- Politics and Social Issues
Plutocracy and Wealth in the United States
A Display of Patriotism
WHAT IS A PLUTOCRACY
As many may already know, a plutocracy is when the wealthy control and run the government. All one need do is look at the overwhelming percentage of millionaires who now occupy offices in the Senate and House of Representatives. There would obviously be many more millionaires reported if these same elected officials had to include the value of their homes. I’m reminded of the saying, “your chances are one in a million,” because these people are part of the 1% of Americans who are in the exclusive Millionaires Club. So this leads me to the question of whether or not there is a concerted effort of class warfare going on between the wealthy versus the rest of the population.
ARE THE POOR AND MIDDLE CLASSES EQUALLY REPRESENTED
How can the middle and poor classes have equal representation when their spokesperson isn’t walking in the shoes of their constituents? For instance, I have no idea what it would be like to live on food stamps, unemployment or welfare. While I may have empathy for these folks, I certainly don’t have a full comprehension or grasp of their living environment. The same holds true if my congressperson or senator is a millionaire. How can they relate to my economic situation? Furthermore, my $10.00, $15.00 or $25.00 political contributions don’t stand a chance when going head to head with super Pac money, corporations as people money or the financial influence lobbyists representing the special interests of the wealthy can wield. In other words, 99% of the citizens are left with mere scraps scattered to us like scavengers, just ravenous for some nourishment. Class warfare you may ask? There sure is class warfare going on. It is the 1% fighting against 99% in an ongoing attack to keep their treasures and the spoils of the gains they have made on the backs of the rest of the tax paying public.
A DOLLAR STORE PURCHASE VERSUS TAXES NOT PAID BY GENERAL ELECTRIC
A stellar example of plutocracy is what General Electric did in 2010. GE hired one (1) lobbyist for every three (3) members of Congress and the net result was a $3.2 billion tax refund. Of course, those who echo the talking points of the right will claim that tax breaks are necessary in order for a business to grow and hire new employees. Well, let’s see…if I went into our local “Dollar Store” and purchased just one (1) item, my sales slip would show I paid $1.08, taxes included. So, in essence, I spent more at the “Dollar Store” than Citigroup, ExxonMobil, Bank of America, Boeing, News Corporation, Merck Pharmaceuticals, and Verizon paid in federal income taxes, to name just a few. Does this sound like class warfare to you, because it sure does to me? Companies are raking in record profits on the blood, sweat and tears of the working class and still I wonder…where are the jobs? Why would millionaires (except those with a conscious and the ones who know the difference between right and wrong) vote for paying the same tax rate as a secretary? After all, their servants are in the same income bracket and they hold the offices of power within Washington. Surely these good wealthy lackeys of the Koch brothers will not bite the hand that feeds them.
THE KOCH BROTHERS ARE THE EPITOME OF A PLUTOCRACY AT WORK
Speaking of the Koch brothers and plutocracy here is another little tidbit I will throw your way. Even though the right wing loves to vilify higher education and teachers, an interesting footnote to it all is how much those good old Koch brothers have donated to universities. They have notoriously contributed millions upon millions of dollars to universities with a couple of stipulations. First of all the patriotic Koch boys get to have a say in what conservative speakers will be hired by the universities and secondly and most importantly, these honest Americans have a voice in the selection of professors and the approval of publications used on college campuses. We are on a slippery slope with David and Charles Koch and the filthy money they throw around like the sewage that spews from their pollution laden industries. These two (2) billionaire brothers have done cataclysmic damage in undermining our political scenery. The greedy accept obscene amounts of payoff dollars foisted upon them and are all too eager to have a piece of the financial pie the Koch’s serve after the smorgasbord of extremist, backward thinking ideology has been laid out on the buffet table of bought and sold politicians. I don’t know about the rest of you, but that is a meal I find nauseating and one which needs to be regurgitated into the laps of wrong thinking zealots.
WE DO NOT LIVE IN A DEMOCRACY
Much to the chagrin of many, we do not live in a democracy; rather we live in a plutocracy. Our founding fathers and authors of the Constitution were, in fact, aristocrats of their time and the aristocracy of the lawmakers and the ruling class has continued. The scales of political fairness and equality are tipped in astronomical proportion favoring the dominance of the rich. The majority of citizens have been disenfranchised in fair elections and the representation process. Influence peddling and obnoxious amounts of money thrown at Washington have turned our whole political system into nothing more than buying and selling goods and services in an open market. The patriotism of plutocrats has the rest of us becoming a commodity and that harsh reality hurts.
VOTE OUT PLUTOCRACY AND VOTE IN DEMOCRACY
For the love of money, I have no idea why there is a segment of the populace that buys into the credo bought and paid for by the affluent fat cats. Seriously…talk about being sold a bill of goods. I’m reminded of the Latin phrase, “caveat emptor.” Let the buyer beware is a commerce principle and our politicians have eagerly purchased the philosophy of a few, lock, stock, and barrel. Subsequently, the majority have been offered no warranties on the manifestos which have been procured. Now is the time for the masses to stand up, be counted, vote and exclaim at the top of our lungs, “We’re not going to take it anymore!”
Patriotism on Display
Since I originally wrote this post we have elected a billionaire reality television star as president. He is appointing billionaires, Wall Street insiders, war hawks, and unqualified cronies to the highest positions in this country. We are, no doubt, doomed to fail under this narcissistic man with fascist leanings. These are definitely frightening times. Sadly, on November 8th I took down the American flag that has flown religiously from my home. I don't know when I will ever fly Old Glory again. I now know what a man without a country feels like. I'm empty.
Written by Dennis L. Page