Five Card Story: Economic Stability for Me, But Not for Thee

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a Five Card Flickr story by Angie Ball created Mar 26 2024, 06:08:28 am. Create a new one!

flickr photo credits: (1) bionicteaching (2) bionicteaching (3) bionicteaching (4) Serenae (5) bionicteaching

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[Original title: Economic Stability for Me, But Not for Thee: How the Government Facilitates Systemic Inequality Under the Guise of Preserving Social Order]

(Picture 1) - Government institutions such as schools and correctional facilities are held in such high regard, as if they possess some form of sovereignty. One that prioritizes the need to keep the status quo over the well-being of those who are at the mercy of said institutions. The picture focusing on what looks to be a university, with a focal zoom effect added that blurs out any object that isn’t the building, exemplifies the idea that the establishment aims to maintain its existing condition without any change. Even if it overlooks people and nature in the process. (As can be seen by the people walking and the trees being blurred.)

(Picture 2) - Often the government extends the bare minimum amount of support to its own citizens experiencing hardship, poverty, or homelessness. Instead of looking inward to identify aspects of the flawed system that has led individuals to complete destitution, politicians will cite moral faults on impoverished people for “not trying hard enough”. The quote shown on the sticker of a sleeping homeless person, “C’est la vie”, is exactly the attitude the aristocracy has in response to those suffering. “That’s life. If you didn’t make use of the scarce resources we provided, then it’s no wonder your life is in the garbage.” Additionally, the photo reflects the issue of hostile architecture, especially in urban areas, where the unhoused are forced to seek shelter or rest on structures that are needlessly uncomfortable, and all have the same dark bars around them as the trash can.

(Picture 3) - In order for the government to stay corrupt, there must be people who vote on these policies. Although they might not be in the same tax bracket as the politicians and lawmakers that promote neglectful policies, the upper class tends to side with authoritarian governance because it helps them maintain the status quo too. Only, for them, it has more to do with social order. They too have been led to believe the lie of poverty and homelessness being a matter of laziness and missed opportunities, not even considering the systemic factors that lead someone up to that point. These types of people usually start small in municipalities, voting for legislation that might sound good to them (i.e. allocating funds away from programs that help the disadvantaged, whom they believe just need to “work harder”); however, they don’t realize that allowing the government to essentially abandon its destitute citizens, it opens up the doors to potentially even more irresponsible and self-serving laws to be introduced. The photo depicts what looks to be a city council meeting where exclusionary decisions on disadvantaged citizens are being made.

(Picture 4) - Some will argue that it’s good to put complete trust in the government’s approach to solving homelessness and the cost of living crisis, because they have the best interest of its people in mind. By focusing less on the inequality citizens are facing, they [both corrupt politicians and their supporters] can get back to enjoying the finer things in life (like lavish dining experiences as shown in the photo) and creating legislation that allows for them to secure their excessive wealth and control for future generations.

(Picture 5) - Ultimately, there will always be some sort of corruption or inequality ingrained into the system – it’s what it was built on. However, like the contrasting dirt handprint surrounded by vibrant palm marks in the photo, classism facilitated by an authoritarian need to preserve the established social order is a blemish on society, that no matter how much you try to look away, it is very clear and apparent.

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flickr photo credits: (1) bionicteaching (2) bionicteaching (3) bionicteaching (4) Serenae (5) bionicteaching

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