August 2009

A rhyme for our times

By Galen Larson

Hey, Joe, where did our country go? Off to China, don’t you know.

Thanks to Walmart, who led the way as our nation went astray.

Other companies followed suit. About America they don‘t give a hoot.

Of course the public shared in the greed, crying, “Cheap goods are our greatest need!”

“Unions are bad,” the corporations moan, “it’s slave labor we like to own.

Foreign child workers are the best. 14-hour days without any rest.

The sweatshop workers can barely survive — who cares? Look, a blouse for $9.95!”

Darker days came with a stolen election and a man who led us in the wrong direction.

On the terrible day of the September blast he jumped in a plane to save his own ass.

Then when the smoke had finally cleared he told the fanatics he was to be feared.

He scrambled and rambled and attacked the wrong place and told some lies just to save face.

He gathered together some draftdodging men and we hung the dictator who’d once been our friend.

In the process we sacrificed many brave souls. We’re still digging ourselves out of this hole.

The country is in shambles, regulations we have none. Corporations from our shores have run.

Global warming is the threat today. How did we ever end up this way?

Years ago there was a shortage of gas. Our autos got smaller and the crisis passed.

But in later times when gas went down, we bought big cars to show off in town.

We forgot those gas lines as we laughed and joked, not realizing we had our necks in a yoke.

Four-wheeling made us go weak in the knees. Then we just had to have SUVs.

Finally GM brought out the Hummer — is there any way we could be any dumber?

Al Gore says our world’s about to catch fire, and all we do is call him a liar.

Along came free trade — it sounded so grand. Lots of cheap goods from faraway lands.

In came appliances, clothing and crap, but we had manufactured nothing to swap.

Homes covered our farmlands, mortgages went sky-high —

“So what?” said economists, “the stock market’s on the rise.

We don’t have to produce anything but a dream.” Then the boom melted like warm ice cream.

Who will finally get us back on our feet? As always it will be the man on the street.

He will dig in his pocket and pay all the bills and stand up and help those who have nil.

We worship the corporations and banks, but they are the ones who owe us their thanks.

“Too big to fail,” they oft did declare, but we found out it was all hot air.

When things go wrong they whimper and shout and we have to turn and bail them out.

Without the labor of the working class our nation would shrivel like unwatered grass.

Our country will rebound if we gather our pride and push the cheap foreign goods aside.

It’s time to bring back U.S. ingenuity and in order to do it we need labor unity.

Buy U.S. products, treat workers right, keep a rein on CEOS that’s mighty tight.

Then once again we will be on the rise and garner respect in the world’s eyes.

Galen Larson writes from rural Montezuma County, Colo.