Why the 1% Keep Kicking Our Butts.
Before I begin my writing, please watch this video clip to get a feeling for the problem we face and some perspective of what we need to do to change our dire situation. Please click on the video below.
After watching this video clip you see that the “Wealthy”or the top 1% of earners, have increased their percentage of American National Wealth from 9% in the year 2000 to 24% in 2012. We find similar statistics in Canada. It is an indication that the greed of the Wealthy is growing, which dictates that it is imperative that the lower income groups must do something to curb the appetite of the Wealthy. As more and more of the working poor end up in food-banks just to survive we are approaching very critical times of decisions, and it doesn’t appear that our governments are interested in curbing the threat the greed presents. At the same time the compassion of the middle class also has its limits inasmuch as the income of the Middle Class is also being squeezed. Less money for the Middle Class means less is contributed to food-banks. The Middle Class know the poor and they have compassion for them.
The other thought that comes out of the clip is a sense that the Wealthy must be fearful that the 99% might actually do something about the inequity. Think about it. They are actually .1% of the population and they earn the money that an average employee earns in a month, in only one hour. Anyone living that insanity would be afraid that the People would be enraged and put a stop to it. If you imagine yourself in their position, you could imagine collectively wishing to control the government to protect your own interests. As a population we already believe that they control governments. We think of government as a puppet to their wishes. But just as our perception of how much the Wealthy earn is grossly underestimated so to is our estimation of their influencing government vastly underestimated; we cannot estimate what we cannot see or measure.
Are the wealthy worried? Check this out: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-9-230168-Poverty-politics-and-riches
Do the Wealthy have enough money to change policies in the World? According to their wealth you can believe it’s true. Again from Forbes Magazine there was an article called “$21 Trillion tucked away in secret bank accounts in Switzerland and Cayman Islands“. Money was sent to those bank accounts to avoid paying any taxes. Imagine if even a small fraction of that money was returned to the country of origin and used to buy elections, and pay off Legislators etc., just to safeguard their investments. Inasmuch as the money was never taxed means that the Middle Class and the Poor are paying extra taxes to sustain social programs and even the infrastructure that Corporations benefit from.
When 3% of the World Population owns 20% of the World’s wealth you know that they own the media in the World and the discussion that goes on in the street comes from the news they put out into the public. It is hard to think independent thoughts when all your sources of information come mostly packaged and biased to what they want you to know and think.
One day I was thinking of “Why are the 1% in control in Canada, the US and throughout the World”. It is easy to see that the vast majority of people are not interested in politics – that is the first half of the equation. The middle class and poor are merely trying just survive their everyday expenses. A lot of time beyond working is spent on entertainment, to forget the stresses of the day – politics is forgotten in that equation. Whereas the Corporate Heads get paid to take care of politics and making sure that conditions are met, in nations, for the Corporation to make money off the People in that country. And isn’t that the reason that the politics of Canada, of the USA and almost all nations is preoccupied in making free trade deals.
Canada has constant free trade deals being negotiated and implemented. Harper has had negotiations ongoing for free trade deals with both China and the EU for many years. While those deals were being hammered out we had 2 elections silent on the fact before it stumbled into the media’s attention and reporting. Harper just thinks it is in our public interests son he doesn’t think he has to inform us of his doings. Don’t Corporations already send highly paid lobbyists to influence governments and buy our representatives? Don’t Corporations buy ads with marketing campaigns to get consumers to buy their products – that too is a form of social politics. It is normal to think of them buying influence to sell products, are ideas not as easy to sell to the people? “Free Trade is good for the people”. Considering this , why wouldn’t they not go one step farther and write the legislation that effect them? Especially when good government policy makes them more money.
Here is a Canadian example of the Wealthy having control of the economic system, and it is from decades ago. Trudeau brought in the Metric System. Why? What was the great need for Metric for Canada when America, Canada’s largest trading partner (of about 75%) wanted no part of it, and yet Canada went Metric. The few days following the switch over to Metric products started appearing on shelves. At a gas station, a litre bottle of oil stood beside a quart of oil. “How much is the litre of oil” I asked. $1.25 was the answer. “How much for the quart of oil” I asked, already guessing the answer. $1.25 was the answer. There was a conversion of sizes but the prices remained the same; we got 20% less product for the same price. That was a mark up of price of 20% in cost to us consumers. And that, I suspect was the same for every apple, every can of food, and every litre of milk. Was the Metrication, that Pierre Trudeau brought in, good for Corporations? Was the opportunity to rip off the public purse a gift to Corporations, or was the lack of due diligence to regulate the corporations the reason for the rip-off? Or did the corporations in Canada promote the idea to Trudeau and he gladly complied????
