Rosella Tolfree Installment Stories
A series set in the politically dystopian future of the U.S.A.
Featuring a blog that explains Rosella's World
An Excerpt from the USRM-ISB Installment J4- Marineth Pugh
Marineth was standing on the small balcony overlooking the central courtyard of their co housing apartment in the Buffalo Creek Apartments. The apartments were located southeast of the flooded area of Sacramento California. Her husband, Martin, was off on business again this week. Marineth hated being by herself. When the two got married a year ago, she joined Martin to live in his co housing apartment. She gave up a career in Social Media Net advertising to be a stay at home mother. A trend that was becoming popularized since President Veronica Simmons had recently taken power at the White House. Women across the country were embracing President Simmons’ fundamentalist views on raising children and becoming stay at home mothers once more.
Marineth knew she was an Eukaryotic clone, and unable to have children. Even though Marineth came from a traditional clone family of seven girls, she was agreeable to try Martin’s desire for the fundamentalist plan. The plan was the two would use a surrogate android to birth their child, and Marineth would then care and raise the child. But that all changed when the android told her that her DNA had uncorrectable errors and it could not complete the cloning process.
When President Veronica Simmons took the office from Rick Garrett, she continued to push parts of his populist agenda. Like having mothers stay at home to raise children, and people living in communal communities. The people who filled these communities were those who had inherited the economic prosperity after the twin ecological disasters that befell the U.S. years earlier.
The Three Classes in America
While America has had the traditional three classes of people, except for a fourth until 1862 (and this could be debated under the Jim Crow years)*, each economic class has had different social and economic benefits (slavery being a class afforded the least of these). The various disparities between the haves and have nots by Rosella’s point in history had become three separate homogeneous communities. Those of the ultra rich, the middle working class, and the poor and displaced. The ultra rich were set apart from most everyone. They controlled the remains of the world economy and corporations. They had their fingers in politics around the world. They were the only people able to still travel globally by Rosella’s time. They also were the few who could afford to travel off world to Mars or the Moon.
Because of social programs that had been instituted in the U.S., these programs had minimized any problems caused by income inequalities for those in the middle class. This resulted in a working middle class where everyone was homogeneously similar despite the unique work done. The social pressures to always achieve increasing wealth to survive were removed, allowing these people to pursue excellence in their work. Some could travel off world for work, but most stayed on Earth. This was the primary group by Rosella’s time that were using A-4 androids for making and caring for families.
The issue with the poor and displaced was that they saw the most amount of social inequalities and lack of rights. Both Rick Garrett, and later Veronica Simmons, were herding the poor, displaced, and immigrants into more and more shipping container housing (nicknamed ‘the stacks’ or ‘stackvillas’ by many).
When the Great Melt and volcanic traps of New Madrid occurred years earlier, Congress provided funding for emergency housing by using an available stockpile of shipping containers. But this form of housing was not meant to be long term. Once President Veronica Simmons got into power, she was moving these peoples around the nation like cattle to be the reconstruction labor force. Veronica Simmons would assign them projects ran by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers trying to deal with the ongoing reconstruction efforts after the ecological disasters, in exchange for their housing, and meal rations. Universal medical services fees were auto deducted from any UBI owed to these individuals.
While these poor individuals were visible too many, they became socially invisible. So invisible, that any advocacy had fallen by the wayside because most of the people cared more about their own needs than that of others. It was bad enough that the ecological disasters that had befallen America disrupted life, but by the time of the Rick Garrett presidency the lack of policy enforcement now disenfranchised those American citizens living in the stacks will both from voting and the Constitutional census.
These three separate economic social classes continued in America through the years of the U.S. presidential cycles elected by Congress.
(*) While America used indentured servants, which were typically white and poor, by the start of the Revolutionary War the U.S. labor market is estimated to be only 2 to 3 percent indentured. By the passing of the 13th Amendment in 1865, this kind of contract servitude was now illegal. While restricted by a contract, these people still enjoyed some socio-economic benefits similar to other non-indentured poor. Therefore, I don’t classify them as a fifth economic social class. Nor should we think of them as equal to slaves, because that would technically be incorrect.
Combined Image- minneapolis cityscape at night, By Donny Jiang, Source Unsplash, Unsplash License; Shipping Containers at Docks, By Caleb Russell, Source Unsplash, Unsplash License; untitled image, By Noble Mitchell, Source Unsplash, Unsplash License (All processed using Adobe Spark).
Seth Underwood writes hard science fiction and political dystopian science fiction. His future political dystopian U.S. world features decades of despot presidents, a flooded world, and new para-military force known as the Ranger Marshals. He has freemium stories at www. sethunderwoodstories.com