Friday, November 20, 2015

A civil defense: Poor people need attorneys too

     "The poor will always be with us," said Jesus.  No they won't.  They'll be off in some ghetto or slum, out of sight, out of mind.  Or else they'll just be in jail.  But we can always take a tour and go visit them -- like animals in a zoo.

     In America today, money buys power.  And freedom.  And visibility.  No one wants to see poor people.  Everyone just wishes they would just go away.  No one even wants to watch sit-coms about poor people on TV any more.  Gone are the days of Sanford & Son and the Beverly Hillbillies. 

     And when I pass the bodies of poor people asleep in the doorways of my affluent home town, it is so embarrassing and sad for me to have to explain to my granddaughters that, yes, people who are that poor actually do exist in America these days -- lots of them.

     So what to do about it?  Here's a suggestion.  "Stop making more poor people."  Nah, that will never happen.  Just witness the popularity in Washington of the new TTP, also known as  NAFTA on steroids, which will instantly create millions of more poor people here in the USA.

     Want another suggestion?  "Lawyer up."  Now there's an idea whose time has come.

     If every poor person in America had their own personal Harvard Law School graduate on retainer, things would instantly change up a whole lot.  "Wanna evict me and make me homeless?  Here's my attorney's card.  Talk to him."  Or her.

     Wanna throw non-violent protesters in jail?  Wanna unjustly accuse some poor innocent schmuck of murder?  Want to beat up on people just because they are poor?  Take away their jobs?  Deport them illegally?  Steal their money through some sleazy bankster con game on their pensions?  Then give them the same attorney privileges that Wall Street banksters and Beltway war criminals enjoy.  Let's level the playing field here.  

     When poor people use marijuana or cocaine, they are locked up as felons and given no legal redress.  When rich people use marijuana or cocaine, however, some fancy suit-wearing fast-talking mouthpiece always gets them off.

     So let's spend taxpayers' money on attorneys for the poor -- instead of spending it on building and maintaining even more expensive and ineffective jails.  Think of all the money we'll save -- and we'll even be creating jobs for young lawyers, all those new Harvard Law School graduates desperate to pay off their student debts before they too become one of the poor. 

     This way, the poor may always be with us -- but at least they'll be represented in court.