Re-stating of the Union

“I think the system basically is sound, I truly do,” Bush said. “And I understand there’s a lot of nervousness. . . . But the economy is growing, productivity is high, trade is up, people are working. It’s not as good as we’d like, but . . . to the extent that we find weakness, we’ll move.” …George W. Bush, July 14, 2008

I really just wish everyone who is busy ranting and raving about what party is responsible for what part of the economic crisis, and all the he said she said BS, would just stop and see the truth. This latest Financial Crisis Commission report has done absolutely nothing in terms of dealing accountability to anyone. Squabbling about whether or not democrats or republicans acted negligently or even criminally is besides the point. This report revealed ZERO new information about the entire crisis, everything it claims to present as informative, has been completely revealed and discussed over and over again. The commission is really a pathetic attempt on behalf of the government to look like it’s actually doing some investigating (too little too late).  This whole fiasco WILL happen again, it is inevitable and to some degree orchestrated. If we want to protect ourselves or at least soften the blow, then we must as a people first understand our “enemy” and stop relying on what amount to “political” solutions. The fact is, there is a war being waged right here in America. It’s called the haves vs. havenots. Yes. It’s very true – the richest few Americans are doing everything in their absurd amount of power to stifle the hopes and dreams of the rest of us. subconsciously or not, criminally minded or not, philosophically or not, accidentally or not, ignorantly or not, under the ‘word of god’ or not! – The battle intensifies as I write.

 The federal government, the senate, the cabinet, “The FED“, the treasury,  is disproportionately made up of these same “rich” Americans. Democrats, Republicans, Liberals, Independents, they are all complicit. We all seem blind to the fact that it is not a conspiracy theory nor is it some radical Orwellian prophecy that explains how the banks and corporations run the government. It is in fact the absolute and singular truth. Especially now that corporations can act on their own behalf and donate without limit to the campaigns and policymakers of any government body, there is finally a direct and publicly available link between the pockets of the billionaires and the vaults of our treasury. In fact – it has all now become one BIG FREE CHECKING account. Isn’t that wonderful!? So now, get this, these “amazing” corporations driving the bulk of our nations economy, can at their leisure donate billions of dollars to whichever policy they decide will benefit them the most – be it financial deregulation, free trade agreements, wilderness management, food and drug safety, etc…These same donations come primarily from earnings that, get this, are based mostly on profits from ultra high risk securities trades and indecipherable financial instruments, which by their very nature place all of us average working people smack in the middle of the wager. Not only are we responsible for keeping our end of this unsigned bargain, but should they lose their bets, WE, not them, are also fully responsible for the loss. Sounds like a pretty sweet bet for THEM, and a terrible deal for the rest of us.

OK. so then you say, but hey at least they are giving us jobs right? and don’t they pay a significant portion of our national tax collection? ..uhmmm..NO! As a matter of fact these huge multinational corporations, now employ thousands of super low wage workers all over the globe, maximizing their own profit margins, driving down wages, and neglecting our own working class unemployed. This also serves to circumvent quality controls in manufacturing and production that lead to significantly negative results in terms of the final products that end up on our shelves. Ever care to think about the rising amount of FDA recalls, manufacturer’s defects, MORE “costs” diverted to our end, LESS costs for them. I would also mention, that the labor forces at work in these international plants and farms, are for the most part manipulated into working under conditions that would make us all cry for mercy. Let’s not even try to understand how much of a waste of natural resource it is to ship goods back and forth around the globe, or how damaging it is to our shared “environment” to manufacture in facilities which have little or no air/water/earth regulations.

They also , in being corporations, have access to the largest most effective tax shelters, including all kinds of corporate tax credits and off shore accounts,as well as implementing obscure and often legally “secret” accounting practices. So NO – they absolutley do not contribute in any proportional manner. The average middle class American pays close to 40% of their income towards taxes – the long term capital gains tax is ONLY 15%- so remember all those hundred of billions I referred to earlier, which the corporations made on money making money. Yeah…seems to be just a tad imbalanced. Just another incredibly skewed policy – this one recently insured to be on the books for another couple of years by our current “democratic” administration.

