Sunday, July 31, 2011

Why Americans are mad

I've always appreciated Senator Bernie Sanders' perspective, an Independent and admitted democratic socialist. The latter political orientation focuses on things like economic democracy, i.e., extending democracy to business which typically have lagged behind the democratic movement in that they are still feudal aristrocracies that empower capital owners instead of the workers. Which of course is not at all like the evil State socialism that paranoid conservatives always equate with the term "socialism," since it is a democratic people's movement, empowering the worker whereas currently they have little to none, unions having long been denuded. But even without the evil State running the show conservatives cannot abide power to the people, since that would upset the imbalance of power in the hands of the wealthy few, their primary financial overlords.

All of which is why Sanders sees the majority of Americans being mad as hell these days. Our government is controlled by the rich who get richer with each passing day, their tax rate being the "lowest in modern history" while average working taxpayer rates are often higher. Many corporations end up manipulating loopholes so that they not only do not pay any taxes but actually get rebates. This had led to the lowest % of revenue collected per GDP in the last 50 years. And conservatives continue to defend this draconian tax code and refuse to budge one inch on asking for them to pay their fair share, meanwhile cutting much needed programs from the middle class, the elderly and the poor.

What increases our anger is the the so-called party of the people, the Democrats (gag), are so weak-willed that they end up going along with the conservative agenda and accepting their atrocious economic framing. The US distribution of wealth has the highest gap of any major industrialized country largely in part that the Democrats are part of the problem instead of the solution, giving in repeatedly to such breaks for the rich and cuts for the rest of us. They voted to continue the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and cut needed programs for the rest of us.

And now on the eve of the threat of defaulting on our debt the only plans on the table again are conservative in nature. Senator Reid's plan "calls for $2.4 trillion in cuts over a 10-year period, includes $900 billion in cuts in areas such as education, health care, nutrition, affordable housing, child care and many other programs desperately needed by working families and the most vulnerable." Rep. Boehner's House plan is even more atrocious. And no talk now of any revenue enhancers, none. Not one cent more from those who have benefited most from most of the money flowing to the top. All this in the face of 72% of Americans thinking the rich and corporations should pay their fair share. And all of this completely ignores the American people.

Sanders asks: "Is it any wonder the American people are mad?" No it is not. But the bottom line for us is to channel that anger into action, like the people of Wisconsin, and do something about it. For if the people rise up and act there is no force on earth, even vast wealth, that can stop us from not just taking our country back but moving it forward.

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