Looking at our southern neighbours, the truth for America is that at one time there was indirect influence on legislators, lobbyists persuading legislators to park their votes in the direction that corporations wanted policy to go. And even the belief that legislators are being bought is no longer extreme enough to match the reality. Today, the reality is that there is an actual organization in America where legislators and Corporate agents, their lawyers get together with American Legislators to draft sample legislation that corporations would actually like to see implemented. And the not so funny reality is that much of the legislation drafted by this organization IS being adopted by State Legislatures.
The organization is call ALEC, standing for American Legislative Exchange Council. From Wikipedia we read “ALEC provides a forum for state legislators and private sector members to collaborate on model bills—draft legislation that members can customize and introduce for debate in their own state legislatures. Approximately 200 such bills become law each year. ALEC has produced model bills on issues such as reducing corporate regulation and taxation” (end of quote) ALEC is also responsible for the anti-union legislation being introduced in numerous American States. Click on link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Legislative_Exchange_Council) for more information.
If you think of the 1%’s work ethic, they plan and hold meetings, they are always measuring and thinking strategically. If the plan dictates that the objectives will be met in 40 years they will set out the course to meet those objectives. The Wealthy also understand money as a tool and think in terms of systems, that is what they do. And perhaps it is in part because of their discipline and planning and dedication that they are wealthy (I am in no way justifying their immoral greed). The rest of us however, have a hard enough time to plan to have the family eat together.
Yes, there are billions more of us than them, but to thwart their plans we HAVE TO assume some understanding of the important issues, and do some organizing, and planning and dedicate some time and action to protect our freedoms and our rights vigilantly in the political arena.
We should not be surprised that the 1% are kicking our butts, that is that we have been turned into nothing but consumer sheep in our materialistic Consumer World.
And yes, our Government is supposed to be for US, the People / voters, but supposed to has not done us any good so far because the last few generations have more and more forgotten their responsibility to keep their politicians’ feet to the democratic fire. Past generations have not kept our representatives accountable to US, the People. And who are we to fault them because we are no better. Rather, our governments have consistently protected the interests of the Wealthy in their efforts to make money from of us, they have not slept like we have. We’ve seen the stats, the wages of the middle class continues to drop as the income of the 1% continues to grow, the Wealthy squeaky wheel has gotten the grease, and the wheel and they are still working on getting the rest of the car.
We have to get over it, our governments are not now for us and for protecting us. Our only hope is that we begin to act, to force them to act for us.
Here is an example of how far a government will go to betray its own people. In 2013 President Obama passed the Monsanto Protection act into law. It essentially will protect the genetically modifying company from ever be sued by people even if people are harmed physically by Monsanto experimenting with our food supply (80% of all America’s food is now genetically modified and there are no laws to force food producers to label them). The Monsanto Protection Act” efferctively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of controversial genetocally modified (aka GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds, no matter what health issues may arise concerning GMO’s in the future.
This is a visual cue to ask you what you will commit yourself to do.
I have struggled, literally, for several weeks writing this article, partly because of the bleakness of our situation, and partly because of the continued inaction by the vast majority of Canadians in acting democratically. Perhaps that is why I sent out my last post “The Hope of Dissent”, to lighten the air. Please read my next article where I will give hope for our democratic future; I do see hope.
And as always, please send this article to your friends, and tell them why you think that it is important to become socially conscious and active in taking a stand.
Resources for those who want to learn more:
An article: There is a Heavy Cost to Ignorance. Click on the link: https://pushinback.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/there-is-a-heavy-cost-to-ignorance/
A video clip from Democracy Now on ALEC:
American Corporate Welfare: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/28/richest-ceos-compensation-ceos_n_3825087.html
Offshore bank accounts totaling $21 Trillion plus:http://www.forbes.com/sites/frederickallen/2012/07/23/super-rich-hide-21-trillion-offshore-study-says/
Other Articles with a similar theme:
Why haven’t we Canadians protected our Democracy?:
This article shows the result of American Legislators being bought by the Wealthy.