It's idiocy of the highest order, but America seems to have bought it, hook, line and sinker. And yes, that includes Democrats.
Republicans have convinced Americans that Government is the Enemy and Big Business is our Friend. Big Business can solve all our problems. They're the ones who provide us with the goods and services we want and need. And they're the ones who give us jobs. So our leaders in all parties coddle them. They pander to them. They put their hands out to them first during election cycles, and they legislate with them in mind first and foremost.
Republicans spent years screaming and crying and raising hell, blaming tax rates of all things, for the reason Big Business was offshoring all our jobs, and of course, all of their taxable income with them. And instead of calling out that lie, Democrats in Congress are now talking about going along with a Republican plan to lower corporate tax rates even further, when corporations in America are already enjoying the lowest tax burden as a percentage of GDP of any member of the OEDC!
President Obama paid lip-service to businesses needing to "put America first" in his speech to the Chamber of Commerce in February of this year. But we can no longer afford to be so stupid to believe that they will, without any "stick" to prod them along. We've been dangling the carrots for years, and all it's gotten us, in spite of the highest record profits ever recorded in history, is the top one-tenth of one percent enjoying an increase in their share of the national income of 385 percent, while the bottom 90 percent of us have dropped back one percent! Businesses across the nation are literally hoarding cash and blaming it on President Obama!
And do you know what I've come to realize?
Democrats have a messaging problem.
Corporations and Big Business are not our friends. They're not now, never have been and never will be. The only friend a Corporation has is its stockholder. And face it, Americans, most of us will never in our lives become stockholders at major corporations — at least not to any degree large enough for our voices to have any impact on their decision-making. Corporations, and the Republicans who prop them up as our saviors, are robbing this nation blind. They have set us on a path to destruction, that if we don't stop now, this election cycle, we may as well kiss all our futures goodbye. We don't stand a chance.
- "Today, corporations are not led by larger than life “robber barons” — but rather by the ruthless concept of “maximizing shareholder value,” which can be attained by growing sales or by cutting payrolls. The stock valuators are often indifferent to the means. Today’s CEOs rake in personal profits by ballooning stock, because it is in large part in stock that they are paid."
With one out of every four children in America on Food Stamps today, and projections that have 50 percent of all children in America being on Food Stamps at some point in their lives before they reach the age of 18, we cannot afford to wait one second longer.
And it's high time we stopped being afraid of telling Business and Wall Street and Bankers that they are not our friends! We are their friends. Without us to buy their products or services, without us to file their files and clean their offices and build their skyscrapers, they cannot exist. We have to come together with ONE VOICE and tell our President and our Representatives in Congress that we want the message changed. We're tired of Corporations running this country. That was never the intent of our Founding Fathers (you know, those guys Republicans like to shove in our faces all the time).
The entire media world is talking about this. Everyone acknowledges that there is an enormous income gap in this country. But our legislators don't appear to be listening. And with the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United giving corporations the same rights as citizens, and with Republicans not only stripping unions of their rights in states across America, but Republicans in the United States Congress refusing to fund the FAA unless federal union employees that provide services at our airports are stripped of their rights, we are only going to see Big Business gain more and more power over our government while the rest of us see less and less income from the sweat of our labor.
We need to rise up EN MASSE and tell these people that we are not going to allow them to drive us into Third World status. Tell our Representatives that their bread isn't buttered by the corporations who fill their campaign coffers, but by the people who actually go to the polls and vote for them to have or keep their jobs! We want to start hearing them tell it like it is, even at the risk of pissing off "The Big Boys."
Republicans want to call it "Class Warfare"? FINE! Because that's exactly what it is, dammit! The filthy rich in this country have been waging war on the poor, the middle class, the underprivileged and the immigrant laborer for decades, and it's time we put an end to it. They are not better than us because they have more money or because they run the companies while we merely toil at their pleasure.
We need to invoke the wisdom of Teddy Roosevelt, who said the following in a speech titled, The New Nationalism, on August 31st, 1910 (quoted at length).
