Friday, November 4, 2011

Don't Let them Tell you. . . . . .

You have to give credit to the rightwing to one thing at least - the way that they have convinced so many people that our society is broke and we can't afford pensions for the elderly or living wages for the mass of working people. And they have managed to convince people of this at a time when our society has never been wealthier. "But," I hear you say, "aren't we in a financial crisis?" And the answer is, of course, yes. But it is not a crisis of wealth, rather it is a crisis of distribution. There is plenty of wealth in the world but the bulk of it is in so few hands that governments cannot afford to function the way that they should. And at a time when corporations are making record profits and the rich have never been richer, somehow the rightwing has convinced people that the financial crisis is the fault of a guy fixing your roads in Sarnia who just wants enough to send his kids to college, or a nurse in Athens who can't afford her own house, or auto-workers in Michigan who want decent healthcare and want to retire without living in poverty. It is not the fault to these people that capitalism is in crisis, it is a corrupt banking system, lack of a proper tax on the rich and on corporations, and the greed of people who are comfortable with keeping millions and millions while many working people can't afford the basics.

Imagine that society is a family of four with an income of one hundred thousand a year. Not bad, but not a fortune with today's housing prices etc. That family can get along reasonably well. But now let's say that the father buys a seventy thousand dollar new car every year and the mother takes two vacations in Cancun. Now when his kids come to the parents and say they want to go to college the parents say, we just can't afford it. Well, of course they can't afford it if unless the parents are willing distribute the income properly in the family and invest in the family's future in the form of educating the children.

The rightwing wants you to think that it is complicated. They want you to believe that unions have bankrupted the economy by asking for decent wages. They want you to think that all the people are spending all their money on wine, women, and songs - and the rest they are just wasting. But don't believe it. Instead demand common sense - a healthy society is one in which the wealth of that society is distributed well throughout all groups, where everyone has a voice, where the media is not at the behest only of the wealthy, and where we are investing in the future.

7 comments:

Beijing York said...

Right on!

The media coverage of what's going on in Greece has been sickening.

Anonymous said...

How dare they allow the debt-slaves a voice in the terms of their slavery. Utterly preposterous.

janfromthebruce said...

I agree with BY. And People need to think about whether they are a part of the 1% or the 99% - dah!

Anonymous said...

You're right, of course. But I'm it's more than the 1% who's buying all these SUVs and pickup trucks. And I'm pretty sure it isn't the 1% buying pro-wrestling merchandize and buying Tim Hortons like it's crack.

The corporations might be making money hand over fist, but they wouldn't be able to do it if the 99% didn't absolutely froth at the mouth for the lasted 3D movie, iPod, or Justin Beiber album.

~Leo

kirbycairo said...

Yes, Leo, this is perhaps the saddest part of the story. But the appetite feeds on what it is fed and though people do indeed hunger for these things of which you speak, it is also seems clear that the vast majority of people have no idea what is going on - the don't understand the social and economic relations which their products and lifestyles support. Take, for example, the recent hero worship at the death of Steve Jobs - while everyone lauded Jobs and his innovations, no one spoke of terrible condition under which many of those who produced his innovation were compelled to labor. There is no transparency in the system of productive and economic relations and this makes a reckoning difficult to come by.

Anonymous said...

It's difficult to see how change is possible, since the system simply co-opts and markets dissent. How long until we see: Occupied - a Hollywood blockbuster about dissent, starring Keanu Reeves as a the bummed out activist?

But the saddest part is that people would actually go to that movie. Probably buy a button with Keanu's sad face on it. And they'd think they were part of a movement.

~Leo

kirbycairo said...

You're probably right Leo. If you have never read it, read the essay by Umberto Eco called "you can't have a revolution on a football sunday."