a bad person, in fact people really like me. But everyone seems to be on a tight budget these days and living in incredible fear. It is hopeless since we all are hearing more and more that we unemployed are to blame for unemployment, that we are just lazy, that we are no good, that we are sinners, that we are druggies, yet we are the victims who suffer and are punished while the robber baron banksters and tycoons become senators, congress, presidents and petty kings. So the only option left for me is merciful self euthanasia.

It is with a heavy heart that I have set my death in motion, but what I am facing is not living. So off I go, I have made peace with God and placed my burden on Jesus and He forgives me. This nation has become evil to the core, with cold-hearted politicians and tycoons squeezing what little Main Street Americans have left. It is not the America into which I was born — the land of the free and the home of the brave with kind folks who help neighbors — it is now land of the Tycoon-haves and the rest of us have-nots who march into hopelessness and despair.

Every unemployed person I have met over these past two years have been saintly. Sharing what little they have, and being charitable — being kind and patient and supportive. Isn’t it amazing that we Americans who suffer so much, have not taken to the streets in violence, riots or gotten out the guillotines and marched on tycoons and Washington in revolt as would happen in most other nations? But rather we plead with deaf politicians to please help us. We don’t demand huge sums — just 300 bucks a week, barely enough to cover housing for most. Most of all we say, please help us get a job, please allow us dignity.

I can’t help but juxtapose our plight to the tycoons and politicians. They are never satisfied with their enormous wealth, and always want more millions no matter whom it hurts. They STEAL from pension funds, banks, the people and government, and little Wall Street investors. Then rather than face punishment, they become petty kings in this world. They are disloyal to America, unpatriotic, and serve their own foreign UN-American greedy causes and demand more and more and more. I feel that this is not the nation into which I was born. I was born in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. America, where people give as much as they receive. America, where all people work for the common good, and try to leave a better and more prosperous nation for the next generation. America, where people help their neighbors and show charity and mercy. This new America is alien to me — it is an America of greed and corruption and avarice and mean spirited selfishness and hatred of the common good — it is an America of savage beasts roaring and tearing at the weak, and bullying the humble and peacemakers and poor and those without means to defend themselves. I am not welcome here anymore. I don’t belong here anymore. It’s as if some evil beast controls government, the economy, and our lives now.

I must go now, my home is someplace else. Goodbye and God bless you all. God bless the unemployed and poor and elderly and disabled. God bless America and the American people except the tycoons and politicians — may God retain the sins of tycoons and politicians and phony preachers and send them to the Devil.



17 thoughts on “A 99’er Welcomes Death

  1. O ho, you see some anger boiling there too uh? Given the success of the other upheavals, who knows what the youth would be influenced to do.

    I’m receiving a mount of education in US society from you and by extension, social psychology.

    I’ve grown cynical of big societies and I think this just pushes me in the tank with the apostates – I have been skirting the rim all this time. Peculiarly, this was the stimulus for Tunis

    • As always, I’m of mixed opinion. I feel cynical about almost everything.

      I sometimes romanticize about a time before all big govts when people lived a simpler life. Maybe we’ll return to such a life again one day. Still, I don’t wish the destruction of big govt because if big govt fails it will destroy the world in the process of its collapse.

      It seems we lose either way.

      On another note, a local Iowa farmer got a happy surprise when 3 cows were born from the same mother. Isn’t that exciting? 🙂

    • Ooh, ooh, I have an important update!

      Another local Iowan found a very large chicken egg!

      Breaking news! Breaking news!

  2. 🙂 I don’t know, am I a psych case? It didn’t really touch me, why? 😀

    I was reading the wiki on Black Swan after a site recommended it, I’m surprised you haven’t talked of it. Or you haven’t seen it? Seems to involve ‘the shadow’. I think you should check it out, perhaps it’d be good. And, I seem to always enjoy Natalie Portman’s choice of story 😉

    • It’s interesting you brought up Black Swan.

      I was just hanging out with a friend last night. He mentioned that he wants to see it and I agreed that I want to see it as well. I’ve heard good things about Black Swan, but I think I’d have to be in the right mood to watch it. Once I see it, maybe I’ll write a post about it.

      My friend brought up Black Swan because Natalie Portman was at the Oscars which my friend apparently was watching. He said that Jeff Bridges kissed her on the forehead in a fatherly way. My friend thinks Jeff Bridges seems like such a laid back nice guy and I agree.

      The reason my friend thought of the Oscars incident is because I was mentioning that I just watched Men Who Stare At Goats. Jeff Bridges is an actor in that movie. It’s an amusing movie, although I’m sure not on the same level as Black Swan.

