Robin Hood In The Neoliberal Age
Life is hard. Not in the sense of work, but watching as those with the least get hammered by those with the most. Super yachts, multi-roomed mansions, private jets and the ability to threaten the politics of every country. So, here I sit watching the sun rise on another day, I find myself thinking of Jeff Bezos worried about his ageing skin, or Warren Buffett sinking more of his millions into a Silicon Valley Ponzi scheme that will not affect him. However, they don't occupy my thoughts as much as the billions of people struggling not to sink.
Poverty is not a choice. Low wages are not the necessity.
But, a warm home is a must, with food that doesn't lead to obesity, because you have no money to make a choice. For people to have life chances that don't depend on the colour of their skin, their gender, or their Zip Code or Postal Code of their abode.
Welcome to my fantasy.
It is the myth made real. The Robin Hood of the Neoliberal Age, with the determination and skill to hack all those accounts, that money hidden away on far off isles, Tax Havens of the rich around the world. So, from my laptop in the North East of England, I gather their excesses and spread it far and wide.
Just as they steal lives from those who seemingly don't matter, I will steal Dollars, Pounds, Yen and Euros that they can't count.
If they can asset strip our fragile earth, so they can deposit a tonne of carbon into air, with their super yachts and trips to the edge of the space. They are not wealth makers, they are not earth creators, they are stealth-mode money launderers, stripping our planet for their own enjoyment. The Robber Barons of the Neoliberal Age.
You may laugh, as you read this. And I hope you do. Because one day it could be you. Down to your last Dollar or Pound, with three weeks to go until some money enters your account. So, desperation creates a vortex in your brain, the anxiety you feel, is pumping blood around your body at hypersonic speeds. Irrationality becomes your core thought because none of what a lack of money is doing to you and body is necessary. Your anxiety doesn't put money in your account, nor does it pay the rent. You've worked 60 hours this week and there is only stress to show, with black bags under your eyes and those won't pay debt collectors.
Yet, the billionaires look at their billions like it is a painting by a Renaissance Artist. They can only look. How many life times would they have to live to spend all the wealth that they have accumulated.
So, I'm knocking off a zero, a nought at the end of that number, because they still won't be able to spend all that money, they stare at each day. So, I am knocking off a nought, a Zero. Taking it away.
But, think what that Zero means for the billions, who could receive a little helping hand at the end of every week?
Life chances change when you're not hungry, when you are eating properly in a home that is warm. A priceless peace of mind, that stops a parent worrying about crime, drugs and alcohol consumption because they have time. Time to spend with their children. Where food is a choice and not what you can afford. A child's dream can be fulfilled because the lure of the gang no longer carries a thrill. A place of refuge is the library of a college, a university or an open field.
So my fantasy is to be the Robin Hood of the Neoliberal Age.
To take from the rich and give to the billions of poor - to those who dream of a dollar at the end of the day, or die trying to make a meagre living either way.
No wealth for me, but a thrill to see people live, not just survive.