A tad askew from the traditional view

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The Big Game aka The Hijacking of America

Just about everyone is aware of the new bankruptcy law that has gone into effect. If you've read the fine print in the new pamphlets that the banks and credit card companies are sending out you'll see that, in addition to the legislated bankruptcy restrictions, these lenders are now piling on significant additional terms that are beneficial to themselves, and potentially harmful to us. These changes include removing the interest rate ceiling on variable rate accounts, increasing the penalty interest, and requiring that - once penalty rates are charged for, say, one late payment - they will continue to be charged until those balances are paid in full. Clearly, the credit card user, who is about to be shackled to the wall by the new bankruptcy law, will soon be taken full advantage of by the lending industry.

But the problem is much bigger than credit cards, or the plight of those who might happen on hard times, or of those who might mistakenly or otherwise make one single late payment.

The problem is that we, the voters in the United States, continue to be sucked in by political advertising that deceptively causes us to vote against our own best interests, such as electing those politicians who enacted the new bankruptcy law - the same politicians who stage ineffective hearings or turn a blind eye to the gouging we are getting from the drug companies and from the fat cats in the oil patch - the same politicians who want to take away our right to seek legal redress under the guise of "eliminating frivolous law suits" - the same politicians who have allowed the Alternative Minimum Tax to remain unindexed so that each year it drills deeper into the middle class, a domain for which it was never intended - the same politicians who are now "seriously considering" a significant reduction in the maximum amount of mortgage interest we can deduct on our taxes - and the same politicians who drove the nation's finances into the ground to provide a large tax cut aimed primarily at the very, very rich. In short, these are the politicians who are overseeing - right under our noses - a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the upper class.........and yet we continue to give them our support.

Make no mistake about it, the Big Game in this country is not the Super Bowl or the seventh game of the World Series. The Big Game is the struggle between Big Business, which is controlled by the Upper Class, and the rest of us, and Big Business is winning big. In other words, maybe one percent of the population is having its way with the other 99%. The Big Game's game plan is all about money - money that flows first to the politicians and then, after a little laundering, back to the upper class together with a great deal of additional funds provided by tax revenues generated primarily from the middle class.

The front line in the Big Game goes beyond the issues of credit cards, drugs or oil. Right now, the major concern of Big Business is organized labor, a movement that certainly includes far less than a majority of all workers, but a movement which vitally affects 99% of us. What Big Business realizes is that labor unions represent the only organized resistance that it might ever reasonably expect to encounter and it knows that, in history, the unions have occasionally held the upper hand. It's out to muzzle that potential threat so that it can then have its way with not only union members but - more importantly - with the rest of us as well. (Please refer, if you wish, to a previous article in this blog entitled "99% of Us are Beneficiaries of the Labor Movement.")

I've been called a gloom and doomer on occasion, but I believe I'm basically an optimist. Optimistically, I believe that, as the Big Game continues, the Upper Class will greedily overplay its hand and the electorate will eventually become disenchanted and immune to the brainwashing provided through political advertising. Optimistically, I believe that this will set the stage for the creation of a third political party, fully committed to knocking the Big Game on its ear, a challenge that the Republican and Democratic Parties are obviously not up to. Optimistically, I believe this will lead to a radical dismantling of the campaign finance system as we know it. And optimistically, I believe that day will bring a new dawn and, with it, a movement that will ultimately give control of this country back to its people........


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