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The Escalating War Within America: A House Divided

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When has America been so polarized, with so much division between the various elements of this society? A war is raging within and across America. During one of the most trying times in our history, this nation, this society, instead of pulling together to address and solve our massive problems, is waging a war against itself and, in the process, is pulling our country apart.

If I had to use one word to describe what this war is all about, it would be "wealth." Yes, it's a battle over who will control the wealth of America. This struggle is often referred to as being between the "haves" and the "have nots" or, in more controversial terms, a Class War. And, at this point in time, it's not the least bit difficult to determine who is winning.

There's certainly nothing wrong with the accumulation of wealth, as such, for that's part of the American way of life. Those with more education, talent and expertise, who use their skills in highly productive ways, deserve higher earnings. However, the division of wealth in America today has become so skewed and unbalanced that it seems like we are currently living in a modern-day version of the Feudal System in which the rich are lords and barons and the rest of Americans are serfs and peasants.

In America today there are over 400 billionaires. Contrast that with the fact that one in seven Americans, or about 46 million people, are currently living below the poverty line and an equal number are on food stamps. Those at the top of the income ladder have an inordinate percentage of America's wealth but their appetite for more and more seems to be insatiable. Those on the bottom rungs are desperately trying to survive. In a nation said to be the richest in the world that is a national disgrace.

Another major battle going on in America is, without a doubt, Corporate America versus the American people. U.S. corporations have basically seized control of America's national agenda and are dictating the direction of this nation. Their objective is quite simple; it's profits above all else. They literally own the U.S. Congress and, yes, even the White House. The main target of corporations is the American worker who is fast becoming an endangered species.

It's evident that these corporations have a master plan for the American work force which goes something like this: In the first phase of this plan, over a period of three decades, they steadily outsourced American jobs to China and other overseas nations. They are now utilizing this cheap, slave labor to manufacture products for the U.S. as well as rapidly developing markets in other nations.

It's not that these corporations intend to totally eliminate American workers, for the simple reason that they need to keep them around as consumers. Corporations want it both ways; cut out as many of jobs as possible, use more and more labor saving production techniques, and reduce the complexity of operations. Then adjust the labor rates to the point that most will be at the minimum wage, making them more equal to those overseas.

So as this master plan progresses there will be fewer, lower paid workers but they will still remain as consumers; albeit, consumers with less purchasing power. But this can still be a good outcome for corporations; workforces overseas and in America, all working for minimal wages. The costs of production will continue to decline but the profits will skyrocket. Isn't that a great plan? It may be very effective but it is part of the continuing war on American workers that shows no sign of abatement.

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How about those corporations that dominate the defense industry? They are using a steady flow of taxpayer dollars to build more and more weapons of destruction to fuel America's foreign wars and to sell to nations worldwide. The defense industry's profits are at an all-time high as the world's demand for weaponry steadily grows. This is certainly good for the U.S. GDP which, otherwise, is stagnating.

These weapons manufacturers are aided and abetted in their objectives by the U.S. Congress whose members, with the exception of a handful such as Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Senator Bernie Sanders, shamelessly feed at the corporate trough of campaign contributions. And as for President Obama and his administration, it is very evident that their ties to Corporate America and this defense industry are very deep and strong.

Does our president, Mr. Obama, comprehend what is happening in America? Does he understand the depth of our problems that are pitting various elements of our society against each other? Does he ever even broach this subject in the effort to try to heal the divisions among us? Obviously not. He remains silent on the entire issue; he is preoccupied with his primary objectives outside this country that involve America's "special interests" in Central Asia. Based on his decisions and actions he is destined to loss both these wars.

The Republican Party is becoming an enemy of the middle class. In various states controlled by Republican governors and legislatures, GOP governors are waging a war against teachers, police, firefighters and their public sector unions; there is an organized plan that is well underway in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Texas and other republican-controlled states; the goal is to destroy unions and their bargaining rights and eliminate public sector jobs. It seems that the GOP has adopted the corporate plan and playbook.

The people of America are still trying to recover from the War of 2008 in which Wall Street and the Banksters used every conceivable financial manipulation to scam them; people are still trying to cope with the effects of contrived mortgages and resultant foreclosures; investors were taken in by toxic, fraudulent derivatives, credit default swaps and numerous other financial ploys.

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There is an undeclared war going on between the U.S. government and the majority of American states that are trying desperately to deal with massive deficits. This government did not hesitate to funnel hundreds of billions of dollars into bailing out failing Wall Street corporations and the auto industry. But when it comes to the states that are in dire financial straits, there is no money available because it has been allocated for wars in foreign lands.

Yes, a war is raging within America, across America. On the one side of this war stands the collective might of Corporate America; a consortium of transnational corporations, Wall Street financial barons, the defense industry and the rich and powerful segment of America. They are aided and abetted by the U.S. Congress and the Republican Party. Many Democrats have become members of this unholy alliance.

On the other side stand the American people. They do not have the mighty power of those who oppose them but they possess an even greater power; the vast potential power of the people that still needs to be tapped. But the people can't fight this battle alone. They badly need the help and support of Democrats in Congress and this president. Unfortunately, they are getting none, they are alone.

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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense (more...)
 

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