I would love to think that all this was some outlandish conspiracy theory – a real progressive radical review – a scary socialist op ed – BUT ITS NOT! ITS THE PLAIN TRUTH! You can make all the excuses you want, and try and blame obama, or bush or clinton or reagan, or Greenspan, or Ayn Rand for all that matter. Fact is, the elite don’t want to give up their luxury, and will even go so far to say they deserve it for whatever BS reason they claim – god given, ethnically superior, smarter, better genetics, blah, blah blah. Is that really what we are all just going to sit around and take. We can all just forget it and say “Ahh ignorance is bliss”..”just remember , its not like these executives and presidents are EVIL…they have good intentions..” I say the road to hell is paved with good intention. I say we, each of us, stand up to the greedy bastards. Just stop supporting them – cold turkey. Stop banking with them, stop worshipping them, stop following their “luxury trends” – they are all laughing at us and calling us STUPID. They make more money when we fail, when we die younger, when we need more insurance, when we work beyond our means, when we eat less nutritious foods, when we destroy more of the earth, when we leave our families, when we buy more crap that is built to be discarded. This is not the type of economy I or anyone should want to support, yet this is exactly the deal we have been dealt. You would think with all this profit flying around, and all these bonuses, and billionaire philanthropists America would be a pretty darn educated, healthy, happy and clean place to live. But nothing could be furthest thing from reality. Our schools are among the worst in the western world, our maternal mortality rates are at the bottom of a list of 40 countries, our rates of heart disease, diabetes and cancer are among the highest in the world, our population consumes more than half of all antidepressants on earth. We create more than half of the worlds garbage and pollution, use more than half of the worlds natural resources, have the worlds largest military budget by a factor of ten, spreading our violent imperialist war machine to every corner of the earth.

Obama came out in his state of the union address and spoke about “American progress” and “winning our future”. He said we need to “out-educate, out-build and out think the rest of the world.” Great. What the hell does that mean. To me winning the future means winning it back. Beating the super wealthy elitists into their own little fairyland corner, where they can enjoy their loathsome selves, their absurd money games, their condescending, greedy and immoral lives. Go do whatever it is that you do with all that money, just don’t spend any more of ours, and leave us out of your game. We, real Americans, human beings, with families we love and children we would like to see thrive in a world of clean air, fresh water rivers with edible fish, oceans with more salt than petroleum – WE WILL RE-educate ourselves, RE-build ourselves and RE-think ourselves! We are amazing individuals, each and every one of us. We do not need to compete against one another to create – Dont buy into that crap.No more of that “Competition breeds innovation BS”. Really? I think competition breeds a whole lot of stress and well – more competition. Compete on a field, in a game, or whatever. Have fun. Competing in work and life is what makes us all so Bitter. Especially when we are forced to compete against insurmountable forces put in place by our competitors in a game whose rules only apply to us and not THEM. That is the plain truth. It’s like we are playing baseball against a team that cannot strikeout, whose foul balls are called fair, and who can just take a ball to the fence, throw it over and call it a home run. This is not the kind of baseball game I want to play. This is not the kind of baseball game, I was brought up with as an “American Pastime”.

Everyday regular people like you and me, innovate, think and create for a million reasons outside of competition. I don’t think John Lennon wrote Let It Be to win a songwriting competition, nor did Ozzy Ozbourne write “Crazy train” in hopes of winning a medal. I don’t think DaVinci painted the Mona Lisa because, someone else was going to do it better, and I don’t think Picasso painted Guernica because he thought he needed to get it done before someone else painted it. I didn’t sing my daughter to sleep with a lullaby I made up because I thought my wife would do it better, and I don’t think any of the 99% of things that you come up with every day are due to “competition”. In my experience, the best ideas, the best progress, the happiest moments have always been collaborations – not competitions. Let’s continue to collaborate. Work “WITH” each other – maybe not together all the time – but at least “with” a common current. We share all that this planet has. We “MUST’ make a point to “share”, just like we learned in kindergarten, but have kind of forgot. It’s easy. Stand up for your share! Stop sending your hard earned share to the other team. Stop going to their games. They only have a few players and yet their salary cap is equal to all of ours combined – plus they get bonuses, paid out of our salary when they LOSE. Think before you spend, before you deposit, before you eat. Ask about locally owned businesses, locally grown food, and community banking. Listen to your children and not the immature talking head babies that whine and cry and scream on TV about nothing. Sing, Dance, Pray, Meditate, Write, Draw, Cook, Paint, Build, Read, Play and do whatever it is you do that isn’t against or for anyone else. Think for yourself and follow your instincts. We all own and deserve every smile and laugh we can count.  All their wealth, and still no happiness machine that takes quarters. Remember “Happiness Cannot be Bought!” Dont Forget it.

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One Response to Re-stating of the Union

  1. MeMe says:

    WOW!!!!!!!!!! This is a ” Keith Oberman” rant and so right on. Kudos to you. We each need to seek to be the best we can be because we want to be and not because we want to be better than someone else. your statements are true and make this parent proud.

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