Saturday, September 10, 2011

Plantation Economy ... Fighting Words? - Facts!

Herewith a partial report of the sad and immoral facts of our current situation:
  • 400 individual people (400!) in the U.S. own more wealth than the 150 million people ranked economically as the bottom half of the population.
  • 40% of all children in the U.S. live in poverty.
  • In the last quarter of the year, U.S. corporations raked in more profits than in any other quarter in history.
  • U.S. corporations pay a tiny tax; some of the largest and richest pay nothing at all, and often receive a direct federal government subsidy.
  • U.S. corporations are sitting on greater cash reserves than ever in history.
  • Tax rates on upper income earners are lower now than at any time in over 65 years.
  • Wages have been stagnant or in decline for 30 years.
  • The U.S. middle class shrunk by 1/3 as measured in just the last generation; the overall decline had already been underway.
  • Unemployment stands at more than 9%.  It has been standing there for about a year, and shows no sign of movement in a welcome direction.
  • Only 8% of the private workforce enjoys union representation.  The absence of a union statistically means at least 1/3 less in pay and benefits; it also forecloses any semblance of participatory rights in day to day workplace rules and operations; shut-up and get to work.
  • The radical right wing Supreme court has green-lighted the high-jacking of our political system by the money and power of corporations; welcome to the United Corporate States of America.
The last item on the foregoing list gets us to the meat of the matter.  Apologists for the corporatist state say all of our modern economic problems are structural.  In other words, we have to accept a pinched and punishing future for ourselves and our children, as the result of overpowering changes and economic dislocation wrought by the inexorable force of modernity itself. This is a lie.

The problem is entirely political.  The unbridled greed and gross immorality of the wealthy and corporatist class in the U.S. has visited sinful and needless pain and suffering on the vast majority of our citizens, at a time in human history when advancements in medicine and other fields of scientific endeavor could and should be delivering us all into an era of expansive liberation from debilitating illness and the shackling burden of endless toil and labor. 

Wealth, sheer wealth, is staggeringly greater than ever.  Modernity has seen the development of productive forces unrivaled in history.  The capacity to create the wherewithal for the material well-being of all human kind is beyond question.  But our sociological relations have fallen far behind technological developments.  This has allowed a tiny few to consolidate power like that not seen since monarchical times, to  keep almost all of the abundance, comforts, and life sustaining benefits of modern knowledge and advancement for themselves, and to blot out the traditional avenues for upward social mobility, while shrinking the middle class.  That leaves the thumpingly vast majority of us on the bottom.  Even worse, they are assiduously seeking to knock the bottom out of the bottom.

The radical right wing Republican/Teacaner drive is targeted at destroying the last meager remnants of a social safety net in this country.  Lord knows their philosophy has pretty nearly eliminated what once was the most envied middle class life style in the world; it has eviscerated free public education through high school; it has done away with an affordable college opportunity for average kids; it has sent almost all well paying blue collar jobs to slave labor markets; it has virtually erased unions as a viable overall market and political force; it has delivered the democratic process into the hands of the radical corporatist enemy, the destroyers of democracy itself; and it threatens to burn through the last thin boundary of separation between the common citizen and casual cast out.

Now, they are openly and shamelessly after Social Security and Medicare.  This insanity is happening at a time in history when human accomplishment and progress in science and medicine could and should translate into earlier retirement, full access to health care, and a better life for all.  Instead, a tiny few are literally taking it all.  We would have to be crazy to stand for it.

Now you know why I disdain the lame capitulations of today's Democrats and so-called liberals.  They are weak.  They are intellectually vapid and corrupt. They are appeasers of the immoral and greedy power in this country.  They are feeding the beast.  We need to stop allowing ourselves to be used as the feed stock.  Now.

For God's sake, for your own sake, let's not do Mass'ers and slaves again.

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