Why would any politician come up with a budget and policies that hurt the citizenry at large? They must know it is suicide. Right? Republicans and the power structure that rule them are quite apt at what they do.
This week Trump released one of the most draconian budgets where he would slash the social safety net, increase welfare for the defense industrial complex, and transfer the wealth of the masses to the wealthy through tax cuts. The budget is a Paul Ryan Ayn Randian dream.
Robert Reich’s piece “Trump’s Cruel and Deviant Budget,” said the budget defined deviancy in three respects. It imposes huge burdens on people already hurting, it sets a new low bar for congressional and public debate over social insurance in America, & government’s role, and it eviscerates the notion that an important aspect of patriotism involves sacrificing for the common good.
The goal of many in power is to make sure that you feel powerless. When one feels powerless or inconsequential, one, many times, stays home or take fallacies at face value. That is why many vote against their interest or don’t vote at all. Every single American can make a choice to change our political condition, and this is how we engage.
We are all different and have different abilities. Whether you are shy, like to be with people or not, are computer savvy or not, you can be a part of out political solution.
I have conversations with hundreds of individuals a week over social media, email, and phone weekly. I interact with thousands via activism networks like DailyKos, the Politics Done Right radio show on Pacifica’s KPFT 90.1 FM Houston network, Facebook Live Feeds, Coffee Party USA, Indivisible Houston, and others.
I hear two distinct messages. The first comes from those that are politically active who are fighting the good fight and at the same time upset at those who vote against their interests or don’t vote at all. The second comes from those who feel depressed or unworthy, who state they do not believe they could make a difference.
It is important that those fighting the good fight get over their disgust for the non-voter or those voting against their interests. They must encourage them through education framed in their realities in a non-threatening and empathetic manner.
Those feeling unworthy or those who believe nothing they do matter must realize that that is the intent of the American plutocracy. The American power structure needs you to believe that there is a class of people who know what’s best for us all. They started the reprogramming of the American citizens with the release of the Powell Memo as American’s began to liberalize, build confidence to supersede class, and demand what was rightfully theirs. A few years ago I wrote the article “Middle Class Must Assert Its Worth To Assure Their Share Of America’s Wealth” that still holds true today. I ended the piece with the following.
America’s indoctrination by a small class that provides no product or real service to the vast majority of our citizens must end. Americans must first visualize and externalize their real worth to society. They must let loose those shackles of indoctrination. The middle class must not accept the current wage or wealth paradigm. The middle class must assert its worth and force politicians to recover the nation’s treasure and invest it in America and Americans, those that have done the work and innovation to make this country great.
The impetus of that article was to point out to everyday Americans that they needed to remove the chains of indoctrination from their psyches. The hope was that said narrative would plant that seed in our minds that would grow into the awareness that indeed we all matter, we are all worthy and that the wealthy classes are doing us no favors. After all, their wealth is nothing more than the accumulation of assets derived from our work and intellect. In a particular parlance, it would be called the stealing of our excess labor and the hijacking of our intellect.
Dean Baker wrote a powerful article titled “Deficit Scare Tactics Are What Citizens Should Really Be Afraid Of” that makes an important point. It does not take rocket science to understand that, ill-advised policies where the government refused to spend to prop up an economy, the private sector is unable to or unwilling to invest in, made Americans poorer. Worse, it destroyed wealth they would have otherwise banked. The results, these policies have purposefully negatively affected future generations. They stole money that would have been available for college, to build a new home, to invest in retirement and much more.
Baker had one paragraph in the article that many should use as a clarion call for the complete revamping of our economy.
Not to mention the rents from government-granted patent and copyright monopolies. As I point out in Rigged, these come to close to $400 billion a year in the case of prescription drugs alone. This is the difference between the patent-protected price and the free-market price. It is effectively a privately collected tax. If we add in the rents from medical equipment, software and other items, the figure could easily be twice as high. In other words, we are making our kids pay $400 billion to $800 billion a year to pay for the research and creative work that was done in the past.
Anyone seriously concerned about the burden we impose on our kids has to include this cost in their calculations. Otherwise, they just deserve to have their pronouncements treated with ridicule.
Those are two of the most important paragraphs and likely least understood concepts in our economy. Baker attempts to explain the corrosive nature of patents. The intent of patents was to allow inventors to recover their investments in developing products. It has evolved into an instrument of legalized theft by corporations. Drug companies have used it to charge exorbitant prices for drugs. Other product manufacturers have done so as well. It has been used to sue farmers for growing crops from cross-pollinated patented seeds.
But it is not only the unfair use of patents that is destroying the middle-class. It is all aspects of the structure of our economy, unfair taxation, the military industrial complex, healthcare, and much more. A few years ago I wrote the book “As I see it: Class Warfare The Only Resort to Right Wing Doom” that holds true today as it did then especially under the advent of an even more, pilfering agenda.
As Americans learn how policies put into effect by politicians, they elect directly affect their personal economies negatively and as Americans are emboldened to believe in their self-worth, they will slowly awaken into action as they did in decades past. We made a big mistake in 1980 by allowing smooth talking politician to bring the final pieces inspired by the Powell Memo to fruition. It is time now that we rid America once and for all from that cancer.
Check out my Politics Done Right show here where I covered this post and had a lot of input from callers. If you want to be notified when we are broadcasting live both on Pacifica Network KPFT 90.1 FM or on Coffee Party Network, please like the page here.