Now don’t get me wrong — I’m not a bomb-throwing, flag-burning, born-again liberal or an easy champion of causes.
Don’t expect to see me sleeping on the grass along the banks of Piute Creek at Memorial Park as part of the Occupy Susanville effort because, frankly, I’ve got better things to do. Still, despite what you’ve heard, one need not be a rocket scientist to understand the protesters’ beef — our economic system is skewed to benefit the rich, and our country is in trouble because of it, in case you haven’t noticed.
Allow me to quote some disturbing statistics. And just to make sure no right-winger is going to creep up behind me and start gnawing, I’ve drawn these numbers from thedailypaul.com, an unaffiliated website inspired by Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, lest anyone claim I’m simply quoting one of those commie, pinko leftists out to destroy America. Curiously, the website makes many of the same claims as the 99 percenters.
Thedailypaul reported in 2009 (and I suspect the numbers are even more lopsided today), that 10 percent of U.S. citizens own 70.9 percent of all U.S. assets: “Top 1 percent own 38.1 percent; Top 96-99 percent own 21.3 percent; Top 90-95 percent own 11.5 percent. And it gets much uglier as you proceed downward. (The) bottom 40 percent of (the) population has (only) 0.2 percent of all wealth.”
“Greed is good,” proclaimed Gordon Gekko in the blockbuster film “Wall Street.”
Michael Douglas played the villain in that 1987 movie, and sadly the attitude that once was so despicable has now become commonplace and acceptable and has spread across this great land of ours like a chilly, wet blanket.
Some of our great American corporations have outsourced the jobs to cheap labor in foreign lands and used U.S. income tax loopholes to shelter their profits.
Apparently they’re willing to wreck our country to make a few extra bucks. Disgusting.
I believe corporations should be good citizens and pay their fair share to help support our great land and our society.
For years I’ve been complaining the powers that be are simply harvesting America’s wealth.
The new economic growth areas lie in the expanding third world, and many are cashing out of America to invest their ducats in these new markets in faraway lands where there’s more money to be made.
Don’t look now, but the last crash took a third of our wealth. A third of our wealth. Imagine that.
The American Dream has meant many things to many people over the years, and it’s probably not so easily defined in a single statement, but it’s absolutely clear the notion of a classless American society is a noble ambition that can never be achieved.
Someone’s bound to have more (or less) than someone else. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I’ve got it.
Does that mean we should just rush to the cash and cast away America’s nobler value — that we are each one of God’s creatures who enjoy the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?
To hear some people say it these days, those benefits only belong to those who can afford to buy them and the poor be damned.
Yep, all you need is cash to get those God-given rights.
The truth is we need an America that works for everyone.
We can’t find a solution if we simply repeat the ideological blurbs from both the left and the right ad nauseum.
The working class folks need to make enough to survive and maybe even get ahead a little or the whole country will fall farther into despair. We need a vibrant working class to keep the country’s economic wheels spinning.
It’s old news. Henry Ford knew the working man had to be able to buy his cars about a century ago.
I fear the land America will become if our country’s wealth continues to redistribute itself to the top and those at the bottom find they have less and less and finally less than nothing.
So the real question is, what are we going to do about it?
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