My beliefs might be controversial. I don’t care. This country needs a good controversy if it is to be restored.
More and more people are writing things which demonstrate that they are coming to grips with a truism, and this truism is that it isn’t about left vs. right; it’s about the lengths to which people will go to make money. Government is not a function of the people. It is an investment tool. If you can buy legislation, you can open new markets, exploit more people and amass even greater wealth. Money makes the world go ’round. They don’t write laws (like Obamacare) and ignore established laws (like the Constitution) because there’s no profit in it. Trust me. There is huge profit in law-making and law-breaking. And our politicians are all bought and paid for. They will let their masters suck blood from the masses all the way to the brink of collapse. (TARP, anyone?)
Take, for example, securing our borders. If anyone thinks either the left or the right wants to secure our borders, they are sorely, sorely mistaken. We have 1969 miles of border to the south. What would it cost to put a patrol officer every half mile around the clock, with the responsibility, “Guard the 1,250 feet to your left and the 1,250 feet to your right?”
Honestly, I don’t have an exact figure, but let’s say there are 3 shifts in a day and that each shift would cost $40,000 a year. That’s $120,000 per post, times 4,000 posts. At that rate, the cost would be $480 million. You can double, triple or even quadruple the math if you wish. It’s still chump change, considering our multi-trillion dollar budget. So, don’t let politicians from any side say it is not practical to patrol our borders. It’s bull.
The sordid truth behind the scenes is that the establishment feigns its incompetence to deal with the immigration problem, but to them, it is not a problem. It is an opportunity. Their failure to control it is by design, much like as described in this article about achieving unpopular goals by design while pretending incompetence. And fresh off the press…. Obama is relaxing border control even more. (Recall McCain and Bush promoted amnesty).
The corporatists don’t want to pay Americans $20-30 an hour to do a job that desperate illegals can do for $7.50 – $10.00 an hour. The establishment is telling you by implication, “F*ck you! We don’t care whether you have kids and a mortgage and need a job. You can either do this for $8.00 an hour like the rest of the poor slobs… or get nothing. What part of the free market do you not understand?”
Just like the demise of the pension days of the mid-1900′s and the labor union days of decades past, so the path is laid for health care. With the new mandate in place, before long, the corporate elitists will no longer foot the benefit of insurance. Their plan and their message: “You can go without it like the Mexicans. You’re on your own. Enjoy your free-market capitalism, sucker!” All the while, they privatize profits and socialize their losses. Socialism is great for them. But it is supposed to be evil for the rest of us. Go figure!
The fact is that it is not about capitalism or socialism… it is about power and control and how it is distributed – and more particularly, how it is used for profit. From fascism, to feudalism, to socialism, to communism, to capitalism – every “ism” that ever existed fell from corruption within, and those in power at the top did what they could to loot the public coffers. You can read a good article about structured looting here.
How is it possible, in America – the land of opportunity – that we have record corporate profits at a time of peak unemployment? If anyone really thinks union-busting and pension and benefit dismantling is good for American workers, then, this country deserves the government it gets. I understand the argument that pensions and other benefits can potentially harm America, but if they are actually so harmful to all of America, why the hell are the corporatists prospering so greatly, while everyone else is being thrown off the bus one at a time? How do they live in a bubble of luxury and excess if job benefits are so crushing? I call bullshit.
The American dream is about being paid well for what you do and doing a good job; it is not about losing your pay and benefits – and even your job – to a desperate worker living in a cardboard box or a shanty because of a conglomerate’s desire to cut costs. This would be more accurately called the “world dream,” which is a dream that Americans and Cambodians will one day be forced to a common labor standard and get to live like Mexicans (not “Mexicans” in the pejorative sense, but to fairly describe how Mexican citizens live under economic oppression both in Mexico and here). If anyone still finds it difficult to understand how “free market” theory is a myth to make us comfortable with accepting a shift toward third-world status, watch this short video by a guy who puts forth the case very succinctly without mixing words. Or, if you prefer a little comedy on point, watch this video of George Carlin (RIP) and this one, too.
No suggestion is made of turning to communism. It is just another “ism” to be corrupted like any other. It’s about balance of power. Incidentally, those who fear communism often believe that if all wealth were shared equally, their standards of living would likely fall. Either those people are financially well-off, or their concerns are misplaced. There is $57 trillion of net wealth in this nation. Divided equally, that’s $190,000 in net worth, after all debts have been paid, for every man, woman and child in America. There would be no government debt. A family of 4 would have a net worth of $760,000. That’s some serious “cheese” for an equal distribution which is mythically believed to leave everyone in the poor house.
Do I favor an equal division? Should you? No. It just goes to show that there is enough to go around without jeopardizing a single person’s prosperity. A little balance in power between the masters and the slaves wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Perhaps our representatives might actually become available and listen more to the people they say they represent. I am not pointing the finger at your friends who might have, for example, built a $2-3 million dollar welding supply business. I am talking about the behemoths – AIG, Goldman Sachs, CitiGroup, et al. – who have the clout and who are, in fact, looting our nation a chunk at a time.
