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.