Criminal Justice

by Henrik Hoeg

Who will survive in America?
When the price of bootstraps is rising,
When the federal minimum wage is 7.25 an hour,
The national savings rate is below 5%,
And the incarceration rate
For adult African American males is above 5%.
And still, the price of bootstraps is rising.

You can, however, buy a bootstrap on layaway,
The down payments aren’t cheap,
But now they come with low, low financing,
Provided you put up collateral,
You know what they say,
Gotta spend money to make money.

The price of bootstraps is rising,
So they took bootstrap financing debts,
Your neighbor’s, your cousin’s, your pastor’s,
And bundled them into a structured security,
Collateralized bootstrap obligations,
Which they put little ratings on,
At the big three ratings agencies.
A/A2, Ba1/BB+, or junk bonds, CCC

The price of bootstraps is still rising,
But the money in your 401K,
Is invested for maximum yield,
In riskier of the bootstrap-backed debt vehicles,
And with a simple credit default swap,
You’ve invested your future in, of all things,
You and your neighbor’s ability,
To maintain financial stability,
To make the ever increasing payments,
On bootstraps,
And bootstrap parts replacements,
And bootstrap upkeep.

But the price of bootstraps is rising,
Possibly because of the war,
Or bootstrap-related jobs shipped overseas,
And you can’t pay the new price,
Or the one from before,
So your bootstraps are repossessed,
And your neighbors are no more blessed,
So when the payments go into default,
That 401k that was sat in a vault,
Dries up like a slug drowned in so much salt.

They tell you,
The bootstrap industry is too big to fail,
It would cripple the economy,
And attempts at bootstrap regulation,
Unduly stifle corporate autonomy,

Pull yourself up Black America, pull yourself up.
The price of bootstraps is rising, why aren’t you?


Criminal Justice

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