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I Remember Schenectady... [September Contest]

The streets were full of people
Stores open late on Friday
Money flowed and folks had gold
I remember it that way

Then came the unions' greed
Taxes and inflation
The rich had more than before
There was no satiation

Give us more benefits
Make us richer yet
We don't care about the poor
They're not among our set

Charge them all, what they'll pay
Wring out every dime
Keeping up with the Joneses
We have to look so fine

And they rose above the rest
Ever richer still
CEO's and unions
Had their fingers in the till

Stockholders want their money
Their margins ever bigger
Find some ways to keep us rich
Go ahead and pull the trigger

Move the General Electric
Alco Products too
Business' going overseas
Don't care what happens to you

The city is still dying
A gradual progression
A casino here in Welfare Town?
Does nothing for recession

The Corona virus-19
Has finished off the job
We the people, dying here
Collectively, we sob

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Last few words: 
My father worked in American Locomotive in Schenectady as a welder for twenty-six years and we moved back and forth between my birth town, Amsterdam and Schenectady a couple of times. Amsterdam has suffered the same fate as Schenectady. The loss of jobs brought financial ruin to both towns in the late Sixties and Seventies. I remember both towns as being alive and vibrant. This trend has continued both here and across the country as we have become more and more dependent on other countries for cheap goods at the expense of jobs and self-respect here in this country.
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content

Comments

A great poem showing a different side of memories, I was born in the 70's I remember a great boom and then nothing but hardship for my father. This is beautifully written, you write about greed with such dignity like only you can. Your final stanza so true and oh so sad, yesterday I went to a book shop and it's no longer there, also finished off by covid. A great contest poem my friend. Casino in Italy means trouble (isn't that the truth)

Thank you...Teddy

great comments. I have seen what corporate greed has done to this country. I don't understand why a CEO or union boss should have a six-figure salary for doing nothing for the workers. In the six years that I drove taxi, I saw many workers coming from China and India to General Electric and learning all about our processes. I picked them up from the airport and took them back when their stay was over. I do not feel that the sudden downturn in jobs here [they laid off another thousand or so people just recently and announced that the Turbine shops would be removed from Schenectady] are unrelated. Where are those turbines being made now? In the hey-day of General Electric, they had thirty thousand jobs here. Now there are less than three thousand, [including white-collar jobs]. I don't know about writing about this greed and corporate rape being dignified, but I do know that we have to stop depending on other countries for essential merchandise and electronics. American cars have many parts that are made in China, Japan and Mexico. If you want American parts, you pay much more for them. Some of these parts aren't even able to be made in the U.S. We don't have the set-ups for them. The U.S. unions and companies have priced us right out of the market. Enough of a rant, thanks again for your read and comments.~ Geez.
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Dear Geez, your poem is heartbreaking, about all those powerful rich people, employing poor workers from overseas. I think it happens in many countries, although now the E.U. has disallowed it. China, India and Africans have taken over the jobs, but they build stuff in their own countries and give work to their own people.
The last verses are the best, I think. Talking about inflation, in Argentina we have the world record, probably, at something like 100% a year. It's always been that way, through all governments. We can only be grateful that all have provided free public health services and state education, both good.
Enjoyed, if that's the right word. Good poem for the September contest. Good luck, Gracy

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"My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies; fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die, I can fly, my friends.” – Freddie Mercury

Yes, it is heartbreaking to see the ruin that the rich have wreaked on our land. Our companies pay the CEO's hundreds of thousands of dollars to make sure that they see big profits; I don't begrudge the companies making money and especially for the shareholders who invest the capital. But, doing it at the expense of the American workers who made these companies what they are, is disgusting. We don't have free public health care unless you are on Social Services and our educational system is paid for by the people, with taxes. The government lies to us all the time and thinks nothing of doing whatever they please. They disguise it as Democracy and tell us we are the greatest country in the world, because we can vote. Our Congress give itself raises behind closed doors and fights about who is right and doesn't pay attention to what the people want; only enough to get themselves re-elected. This government is supposed to be by the people and for the people. We have to re-examine our system and make sure that the people get what they deserve, not whatever the people in charge think they want to give us. Thanks for your comments and maybe someday, we will see a true Democracy. ~ Geez.
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author comment

I don't know whether you have seen three countries
CHINA INDIA AND AFRICA First go and see OKAY--- GOOGLE if you may.
The above counties are over populated over polluted and guys live mostly like in SLUMS almost nude
where you wouldn't be able to walk no not with or without a mask
but you would love to choke with your own hanky----- BPL Below Poverty Line none can such a line ever define
countries???? SLUMS REALLY/Actually.
Greed is the product of the Western World, where each family has CADILLAC ---TWO, at the very least They take Coffee just hourly .
I once saw an American lady buy an ice cream for her dog 7 dollars . I had my mouth watering with a 2 dollar Greed
no its a LUXURY for the West US OF A like where you live has a high standard of life I just read 60th floor all air conditioning and high speed elevators--- folks enjoy ...Go get out of your taxi and just walk a mile in the heat of those countries and if you come back alive claim a smile from me The world is meant only for the rich Others only PRAY and bray and say Go god will give some day Which god ask them Someone told them so AMEN..Long sermon NO? Beg your pardon Gee you also are now not reading me

New York City! There is not one building here in our city that is more than eight stories tall and those that are above five are low-income housing for Welfare and elderly/disabled residents. $7.00 for a fking ice cream cone? A triple scoop might cost that, MAYBE. I know all about those countries that are run by dictators and tyrants. I see the news just like you. As to Cadillacs and luxury cars? I share a nine year old car with my step-son who uses it to drive back and forth to work. I pay for the registration and insurance and he does the maintenance. If I need the car to go to a doctor's appointment or shopping, I call him and ask him to stop by and I take him to work and then pick him up after work. Most of my clothes are about ten years old and I take good care of them, because I don't know when I will have the money to buy more. I am sick of people that think anywhere in New York is like the "City". I don't like the City and wouldn't live there if you paid me. ~ Geezer.
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author comment

yes

Just joking, I am with you about corperate greed. so much. this has been a issue in my mind for a very long time. Big Pharma, Big oil, big motors, big energy, big banking... all have contributed to the downfall of our country.

Really like your piece here.

I am reminded of a question that our Social Studies teacher asked in 7th grade. He asked; "Do you wonder why the price of milk goes up. or the price of shoes? The answer from the class was: So that the farmer could make more money. "But what about the price of shoes?" So that they could make more money. Eventually we got to the idea that it is one big merry-go-round, and that when the price of one thing goes up, the rest will, as a natural progression, will follow. "And what happens when the price is more than someone can or wants to pay?" Then the whole thing starts all over again. We explored the idea that somewhere along the line, someone has to step in and that is usually the government and depending on who is in power and favors which group; someone gets the short end of the stick. I never forgot that lesson. Yes, there is a need for government intervention, but it has to be fair for all sides. There also has to be a ceiling so that the little people aren't left out and the whole country prospers, not just the "Big" companies. Vote and make your voice count. ~ Geez.
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Our Chatroom is open 24/7 Feel free to use it for
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author comment
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