Today is one of the saddest days in the history of the American Republic. Americans proved that they have failed in maintaining the spirit of communal support that built this country. We have clearly failed when tested. The Rich have taken control, just as Jefferson and Adams and George Washington feared could happen. Democrats in Massachusetts have voted against the workers. It is a sign that we have lost America.
When the Greek or Roman or German democratic societies collapsed in favor of elitist, oligarchic governments, their fate was sealed. The democratic leaning Greeks were superceded by aggressive militaristic and expansive movements. The Romans, coerced by a totally corrupted Senate, gave control to successive dictators who lived by the sword to expand the Empire. Roman society eventually succumbed to the massive costs of a military needed to control far flung territories.
Nineteen hundred centuries later, in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s a financially distressed Democratic German Republic let the prejudices of a single group of racist politicians and philosophers dominate their political life. Dividing the people, Nazi propagandists and mob rule overtook a country and sealed the fate of 5 million Germans and 6 million Jews. The result was the eventual devastation of a country and a war that caused the deaths of 50 million people.
The Germans didn’t merely lose their jobs, or their health care or their television privileges…they lost their homes, their cities, the entire physical structure and culture of the German people and one half of their country for 50 years. Like us, they didn’t understand the consequences of totalitarian government.
The first generation…people such as we…those who were the true believers, those who went to war for a false racist doctrine…lost their lives. Many realized before they died what a huge mistake they had made, but it was too late, they had already foolishly given up their freedom to choose. They had believed the propaganda…drank the kool aid as we say today. Everyone else was at fault. Even others in their own society. Divide and conquer…divide and conquer…was the Nazi motto. (Did you know that this was also Karl Rove’s motto?)
Finally, the world had enough and retaliated with overwhelming force. These arrogant believers in the totalitarian rule were humbled. Their country became a wasteland. Millions died of starvation and subsequent generations lived in disgrace and poverty. Only a culture developed over a thousand years overcame the destructive effects of Fascism and enabled hardy and industrious Germans to recover their country. But two full generations after the war lived in poverty and humiliation to make that happen.
The Greek and Roman disasters were no less catastrophic for their eras. At each point in history there was a point where those great societies could have made different decisions, lost their arrogance, changed from militarism to diplomacy and generosity. But they could not. They were held in the grip of dominant leaders who controlled the message. In ancient times it was more difficult. In modern times, it has only been necessary to control the media. The result was devastation and death on a massive scale.
In our first major economic crisis of the modern era, Franklin Delano Roosevelt moved quickly to restore some sort of structure to society, where industry and the financial system had abandoned their responsibilities and deserted the People.
Today, many Neocons would like to rewrite history. They would like to say that, if only Roosevelt had not created so many public jobs, the private sector could have expanded more rapidly. We understand that argument. Every day we see 500 people show up for ten jobs. Once those ten jobs are filled, 490 people are still unemployed. So if even half of those jobs were filled with government jobs, there would still be 245 people out of work.
The point is that the Neoconservatives are lying about Roosevelt and about government jobs and about the whole economy. Here are the simple facts, not hard to find if you want the truth.
The economic collapse was caused by speculation in the financial markets. There are 14 million unemployed as a result and, despite the President’s efforts and those of the former Democratic House of Representatives, the Republicans in the Senate filibustered every job creation bill after the first stimulus. These same Republicans forced the President and the People to give $800 billion in tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires but filibustered attempts to create millions of jobs by merely expanding small loans to business. A mere $200 billion of that $800 billion would have put 5 million workers into jobs, not unemployment, paying taxes and that would have jump started the economy. But the rich didn’t want a good economy.
We could be back to at the very least the unemployment levels of the Bush era before the crash if they had not obstructed job bills with over 200 filibusters. The Republicans took control of the House because they promised to correct the economy. What they didn’t say was that they would correct the economic deficit,
The top 1% of Americans, and in particular certain very large Right Wing industrial billionaires have been given huge tax cuts which they have used to buy up Congress. Furthremore, seeing an opportunity in the economic crisis, and creating a false premise that the country is in dire danger from a severe debt…we do have one but it is nowhere close to a crisis, they spent millions electing state governments.
We could right the ship of state very simply. Simply elect Democrats to the control of the House, the Senate and the state governments. Throw out the Republicans. Investigate which ones have been fixing elections and participating in war profiteering, energy profiteering. Indict and convict and imprison those who have been doing those things.
