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Is It We The People Or We The Aristocracy?

Updated on January 25, 2012

When I hear of political candidates saying we need to restore this country to our "founding fathers principles" and ideals, I often scratch my head. What do they mean by this exactly?

It's such an unclear and undefined sound byte that really needs to be defined more clearly. This is no slight against our "founding fathers" in any way. This articles is slight on those politicians who use the whole "return our country to our 'founding fathers' principles," as some kind of rallying cry.

Don't these politicians of today know that the founding fathers had a distrust of government and those within the government? They sure did, as I'll get into this later.

Now, don't get me wrong. The founding fathers of America had many great principles and ideas that laid the foundation of what our great nation is about. No doubt about that, but even they knew that what they established was far from perfect. Our history tells of this struggle our country has been through over the years.

And it seems that the struggles of the past may be coming back when there are forces out there who definitely believe that it's We The Aristocracy and not We The People.

Definitions of an Aristocracy

These definitions are taken from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

1 : government by the best individuals or by a small privileged class.
2 a: a government in which power is vested in a minority consisting of those believed to be best qualified b : a state with such a government.
3 : a governing body or upper class usually made up of a hereditary nobility.
4 : the aggregate of those believed to be superior.

Are we heading towards an extreme Aristocracy? Now, it seems that the 1% rich in America are being protected by certain politicians within a party that is mainly comprised of the 1% elite.

Just look at Mitt Romney's tax report that came back. He earns $50,000 a day from investments alone! That's not a month or a year. That's a day!

The Republican party was dead set on destroying public unions of their "collective bargaining" rights with their anti-union bill that was spear-headed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and the idea spread like a fart to other states like Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Idaho. The reasoning was to balance the states' budgets.

What irks me about this is if they're so worried about balancing a state's budget then why do these politicians continually give themselves raises like many of the CEO's in corporations do? Instead, they're more wiling to make sure teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other public employees right to bargain for raises are eliminated?

Hmmm...Did you know that the middle class is over 60 percent in this country. When this country was officially founded the poor was over 50 percent!

Do Not Forget The Corporate Past!

When the Constitution was signed into effect, there was no law for worker's rights whatsoever. Wages? Forget about it! In those days, it was true capitalism. Today? Not so much.

Back in the stages of our country's development, work went to the group who was willing to work for less. That's why there was so much clashing between the races. Immigrants were never received favorably in U.S. history.

When Irish workers went on strike for pay raises, the big corporations hired another race of people who would work cheaper, which is one of the reasons why they despised the Chinese so much and would later spear-head anti-Chinese movements to kick them out of the American work force.

If the Italians went on strike, the same effect happened. Corporations in the past did this constantly to get cheap labor, and they profited big time. Employers did not have to pay benefits of any kind during those days, and could terminate you for little to no reason at all.

Injured on the job? See ya! Want a raise? See ya! Family member sick? Not my problem, see ya!

This is what American capitalism was built on in the past, and it has changed a lot since then. It's changed for the better, but do some people really want to go back to that foundation? Look, America was built on the hard work of the working class in those days, but it's also true that many of the working class back then got shafted.

This is why labor unions have been organizing throughout our country's history, but you know what? I can see why some politicians today don't really give a hoot. I mean most, if not all, in Congress, are worth more than a million dollars. What do they have to have a labor union for?

Especially since they see fit to give themselves raises just like a lot of CEOs do. Hmmm...is there a connection here?

In 2010 the heads of the biggest corporations in America median pay jumped 27% from $7.1 million in 2009. This is one of the largest increases in recent history during a time when the country is suffering from an extremely high unemployment rate.

How are these bastards able to do this? Through cut backs, layoffs, and the fact that employee wages are stagnant and shrinking from inflation.

Just last year a report by economists from the University of Northeastern University have reported that our economic turmoil has solely benefited corporations. The study concluded:

“Between the second quarter of 2009 and the fourth quarter of 2010, real national income in the U.S. increased by $528 billion. Pre-tax corporate profits by themselves had increased by $464 billion while aggregate real wages and salaries rose by only $7 billion or only .1%. Over this six quarter period, corporate profits captured 88% of the growth in real national income while aggregate wages and salaries accounted for only slightly more than 1% of the growth in real national income. …The absence of any positive share of national income growth due to wages and salaries received by American workers during the current economic recovery is historically unprecedented.”

Yes, it's true that companies in the S&P 500 boosted profit 47% last year. However, this was not due to the creation of business and economic growth.

Much of that was due to cost-cutting and layoffs, reported William Lazonick, director of University of Massachusetts Center for Industrial Competitiveness. Actual "revenue, a gauge of the money flowing into businesses for selling goods and services, grew at a much slower pace than profit — and ended the year up just 7%."

