EVANS: I’m not blaming my situation on anybody else. It was my debt.
In an article today on NPR about the repulsive expansion of wage and bank account garnishment as a means of forcing people to pay off debt even when they can’t afford it, they found, as they always do, as sympathetic a figure as possible to be the face of the problem. Reporters perceive that what Americans want to hear is about a hard working down to earth American doing their darnedest to make ends meet but just can’t keep up but isn’t throwing around any blame or looking for excuses or anything like that. Someone who sufficiently humbles himself and abases himself before society declaring that it was all his fault and that he willingly takes his just punishment as decided by the powers that be but just wishes please that things could be just a wee bit easier.
Fuck that. Mr. Evans didn’t crash the economy. Mr. Evans didn’t engage policies to ensure that our “recovery” was as slow and anemic as humanly possible. Mr. Evans didn’t make the cost of college and medical expenses and housing so exorbitant that it’s likely to bankrupt people. Mr. Evans didn’t personally dismantle the social safety net and corrupt our bankruptcy laws to make them nearly useless to the average citizen. Mr. Evans didn’t create predatory lenders who charge sickeningly high interest rates predicated on a single mistake. Mr. Evans didn’t create the deceptive and sneaky tactics that credit card companies use to get default judgments on people who didn’t even know they were supposed to show up in court. Mr. Evans didn’t create a society that shames people for daring to even ask for help or to need to receive assistance of any kind.
All Mr. Evans did was engage in the system exactly the way it was setup for him to engage in and like so many other people out there he was screwed by the system and continues to be screwed by the system over and over again because the system has decided he’s a sucker and they can do whatever the hell they want to him.
Maybe Mr. Evans SHOULD be blaming his situation on somebody else. There’s a lot of people to blame out there. To be sure Mr. Evans shares some of the blame for his own outcomes. But the others are far MORE to blame. The ones who built this system. The ones who continue to profit vastly from it at his expense. So why do we act like every single ill that ever befalls us is solely and completely of our own doing even when there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary right before our eyes?
We need people to stop blaming themselves and start blaming others. If not specific individuals than at least blame the system as a whole. It’s a screwed up deadly cruel and harsh system that certain people deliberately (whether they were fully aware of the inevitable consequences or not) built to make it so. Until we come to true grips with that how the hell are we going to get that system to change?
And by the way, the hidden results of this kind of coverage can be pernicious. It makes anyone who cannot claim with certainty that they were at least as responsible and hard working as Mr. Evans feel even worse about themselves and even less likely to assign blame where blame belongs and to internalize the ills as their own personal failings. When one in ten members of the working populace are having this happen to them it’s NOT a matter of individual error, it’s a matter of severe systemic malfunction that we need to take drastic measures to correct.