Thursday, December 10, 2009
It's All About the Corporations - We Are Serfs
My cousin the conservative likes to debate me on my blog. You'll find his arguments most every time I express a liberal view. But his latest comment made me realize I can explain what I believe is wrong with our system very succinctly: it's about the corporations, not about the voters.
Government and corporate interests are the same. The government's job since the eighties has been to loosen regulation and let giant corporations run free.
And as the corporations are the largest contributors to campaigns, that's likely to continue.
They like this form of capitalism real well. For the rest of us, it's not so good.
They hike credit card interest rates, they do mass layoffs while demanding government incentives not to move and the few at the top make obscene salaries. They fly their private jets to Washington to ask for bailout money.
This recession has taught us nothing, as we haven't made a single meaningful reform to the banking industry and the corporate climate continues to encourage massive conglomerates that are "too big to fail".
My cousin says legislators need to realize they're spending our money.
"Our money?" Our aging career legislators and the business interests who own them consider it all "their money". Our job is to keep them going. Our job is to keep paying for them to make more.
I resent being a serf. But that's what our capitalism has created. And that's what I am.
I work to support a government whose goal is to be business friendly, and I'm told the benefits will trickle down to me. I'm not feeling it. Nor will I. It's a lie.
I am entitled to nothing for my significant tax dollars but the right to live here, pay taxes, and watch my freedoms slowly erode.
I will pay for wars that cannot be won but were begun to get at oil that the corporations wanted. People will die for that.
I will pay to bail out banks that tripped over the fake bundled mortgages they made, and lenders and servicers will go through the motions of modifying loans while waiting for foreclosures that are more to their immediate benefit.
I will watch my governor threaten to cut promised funds to localities, seemingly oblivious to the fact that his "tough guy" stance simply means that the towns bleed when he makes the cut. It all ends up coming out of my pocket.
What do I want? I want a government that represents ME. Not the corporations, not the career politicians, not the party bosses, not the lobbyists.
When cuts are required, I want government to cut its own spending - not pass the pain on to the next level. I want government to cut taxes to attract business instead of hiking taxes, then offering businesses tax breaks.
I want my government to extend Medicare to me and to my children; my children should not be too old for coverage while they're still trying to finish their education. I want my government to create a system which ensures that the elderly have enough to eat without the stigma of poverty. I want my government to care for the people who support it, not the corporations that exploit it and its citizens. I want my children and your children to have access to the education they need to excel in the future. They shouldn't have to carry thousands of dollars of debt before they've even graduated.
I want the serfs to rise up and tear down the castle walls. I want us to throw out the career politicians and make serving as a legislator like jury duty - something we all have to do, even if we don't want to. Do it once and you're done. Wouldn't that be an incentive to get an education and make sure everyone else has one, too? But we're so tired, so demoralized, so stuck, that we can't even see a hope of change.
Welcome to medieval America.