I attempted to cover this subject but failed miserably when I wrote "The Second American Revolution Has Begun; Where Do You Stand On The Issue?" As I began to link one story to the other, and grasped just how corrupt our government and Corporate America have become, a medium-length essay turned out to be a 20,000 word chronicle of events that have only recently exploded into the political scene. The real shockers are two damning polls that vividly point out that the American electorate is losing faith in their government:
There is a growing discontent with the government by the average American, and a whopping Eighty-Six Percent (86%) believe that our government is broken. To add to the public's belief that our government is broken and in dire need of immediate repair, we learn that: A majority of Americans believe that the federal government is "an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens," a new poll suggests.
No matter how hard the government and Mainstream News Media attempt to spin the facts of a government in crisis, the ugly truth still faces us that our democratic republic is in a political crisis, Congress has been disabled by GOP Obstructionism, and the hard cold facts are emerging that everyday citizens believe their government is intent on stripping them of their civil liberties and people are beginning to fear the government itself. This does not bode well for any free society, and the chill of fascism and an authoritarian style of government is scaring a huge majority of Americans that favor adherence to our Constitution, Bill of Rights, respecting international treaties, and adhering strictly to our own rule of law. Despite the ranting of right-wing talking heads that inhabit Fox News like a cancer that instigate political infighting and tell a truth that only fits their narrow concept of reality, the majority of American voters have reached a point where they have "had enough" and now believe it's time to bring about change.
The real problem of attempting to fix our crippled democratic republic is that government has become so bloated and corrupt that it is now a self-sustaining entity of its own, where back-room decisions and millions of dollars exchange hands, and billions of dollars in government appropriations are still being allocated and spent as if we weren't facing the worst financial crisis in modern memory. Whose job is it to pull the emergency break and stop or slow-down a government that has lost the faith of the American people? We know from the above polls that American's are angry and frustrated, have little faith or trust in their government and after it splashed on the news for a day or two, a complicit MSM has effectively allowed the story to die-down and removed it from the public discourse. This is not acceptable; our lives, happiness and ability to survive is being challenged, and it's time that our government, and the Corporations that run it either make changes and listen to the people or face the wrath of millions of downtrodden citizens whose only goal in life is to feed, house, and provide medical benefits for their families.
Two night ago I was contemplating this issue and with nothing to do, watched a movie titled "Swing Vote." The movie was emotional and entertaining, and the basic plot is as follows:
"November, 2004, New Mexico. Bud is a slacker with one good thing in his life, his engaging fifth-grade daughter Molly. On election day, Bud is supposed to meet her at the polling place. When he doesn't show, she sneaks a ballot and is about to vote when the power goes off. It turns out that New Mexico's electoral votes will decide the contest, and there it's tied with one vote needing recasting Bud's. The world's media and both presidential candidates, including the current President, descend on Bud in anticipation of his re-vote in two weeks. Can the clueless Bud, even with the help of Molly and a local TV reporter, handle this responsibility?" LINK
The last ten minutes of the movie was the clincher, and even though it was just a movie, the final minutes of the show provided a question that millions of Americans are asking and thus far, have received no answers for" The movie ended with a Presidential debate with "Bud" asking the questions; a day or two prior to the debate, out of curiosity, he began reading the hundreds of letters he had received from all over the country, and rather than ask questions of his own, he made the decision to represent the people and ask questions that he had been sent by concerned families. He began to read a letter from a father of three girls and stated that he and his wife were working two jobs and were barely able to provide for their family; he asked what where they to do if a sudden illness or disease were to afflict their family and ended with this question (I'm paraphrasing):
"If we live in what is supposed to be the richest country in the world, why is it so hard for most of us to be able to afford to live here?"
So far I have never heard an acceptable answer to that question, which was the end of the movie, but the reality of the storyline represented the hopes and dreams of an entire country and "we the people" deserve an answer. Unfortunately, through personal experience, I can answer part of the question, but the rest of the answer will have to come through public dialogue and an honest effort to put our country back on course to provide at least some vestige of what used to be called the American Dream. The amount of government corruption on state and federal levels is so ingrained in our political process that I'll pass on that part of our problem, otherwise I'll wind-up with another 20,000 word essay that no one will ever read.