Wow! I bet you can guess who want to go back to the good ole days.

Do Not Dismiss The Corporate Present

Now, even though corporations have hugely benefited from laying off millions, they're crying about being taxed more. Really? It's okay that the middle class have so far taken the burden of this country's taxes, but it's not cool that they chip in even though they've been suckering the people for quite some time now.

And who just happens to be the champions of the 1%, who condemn raising taxes for the rich in fear of distorting their beloved "trickle down theory"? Uhmm...guys, it's not trickling down. It's trickling up.

My Favorite Quotes From Our Founding Fathers

"The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments." - George Washington.

"The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government." - George Washington.

"Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide." - John Adams.

"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty." - John Adams.

"Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty." - Thomas Jefferson.

Why do I like these quotes? I like them, because it shows that they knew what they created was not perfect nor absolute. Actually, many of the founders distrusted each other and the beliefs about the role that the government should play.

Everything within the Constitution was not some harmonious decision. John Adams was appalled by slavery, and George Washington wished for nothing more than for slavery to be abolished. However, many southern delegates supported slavery.

That's just one example that The Founding Father's principles were quite varied, and they left the Constitution open to change. The United States was not perfect shortly after the Constitution was ratified. There were tremendous inequalities that had to be sorted out through our great nation's history.

I'm not sure what these politicians mean by the going back to the "founding father's principles!" To me that's like when George W. Bush kept saying, "We're going to recapture World War II glory!"

How can you recapture World War II glory? Wouldn't you have to start a World War in order to do that?

It's weird, because I hear quite a bit of Republicans saying the whole return to our "Founding Father's Principles." Do they mean going back to an overly Aristocratic society? It sure seems like it nowadays.

Our Founding Father's principles are still here, and they believed in standing up against the tyranny of those in government who would abuse their power over the liberty of another, especially when it came to earning a living.

We can't go back. We can only keep those principles here in the present with us and move forward with them for the betterment of our country. Not go backwards and stop this great nation from progressing.

It's a shame that some politicians are masquerading around about returning to our Founding Father's principles while they're doing the exact opposite and abusing their powers to protect those with money and power first and foremost. So here's to going back to the Founding Father's first principle:

It's We The People! Not We The Aristocracy!

Yours Truly,

An American Patriot!

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    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 5 years ago from America

      you wrote a nice article, but you also answered your own questions without KNOWING you answered them! You said yourself the poor were over 50% now the middle class is over 60%, yet it didn't dawn on you how that middle class was brought into being???

      Walker wanted unions brought under control! We must seek the TRUTH and not media Rhetoric! Just today a government transportation board in Chicago reported they fired a known mobster that was on the payroll for 6 figures a year! Guess what? The UNIONS forced his rehire! CNN and ABC wont tell you these things! So while your bitching about the rich tell me why my tax money is paying a mobster 6 figures??? ........thugish crooked unions is the only answer!

      Now CEOs cannot give themselves raises, NEVER! Only the board of a corporation can give the CEO a raise! When a single person heads up a billion dollar company that is liable to the stock holders you want the best of the best in making profits!.........making profits is the answer, not sweet heart, lets feel sorry and lose money candy asses! Good CEOs will move their companies overseas, lay off people or whatever it takes to perform! Now get the govt off their backs, lower stupid regulations, and taxes and those same CEOs will begin building and creating jobs back in America AGAIN!

      We have had over 600 regulations added to an already exhausted list by the Obama admin!.........time for change!

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Ok, how many mobsters are we paying millions? Maybe a few. How many politicians are we paying millions? A heck of a lot more. Do you want to keep paying them more then you make in a life time? Ok, you can pay for their second home. I am not talking about CEOs, I am talking about our politicians! You can yell yes!!! when they give themselves a raise, afterall only making a few million dollars a year isn't fair. They only have to attend one meeting a year and still make a million or more, and still get the over a million dollar a year pension. Yep, you know that is a good thing for the politicians. They are sooooo important. I was soooo happy that mitt could make a $10,000 bet. It made me laugh. After all, I paid $11,500 last year in medical expenses. I have a very bad case of epilesy. Even though I had surgery, it still goes up and down. But, they deserve millions and millions of dollars a year, don't you agree?

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 5 years ago from America

      Michele, You and I think differently, If Romney can make a 10K bet that means I too have the opportunity to someday be able to do that in this country! Romney earned his money, Obama never had a real job answering to the board in his life! Politicians don't make millions off of us. Their salaries from the govt are on google! Once you begin to believe in class warfare you will side with those that will make it impossible for YOU to ever gain wealth!

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      No, not like Mitt. Yes, I did go on google. I found this and even more.

      http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/commentary/art...

