In 2014, we have a capitalistic form of governance. Corporations rule. Elected officials do what they’re paid to do or become unseated by the power of money. A democracy, structured to encompass all the people, becomes unstable under this type of system. Since the mid nineties, our government policies have used greed as an operating preference over value for our country’s stability. Wealth is centered at one end of the spectrum and available to the few. As income declines, more Americans have developed an awareness that we have a problem. How do we, the majority, rebalance our economy and fix our democracy? The first six months of the year seemed relatively insignificant. Yet, each event has played a major role in our decline.
The predictable failure of the $10.10/hr minimum wage bill has had an interesting result. The word ‘cowed’ cant’ be applied to corporate America or any of their governments nor ‘guilty’ because their greed is a paramount cause in the race to poverty. Their actions to voluntarily ‘bump up’ the wage is pragmatic not emotional. No businesses will close and employees will not head to the unemployment lines. Corporates were not ‘legislated’ into doing the right thing, it was they who decided. Of course, they shaved a few cents off the $10.10/hr. Nonetheless, they shut up a lot of people and left the middle income to stagnate further.
Here at home, we lost the 1% sales tax increase vote. 48% against. Tax-crazed politicians and local business pushed ahead their development agenda. Schools get a portion of the penny on top of the 2012 property tax increase. Days after the sales tax success, county commisioners threatened another mill rate increase due to restored property values even though there was no tax decrease during the housing devaluation. What am I missing? These are major dollars being pulled out of people’s pockets.
The FED admission that inflation is actually occurring, is not news to the majority who have been experiencing price-gouging efforts to increase corporate bottom lines for many years. The fact, however, has nothing to do with the people’s struggles. It has everything to do with how to keep profits rolling in while upping interest rates for time-purchased products like appliances and furniture, higher education loans, vehicles and home mortgages. The banking industry spreads the fear of higher costs, the politicians hammer budget cuts through personal sacrifice and business holds their hands out for tax dollars to keep their investors from storming the corporate walls. Be assured, higher interest rates make banks more profitable, social budget cuts and patch-work programs ensure re-election of the politically inept and corporate america threatens job security without receipt of public-paid incentives and tax breaks. I’d rather be between a rock and a hard place than under the rock of this ‘new normal.’
The IRS fiasco whereby politically-dedicated groups sought tax-exempt status as a charity catapulted the GOP/Tea Party attack machine into rage mode to trash the institution and the administration. Apologetic defense reinforced the accusation before the fact that several groups were red-flagged became known. Pick a side based on the pettiness, but don’t ask how groups with political agendas can be entitled to tax-exempt status as charitable organizations. Don’t question how such exemptions create a lucrative tax dollar laundering through anonymous donations. Instead, voters will follow their leaders’ hasty support to privatize the IRS. Not only can the majority of my fellow citizens not think outside the box, they do not know there is a box. A few weeks ago my Congressman called to ask my opinion. Well, actually it was a robocall and my option was to agree to reform the IRS or get rid of it. The machine actually threatened to end my input if I didn’t answer ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Since I’m not into intimidation, I hung up.
Do you know that America’s poor fails to fit into a generic category. If we rid the country of the stereotypical promotion of race as a dominating factor, the belief that food stamp recipients are deadbeats and the unemployed prefer idleness, we will see the depth of the poverty problem as one that will be the demise of this country. Preference for statistical data causes erosion of common good discussions. ‘Blame’ is more palatable and is easier to talk about. We are at a time when reality states income has outpaced living cost resulting with more disadvantaged and vulnerable. Bureaucrats cannot distinguish their fantasy model of regular people from our actuality. Their truth had led to an pitiful decline in the people they represent. They are drivers who only look out for big trucks and fail to see the pedestrians.
As people, we promote the continuation of the greed culture through our failure to demand change. With blind obedience to our two-party system, we reelect the same representatives whose proven agenda runs contrary to the needs of a healthy society. They in turn, cede their responsibility to Corporate giants who write our laws, control the job market and set pay scales. Then, our elected officials reward the corporations with incentives (called public investment), bailouts for poor performance and agree to noncompetitive mergers that eliminate more jobs.
Can we say, ‘We’ve Had Enough!!’ Fight for our country. Restore our Democracy! Vote out all incumbents.