Checked the price of eggs lately? Ridiculous. This time last year the 18-count carton of eggs—at Wal-Mart was around $1.44, now those same eggs are approaching $4. But eggs are not the only items going through the roof. The price of beef is also going up at a rapid clip. Fresh fruit and vegetables are almost too expensive to eat. Plain old yellow squash is selling for 1.29 a pound or higher—for two squash. Plain old cabbage is almost .60 a pound. The price of bananas is going up. Wal-Mart no longer uses the slogan, “always low prices,” because it’s not true. Their new slogan is “what you see is what you get.”
If you receive your lunch from Meals on Wheels you might have noticed how scant the food items are on the trays these days. Very little meat—just something thrown together. But it could be worse—if Trump had his way he would cut the program entirely. Let them eat dirt while his fat butt eats caviar riding around on a golf cart. And the worse of Trump’s “burn this mother down” is yet to come. There are some long, lean, and hungry days ahead for America. And just think nature is not cooperating enough to grow gardens. The Panhandle of Texas, including Amarillo, is experiencing one of the worst droughts on record. My garden plot is dry as a bone. No garden this year—so I’m stuck with buying produce from the local stores.
I grew up dirt poor—and hungry. “Back then” folks knew how to eat to survive. A big pot of red beans and cornbread, homemade biscuits and flour gravy made from bacon drippings, and a whole lot of poor country cooking got us through. Garden patches near the back of the house also got us through. A smokehouse for storing food over the long winter months also got us through. These days folks have freezers, not smokehouses. These days most people do not plant gardens, they plant lovely flowers. Kids don’t want beans and cornbread, they want pizzas and tacos. What I find odd is that when I was growing up poor I was skinny as a rail, hungry kids now don’t look hungry—they look “fat and fine,” so it’s hard to argue that they are truly hungry when they don’t look that way. When we were lean and hungry we also ran around without shoes. Hungry kids now wear expensive sneakers and talk and text on expensive Smart phones. All of this explains “the optics” of why folks in Washington, D. C. have no sympathy for America’s poor. In other words, America’s poor folks just don’t look or act poor.
When you combine the increasing cost of housing, especially rent, with skyrocketing food prices you can see that there is big trouble on the horizon. If you are a tenant you are at the mercy of your landlord. If you think HUD vouchers will stay around much longer—think again. The current budget under Dr. Ben Carson is cutting the voucher program by 40 percent. The powers that be want subsidized housing, especially for poor black people done away with. Meanwhile the Pentagon gets $600 billion to play around with weaponry. What is happening in the current “divide and conquer” political environment is a clever pitting of one group against another over irrelevant issues such as over skin color and the National Anthem, while behind the scenes, broad government policies are craftily pulling the rugs from under folks who are fighting each other from different sides of the same sinking boat. I have always been puzzled over the “white on white” crime of Civil War deaths. Thousands of white brothers and cousins killed each other as Confederate and Union soldiers– and neither side cared one whit for a slave. We learned nothing from that tragic episode in history so we are hell bent on doing the same thing again. In the meantime, the slow erosion, the slow burning of America has begun that will lead us to a calamitous repeat of history.
Copyright 2018 – L. Arthalia Cravin. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.