BY VERN TURNER
For some time polls have been showing what the general public wants from their government, but for about the same time frame their government has been giving them something else. That something else rhymes with size … as in the size of the lies.
I wouldn’t be writing about polls were it not for the repetition of the same results, basically since 2008, when Hope and Change were the buzz-words d’jour.
When I looked back into my archives of politically-related columns written since then, I discovered little had changed in the minds of American citizens. Those things that did change indicated a shift to the left, politically. Here’s what I mean referring to most recent polls about issues confronting this election cycle:
– Allowing government to negotiate drug prices, aka dumping Medicare Part D – 79%
– Make student loan interest rates the same as loans between banks – 78%
– Provide universal Pre-K education services – 77%
– Fair trade that protects American workers and their jobs – 75%
– End corporate tax loopholes and offshore hiding of profits – 74%
– End gerrymandering of Congressional districts – 73%
– Full disclosure of corporate lobbying – 71%
– Require NSA warrants – 71%
– Expand Social Security benefits – 70%
– Pass a full employment act with clean energy jobs – 70%
– End tax exemptions for Wall Street fines – 67%
– End the electoral college – 65%
– Close the carried-interest loophole – 63%
– Expand Medicare to cover everyone including veterans – 65%
– Background checks for gun purchases – 70%
There are only two current presidential candidates even mentioning these things and none of them are Republicans. They must be too busy pandering to their “base” for money while enflaming the public with idiotic rhetoric about immigration, religion and Planned Parenthood.
Why is that? Call me naive, but I seem to recall that this government of ours is a representative democratic republic. I mean, our founders actually wrote this stuff down. It’s called the Constitution. The letter and spirit of this document requires that those who presume to govern actually listen to the people who elected them and do their bidding. If this isn’t the case, then we have devolved into a fascist dictatorship of the oligarchs.
Why hasn’t Congress put forth legislation to attend to the desires of the people? How did we let lobbying become the great passion of government instead of serving the people? It’s about winning elections and doing the bidding of the monied special interests.
Lewis Powell requested of corporate/banking America to join forces to do these nefarious things in order to control government by corruption rather than by fair and responsible elections. So, naturally, Nixon made Powell a Supreme Court justice who led the charge against banking and investing regulations.
Maybe I’ve answered my own question: It’s the money. It’s only about the money. It is not about the people or their welfare. In my latest book, Racing to the Brink: The End Game for Race and Capitalism, I include a chapter on the 28th Amendment should that opportunity arise.
In it I suggest, among other things, that all elections be publicly funded, and lobbying be made illegal while no elected official would ever be allowed to work as a lobbyist after their limited term of office.
What an interesting experiment it would be if all those poll items listed above were actually addressed by our Congress. Imagine the legislation passed that reflected the will of the people – we the unwashed wretches on the farms and in the streets who generate this massive economy with our toil, sweat and good will.
We the people make the rich richer, but shouldn’t we also enjoy the fruits of our labor instead of having a “conservative” disinformation campaign ruled by lobbyists tell us that our government simply doesn’t have the money to care for those of us who struggle?
Today’s Republicans see no problem with borrowing trillions of dollars to fight illegal wars, running up a budget deficit, then blaming it all on the next administration.
Speaking of struggling, middle class incomes have fallen 10% in real value since Lewis Powell began the conspiracy to corruption by corporate/banking America. Eighty-five percent of our current “middle-class” struggles to get ahead, own their own home and send their kids to college. More and more middle-class people have to work at multiple jobs just to make ends meet and maintain their lifestyle.
Why aren’t their enough good-paying jobs to permit the majority of our citizens from enjoying the fruits of their labor? Nobody is even mentioning the poor, that chronic 15% of our population that has never gotten ahead. Nobody is addressing that bottomless pit in our national landscape.
Productivity in industry has increased by triple-digit percentages since 1971, but buying power has declined or flat-lined, depending on the job sector. So, the next time you hear about improved productivity from some Fox News mouthpiece, ask yourself why those who are the engines of such productive don’t get to share in the profits.
Most of these above questions are answered, in the abstract, by understanding that those who have been financed to run for office lie to us. The parties are funded by liars who want to control profits and worker benefits to the advantage of the bottom line. The stockholder is now the tail that wags the corporate dog, and that dog must eat … all the time and as much as possible.
In all fairness to responsible corporate operators, they are compelled to be the whores of the stock market and therefore Wall Street and the hedge fund billionaires.
Maybe there should be polls that show how dissatisfied the people are with how the profits are actually distributed to those slaves of productivity, the middle class. I think I know how they would look. Let’s give it a try and see how good I am at predicting a leap in lifestyle improvement and national vigor.
– Vern Turner lives in Marble Falls, TX and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. His latest book, Racing to the Brink: The End Game for Race and Capitalism, is available through Amazon.com.