What The Hell Is A Person Supposed To Do?

Next week the so-called “Super-Congress” will deliver its verdict on whose throat to cut as a sacrifice to the gods of austerity. It is at times like this that a citizen feels so helpless that they want to run screaming in the street. This whole farce makes little or no sense and seems to playing out only to satisfy the richest one tenth of one-percent who seem to own everything.

Certainly there will be slashes to programs that once upon a time indicated that we were a humane and generous people. Programs that stand precariously between some of our lowest citizens and starvation, homelessness and other ills that accrue to poverty. And where once this nation would do its best to help people work their way out of poverty, now we look on our lesser citizens and kick them to the curb so they do not inhibit traffic.

And it is not only the poor, but also the middle class who have borne the brunt of government policies geared toward further enriching the filthy rich at the expense of the poor and middle class. Those who were once middle class are seeing their status slide closer and closer to poverty despite working longer hours. We see men and women who only a few years ago had aspirations of reaching the “American Dream” now having a tough time paying the monthly bills.

We see people unable to afford medical or dental care. The average age of a car on the road in America approaches 10 years old and often are in need of repair. Governments which once had programs to help a person out in times of rough sledding have been busted by revenue slashing policies. So now in tough times, there is nowhere to turn.

In times like these from Franklin Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter, Americans through their elected representatives held out a hand to help the fellow

citizens. Now our representatives extend our bootheel to the impoverished and offer obsequience to the rich. Our policies now take from the poor and give to the rich.

So just what the hell is one individual going to do? I think back to previous generations that fought and fought hard to make life better for all Americans. They fought and some died to create labor unions, to build THE world class education system, to create health and sanitation standards, to create rules of fairness that corporations must live by or be harshly punished, to create purity standards for food and drugs, to create a system that would give a guy a break when things went bad and to create a system that let all Americans be a part of the system.

After working hard for decades to create the greatet society on earth, we sadly were suckered by the snake oil salesmen that always appear when we let our guard down. “Screw the other guy. Keep it all for yourself.” “Greed is good. God loves Greed.” For a while their oil soothes, but it soon becomes rancid and soon we realize that this oil has caused huge gaping problems. For solutions we must harken back to what worked and worked well before.

Ben Franklin did not say “Let’s all just do what we feel like and screw everybody else.” What he did say was “We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang seperately.” At the time the Americans were fighting the control of the British. Today 99% of us are fighting the control of the ultra rich. So it is now time to stop using their snake oil and band together.

Now is a great time to band together. Support Occupy Wall Street. When you start holiday shopping thing to yourselves that buying gifts at Walmart or any other Big Box store sends another job to China.

When politicians make presentations, show up and ask them what they will do to create jobs. Cutting taxes does not create jobs. Ask them what they plan to do about the the wealth gap and the income gap. Ask them if the rich will pay their fair share. Ask them what they plan to do about the fact that in the world’s richest country, nearly one-fifth can’t access medical or dental care.

Find kindred souls through the internet, join them and help them change things. We became a nation by banding together. All changes (good and bad) came about in this country through banding together. In case you have not noticed it, the ultra rich are very well connected. We MUST do it also. Hiding away from the issues only makes things worse.

It is your government. Make it work for you. If you think business is better for the common good, try to talk to a CEO or board member. They could care less about you or me. But in government YOU do have the power. But it does no good if you don’t use it.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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