For the past twenty five years, with over half of that theft occurring within the past six years of total Republican domination of Washington, there has been a stealth effort that has stolen America's future through a constant drumbeat of actions such as tax relief for the wealthy and tax burden shifting to the poor and the young.
The only hint of recognizing the obvious by corporate media outlets has been on the issue of Social Security; yet the sham headlines have singled out social security in order to make theft of this last bastion of economic security to the working American possible through privatization.
Calling Social Security bankrupt is not at all true. It is the Social Security trust fund which has been stolen from for years to pay for other actions of government - usually tax cuts for the wealthy or allowances through programs that are not self sufficient.
The result is that today the top 1% of Americans in wealth actually own over 16% of the nation's total wealth and without ownership control over 1/3 of the total economic moves of the country. This doesn't speak for the lobbying power and leveraging that happens on their behalf throughout the nation's local, state and national governments. Policy is built and shaped by those who buy favor through contributions, and one major tool is to keep the cost of business going up - whether in business or politics- and thereby disenfranchise those who might otherwise contest such actions.
Since this is an introductory piece to a new topic, I'm keeping most of the details and baffling actions out of the discussion. What I'd sincerely like is to get people to look for themselves and begin to compare notes.
This is the real point of America and the real driving factor of the November, 2006 vote.
We know something is drastically wrong in America, but do we know how wrong it is or how bad it has become or what it really is? Has it actually engulfed you enough that you're reacting out of factual knowledge or are we just reacting to impulses and instincts?
I think we're at the early stages of our reaction. It's at these early stages that the early "fight or flight" reaction sets in. The mountain seems insurmountable. But it is not.
Look around. This nation is a nation of greed. We don't have to hear Osama Bin Laden say it to see it. Our economy is purely based upon consumption logic. If retail sales don't show enough increase over last year, the stock market crashes. The level of personal savings is at an all time low and almost unmeasureable. In fact, personal savings other than accumulated wealth in homes has dropped for five straight years. We live in a sea of disposable everything, and see Christmas shopping for items that will be disposed of within months - not years.
When landfills are controlled by mob like organizations and businesses yet one of the most critical issues of local policy is solid waste, we can easily measure the level of disposable society we live in.
This disposable, greed culture that we live in is fueled by advertising, campaigning, public policy, and building into our younger generations this desire to "compete" on the basis of style and image - not on the basis of true production.
But lacking is the education of the price and the toll that is being paid. The tax load of the highest brackets of income have all been reduced at least 40% since 1980. The tax load of the middle brackets have all increased. How can anyone deny that the tax burden is being shifted from the super wealthy to the working middle class - where the bulk of the families live?
These are the people who supposedly sit on PTA committees and school boards. Yet none of our curriculum contains the discussion of "how to accumulate wealth" which begins with productivity and saving; not consumerism, spending or style and image. Why is that core education missing?
We wonder why young people are slow to become a part of our local communities. Could it be that they view themselves as inheriting the bills of hypocritical approaches, without having an ounce of power to sit at the table or control their own destiny? I think so.
It's this feeling of despair that also shapes the face of America. Step over the obvious economic issues of strategic level productivity and look at skyrocketing costs of medical care, crime and associated costs of non-productivity and we understand that the true cost of consumerism and consumption based thinking has never been measured, linked nor evaluated.
The United States is a relatively small proportion of the World's population but consumes over 25% of the total fossil fuel energy of the World and we are the primary contributor to environmental wasting. Yet we control the design power to make the pivotal shifts away from the internal combustion engine which fuels such consumerism and into other fuels including hydrogen.
When confronted with this issue in the late 1970s, as a member of a Presidential task force on alternative energy, it became obvious that the stock market moguls and engineers; oil companies and others had enough stroke on policy to literally knock down any reasonable alternative to the internal combustion engine and the use of oil. They bought up hundreds of patents and buried them away to keep them from competing and developing true alternative energy sources.
Instead we were allowed to focus on alternative sources such as bio fuels which actually consume more net energy as measured in therms than they produce. This is purely a delaying scam that has no viable source and can only be sustained with tax incentives and other subsidies. It is an overall distraction that allows continuation of the technology that holds us hostage in economic and national security policy.
Just think about it, we would not have spent over $400 billion dollars, wasted nearly 3,000 soldier's lives and be in a quagmire in Iraq were it not for the need for a stabilized Persian Gulf and Oil.
For example, today, the imbalance of a 50 cent per gallon subsidy for fuel alcohol production has made it possible for the ethanol production facilities to pay out in only 18 to 20 months while allowing a false economy or price to exist for the purchase of corn and feed grains. No one should have been surprised that speculators have driven the price of corn up by 65% since labor day - taking the profit out of production and putting it in speculators hands. Sure, it's theft plain and simple - but legal because there is no policing at all on the super wealthy. They write and control the rules of this society.
And who were these traders? They were the super wealthy again.
They accepted no risk, provided no net energy toward production, yet like all good scavengers, saw an opportunity to profit by leaching from and taking profits away. The first mistake was a false economy creation through the taxpayer subsidy paid by the working class followed by leveraged profit taking driving up total cost and price to be paid again by the working class. It started with a political sham idea proposed by energy companies and the likes of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) who had a vested income interest. The policy was driven by producers and profiteers, not consumers. If consumers are paying the bills, they should be driving the train, but consumers have been blocked out of policy discussion except to pay the bill. We must reverse that logic.
I'm not buying it. And neither should you.
If bio fuels are viable alternatives, then they can do without the 50 cent subsidy that has gone into the pockets of a very few. On its own, the "pie in the sky idea" will go the way of "Emu Ranching" within five to seven years; driven out of favor and existence by market forces and competition. But left holding the bag from all angles will be the middle income taxpayer who pay all of the bills and see no tomorrow for this country.
The beginning of change occurs when people see the forest for the trees; when they envision the schemes and say "no".
That's where we must go to reclaim America; her heart and her soul.
I'm Bill Burkett and I'm working on it. Will you?