In the USA 37% of the citizens are living in poverty and over 50% live in poverty or with low incomes. The top 1% own 60% of everything and, even worse, the top 0.1% own 40% of everything in the US. 6 million workers have left the labor force due to the lack of jobs. One in four children are at risk for going hungry every day. The Wall Street economy has left the Main Street economy far behind with S&P500 CEO compensation reaching more than 1500 times their average employee's salary.
All of this comes from the supposed "job creators." They need everyone to believe anything but the truth to keep this scheme of moving money upwards into the hands of the already rich in motion. They require we look the other way as our jobs move overseas and our earning and wealth drop. If we saw the truth, we the people might rise up. The rich can't have that and do everything the feel they need to to keep such feelings surpressed.
The truth is, deregulation of business and industry in the US has led a series of economic crises over the past thirty years. Trading houses were deregulated in the 1980's which led to the junk bond debacle. The lack of limits on executive staff “compensation” led to the collapse of Savings and Loans in the early 1990's. The lack of even minimal oversight of investment bankers and venture capitalists led directly to the .com bubble of the late 1990's. The lowering of barriers between financial advising divisions and accountant auditing led to the corporate financial debacle of the early 2000's. Deregulation of the mortgage banking industry during the 2000's led to the worldwide banking crisis that is, even now, still unfolding.
Yet many times I feel I must have lived in a different time and place than many Americans. Listening to the Republican Party debate over who should be crowned the next President, one could be led to believe that US Government regulation was the cause of the current economic mess the country remains floundering in. When I hear any of the current contenders to the throne speak, I'm told that unfettered unregulated business is the One True Way to economic salvation for the country. Get government out of the way, they say.
What universe do these people live in? The Government has deregulated just about everything corporate and banking interests have asked for. What more could the US Government give corporate interests that they have not already given? How can NAFTA and GATT not give the already rich all the means they desire to move money and resources anywhere around the world? Where haven't corporate lobbyists help prepare the laws that have completely freed up the US capitalist system?
The only group of people to not benefit from all this unfettered free-wheeling capitalism is the bottom 99% of Americans.
Wages, earning, and wealth for the bottom 99% has stagnated since 1970. To keep any semblance of earning and wealth in play has meant people work two, sometimes three jobs. We've been told that corporate profits benefit everyone and that CEO's are gods to be worshiped for the amount of wealth they generate. Citizens are bombarded with strange campaigns to dismantle social systems (like "privatizing" Social Security).
One of my favorite sentences, in it's opening definition of the word “fascism”, says that corporate interests pay for access to, and in turn control, a government. Italy during the Mussolini era fits that definition. With the Supreme Court granting unlimited First Amendment “freedom of speech” rights to corporations and with the recent passing of the NDA which grants the military the power to indefinitely detain citizens (completely by-passing any Habeus Corpus rights), does not this very same definition now apply to the United States?
No. I want to leave the country where the only public discourse and argument to be had is for how much more must be spent on armament and how abortions must be stopped. I want to live, at least for a short time, in a country where citizens can argue over how much money should be spent on public art and where people can move freely about the countryside by rail and public transportation.
The house goes on the market very shortly. I hope it sells soon. We'd sure like to be in Europe by Springtime.