The Democrats will tax the rich, as Clinton did. They will cut government as Clinton and Gore did. And they will make Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid better and more solvent. And they will bring home the troops from the hundreds of billions of dollars we are wasting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
What about private jobs? Shouldn’t we let the private sector create them? Here’s what most people don’t understand. There is at least $3 trillion dollars sitting in Wall Street an it is being e know very well what happens when the government does nothing. The cowardly and timid corporations and financiers hide behind their vault doors, too afraid of failure to build new enterprises, too afraid that pennies may fall from their pockets and down the drain. When President Obama and Democrats entered job building legislation, the Neocons, led by their filibustering members in the Senate, shut down all job-creating legislation.
The result is 15 million people still unemployed, now 3 years after the crash and no sign of any improvement on the horizon. So much for corporate interest in creating jobs here in the United States
Oh, there are jobs being created by American corporations. But not in the United States. American corporations have created jobs in Brazil, and China and India, and other places around the world. Just not here, not in the United States.
And so, here is the sad, incredibly sad part…the demise of the American spirit. The voters of Massachusetts, perhaps the most Liberal state in the nation, elected a Republican Senator who is one of the group who are filibustering American jobs. But that wasn’t all. In 2010 they voted in a legislature that has now joined other states in denying the right of collective bargaining.
The voters of Massachusetts have voted in a Democratic legislature to deny the right of public employees to bargain over health care. This was an attack on unions by the heavily Democratic Massachusetts state legislature in a vote of 111-42. All the Republicans voted with a large number of Democrats to pass the bill.
What does this mean? It means that public employees will not have union representation when negotiating health care plans. It means that each individual must negotiate his or her health care plan.
But it means something more significant. It means that somehow the media and private interests have channeled enough money into politics to persuade Democratic voters in Massachusetts, the most Democratic and union friendly state in the nation, to vote for representatives who will strike down union rights.
That is a catastrophic turn of events in the United States. It means that nowhere are workers safe from the predation of the rich and big corporations. Seven Republican governors have stricken the rights of public workers to negotiate salaries, benefits and pensions. And unions, the very right of an individual to band together with other workers to ask for fair treatment…has been eliminated.
We are headed for a Fasicst, totalitarian state and it is the voters themselves who are being led like sheep to the slaughter, and actually going cheerfully, voting and promoting the very people who are destroying them. It is beyond imagination that Americans could be so stupid. But the Massachusetts vote proves that they are. It is a sad day for America.
This action by the Massachusetts legislature, means that unions, that is, the workers will lose control of their livelihoods. Specifically, in Massachusetts, where individual health care has cut costs by 30%, they will now pay more, or get less, or both. This is while billionaires get tax cuts.
The state legislators leading this fight see it as an opportunity to rid themselves of a problem. If they can deny the unions this bargaining chip, then they can come back and deny the union the right to negotiate wages. What it means is that Massachusetts Democratic legislators have been bought, just like the Republican legislators of Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Florida and Maine.
We know that there are certain people who are out to get us. We can understand and accept that. All we need to do is read or look around. In 2010, the Koch Family, a family that owns huge polluting industries, who have paid some of the largest fines for refusing to clear up devastating spills and pollution….
The Kochs don’t like the average guy. They don’t like paying taxes or following regulations. And they hate it when the average guy can organize into groups and make them clean up the land they destroy. They like using the land, making billions, but not paying to put it back the way they found it. So they have bought the Republican Party.
That is exactly what they did. In 2010 alone, Koch Industries gave $912,000 to Republican House members and $87,500 to Democratic House members. On the Senate side, they gave $232,500 to Republicans and $25,000 to Democrats. Of the $25,000, Senator Blanche Lincoln from Arkansas, who apparently was for sale, received $15,000 of the $25,000.
We are laying off teachers all over the country and increasing classroom sizes. And when the teachers rebelled and said that this was too much of an instant reflex, just cutting jobs, then the big boys stepped in and bought elections in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Vermont, Missouri, Florida and elsewhere.
All the bought-and-paid-for Republican governors did the same thing. They created legislation to destroy the unions. And now they have Massachusetts. Only Wisconsin has fought back.
If Americans don’t stand up now and show the rank-and-file Republican voters how foolish they have been and how destroying the worker’s income to make a few thousand people rich beyond all imagining…then this country does not deserve to remain free. Because our freedom…no less than our personal freedom…is at stake.