      My friend is a big fan of The Big Lebowski which is Jeff Bridges’ most popular movie. I was watching it again recently. I recommend it if you haven’t watched it already.

      On an entirely different note, I’ll leave you with the Hot Violinist. 😉

  3. She really is a hot violinist. It makes me wonder, around here, they think you white guys are so great, so pious; unbeknownst to them, men are just the same anywhere (and the women too, but this one is peculiar to the virile gender, haha). Hot violinist ay? It makes me wonder about your interactions with females 😀

    ‘Live at home abroad’. Do you know who said that? You know him well, he’s up there with Hesse n co. That has been one o’ my most enduring principles though I do go against it in some way

    What do people exactly mean by ‘ahead of their time’. Since my youth, I’ve wondered why there should be checkpoints on anything, like, you have to get to some age before you can think some things. People always said I was precocious but all I knew was I was saying what I saw. I tell them that because physical maturation is set, they associate a set order with psych maturation. Ah, I think I also saw this in Sa’di work, ‘the Gulistan’, recently.

    You know, a society that prizes balance is different from a balanced society. You remember our creative dynamism convo?

    Can you tell me something about ENTPs? You said they’re strange, what’s this strangeness you speak of? They say they are the type that love to ‘serve two masters at a time’, cerebrally, that is

    • My interactions with females is not dissimilar to my interactions with most other examples of this species you call humans. They are interesting creatures, but I find it’s safer to observe from a distance.

      Nope. I can’t say I know who said, ‘Live at home abroad’, but maybe it vaguely sounds familiar. I don’t know if I’ve heard the exact quote, but I know I’ve heard stated the general sentiment. So, who said it? If I had to make a random guess, I’d say Thoreau or someone like that. What do you think that quote means? Or what is it’s personal significance to you?

      I was just looking at some of Kafka’s journals (The Blue Octavo Notebooks). He wrote something that I suppose maybe is the opposite view:

      “There is no need for you to leave the house. Stay at your table and listen. Don’t even listen, just wait. Don’t even wait, be completely quiet and alone. The world will offer itself to you to be unmasked; it can’t do otherwise; in raptures it will writhe before you.”

      I don’t know what most people mean by ‘ahead of their time’. If you ask me, it’s rather the oppose. Most people are ‘behind their time’. LOL I think the person who seems ‘ahead of their time’ is simply perceiving the present more clearly and fully. They just see what others can’t see or else choose not to see.

      I tend to think of being precocious as a different factor. It’s an interesting word. It mostly sounds like a compliment, but there seems to be a bit of a hidden criticism in it as well. A precocious person acts as if they are better than others… or, anyway, that is how the other person views them. I could make a similar argument that I made with the being ‘ahead of their time’. Maybe precocious people aren’t necessarily more developed but that most others are just underdeveloped. I do think that a lot of society and schooling keeps certain aspects of human nature from developing fully. As you know, much of what it means to become a mature adult is simply learning how to conform, how to play the game by the rules. A ‘precocious’ person maybe wasn’t enculturated/indoctrinated well enough.

      However, it does seem to me that there is plenty of evidence that psych maturation tends to follow a typical order or, rather, a typical set of developmental points (the ordering is probably a bit inexact). But, of course, not everyone is typical.

      Who is Sa’di? And why are you reading ‘the Gulistan’? I’m not familiar with either the book or the author.

      Yeah. I recall we’ve talked about the whole balnced society topic. That is a good point that a society that prizes balance may not be a society that is actually balanced. I think it might depend on how ‘balance’ is being defined and for what purpose it’s being defined that way. If you don’t mind me asking, what made you think to bring that up? Was there something about this blog post that reminded you of the topic of balance in societies?

      You’re full of comments and questions today.

      Strange ENTPs? Yes, they seem strange to me like some rare creature. I can’t say whether or not I’ve personally known any ENTPs in my normal life. My opinion is based on my studies of MBTI and my time spent interacting with ENTPs in MBTI forums including a specifically ENTP forum. I partly say they’re strange because even many ENTPs seem to recognize their own strangeness. The basic strangeness is that they have a chameleon quality that comes from a combination of being both socially gregarious and socially detached mixed with a cognitive flexibility. From what some ENTPs say, some of them look at relationships in terms of some particular purpose that is being served and so their loyalty can be limited.

      I’m not sure about their supposedly loving to ‘serve two masters at a time’. I think it has to do with Extraverted iNtuition (Ne). The ENTP has Ne as their dominant. Compared to an INFP, an ENTP is Ne on drugs. The Ne is unreservedly Extraverted and, unlike an ENFP, their Thinking function doesn’t act as much as a moral anchor. They would seem to be prone to moral relativism which doesn’t necessarily mean they are immoral. It seems that maybe they just know what they want and how to get it. But pushed to the extreme I suppose this could be sociopathic.