- We come here to-day to commemorate one of the epochmaking events of the long struggle for the rights of man - the long struggle for the uplift of humanity. Our country - this great Republic - means nothing unless it means the triumph of a real democracy, the triumph of popular government, and, in the long run, of an economic system under which each man shall be guaranteed the opportunity to show the best that there is in him. That is why the history of America is now the central feature of the history of the world; for the world has set its face hopefully toward our democracy; and, O my fellow citizens, each one of you carries on your shoulders not only the burden of doing well for the sake of your own country, but the burden of doing well and of seeing that this nation does well for the sake of mankind.
- . . .
- Of that generation of men to whom we owe so much, the man to whom we owe most is, of course, Lincoln. Part of our debt to him is because he forecast our present struggle and saw the way out. He said:
- "I hold that while man exists it is his duty to improve not only his own condition, but to assist in ameliorating mankind."
- And again:
- "Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."
- . . .
- The Constitution guarantees protections to property, and we must make that promise good. But it does not give the right of suffrage to any corporation. The true friend of property, the true conservative, is he who insists that property shall be the servant and not the master of the commonwealth; who insists that the creature of man's making shall be the servant and not the master of the man who made it. The citizens of the United States must effectively control the mighty commercial forces which they have themselves called into being.
- . . .
- There is a wide-spread belief among our people that under the methods of making tariffs, which have hitherto obtained, the special interests are too influential. Probably this is true of both the big special interests and the little special interests. These methods have put a premium on selfishness, and, naturally, the selfish big interests have gotten more than their smaller, though equally selfish brothers. The duty of Congress is to provide a method by which the interest of the whole people shall be all that receives consideration.
- . . .
- We grudge no man a fortune which represents his own power and sagacity, when exercised with entire regard to the welfare of his fellows. Again, comrades over there, take the lesson from your own experience. Not only did you not grudge, but you gloried in the promotion of the great generals who gained their promotion by leading the army to victory. So it is with us. We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and well used. It is not even enough that it should have gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community. This, I know, implies a policy of a far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country than we have yet had, but I think we have got to face the fact that such an increase in governmental control is now necessary.
- No man should receive a dollar unless that dollar has been fairly earned. Every dollar received should represent a dollar's worth of service rendered - not gambling in stocks, but service rendered. The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means. Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and in another tax which is far more easily collected and far more effective - a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate. The people of the United States suffer from periodical financial panics to a degree substantially unknown among the other nations which approach us in financial strength. There is no reason why we should suffer what they escape. It is of profound importance that our financial system should be promptly investigated, and so thoroughly and effectively revised as to make it certain that hereafter our currency will no longer fail at critical times to meet our needs.
- . . .
- We are face to face with new conceptions of the relations of property to human welfare, chiefly because certain advocates of the rights of property as against the rights of men have been pushing their claims too far. The man who wrongly holds that every human right is secondary to his profit must now give way to the advocate of human welfare, who rightly maintains that every man holds his property subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use to whatever degree the public welfare may require it.
- But I think we may go still further. The right to regulate the use of wealth in the public interest is universally admitted. Let us admit also the right to regulate the terms and conditions of labor, which is the chief element of wealth, directly in the interest of the common good. The fundamental thing to do for every man is to give him a chance to reach a place in which he will make the greatest possible contribution to the public welfare. Understand what I say there. Give him a chance, not push him up if he will not be pushed. Help any man who stumbles; if he lies down, it is a poor job to try to carry him; but if he is a worthy man, try your best to see that he gets a chance to show the worth that is in him. No man can be a good citizen unless he has a wage more than sufficient to cover the bare cost of living, and hours of labor short enough so that after his day's work is done he will have time and energy to bear his share in the management of the community, to help in carrying the general load. We keep countless men from being good citizens by the conditions of life with which we surround them.
REFERENCES AND ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
▶ GOP Stupidity Is Destroying The US Economy ~ by Jason Easley at PoliticusUSA
▶ What has big business done for America besides bilk it? ~ by David Newquist at the Northern Valley Beacon
▶ Are Taxes in the U.S. High or Low? ~ by Bruce Bartlett at NYTimes.com (P.S. I'll give you 3 guesses, one of which is obviously a throwaway)
▶ How Could A Casino Run By Hooters Girls Go Bankrupt? (CEO greed, of course) ~ by Gus Lubin at Business Insider
▶ 29 Facts About Income Inequality In America That Will Blow Your Mind ~ by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse
▶ Corporate Profits Were the Highest on Record Last Quarter ~ by Catherine Rampell at The New York Times
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." ~ Anne Frank