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 5 years ago from America

      No not like Mitt??? I guess this means he should not have saved companies that were doomed for bankrupt?

      It is a given many politicians are wealthy before they enter office, one must have money these days to win elections!

      I also take it you have no desire to become wealthy? That is your choice like so many OWstreeters, .........they don't want to gain it the hard way, they want it taken and given to them!

      Business can not fight the regulations and taxation any longer, they must move overseas or lay off employees! Millions own stock in these companies and will sell and kill the market if profits don't rise! Get Obama to stop harrasing companies and get government off their backs and you will see improvement! Oh and go read Old Poolmans hub on closing his business, it will give you more insight!

    • rabbit75 profile image
      Author

      rabbit75 5 years ago

      Thanks for the comment American Romance, and I do believe I answered how the middle class came into being in the section remember the "corporate past" in which I talk about American workers and labor unions fighting for laws to protect "American Workers."

      There's no doubt that the all the past struggles and strikes of labor unions in the U.S. contributed to the government passing the very same laws and "regulations" against big companies and corporations that paved the way for the middle class to exceed over 60%.

      The Industrial revolution had much to do with this also, but we all know of the historical horrors and working conditions during that time, and none of the corporate leaders of that time would've lifted a finger unless government enacted certain "rights" for the workers.

      The same regulations that you're "bitching" about are the very regulations that were fought for in the past by workers so we could earn a decent living, work in decent conditions, and have benefits for a better life.

      I do agree with you that there are some laws and regulations that the government do need to get rid of concerning corporations, and yes Romney earned his money.

      However, who do you think is on the board of directors for these fortune 500 companies? Could they be others from the 1% pool? I think so.

      I'm also glad you brought up the mafia in America...another favorite subject of mine I'm highly interested in.

      Thanks again for the difference of opinion.

    • rabbit75 profile image
      Author

      rabbit75 5 years ago

      Thanks for comment Michelle, and for bringing up your concerns as well as the link you provided. Some great comments on this hub! Much appreciated!

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      American Romance you think I don't want to "be wealthy" ? Why are you asking such a silly question? Because we disagree? Everyone want's to have money. But can you be realistic? I have not been talking about companies. Here is a little quote from above "I am not talking about CEOs, I am talking about our politicians!" And I have also talked about politician to start working instead of doing nothing, that voting has more power over them then money.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      And by the way, when did I say he should not have given money to compnies that were going bankrupt?

    • mljdgulley354 profile image

      mljdgulley354 5 years ago

      The whole politician thing has turned into money not what can we do that the people who elected us would like us to do. It becomes more and more obvious the people can't think for themselves. Choice is constantly taken away because most people would make a bad choice anyway.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 5 years ago from Western NC

      Well-written, well-researched article. I try to keep up with current events, but I learned a few things in here. It kills me that people view things as so black and white - these are complex issues and it seems like we have not been so divided as a country since Civil War times. The quote you had by John Adams on democracy and committing suicide resonated with me. Not just because of politics but because of SO MANY other issues at hand: race, poverty, economic disparities, and the fact that lunatics can carry guns around and shoot people at will. Voted up and pressed some other buttons.

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 5 years ago from America

      Michele, OK, lets start over, I see most of the politicians were working men before going into politics, that is all I really meant, I do not begrudge them money, I believe most only get paid about 200K a year, yes this is much more than I make, and should be NOTHING untill this economy is better,

      Rabbit,

      we have enough laws on the books now that we no longer need unions, Just yesterday a fired known mobster was forced by the union to rehire and put back on his six figure payroll!

      Chicago- average salary 55K average teachers salary 79K and superintendents, 120K average salary, graduation 55%, across town at a charter school the graduation is 98%...........yea I am the one who should stop bitching?????????

    • rabbit75 profile image
      Author

      rabbit75 5 years ago

      American Romance, I'm glad you keep bringing up this mobster, because if you know about the mobs history, they would've never been able to infiltrate the union, or politics, or anything if they had not grown in wealth and power. Do you see street gangs of today having any influence in the unions or shaking hands with mayor or senator? No, but the mafia...yes!

      This adds to my point and my initial question of this hub. Just like the mafia was able to infiltrate the unions for "their" own purposes and self interests, what will happen when the 1% pool infiltrates government? Is it dangerous? Will it be better, or will they only look out for their own self interests like the mafia did?

      That's open to debate. The labor unions is just an example I used to illustrate how corporations have acted in the past during the industrial revolution, how some government laws protecting workers were able to grow a middle class.

      The acts are what I'm focusing on here, because everything boils down to actions. I can put whatever down on paper and make it look nice and neat. The actions of history speak for itself. It's not a completely black and white thing, especially concerning industry, creating jobs, lower this or that. There's a lot more at play here.

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