Anxiety or How I Came to Love Big Pharma

By John Johnson

Anxiety, it’s probably the most prevalent emotion today.

Among it’s cause: the state of the economy, jobs, money, housing, and numerous other portents of a dark future.

Personally, I’ve been in the state for months with battles over social security and now SSI from Social Security. In November I got a letter from SS saying they were cutting me off from both SS and Medicare and that I owed them over $2000, without explanation. I don’t get much from SS, (an errant youth, too much time spent organizing) but I didn’t want to be out of health insurance. It took me a few days just to find out what was going on. Turned out to be a glitch in one of my tax returns. Then it took almost two months and a lot of running around to straighten it out.

A friend suggested I sign up with SSI. I didn’t know much about it but arranged a meeting as the SS office for an interview. I was declined because I didn’t have enough of an income and my rent was too high. I appealed and had another interview and was declined for another reason, managing the Change-Links account, one that the first interviewer said wouldn’t be a problem. So I’m currently stuck in a Catch 22 situation. These types of programs always seem to be full of gotchas, hidden regulations, etc. The rent ceiling seems to about $600 a month. This one seems to have financial regulations from the Eighties levels. It seems Banks, Wall Street and others get their regulations changed regularly to their benefit, while the middle, working class and poor have to wait decades to have regulation relief.

Last month, my anxiety level increased a bit. I mentioned it to my doctor and he gave me some generic form of Xanax. In the past, I’ve taken very few pills, but tried this. It seems to work without any druggy effects. I can see why it’s so popular.

I’m certainly a very small part of the anxiety that exists in our society today. Not even comparable to what US soldiers go through hourly.

With the mortgage crisis facing millions. With banks foreclosing on homes that aren’t even in arrears. While many are being booted out of their houses, there is a large increase in massive mansions and gated communities with their own police forces.

With so many losing pensions and hard earned funds to the criminal actions of Wall Street firms.

With the continuing exporting of jobs.

With the resulting financial crises of states and cities. The layoffs, the raising of fees and closing of social welfare programs.

With health insurance companies raising rates, even with the anemic Health Reform bill (currently under siege by Republican legislators).

Oil, steel and other commodities are geared to raise in prices, until the summer of 2012 and then crash. Wall Street Hedge Fund managers and speculator will make billions once again and the state of the economy will be at the Democrats feet, just in time for the 2012 election.

The people ought to have a campaign to call all the executives, early in the morning and late a night, demanding that they paid back all the money they owe to us.

With the onslaught of right-wingers and even fascists taking control of the House and clamoring to cut social reform programs, cutting social security, raising taxes for the middle class while cutting taxes for the rich — even deeper cuts than Obama agreed to make. Obama has recently been appointing more and more corporate types to his administration. Not many of them care about the interests of the rest of us. Has the head of the right-wing, military super contractor GE, and exporter of US jobs, taking in billions of tax dollars, have the interest of the middle and working class at heart?

Obama promised Net Neutrality but his FCC gave us a very flawed version of it. Allowing Comcast to take over NBC and its affiliates. Their first action taken was to fire Keith Olbermann from MSNBC, in their continuing campaign to stifle progressive voices from all the media.

There is also the rise of a real fascist movement, with elements of the Tea Party and some Republicans. Unrestrained funding by corporate interests.

A bomb was planted at the Martin Luther King march in Spokane Washington, right-wing militias are suspected. Laws are being passed to allow people to carry guns, both openly and concealed. Glenn Beck riles and threatens various progressives, including professors and others he deems as dangerous radicals to be combated or even eliminated. This is deemed to be protected free speech, while antiwar demonstrators are treated as enemies of the state and harassed.

So we need to talk, organize and mobilize, otherwise it’s Xanax in the water supply for everyone.

Or worse.

Here’s to the spirit and bravery of the People of Tunisia. May they be an inspiration to us all.



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