Campaign cash prevails over a stable society
By Jack E. Lohman
This economic crash should have been expected. It mirrors 1929 except for one thing; they had jobs to recover to and today we don’t.
It started years ago, when business leaders saw that Americans were being paid ten times what foreign workers earned. So after paying the one-tenth in wages, shipping costs, and paying off the politicians for making it all happen, the CEOs could quadruple their personal income. The rest is history. They chose and you lost.
Problem is, now there are fewer American jobs, depressed wages and few people to even pay the lower product prices. Foreclosures and bankruptcies are up, middle-incomes down, and low-end wealth non-existent. The supply is there, the demand is not. But the CEOs remain.
It’s “globalization” made possible by one-sided free trade agreements negotiated by conflicted politicians. But they weren’t free. They took campaign money from corporate CEOs to pass laws that allowed off-shoring of jobs and importing goods made by low-wage workers (NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT, et al).
It didn’t stop there. Bankers wanted to take bigger risks with your money, so in 1999 they paid off the politicians to repeal the Glass-Steagall banking regulations that were implemented following the 1930’s depression. Thanks to today’s robber-barons, fixing that system is not going well.
When today’s rip-off went sour the politicians offered up the taxpayers to repay the bank’s losses. You know, from the earlier failed risks and unearned bonuses and exorbitant executive salaries.
We are a really great people, aren’t we? Our politicians privatized the gains but socialized the losses for their favorite campaign contributors, all while the Forbes 400 wealthiest gained $30 billion and the rest of the country crashed. 401(k)’s and retirement accounts gone, forever.
Are we having fun yet?
Then the financial whiz-kids bought up inventories of oil and hoarded it, and when prices skyrocketed to $4.00 per gallon they sold it back into the crippled market and reaped masses in profits. That the politicians were also on the petroleum payroll certainly didn’t hurt, and our trusted SEC sat by and watched. Gas prices are again on their way up, though the increased unemployment may help put the brakes on. That’s called “capitalism.”
Now we’re faced with two critical decisions. Who knows where the war in Afghanistan will lead us, but you can rest assured that the defense industry will keep the money flowing to the political hawks calling the shots. It reminds me of private prison contractors lobbying against stronger drug laws so more people go to jail. It’s sick.
And then there’s health care, an issue controlled by the for-profit insurance industry and the politicians they own (which is nearly all of them). Instead of eliminating that wasteful insurance bureaucracy, the politicians are poised to expand it, complete with taxpayer subsidies to the industry. If you thought the $780 billion Medicare giveaway to the drug industry in 2003 was big, wait for this whopper of a bill.
It does no good talking about a “recovery” when the jobs are elsewhere. And the jobs will not come back as long as the politicians from both political parties remain corrupted by business cash.
Our nation’s Number One problem is that private political graft is driving policy! Until we get the bribery out of the political system we are destined for further inequality and future national rebellion. Corruption always destroys countries.
Who’s to blame for all of this?
You are. The voters.
You believe the politician’s rhetoric and lies, ignore their payola, and then vote him or her back into office.
We must turn this around with a 100% turnover in congress — forced term limits — until they eliminate the bribery from the political system. Throw them out in the primary so your party of choice remains.
If politicians are to be beholden to their funders, those funders must be the taxpayers. At $5 per taxpayer per year, public funding of elections would be a bargain.