Yes, I was disappointed at the republican takeover of the Senate and the retention of the “House of Representatives”-some members being wholly-owned subsidiary of corporate interests. From what I understand, though, this would be a false victory for the Republican right-wing tea-party element; the reality is seeping in about gerrymandering of congressional districts, voter ID suppression efforts, and voter apathy. We have to understand that this IS the only government we have, it DOES run our country and DOES effect our quality of life. The libertarian fantasy of being by yourself and the corporations running everything is an illusion; we don’t live by ourselves, we ARE indeed dependent on each other.
One of the favorite conservative propaganda lines is “You can’t have the government do everything for you.” that’s not the point; the point is, WHO is the government working for? What government functions are the conservatives objecting to? From the actions of the Reagan administration to today, the targets for “cutting waste in government spending” and “fighting excessive regulation” have been food stamps, occupational safety and health (OSHA), environmental protection (EPA), civil rights, health insurance, school lunches, to name a few. But military spending and the police state? No problem there.
The aforementioned programs came not from the generosity of the federal government, but after long and hard struggles by dedicated activists, working from the neighborhoods and streets, to have the federal government listen to the people, listen to the plight of workers, farmers, women, and distressed minorities, and not to be owned by the corporations. That was the situation back in the post-Civil War period, where corporations owned politicians and thus the government, and the military and police power of the state was used to put down workers who literally risked their lives for such now-commonplace things as the eight-hour day, child-labor laws, anti-discrimination laws in jobs and housing, regulation of corporations to hold them accountable for misconduct towards American consumers and workers (the same thing).
Alas, we are heading backwards fast towards plutocracy once again. And it has been scientifically proven in a report by Princeton University Professor Martin Gilens and Northeastern University Professor Benjamin Page, from studying public policy, that the United States of America is definitely an oligarchy, not a democracy, since, according to the report, “A proposed policy change with low support among economically elite Americans (one-out-of-five in favour) is adopted only about 18% of the time,” while “a proposed change with high support (four-out-of-five in favour) is adopted about 45% of the time.”
Now, hopefully, we can surrender the idea of the United States of America as this this magical place where dreams come true. Inequality affects such things as health care, education, housing, and how you and your children will fare in the future, whether you continue to live in a decent house or a cardboard box over a steam vent. And once we learn this, we can begin to resolve it.
One form of the creep to oligarchy/plutocracy is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an evil twin of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). A part of TPP is Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), where a corporation could sue for “potential loss of profits” due to governments trying to protect their citizens from abuses by corporations; these cases would be heard by tribunals staffed by-guess who?-corporate attorneys. Phillip Morris has sued Australia for strict cigarette-packaging laws; the French firm Veolia has sues Egypt for raising the country’s minimum wage; and the Swedish firm Vattenfall has sued Germany for phasing out nuclear energy.
With the TPP system, US corporations, like with NAFTA, would close its plants in THIS country, thus closing down workers’ paychecks and their communities; workers spend money in local stores, thus keeping the economy alive. The corporations would now set up shop in nations, like Viet Nam, Malaysia, Singapore, and Peru, which have corrupt governments easy to pay off, and no effective regulations worth mentioning, and with armies and police who can beat down any effort of workers to organize.
These are the good old days conservatives want to restore in this country; and these are the people who run our economy and own our politicians-people who think of nothing but the bottom line, the next quarterly profit, the next bonus and pay raise, due to the back-breaking labor of workers they would have murdered for asking for a living wage. These people who run our corporations, and thus our politics, know nothing about education or learning, they know no ethics or morality, no loyalty to any nation. I hope that the American people hear the wake-up call, for their lives, their families, and their futures.