*WARNING - GROSS OVERSIMPLIFICATION AHEAD. PROCEED SLOWLY*
I think it’s a miracle that we’ve made it this far – don’t you? I mean, when this country was founded, there wasn’t a whole lot of industry so there wasn’t such a sharp division of the masses into classes.
Then came the industrial revolution and all of its benefits. Businesses sprouted up around processes that allowed for mass production of items. Which meant they needed PEOPLE to work those processes and insure a quality product. Which meant they needed educated individuals to oversee the worker bees and keep them going in the right direction. Blue collar and white collar jobs suddenly divided us a little farther. Those who were educated made more money and did less physical work.
It seemed fair enough. But what everyone missed was that it all hinged on money. If you MADE MONEY, and a good deal of it, you could AFFORD things like a better education. If you DIDN’T, you had to just suck it up and keep grinding away, hoping your kids could claw a little higher.
Then came the technical revolution (I know – no one actually CALLS it that, but it occurred in the late 50s, early 60s and it changed the world) when machines were created that could process information. Data became a new commodity then, with companies starting to find ways to increase productivity while decreasing costs. The twenty-five or thirty person department known as “Accounting” suddenly became half what it used to be, because computers could calculate more quickly than two dozen employees with calculators could.
So the gap between white collar and blue collar widened even more.
Then the foxes were put in charge of the henhouse. Think “Reaganomics”, think “de-regulation” of entire industries. Sure, it was great for business. But it was the beginning of the end for America.
Flash to forty years later, and are you REALLY surprised at where we are? We foolishly elected a man who promised change of a magnitude we hadn’t seen in generations, forgetting that he would have neither the opportunity nor the actual POWER to do it. It just sounded so much better than four more years of guaranteed sameness, didn’t it?
Today, our duly elected representatives will announce their “compromise” on the debt ceiling crisis they manufactured to distract us. If you’re LUCKY, your government will make sure that each citizen receives a jar of Vaseline to – you know – make things a little “smoother”.
I would ask those in power, what exactly do you plan to do once you’ve eradicated the middle class in this country and there is nothing left but the wealthy and the poor? You won’t be able to get any money from those who have none. So what then?
This is why I keep on calling for the abolishment of the electoral college which keeps us in the vicious cycle of having to choose the lesser of TWO evils. We need to re-shape our political system so that it is multi-party, not just two.
We need to force term limits on Congress and the House.
We need to force salary increases for our elected officials to be by popular vote, along with their benefits packages (which should be no better than the worst package given to the lowest worker in the country).
We need to re-vamp our tax system so that it is fair and equitable; making more money means paying more taxes, and that isn’t a PUNISHMENT, folks – it goes with the territory. With great wealth comes great responsibility (if I may steal a line from Spiderman).
Corporations must be required to pay their fare share in taxes as well - no more "incentives" from the government. Your incentive is that the government doesn't have soldiers posted in your company making sure you do things "the right way".
We need to insure that our tired, our poor, our downtrodden and our elderly are cared for.
Some people call that “socialism”.
I call it “democratic society”.