Tuesday, September 21, 2004

The Real Issues of This Campaign

Independent Congressional Representative Bernie Sanders makes his presidential endorsement in the article I link. I want to highlight some of the issues that Sanders cites.

*While corporate America throws American workers out on the street and move their jobs abroad, wages are no longer keeping up with inflation. They fell 1.1 percent in June—the steepest decline in real hourly wages since 1991. In fact, real hourly wages declined in five of the six previous months. Because the middle class is shrinking, the average American employee is working the longest hours in the industrialized world—and 62 percent say their workload has increased over the last six months, a situation about to worsen because of new Bush rules that cut overtime pay for 6 million employees. Poverty also increased by 1.3 million in the last year alone; hunger and homelessness are on the rise.

*Yet, the wealthiest people have never had it so good. The gap between the rich and the poor is now wider than at any time since the 1920s, with the richest 1 percent owning more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. Corporate profits are soaring, and compensation of CEOs of our largest corporations is 500 times greater than their workers.

Note the phrase "since the 1920s" this was the gilded age which of course followed not too many years after the robber baron era. We are in an era and an administration that has no problem with a return to those days. Nostalgia is nice, but we need to be nostalgic for the progressive eras that battled back against those elite eras to give the vast majority of workers their dignity. That 1% is a very exclusive club, none of us are going to join that club and not even winning the lottery will gain us admission. Yet despite this overwhelming evidence of elitism and the Bush Administration's policies to promote it, people blindly support George Bush.

I just can't understand this. Half of that 90% or so of the rest of the country that will never be a part of the rich mans club support policies that benefit that 1%. You would think that simply out of self interest each voter would reject Bush. Or the 90% would think in terms as a team and try to rebalance the disproportional weight to the rich.

But sadly many in that 90% support Bush and thus vote for the elite agenda. I won't be too hard on those voters, they have been propagandized. The Bush gang blinds them with social issues like abortion or gay marraige that the Bush administration has no power to do anything about or really doesn't plan to. Or they start wars in the name of patriotism and nationalism when these wars really just benefit the rich defense industry investors and the military industrial complex. The rest of us send our family and friends to these wars to die and become permanently wounded and to kill plenty of innocent poor people in those other countries. All because we've been wrapped in the flag of fear.

No one that votes for Bush seems to notice that the 1% doesn't send their family to die in these wars. And since they were handed huge tax cuts over these last four years they don't even have to pay as much for these wars. Many in that 1% don't even pay taxes using off shore accounting to avoid taxes, so many don't pay a dime for the war in either dollars or lives. They just have to be laughing at the stupidity of the rest of us.

Now do I expect Kerry will favor the mass public more than the rich? Maybe not as much as he should, but he certainly would alter some of the policies that the Bush team has blatantly favored the rich with. I suggest reading the rest of Bernie Sanders article, you can at this


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