  4. Asked by a priest to renounce the devil, the man said: Now, now, no time to be making enemies, my good man

    That man was Voltaire

    Of all the victims of the Inquisition, Giordano Bruno’s death touches my heart most

    You know, don’t you think social contacts lessen the individual ability? I have seen a pattern with the ‘great’ men of yore and realised, they produced when they retreated and significantly proportional to the degree of retreat

    • Hell’s Bells! You’re in a philosophical mood today.

      Didn’t Voltaire know that you’re either with us or against us! By his refusal to renounce the devil, I must assume that Voltaire was a devil worshipper who sold his soul for power and fame. I know almost nothing about Voltaire, but I’m confident that my interpretation is correct. As Steven Colbert recommends, I looked it up in my gut and my gut says I’m right.

      I know a bit more about Giordano Bruno. He seemed like an interesting fellow, but like Voltaire he probably also sold his soul to the devil considering his intellectual prowess. Damn heretic! We are surrounded by heretics and heathens! Burn them, burn them all!

      Oops, sorry about that. I was just getting caught up in the moment. Maybe we shouldn’t burn them, after all. It seems like kind of a mean thing to do. I’m just jealous because the devil has never offered to buy my soul. It’s just not fair.

      Ah, yes, the great men of yore and the snow dens of yesteryear, indeed. What more can be said?

      Oh, I suppose I could respond to the whole ‘pattern’ thingy. I must admit that I haven’t thought too much about this possible connection between producing and retreating, but it intuitively it makes sense to some degree. I’m sure there are many examples that fit this theory.

      However, I have a counter-example. I’ve been reading about Thomas Paine recently. He was both a writer and a fighter. He would spend some time writing which inspired the American Revolution. When the fighting began, he went to the frontlines and fought with everyone else. But he would leave the fighting to go back to the city to publish more writing that would inspire more people to join the fight. He did his best writing while pushing forward his radical vision.

      So, there ya go. Are you happy now? 🙂

  5. Ya guess was right, it is Thoreau.

    O yea, playing by the rules, I was telling one o’ my junior bro that he shouln’t give too much thought to adults, with all their hubris, ‘they only know how to survive’. We are similar in most respects, my good man except different wording. This kinda thing always makes me wonder about the ‘lost’ minds over the years, either because they didn’t publish or just didn’t popularise. Even da Vinci had many he didn’t popularise.

    By precocious, I meant thinking ‘beyond one’s years’ as they usually put it. I remember I challenged a superior of mine and since he was a reasonable guy at least, he said ‘Jude, you’re too young to be thinking about these things’. That was around the time I’d come to talk to you about my problems with establisments (life having become one of em)

    Sa’di is a Persian author. The Gulistan is one of his greatest books, the other bein the Bostan. I’m reading cos he was a Sufi, the mystical muslims, cos he was a philosopher-poet and cos he used my and Jung’s endorsed method of learning ‘going about with human heart’ and learning from alehouses, thieves’ dens, whorehouses, monasteries, the streets etc

    Chameleon uh? I remember in our convo on that Jung quote just mentioned, I gave you a somewhat detailed method of carrying it out. The method involves being a kameleon which comes naturally to me. I tend to mimic whoever is before me, even to the point of accent, just a natural thing but it’s dangerous if one gets serious with it. At least, here, on the net, and nowadays, I’m authentic, after all, can I do that when my blog is there with all my inflammatory thoughts? But, when you look through my blog, you’ll realise the dynamic style, locution, voice etc, indicative of a multiple mind. I even have a second author on there. I’m the type of guy who fits in with the thieves, the killers, the mercs, the monks, the flirts and still manages to remain detached from all that, I leave one and o la la, I change to another or I resume my brooding self, alone I will inevitably think, the past, the future and astonishingly oblivious of the present perhaps only what the implications at one point brings to some remote point

    I too do look at relationships like that, I have many relations, all for a particular purpose. Those that I simply just value, they are very much so, thou art one, cos I don’t have to change color with you

    What I meant by ‘serving two masters’ is: juggling a lot of acts at once in one’s head, even going as far as physical. Moral relativism, o that, without that, one can’t be a lawyer and I’m a damn good one, I can argue for any damned person. Ah, the devil has been pleading for my services. Do you know what Bruno said? ‘the devil will be forgiven’. Funnily, I asked that question long ago. I was just telling a medical doc yday that that their patient-doc confidentiality can lead to abetment charges in a variety of crimes and in the case that was specifically being discussed, murder. And that would happen only if there’s a good, nice lawyer and a cool judge but judges are usu NJs, I guess. You know, one o my fave shows is ‘Boston Legal’ (know it?) and it’s full of my guys, they never lose their allure, EXCITING, win or lose. Lol

    Naa, ain’t happy, I’m a relentless questioner

    • I’m always a fan of the Sufis. I don’t know if the world would necessarily be better if Sufis (and other mystic traditions) were more culturally dominant, but the world would at least be more interesting. I’m trying to imagine what the US would be like if the base of the Republican party were Christian mystics instead of Christian fundamentalists. That would be amusing.

