BY SHARON MARTIN
In a country where legislators have good government insurance, too many of us have been convinced by biased money that it is the right of legislators to be insured but not necessarily our right. It’s all in the name of “privatization,” another word for “profits for us, too bad for you.”
If you are self-employed, your old-age pension has always been privatized. Once, frugal business owners and craftspeople could save enough money for a good retirement if they chose to do so. Now, our choices are a manipulated stock market, where we can lose half our principle because of fraud or a large company’s gamble, or treasury bills and CDs that earn so little interest that one is forced to get a post-retirement job or dip into the principal. A good number of politicians would like us all to have such a “safety net.”
Public servants and those employed by large corporations now have the same right to uncertainty as the self-employed. Teachers, firemen, and long-term employees who counted on a pension at the end of their service will have this uncertainty thrust upon them by politicians who claim to have the best interest of their constituents at heart. They do, but their constituents are not the voters who put them into office but the big money that paid for their elections.
If you want to remove oversight and add a profit margin to prisons, social security, education, and a standing army, privatization works. If you’d rather our tax money not be used for profits and a CEO’s perks, tell your legislators, “No!” It is time for a revolution, a return to the era when citizens, employees, and public servants were respected and valued. Don’t be afraid of it; this is a think-for-yourself revolution. And we have to think as citizen activists rather than as passive peasants.
How do we start? Write letters to editors and legislators. Tell lawmakers to leave Social Security alone. We paid our insurance [FICA] premiums, and if they default or turn it over to their broker buddies for fun and profit, that’s theft. Tell them that thieves need not apply for another term in office.
Tell your legislators that we want the same insurance and the same quality healthcare that they receive. Tell them we want good schools for our children and grandchildren, all of them. We want the wages for fulltime workers to be sufficient for raising families.
We are not subjects on which they can act but voices in the government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Before it’s too late, let’s make our voices heard. Shout loudly so you can be heard above the din of corporate money.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer