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A Bright Future

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The problems we face in this country are not problems at all to those who benefit from them. Vested interests are very pleased with the way that things are going, they like importing goods from China because they make obscene profits by importing them. They don't care about the environment nor do they care about the Chinese worker any more than they cared about their American workers a generation before.

When BP's oil platform blew out in the Gulf of Mexico the management of the company pulled out all of the stops to create a broad public relations front. For months the company had cut corners and had pushed for faster production despite knowing about the dangerous situation. Company engineers had warned of what might happen but all risks are minimal in the search for gold. Lost in media hoopla surrounding this disaster were the needless loss of human life and the senseless desecration of a natural resource.

Who is to stop BP or Exxon-Mobil now? Who are their competitors, who are their adversaries in this Capitalist wasteland? In Norway a state owned oil company drills the oil and the oil companies line up to purchase it. The profits benefit the citizens of the state but this is after all a monopoly, there is more demand than supply. Few would consider that the actions of the Norwegians as radical or dangerous. Yet when Hugo Chavez tries to establish the same goal in his country the media of the United States call him every foul name they can think of because Chavez is denying profits to those oil companies which have no interest in well being of Venezuela.

Big money carries a big stick, Jeffery Immelt of G.E. practically lives in the White House. Corporate Obama is still pro nuclear power despite the Fukushima disaster, he assures us that we will do it better and we will do it with government money! Capitalism is all about the free market unless the free market doesn't want it but big money does. The corporate pitchman Obama recently proposed cutting fees and royalties for oil drilling on federal lands and offshore. He argues that this will increase domestic production but what advantage is there to the American people?

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He argues that we should pay oil companies to drill for the oil that belongs to the citizens of the United States so that the oil companies can then sell the oil back to us at full price. He then drags out the old saw of national security,  yet if this were a real argument then perhaps leadership would do more than to just talk about it. If the oil companies could get at the estimated two year supply of oil located in the Gulf of Mexico free of charge, the price of gasoline wouldn't drop a nickel. The only idea in their universe, alpha to omega is to maximize profits, end of story.

When Wal-Mart wants to build a super center and local residents resist or protest Wal-Mart withdraws its request and when the storm is over resubmits its application again and again repeating the process until they get what they want. The nuclear power industry operates the same way. They have money and the ear of the powerful so despite having a population that is decidedly against nuclear power both recent Presidential candidates supported nuclear power.

The role of legitimate government is to be the arbiter between the best interests of the people and the interests of the powerful. The power of money is corrosive; if one candidate won't give them what they want they will simply buy another until your elections are decided between special interest money fighting a war for influence. The politician's pour out platitudes with red herring banquets and straw man jousts to woo the bumpkins, bible thumpers and the blue haired ladies against freedom.

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Money sees only profits and a government that only follows money has led us off a cliff. The foreign policy of the United States is a hell holy mess because it only follows money. Libyan rebels fight Gadaffi? Send in NATO, while citizens in Bahrain demand constitutional reforms and Saudi Arabian Army invades their country and shoots unarmed protesters down in the streets. The administration is dead silent about it, as Bahrain is the home of the US fifth Fleet and well, Saudi Arabia is well, Saudi Arabia.

The weakness of our current political system is to be found in the well funded corporate sponsored bad idea. Like our Wal-Mart Super center that the residents don't want. We had an oil industry pushing to lift the deep water drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico. They tried to have it lifted under Ronald Reagan and the congress said no. They tried again under Bush the imbecile and again congress said no. Along comes the corporate Obama and Sim sala bim the gates fly open and the rest is brutal history. After the worst oil spill in US history corporate Obama opens the gates yet again to the oil companies only this time with improved paper work and that age old promise to make sure that it never happens again.

It points the way to revolutionary change for under the rule of money any reform will be only temporary, transitory, superficial or artificial. The power of money is eternal while the voice of the people only comes along every two years. Corporate Obama put on a dog and pony show over the BUSH tax cuts. He kept playing up the richest two percent angle ignoring that the wealthiest two percent garner the lion's share of the tax cuts. He leveraged this against his professed desire to save poor struggling Americans their pennies. Millions of honest Americans bought into the gambit without thinking about the good that could have been done with that money.

During the height of the Apollo moon program the cost to every American taxpayer was around twenty five cents per week, twelve dollars a year. From that investment the United States developed a computer and technological base that was the envy of the world. That government investment created fortunes, empires and jobs that were promptly frittered away by Capitalist interests. American's only temporarily enjoyed the fruits of their investment before the politicians sold Americans the wooden nickel of free trade. An economic snipe hunt, just hold the bag open and wait,  the new jobs are coming real soon suckers.

The average cost of a wind turbine is one million dollars; the congressional budget office estimates that corporate America dodges or avoids sixty billion dollars in taxes annually. Let's say we could recoup just half of that amount and apply it to a program of wind and solar energy. That would be 30,000 wind turbines or more realistically 20,000 wind turbines with ten billion towards new infrastructure per year. New roads, new transmission towers, surveys, concrete pours, cranes, equipment and jobs. Jobs for construction workers, steel workers, electricians, jobs in site preparation. Jobs for engineers, new jobs for factory workers. What would a project like this eventually cost the American taxpayer? Is nothing too much to pay?

The energy generated would belong to the people of the United States. Wind farms could produce electricity and start paying for themselves before the concrete has set on the first nuclear containment vessel. The revenue generated could be put back into building more alternative energy projects. Solar energy plants along the southern tier of states could effectively price fossil fuels out of the market. These things will never be allowed to come into being under the rule of big money. The investment of big money and capital is allowed to run rough shod over the well being of the people of the United States. Our children must fight their wars and suffer their wounds so that those with much can have more.

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A European consortium is planning a fifty billion dollar solar energy plant in the Sahara desert. Other plants are planned in Spain while our corporate pitchman has his picture taken at Nellis air force base in front of a bank of Chinese made solar cells. Even when they get it right they get it wrong, under the rule of money a bad idea will be pursued so the wealthy and investors can make money. Even when a good idea is allowed the goal is to maximize profit so that even a project that will pay for itself must be squeezed dry under the rule of money.

Harry Truman was infuriated when Tennessee Valley Authority began selling off its dams to private power companies. "Those dams belonged to the people" Truman said; imagine having a family heirloom and a relative sold it off for a quick profit. These things belong to you! That oil in the ground is yours, this economy is yours, the right to a job and an opportunity for a decent life are yours as well, the direction of this country is in your hands to decide. In this society however, if you don't own money, then money owns you!

In 1932 the Homeowners Loan Corporation saved over one million homes and farms from foreclosure in one year with a net cost to the treasury of nothing. The Federal government bought the delinquent loans and refinanced and consolidated them at a lower interest rate. It saved the homes, farms and families, it assisted the banks and it stabilized home prices yet corporate Obama's HAMP mortgage assistance program has saved less than half the number of the 1932 program.

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I who am I? Born at the pinnacle of American prosperity to parents raised during the last great depression. I was the youngest child of the youngest children born almost between the generations and that in fact clouds and obscures who it is that I (more...)
 

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