The most pressing problem the American public faces, in my opinion, is that Corporate America has turned against her own people. Countless millions of our jobs have been outsourced to other countries, and millions of other have been "insourced," which is the process of importing foreigner's with a variety of VISA's that allow them to work in the United States for far less than what the American worker usually will accept as a salary. The above two facts represent why our current jobless rate actually stands at 11.5%.
Another horrible reality is that American Corporations, especially those whom are the largest and most successful, are effectively gouging and cheating the public they are supposed to serve at a rate that increases each and every day. You and I, the epitome of the American consumer, enter into contracts every once in a while that are constructed by an army of corporate lawyers to ensure that corporate profits increase, even though it directly conflicts with the public interest. Their profits are protected at any and all costs even though in the process it causes great financial hardship and sometimes even homelessness to the hapless victims that entered into contracts with banks, automobile companies and even cell phone companies, all of which have turned into predators whom exercise every dirty trick in the book to screw the consumer they are supposedly entrusted to help and represent.
Take T-Mobile for example; a year and a half ago we had to move and found ourselves in an area that T-Mobile did not provide coverage in, and when the bill was due (which was right after we moved), my sister called and told them that we had been unable to use our cell phones because T-Mobile did not offer service in that area. There is a clause in T-Mobile's contract that if you have to move into an area they do not serve, they will let you out of the contract. But, there is also a caveat in the contract that is not disclosed and is not well known even by the employee's that sell this service.
My sister said fine, she would send in the payment that was due and would pay the overage on the next bill cycle because she was on a very stringent budget. T-Mobile refused, stating there was a clause in the contract that stated the entire bill had to be paid to terminate the contract, therefore the contract would remain in force even though we could not use the phones. They left the service on until thy finally closed it for non-payment and then billed my sister for over $500.00.
Around the same time frame, my sister was banking with U.S. Bank out of Salt Lake City, Utah. She is completely disabled and exists on less than $500.00 per month that she receives for one of her "special needs" children that receive SSI. (In addition to my and one of my son's contribution to everyday bills.) For reasons I still don't understand, that month Social Security did not deposit her check on the first of the month, the date that it had always been deposited to her account. She wound up being $140.00 in the negative, and by the time that U.S. Bank had finished adding-up overage charges and penalties, they demanded $550.00 to satisfy their "fees" which were not based on NSF fees, but other internal, "contractual" penalties that U.S. Bank assesses to your account for every three days that you are overdrawn. My sister had that account for years and pleaded with them that it wasn't her fault that Social Security had made a mistake, but as you can assume, U.S. Bank didn't care and demanded their blood money.
As a society, we need to ask ourselves why giant U.S. and multinational corporations are making it almost impossible for the ordinary consumer to get a fair shake when something unexpected happens to their family. There was a time in this country that if you had a viable reason that could be substantiated for being late on a payment or something of that sort, almost any company would work with you to bring the event to a conclusion that satisfied both parties. American companies worked to gain the public trust and built their reputations on serving the public, a mode of operating their businesses that made them enormously successful. Alas, those days are gone forever" If you experience a death, illness in your family or lose your job, these days that's the cue for predatory companies to begin suing you for anything they can get and if you're homeless and on the streets they could care less!
What has happened to our nation? Why have the very corporations that we built with our own blood, sweat and tears turned against the very people that made them successful? In today's world, it is the corporations that hold the political power and dictate legislation on almost every bill that passes our state and federal legislatures. It's accomplished through questionable campaign contributions and the legalized bribery of K-Street Lobbyists, all of which benefits corporate America and drives the average American deeper into poverty. How will the government, one which is almost completely ineffective, address the core issues that are driving our nation into Third World status? How do we, as American citizens, force corporate America to change course and offer our jobs first to Americans and what's left over to foreigners? How do we force corporate America to bring back our jobs and the economic strength that having those jobs at home includes?
I talk to people everyday and I sense a terrible undercurrent of discontent in our country. The average citizen has lost faith in their government, and those that are in the know are now aware that our corporations present a far greater danger to the survivability of our nation than the threat of terrorist's who live across the globe and are driven to their acts many times because of the unmitigated greed of corporations that start wars to make profit not protect liberty and freedom.