Monday, June 10, 2013


THE DRAMA CONTINUES:  COTTON PICKER INVENTED---REPLACES MAJORITY OF FARM LABOR---THEY MIGRATE TO THE NEARBY CITIES OF TALLULAH AND LAKE PROVIDENCE----and all the other cities across the south.---often do not find work--go on welfare---become dispirited---uncreative---unenthusiastic---un-artistic---un-involved citizens.  A pain in the ass to live with. So The established gentry folk disassociate themselves--move away to the outskirts build private schools--and leave the city center to these unhappy newcomers.  The town quickly dies.   I will show you.

Before I do, I can't resist reflecting on the nearby metropolis at Poverty point that also died---ABOUT 2  THOUSAND YEARS AGO. (We don't know why)
It was a whopper for its time---houses arranged in artistic rows.

This is the deserted carcass of Lake Providence--downtown area.  I walk the streets--remembering. 
 Here's a surprise---someone with a bit of vision has declared that this alley will be a DOOR MUSEUM.

 And by golly---it really is a door museum.  Works of art painted on throwaway doors.
The Banner Democrat---newspaper of my childhood---apparently struggles on as the Delta News.
 The only industry---besides farming---is private prisons.  Lake Providence and Tallulah both have one.
 I visit another relative who lives lakeside.
She has a lovely home on this storied lake.  I learned to swim and ski here. Those are Cypress trees that have adapted to water living by growing hollow "knees" that trap necessary air for the roots below water.
 RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  This town was once elegant, proud and beautiful---host to the annual Miss Louisiana beauty pageant. The glory days are gone now--The town is unsightly and effete. Time magazine said so in a cover story article entitled--THE POOREST PLACE IN AMERICA:,9171,981266,00.html
  The cause of  its rapid decline is an uneducated unmotivated underclass---A LEGACY OF SLAVERY and ADVANCING TECHNOLOGY.  Slavery brought them here and Technology put them out of work. 
The welfare system---well-meaning as it is---traps people in indolence---bores them into mischief. 
I SAY TO MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY IN LAKE PROVIDENCE AND TALLULAH:  We did not cause slavery BUT WE PROFITED FROM IT---and all its aftermath is a challenge that is ours to embrace.  I think we are doing well---Really---we are doing well:  Voting equality is a reality--and socially we get along respectfully. Now we need the kind of creative thinking John Rust did to crack the two remaining challenges: EDUCATION AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY. 
There are not enough jobs to go round---AND THAT SHOULD BE GOOD NEWS.  It should mean SHORTER CAREERS. 
We and the world are beginning to grasp that WE ARE ALL IN "IT"(LIFE) TOGETHER.  We are weaving an inclusive social system that will give people the security and confidence to Quit Working earlier-with just a reasonable stash of money and open up a job for someone else.  Early retirees (like myself) can learn to appreciate leisure---to generate  personal meaning in our after years.
Breakthroughs in rapid-effective education are on their way.  Bill Gates and others are on the case.
I SAY TO THE UNDERCLASS:  GIVE UP ANY LINGERING VICTIM MENTALITY---Wake up to the opportunities that are available---take responsibility for yourself. Get a life and express your fascinations.


Michael said...

Great post, great message and some classic lines.

Tesaje said...

You sound like a socialist, wanting to share the pie! ;-) The redneck red state mentality wants to punish the underclass, equating wealth with morality - even as they themselves slip ever more closely to poverty. An amazing bit of cognitive dissonance is the refusal to see themselves as part of the lower economic class despite all the evidence.

Germany did this in the current Great Recession - they cut hours to keep the workforce employed so they limited the unemployment crisis and have been weathering it better. If we can ever shuck our old Puritan ethos of blaming the victim and look at the economy as a societal resource, we might be able to weather the changing economic structure better. We need a level playing field so smarts, ethics, and hard work yield a comfortable and safe existence instead of this Game of Thrones backstabbing grabbing it all thing we have devolved into. Earlier retirement does free up jobs for the younger.

Anonymous said...

"shuck our old Puritan ethos of blaming the victim"
Here's some reality for you:
90% of ANY job is just showing up
Who do you blame for lack of ambition?
Learn responsibility where, from family or idolize rap & NBA ?
What family, 80% no father.
Why does 6% of population become 60% of prison pop.
Does anyone think thiok situation will improve ? Sorry, but its hopeless and compounding.
Plenty of work out there, but kids think they're worth $100 K to start.
'Unemployed' are usually unemployable
Friend at local bank, 10 branches, biggest problem newly hired young female tellers likely won't last a week. Quit because of 'stress', reality is the 'stress' is having to get up and get to work EVERY day. Starting time 8:45am. Too much they say. Puritan ethos or spoiled & lazy ? C'mon, lets have your socialistic reasoning.
Mine is, how do you plan to climb the ladder if you can't/won't handle the first baby step ? I guess its just "the Man'

Randy said...

Thank you Michael--high praise coming from you. Will never forget your contribution of "embrace nuanced variables"---superbly condensed wisdom.

Tesaje: We do need a level playing field---and more--(will suggest) Hope some day our paths cross--find you fascinating.

Anonymous: yes, I know---They (the underclass) do seem hopeless basket cases---yes they are a pain in the ass to the rest of us.

Here's a few of my notions:
1. gradually reduce the population--China style
2. Radically lower the cost of punishment. I'm thinking high-tec steel collar around the neck or some such.
3. Institute a dole--$400 a month for people who do not want to work.
4. Create live-free zones like the Slabs everywhere.
5. Numericalize money to expose hidden untaxed wealth.
7. Revolutionize education with some creative thinking.
8. Quit policing the world singlehandedly---empower the UN.
9. Quit mollycoddling religion---tolerating it's irrationalities.