Monday, July 04, 2011

Government of the people, by the people, for the people? All gone....

That's a great line (from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg address) and I daresay that many Americans instinctively believe in it....but I also would betcha that very few Americans believe it is true.

I can still remember the night that Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter. We sat around in shock. How could this clown have won?

And then the latest cycle of the onslaught by the rich and powerful against...everyone else...started again in this country. Reagan and his cohorts followed an astonishingly simple formula:
  • No one likes to pay taxes.
  • Everyone has a gripe about the government.
  • So blame the government for all our problems.
  • Increase cynicism and distrust of citizens for their government.
  • Then push hard to cut taxes (mostly those on the rich) because our government will only misuse those funds.
  • Then with reduced revenues, we have to cut back on services to our citizens.
  • Those citizens get even more unhappy with the government and so they agree to more tax cuts, more cuts in service...and...
The rich get richer, the middle class disappears, the poor...well, they are mostly invisible in our "great nation" in any case.

And so we come to 2011: Bush and Obama gave so much of our money away to bankers and Wall Street (with no strings attached), they got us into and keep us in wars of choice that suck up hundreds of billions of our tax dollars, and almost every Congressperson is primarily beholden to lobbyists and "donors" (read: bribes), that, gee whiz, so sorry, but there just isn't any money for health care, our roads, our children, our schools...you name it.

Today, the Chicago Tribune reports that the House of Reps has voted to end a program to test our produce for deadly bacterium like E. coli. Just weeks after an outbreak in Germany killed 35 people. This program costs $4.5M a year. Small change, a pittance, to protect our population. Why would they do this?

Ah, because the Produce Marketing Association has lobbied hard against it. "Unnecessary recalls", excessive regulation, blah, blah, blah.

This is a truly sucky Fourth of July. Our soldiers continue to die (and continue to kill, both innocents and combatants) in poorly planned wars with limited public support. Our government has been hijacked by people who hate our government and don't give two shits about our citizenry, our children, our future. They just care about lining their pockets. And we, the people, watch our country go down the drain, leaving behind millionaires and billionaires who will continue to do well...by selling their stuff to growing middle classes in other nations.

3 comments:

poelger said...

Hi Steven,

when reading this post, it reminds me of the lyrics of a song of my favorite band(that is an American hardcore band called Sick Of It All).
It's not the most easy music to listen to ;-)

The song "Just look around" is from '92 and this is the text:

The question they keep asking me
How can one so young be so bitter and angry
Well, the answer is plain to see
Maybe if they wern't so blind they'd see what i see
I see the homeless livin' out on the street
On every corner they're asking for money
I try to help them whenever i can
But sometimes i can't afford to help myself
I see diseases and modern plagues of our times
The greed of our leaders has made them blind
To our problems
They spend millions overseas,
People right here are fightin' wars everyday

I see the whites that hate the blacks
Blacks against the jews, race against religion
And the're all too blind to see
When we fight each other it puts all of them at ease
It keeps us so busy, so they can do what they please
Election time comes and they're out for votes
That's when you see and hear from them the most
This is what they're calling a democracy
That's just another word for hypocrisy
We keep fallin' for the bait
When we realize, it's always too late

I see the whites that hate the blacks
Blacks that hate the jews, brother against brother
And they're all to blind to see

As the rich get richer, the poor goin' hungry
I've seen the toll it takes on the workingman's family
Education system that's obsolete
Can't hold a kid's interest or keep 'em off the street
See a father's fear, hear a mother's cry
What kind of a nation lets their children die
Government's corrupt and full of red tape
Then you're gonna ask me why i hate

Why don't you open up your eyes so you can see
Open up your ears so you can hear
Take a look around and you will find
Take a look around and you will find out why



Gert

Scott Wesley said...

from '92?!

it's a shame these lyrics have an air of timelessness...

Noons said...

THis is what happens when economists promote a race to the bottom as "growth"...