We all need to take a realistic look at what is really going on in this country and what we are truly capable of doing about it. Rhetoric aside, what are the truly pragmatic ways that we can force the government of the United States to work in the interests of the people instead of the corporate world that get these politicians elected and supply them with never-ending “perks” to influence them to do their bidding? Short of a revolution, there doesn’t seem to be anyway to wrest control of our government away from the corporations that control it.
After watching the largest transfer of wealth move from the American taxpayer’s hands to the banks and financial institutions of Wall Street, it should become apparent just where our government’s interests lie. Watching the median income sink by thousands of dollars each year for the past five years without as much as a peep from our elected representatives is another dead giveaway to where our government’s interests lie. When the Corprocrats in Washington bailed out GM and Chrysler, who were the ones that really took it on the chin, was it the shareholders? No, it was the union rank and file that had to step up to the plate and giveback concessions that took so much time to earn.
There IS a way that we can get some accountability out of the Federal government. First, we need to clean up our own act. We need to ask our Union Officers why they support the Democrats. What is it they bring to the table? Is the Democratic Party the party of the working man? Maybe it once was, but that was a long time ago, for the last few decades, they have been the party of the corporations. Along with the GOP, the Democrats have moved this country forward, but only for the privileged few. The majority of people in the United States have been moving backwards.
Class distinctions have never been as skewed as they are today. According to the University of Southern California, the top 1% of Americans holds 43% of the financial wealth in the United States. The next 4% hold 29% of the financial wealth; the next 15% holds 23% of the financial wealth. If you add up these numbers, this accounts for all wealth in this nation being held by the top 20% of Americans except for a paltry 7% that the bottom 80% of us to share together. Imagine that.
Who are the people that hold 43% of the wealth? Most of these people were born into it, including some of our best known politicians. The old capitalist mantra that promotes the idea that there is always room at the top may be true, but what percentage of people actually get there? According to USC’s Distribution of Wealth, the top 1% amasses more every year while the 80% on the lowest rung (you and I) get less and less. The game is rigged and most people are starting to realize this. Frankly, it’s about time.
So what do we do about it? I read progressive sites that tout “voting for the Independents”. That is utter nonsense. When an Independent gets on a ballot, they rarely win. In order to get on most ballots in most States, one must have access to a considerable degree of wealth. The two corporate-controlled political parties in most of the United States have seen to that. These candidates (if they can afford the filing fee and pay companies to gather tens of thousands of petition signatures for an average dollar a pop), they are shut out of the debates. Usually there is very little left for media ads and it ends up to where most people that might have voted for these people, have never heard of them. That’s just the reality, and the reality is grim.
There are forces out there that have access to wealth, infrastructure and credibility. These are the Trade Unions. First however, one must look at the entire circuses that are the Trade unions of today. Rank and file members should start asking the hard questions of their Union leadership. One of the first questions must be “Why do the Unions support the corporate-controlled Democratic Party?” What have the Democrats brought to labor? The truth is, in my earnest opinion, not much. Also, how can the Unions support a political party that is ruled by corporate interests? Doesn’t that seem to be a huge contradiction to what Unions stand for? I think so, and I believe that others think so too.
It’s time that the rank and file demands more of their leaders. The contradiction of belonging to the same party as the employers can’t go on. It’s just commonsense. We don’t have the time to let this happen naturally.
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|Allen L. Jasson|
|William John Cox|