Monday, October 06, 2008

Class Dismissed

A question was recently asked of one of the Democratic nominees concerning whether the proposed tax increase of people making over $250K might be a signal of class warfare. I don't remember the answer that was given (I'm sure it was fairly dismissive of the notion), but I couldn't help but think about the fact that class warfare has been underway for a long time and it's not really hard to figure out who is coming out on the short end. We have transformed from a government "by the people, for the people" to a ruling class that takes action for their benefit and then tells the people that they are doing for the good of everyone. We basically no longer have a voice in the direction that we take. We have become as meek as a flock of sheep that follow the direction of the all knowing shepherd.

WE THE PEOPLE are unarmed for the combat that is being waged against us. We head into this battle armed with a water gun while we are staring down the barrel of a tank. At this point the people have very little say in what is done "in their name". The administration decides that they would like to break international law and torture prisoners so they just transform their definition of torture and come up with a palatable term like "enhanced interrogation techniques". The response from the people is negligible. Thanks to a helping hand from "24" on Fox and the methods of Jack Bauer, the American people have now been convinced that torture is not only acceptable but necessary.

The brilliant individuals on Wall St., who when left to their own devices, decided to invest heavily in a spin of a roulette table. Basically what they did was put a large portion of their money on one number and while the ball was spinning, everyone was having a good ol' time. CEO's were taking home pay packages in the tens of millions, and everyone was getting rich on a bet that had a very small chance of paying off. Of course the people making those bets weren't risking their own money; they were risking the pensions and retirement funds of the American people. The government knew this was going on, but chose to ignore it because, hey, it's only the American people who are going to get screwed if this doesn't pay off. So when it all comes crashing down, guess who gets stuck with the bill? You guessed it, the grazing sheep in the meadow. Where was the alarm when the investment banks were mortgaging the future of the financial system on a sucker bet? Where was the government when banks were giving out loans like they were free samples at the supermarket? They were being wined and dined by the very people whose greed has led to the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression. What about the people you ask? The people who they are supposed to serve, the people who rely on their elected officials to protect their interests? Those people get stuck with the bill.

Here in New York, our two term mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has decided that only he has a steady enough hand to lead NY through this economic crisis and therefore he will ignore the law and run for a third term. New Yorkers have voted for term limits twice and even the then sainted Rudy Guliani was not allowed to continue on as mayor in the wake of the 9/11 tragedies. In fact when Rudy floated the idea of being allowed to stay on for an extra six months, Mr. Bloomberg was one of the loudest voices that rose in opposition to the idea. In fact, I think his exact words were, "everyone is replaceable". Apparently he was talking about everyone but himself. Now of course you would think that regardless of his wishes, he can't just break the law and run for Mayor, can he? You would be right, if not for the fact that he is planning on getting the City Council to approve making an exception to the law (just this one time). Of course the proposed law would also allow everyone on the City Council who is also facing term limits to stay on for an extra term as well. So in order to subvert the will of the voters of New York, he is asking the City Council to vote on whether they want to keep their own jobs. What is the response from the people? Silence. Perhaps there are voices of dissent in the press? Not quite. The New York Post and Daily News both seem to think that this is a splendid idea. We have become such meek followers that even when our wishes are blatantly ignored, we apparently no longer have the will to protest.

As we face this upcoming election, one candidate has once again shown the disdain that the ruling class has for the people. John McCain, by naming someone as woefully inadequate and intellectually mediocre as Sarah Palin, is basically thumbing his nose at the American people. Instead of picking someone who might help solve the very serious problems that face this nation, he picked someone for shock value alone. What would happen if she would have to replace him as the President? He doesn't care. He'd be dead or incapacitated anyway. What about the good of the people you ask, once again? Since when did that enter into the equation?

If you doubt what I've said here, I will leave you with this little tidbit, that our illustrious Vice President decided to share with us, from an interview earlier this year about the Iraq War:

Raddatz: "Two-thirds of Americans say it’s not worth fighting, and they’re looking at the value gain versus the cost in American lives, certainly, and Iraqi lives."

Cheney: "So?"

1 comment:

SJ said...

Clearly you're a man who sees America as a place of "Exceptionalism".