Around 5 am this morning, I found myself pulling in to the side of the road that overlooked a little place called McKay Bay.

It is one of the smaller bays that ultimately forms part of the greater Tampa bay and I sought it out because I hadn’t been there before and I hoped it might be a good place to catch a sunrise.

At that time of the morning, the place was dark other than a few old street lights that cast their light as far as they could.

Being very close to the Port Tampa docklands, this is certainly not an upmarket area and the houses and general condition of things around me told me that perhaps I wasn’t in the safest of areas to do an early morning shoot.

As I pulled up to a spot that I felt would give me the vantage point that I wanted, my lights hit a car parked in front of me by ten or fifteen feet and I realized there was someone sleeping in there.

I felt bad for the sudden intrusion on their rest and I also realized there was an old camper parked about fifty feet beyond him that obviously housed some other soul (or two).

There was a little pier right beside where I parked with all sorts of signs on it telling people not to trespass or fish. And when my eyes got used to the darkness, I could see why. It was decrepit to the point of being unstable and the signs were obviously meant to warn people of its condition rather than just establishing a boundary marker.

I stayed there until the sun rose and managed to get some decent shots. I have put them on the end of this blog and I hope you enjoy.

While there I said hi to those that were in cars or trucks and that noticed this old guy with a camera wandering around. Everyone was pleasant and I didn’t feel endangered in any way.

When I was done, I got back in the car and driving away began to muse over how these folk live what most of us would consider a homeless or destitute life. The city clearly doesn’t care about the presence of an old camper nor does it seem to worry about the old pier (beyond putting some signs on it.)

Makes me wonder how such a situation would be handled near Bayshore or New Tampa, where the “nice” people live. I strongly suspect the pier would have been dismantled long ago and maybe even rebuilt.

It was therefore the overall inequity of lives that formed the thought for my blog today.

I drove away thinking about people like Elon Musk and the super-wealth that such parasites are allowed to accrue, while around them others are obliged to live in their car.

Some of the super-wealthy like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos use their wealth for the greater good and I truly applaud them. These people understand that humanity should operate on a common ground of sustenance and opportunity. But shouldn’t everyone understand this?

How can we watch while the Musks of this world buy huge social media platforms only to turn it into their own megaphone, and lay off thousands of workers just weeks before Christmas?

What part of that is right, in anyone’s book?

And the suggestion of his wealth being self-made is disingenuous considering his origins from the apartheid world of Africa where his father’s wealth came from exploitation and abuse of untold numbers of black workers in their diamond mines.

But he is just one example (extreme though he may be) of a greater culture that thinks it is OK for the richest 1% in America to own almost one third of the nations entire wealth, while the bottom 90% own less than a third?

And in case you have been living under a rock and aren’t aware of how these parasites exploit situations to the detriment of the rest, do you know that their wealth during the pandemic INCREASED by 6.5 Trillion dollars?

They call it capitalism but it is not capitalism that enslaves the masses so that the few can live an egregious lifestyle. It is simply exploitation.

The French Revolution is a historical example that such exploitation repeatedly happened throughout history. But the days of the victims of exploitation being able to rebel and reclaim the imbalance are long gone.

These super-wealthy control governments and armies, often with their own private armies to keep the rabble from their doors.

“Let them eat cake” is the famous line attributed to Josephine when told that the poor of France had no bread to eat. But today’s answer would be silence, as these people don’t give a shit.

I have encountered homeless people living on the streets in Tampa curled up on a concrete bench on Kennedy. Met people living in their cars like today and previously that poor guy with his cat down at Ballast Point.

I have seen them lined up outside soup kitchens in the side streets of downtown Tampa and been there to catch the flow of homeless as they pick up their bags and converge on some shelter, much like a flow of zombies from some idiotic futuristic movie.

And all the while, the contrast to the wealth that sits in investment accounts, jewelry safes, and car collections, is all around them.

I struggle to imagine how this is OK with anyone.

I am far from a communist but there is a real difference between capitalism and exploitation. Those who bundle them into one way of life are the very same people that Madame Guillotine greeted in Paris in 1789.

Where is she now when we need her?

… just a thought.