The last major third party candidate to make it on the ballot (Ross Perot) had it right- there was a giant sucking sound coming, and we didn’t listen.
But, it’s more than just the sound of “free trade” sucking jobs from our highly regulated- centrally directed economy (and don’t say it isn’t after the bailout of Wall Street – while Main Street took a sucker punch) it’s the sound of money flowing from the masses to the minority. We’re taking from the needy to give to the greedy at an alarming rate:
83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people. 61 percent of Americans “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007. 66 percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans. 36 percent of Americans say that they don’t contribute anything to retirement savings. A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement. 24 percent of American workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year. Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008. Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975. For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together. In 1950, the ratio of the average executive’s paycheck to the average worker’s paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one. As of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets. The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth. Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008. In the United States, the average federal worker now earns 60% MORE than the average worker in the private sector. The top 1 percent of U.S. households own nearly twice as much of America’s corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago. In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks. More than 40 percent of Americans who actually are employed are now working in service jobs, which are often very low paying. For the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011. This is what American workers now must compete against: in China a garment worker makes approximately 86 cents an hour and in Cambodia a garment worker makes approximately 22 cents an hour. Approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 – the highest rate in 20 years. Despite the financial crisis, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009. The top 10 percent of Americans now earn around 50 percent of our national income.
We are a Third World nation in every single respect, other than we’ve got more bombs and guns than anyone else. Just as a reminder- our founding fathers were rebelling against an imperialist nation, and now- we’ve become one.
The two-party system has failed us. While a sideshow called Washington continues, the people of this once great country fall deeper into despair and poverty. We’ve got our soma of cable TV with its 500 channels of mind-numbing dreck, we’ve got the internet where everything is free- until you can’t afford the equipment or bandwidth to share in its bounty. The divide is growing greater- and we were warned, not only by Perot, but by Orwell and Huxley, by Malcolm and Martin and even the evilest of all- the economist Marx- the list goes on.
If you stop thinking about the typical uses of the word discrimination- by race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, and look at the big picture, we’ve been divided into haves and have nots- and the class war has already been won, the masses just haven’t figured it out. In the meantime- politics as usual has continued at all levels- from Federal to local, we’ve put capitalism on a pedestal that believes commerce is king. We do everything in the name of creating jobs and wealth- instead of putting people first.
Our government began with words of equality: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
We have witnessed the end, where “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others“ and we are now animals, being manipulated like Pavlov’s dogs.
Continuing from the fore quoted article:
What do most Americans have to offer in the marketplace other than their labor? Not much. The truth is that most Americans are absolutely dependent on someone else giving them a job. But today, U.S. workers are “less attractive” than ever. Compared to the rest of the world, American workers are extremely expensive, and the government keeps passing more rules and regulations seemingly on a monthly basis that makes it even more difficult to conduct business in the United States.
So corporations are moving operations out of the U.S. at breathtaking speed. Since the U.S. government does not penalize them for doing so, there really is no incentive for them to stay.
What has developed is a situation where the people at the top are doing quite well, while most Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to make it. There are now about six unemployed Americans for every new job opening in the United States, and the number of “chronically unemployed” is absolutely soaring. There simply are not nearly enough jobs for everyone.
It is time for the government to step in on the side of the people- and use the Commerce Clause of the Constitution to restore balance- and make this once again a land of opportunity.
It’s time to stop the giant sucking sound- and to stop listening to the banter of the two-party system. It’s what got us into this mess- and it’s not going to get us out.
If there was ever a time for a third party, or proposing changes to the way we hold and run elections, now is the time. If we continue what we’re doing and expect different results- well, there is a word for that.
The two party system has given us only one thing- a two-class economy. Are you ready to do something about it?