Thursday, May 23, 2019

Crabs in a Bucket

This is an idiom that I've had to explain to people more than once. It's like we have a collective insistence on forgetting what it means.

Or maybe you just have to have done some fishing and crabbing at some point in your life, in order to understand it to your bones.

See, you put crabs in a bucket as you trap them. The crabs try to climb out, but you don't  have to worry about that -- the other crabs, the ones still in the bucket, will pull those trying to escape back down into the bucket.

This is America.

You would think those of us who are less well off would try to help each other. We'd celebrate workers who held a successful strike and increased their pay. We'd be pleased at people getting their healthcare and their education paid for by the state -- which is how it ought to be done, obviously.

Nope. Instead, here in America, we want to yank our fellow workers back down in the bucket. How dare you make $15/hour? When I'm only making $20/hour myself?

How dare you get healthcare? How dare you demand to be free from drug testing? How dare you expect to be educated without going into crippling debt?

Here in America, we won't even allow retail workers to sit down during their shifts, even when it makes perfect sense for them to be sitting (those running registers, for instance). How dare they ask to be treated humanely?

I'd say this stems from ignorance, but in fact it stems from the American worship of capitalism. Here in the USA, poverty is not just a crime, it's a sin.

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