      I’m not much of a chameleon. You basically get what you see. However, I do hide myself somewhat, intentionally and unintentionally.

      I see what you mean with ‘serving two masters’. That would still be Ne.

      You say Bruno said, ‘the devil will be forgiven’. Sounds a bit like Unitarianism (all are saved)… which I’ve always suspected originated out of certain Gnostic traditions. I’ve heard that some Mormons also believe the devil will ultimately be forgiven, although I don’t know that it is standard Mormon theology.

      I know of ‘Boston Legal’. But I don’t think I’ve ever watched it.

  6. I don’t know why Ecclesiastes is not included in existentialist literature. It is significantly existentialist. But I think atheism (surprisingly too, it’s just anti-christianity, I scoff at that) has blinded them to that just cos of the relation to the bible. William Blake learned the bible but he was so not christian

    • I have no particular opinion of Ecclesiastes. I do have some interest in existentialism. And I’m familiar with some existentialists. But I’ve never studied it in depth.

      I’m not sure how many existentialists are atheists. I guess many contemporary existentialists might tend to be atheists. However, there have been Christian existentialists.

      Blake seemed more of a gnostic. I think I have an article around here about Blake which is from a journal on gnosticism. Blake is one of those people I’d like to study some more.

      What is your opinion about the relationship of Ecclesiastes and existentialism?

  7. That’s probably why I find problems learning the mbti system. It looks too rigid. I’m always asking ‘why not’ and ‘what about’, that’s why I asked you if your mind gets cluttered with parallel information. I have to mention (and I’ve been shy of this one), I have some amount of ADD and used to have some OCD, discovered it’s natural for those ‘strange creatures’. Nothing serious, but I used to take water in 3 gulps exactly, would close a door 5 times, stuff like that. And have I mentioned that I like talking to myself. It was serious in my youth, I might have developed an audience for myself even but my fam and envt controlled that but it’s nice, it increases the output of my lateral thoughts

    Ecclesiastes is the first book I got to know on the whole angst issue. Perhaps the author didn’t overplay it but it was there coupled with existential themes like Kierkegaard’s faith, Zen’s ‘love the work you do’, Camus ‘all is for nought’. It’s not like Taoism, but there are similarities.

    I didn’t mean existentialists are atheists, I meant that scholars in general are atheist and that has blinded them to the significance of Ecclesiastes to/in existentialism.

    I would think Ecclesiastes would be more important to christian mystics and monks. It is adequate initiation into Tao-esque concepts and smoothens their paths towards those foreign-to-christian ideas. Also, mystics emphasize direct use of Jesus’ message and his msg was very influenced or akin to Ecclesiastes’. I read that a Jesuit priest developed a system of self-development similar to Jung’s, but there were disparities. Nevertheless, gotta love those monks

    “The Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a contemporary of Jung, developed a mystical theology which uses a similar approach; not least that of the Gnostic Pleroma, the fullness of God Himself and His presence in the creation through His aeons (“in which the substantial one and the created many fuse without confusion in a whole”) . Jung too appropriates this term in the Sermones:

    God is not dead. Now, as ever, he liveth. God is creatura, for he is something definite, and therefore distinct from the pleroma. God is the quality of the pleroma, and everything which I said of creatura also is true concerning him. [Sermo II]

    The Jungian self can easily be seen in the oneness which is also the many, the centre which is also the whole. De Chardin, synchronistically it must be noted, used the same formulation to talk of the noosphere, the collective intelligence and memory of man. However, he retained the theological overview, rather than an individual pyschological approach, and wrote of the Divine Milieu in which mankind as a whole through the evolution of the spirit, noogenesis, would be united in the Kingdom. And this at the same time that the historian Arnold Toynebee was attempting to clarify his own notion of archetypes and the unified destiny of mankind.”
    Septem Sermones ad Mortuos:
    Jung’s Challenge to Christianity
    Author: Michael Brabazon
    Quodlibet Journal: Volume 5
    Number 2-3, July 2003

    Truth is it is by that same concept of definitiveness that I developed my own mystical theology

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