If you’re a lefty and you’re not talking class warfare; you’re missing the most significant fight of our generation.
Call it what it is. My mom always told me to tell the truth shame the devil. Whether you’re skittish to name it or not, what has occurred over the past 30 years, has been a war waged by the wealthy elites of the nation, against an asleep population of everyone else. Look around, you can’t miss it. You see it first and foremost in your wallet, with wages that have stagnated over the past 30 years, while corporate profits have spiked to nearly 250% . You see it in the racial tensions and nationalistic fervor, that is historically exacerbated in times of economic strife. You see it in the cruel irony of the national debt being nearly 20 trillion dollars juxtaposed against an aging crumbling infrastructure that shows little to none of that fiscal expenditure. Most of all, you see it in your elected “representatives”, always ready to respond with a biased eye towards their owners … excuse me, fabulously wealthy donors … versus clear public interest.
Between 1948 to 1973, new deal policies of President Roosevelt pushed productivity growth to 97%, and respectively, wages kept up at 91%. Then a salvo was fired targeting the wages of the 90%. Productivity continued to rise from 1973 to 2011 growing 80.4%, which the analysis by the Economic Policy Institute insist there should’ve have been more than enough for an increase in living standards, pushing the minimum wage to 18 dollars an hour. Clearly, that’s not what happened. EPI continues in their conclusion, “…the growth of real hourly compensation of the median worker grew by far less, just 10.7 percent, and nearly all of that growth occurred in a short window in the late 1990s.” Where did the wealth from all that productivity go? It went to corporate profits and the pockets of top 1%. From 1977 to 2007, 60% of the nations wealth went to 1% of the population. In 1978, the top 1% owned roughly 9% of the country’s wealth; today that number has has spiked to more to than 21%. It’s not luck, or breeding, or race; it’s an issue of policies quietly implemented by Democrats and Republicans to advantage an already advantaged wealthy elite at the expense of everyone else.
Those profits pay for politicians which in turn find reasons to assist and advocate in wealth’s interest. For example, this last presidential election cost 6.6 billion dollars. State and local elections are less, but the money involved has also ballooned. As a politician, you can make that money in two ways. Pander to the public and accumulate small donations to fuel your campaign. Or, you take the lazy route and look for mega-
donors; and you cynically assume that the money will be enough to change the narrative and conceal how you screwed over your constituency for the legal bribes you relied upon to get elected.
Their donors “NEED” a tax cut? Despite the public overwhelmingly believing the rich should pay more; they’re going to get that tax cut. There’s a reason GE, Boeing, General Motors, Hewlet Packard, and others can make billions but skate by without paying any taxes. The corporate tax revenue in 1954 was 30%, today despite record profits, it’s currently a little less than 10%.
What about a loop hole to hide profits in tax havens abroad or a trade deal to help ship jobs overseas into countries where you can pay a dramatically lower wage? Again, the public is against it, yet Obama vigorously continued to push for the TPP. According to Princeton, America is an oligarchy. Public interest, unless it is focused and sustained, does not register on decisions of politicians. Princeton found that what does register, are their donors. And what do their wealthy donors want? Everything that’s not nailed down. Lower wages of course, as it affects their bottom line. Privatization of Social Security and Medicare to further enrich themselves with public coffers. Destruction of the post office to replace it with private enterprise. Lower taxes if not a flat tax, elimination of unions, and governmental systems like the EPA and the FDA, crippling the public’s ability to adequately protect the environment and our food supply against corporate hegemony whose singular interest is profit.
Obama’s TPP, and lesser known and equally terrifying TISA, went as far as creating an international regulator tribunal of corporate lawyers that would allow corporate power to superseded the laws of this nation and provide an extra-constitutional “legal” means for multinational corporations to sue the U.S. government if we passed a law or regulation that interfered with their acquisition of profit. If a chemical was giving kids cancer and we passed a law to curtail it’s usage, that corporation would be able to sue this government for projected profits if the law or regulation was not repealed. This is not conjecture, it’s already affecting our laws. The United States recently lost a case under the World Trade Organization raised by Mexico concerning a regulation that had tuna producers in the United States use nets that were safe for dolphins as many were being needless being killed . Those producers labeled their cans “dolphin safe”. Mexico complained it was an unfair advantage as their boats couldn’t afford those nets. After losing the case the United States congress passed legislation to repeal the country of labeling law rather than pay the fine, purely based on an international foreign body without any regard to the wishes of the American public.
You can have an oligarchy or a democracy, but you can’t have both. America. The poor and middle class. Lefties. Rally your sons and daughters. Right now, you are under a depressing political socioeconomic assault by the wealthy, that’s soothing gradualism has concealed the devastation wrought in it’s specific and relentless goal to acquire profit at any expense. It’s disguised in the friendly faces on TV that presents a flossy vision of America, that despite being unfair is earnest, reassuring and enthralling, and for the overwhelming majority of the country does not exist. Over half of the richest country that has ever been in existence is living on 30,000 dollars year or less. Half of Americans have no savings, and 70% do not have 1000 dollars in bank. The Alliance for a Just Society found that there is 1 job that pays a basic living wage (15 dollars per hour) for every 7 people looking searching. The Wall Street Journal reported that 62% of Americans couldn’t afford a 500 brake job. The Federal Reserve reported that over half of Americans couldn’t cover an unexpected 400 dollar emergency expense. This gap between earnings and living cost has been met with an explosion of credit; commonly known as debt. Half of Americans spend more than they earn.
There is no other way to say it. While we the poor and middle class stuffed ourselves with fatty nutrient deficient processed foods, while we occupied ourselves with frivolous and trendy electronics, while we blindly voted and slept, we were also simultaneously being wiped out, and we never had the god damn sense to even unholstered our gun.
At some point, the lower 90% must grasp the gripping and obvious truth that gross economic inequality- poverty – is not a bug of capitalism, it’s a feature. The world is not made of infinite resources; to be fantastically rich, conversely someone needs to be fantastically poor. If this is not the time to recover of language of inequality and resist, then when!? Trump has assembled the richest cabinet in American history. Bush’s cabinet was dubbed a team of millionaires with a net worth of 250 million. The Washington Post notes that’s Bush’s “team of millionaires” held only one-tenth the wealth of Donald Trump’s commerce secretary alone. People are policy, and Trump and the rest of the Republican establishment are very clear on what side their on. Are we!?