One more example (there are just too many). Of what benefit is this War on Drugs to us – especially given the fact that alcohol and prescription drugs are readily available? If you have government contracts to build and supply prisons and jails, you love this “war.” If you manufacture and sell pharmaceuticals and alcohol, you love this “war.” The fact is that marijuana is a popular analgesic, relaxant and anti-depressant, and best of all, it is a weed anyone can grow anywhere.
If there was no inhibition to using a home-grown weed as an alternative to Big-Pharma’s costly portfolio of pain, anxiety and depression remedies, you’d see their sales plummet over night. If there was no inhibition to using weed, alcohol sales would also decline dramatically. You see, there are some very, very big players with heavily invested positions, who simply will do whatever it takes to avoid a cheaper – or God forbid, free – substitute that is actually a superior substitute in so many ways. Basically, in America, the establishment’s rule is this: “You can get your buzz, but only with our product and at our price.” This is fact.
But when we want to sell them our labor to match our reasonable standard of living, they suddenly turn all “pro-liberty” and “pro-free market” on us to go exploit poor drones who can do the same job for a slave’s existence. They are prevailing either way you cut it – curbing liberty when it suits their interest and promoting liberty when it suits their interest. The American people get “tails” every time.
We need to dismantle these types of controls which corporatists have embedded into our government. The entire scheme is designed to run up the cost of living for the average American, while maximizing revenues and cutting costs for the powerful elites. As Carlin stated it, “More money for them, and less for everyone else.” It couldn’t be any truer than that. That’s what unbridled competition is all about, and powerful competition stops at nothing – not even military invasions and missiles.
The Constitution, if followed, would greatly diminish this sort of harm. It would narrow the scope and breadth of issues that lobbyists can promote in Washington, D.C.
Fact: The wealth gap is widening at a brisk rate.
Fact: Wages for 80% of Americans have stagnated or fallen over the last 30 years.
Fact: During the same period, earnings by the top 1% have risen dramatically.
Fact: This economy is on the verge of depression because consumers are feeling the pinch, and without consumers having money to buy things, there is no reason for employers to hire. Trickle-down will not – cannot – work in a consumer-driven society.
Fact: There continue to be tremendous downward forces on labor prices, as Americans compete with third-world labor and undocumented labor. Domestic unemployment exacerbates the problem of declining wages as the supply of unemployed rises.
Fact: Cash-strapped governments are selling off public infrastructure and facilities to giant firms, guaranteeing them monopolies and profits at our expense. We are transitioning from collective owners to collective tenants.
Fact: The above facts spell an abandonment by corporate America of the nation that made these corporations so rich. New and rising markets abroad are increasingly more important than domestic ones. There is no patriotism among the corporate elitists. Competition and free-market theory know no such thing as love of country and patriotism. They only know profit. It’s only about money – how much they can take from wherever they can get it. America is decreasingly a model nation, and the “American dream” is on the decline. In the “free market,” equilibrium comes about when the American standard of living is the same as the world’s average standard of living. As was stated in the previously-referenced video, “This is not good for empire.”
Look at the choices that will be available to us in the upcoming Presidential primary. Discounting Ron Paul (who the media will continue to portray as an extremist), the rest are a pretty sorry lot – the kinds who only a giant, blood-sucking corporatist could love. The media will not carry our torch for us. Corporations and their executives will not carry it for us. We have to carry it ourselves.
Jeff Matthews is an attorney living in Houston, Texas. His current projects include the website SovereignStates, and the forthcoming organization, The National Taxpayer Takeover.
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Please keep in mind there is no "capitalism" in the USA. There is "State-Capitalism" (corporatism) and that is an entirely different animal in which rules are made and enforced by law, not markets.
The historical role of all governments is to manage and distribute the wealth of resources of the country. Since there are no countries that don't meet this definition, the best you can do is pick a distribution system that has your interests at the center. In the USA, your interests come dead last. Not very inviting, I'd say. You only have to examine carefully the evidence that already exists to see this. Examine the GINI coefficient, examine the incomes curve over time, and examine the purpose and consequence of major legislation. It all adds up to - "you're screwed."
The answer is not voting. The answer lies in de-legitimizing the effects of centralized government, especially on the economy.
I definitely do agree that when government stops determining how people can dispose of their stuff then you would see more competition but when government regulate it seems to diminish competition since it eliminates how much stuff is available to the public. Example: Booze versus drugs. What would happen to the price of beer if people used dope instead? What would happen to the price of dope if people used beer instead? It does seem that regulation and prohibition benefits big corps more than they would like to admit which is why big rich people often do support socialist schemes. They know they will be locked in.
However, I see capitalism as the cure and not as the disease. When no law can prohibit what someone can sell to another then big business can't use the government to stop them from competing with them. They are forced to compete with the little guy's idea on an equal playing field.