The idea that America is a democracy and serves the needs of the people is an altruistic ideology that exists in theory, but is, in reality, a farce perpetrated to keep the population from rising up and slaying those most intent on tyranny and ravaging the people. Americans are under the false impression that their representatives in government serve the people’s best interests, and there is evidence that there are Democrats willing to buck the fascist corporate world to provide Americans with a semblance of humanitarian assistance whether it is labor laws, social programs, a decent transportation system, or protection from predatory capitalists, but they are few. Eighty years ago, Franklin D. Roosevelt fought to provide Americans with security in their old age, and despite the people funded their own meager retirement, Republicans yearned to abolish the Social Security Trust and send old Americans into poverty and a decrepit end life facing starvation, homelessness, ill-health and an early death.
Over the past four years as Republicans convinced President Obama, Democrats, and most Americans the nation was on the verge of insolvency due to debt and deficit, they ratcheted up the 80-year crusade to eviscerate the Social Security Trust despite it neither adds nor reduces deficit by a penny. Now that it turns out the economy is not bankrupt, and debt and deficit are falling rapidly, the real economic policy drivers are launching a new effort to eliminate Social Security and complete the 80-year task Republicans have failed to achieve.
On Wednesday, the United States Chamber of Commerce executive vice-president for government affairs, addressed the issue of abolishing Social Security and announced a new initiative to convince their puppets in Washington to cut Social Security because the idea of giving retired Americans their own savings for doing nothing is contrary to the Chamber’s business model. The model is America’s capitalism; giving people their own money for “loafing around and not doing anything” productive to drive corporate profits is wrong from a business standpoint, and the “government paying people not to work” regardless they paid into Social Security and enriched businesses has got to stop. According to the Chamber, federal retirement programs depress participation in the workforce and prevent Americans from investing their earnings in Wall Street, banks, and buying products made in China corporations avoid paying taxes on.
The concept of retired people living out their end days with the developed world’s worst pensions and not slaving for poverty-level wages is beyond the Chamber’s comprehension, and to see it come to an end, the Chamber of Commerce is going all-in to push for the end of Social Security. The people driving America’s economic policy assert Social Security is not sustainable and they have made every attempt to starve the Trust of funds by keeping wages low, opposing the President’s job creation plans to keep unemployment numbers up, and quash discussion of lifting the cap on earnings that would keep Social Security solvent well into the next century. However, expecting the titans of industry, Wall Street, and the uber-wealthy to contribute the same percentage of their income, all their income, the same as poverty-level labor is beyond the wealthy’s intellectual capacity, and part of American inequity favoring the plutocrats controlling the nation.
What the Chamber of Commerce, a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and Wall Street consider retired Americans as is little more than expendable equipment. Any manufacturer would hardly throw out a piece of machinery that was still operable and part of a production line, but the second that equipment became obsolete or unproductive, it would be ripped off the line and sent to the scrap heap. According to the Chamber of Commerce, retired Americans still have the ability to produce income for business, and they will work Americans until they are dead or unproductive, and cast them off to disease, starvation, and eventual death instead of allow them to draw their pensions they contributed to for 40 or 50 years. It is a business model that drives profits, and it is curious they wield inordinate power over Washington; no branch is immune from their influence.
Last year the President summoned the banking community to address the nation’s phony economic woes met in a closed-door session with Wall Street titans, and he made conciliatory overtures to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2010, and who knows which ALEC advisors had input about what to take from Americans to address the nation’s economy. In the United States Congress, there has been no movement on job creation, attempts to raise the minimum wage, or repairing the nation’s crumbling infrastructure that would create millions of jobs because big-business cannot convince the construction industry to pay poverty wages to union workers. There is little doubt that if the construction industry could dissolve unions, abolish the minimum wage, and re-instate a 120-hour work week, America’s infrastructure would be repaired within a short 5-year time span, but only if OSHA, overtime pay, and worker compensation laws were sent where Americans too old and unproductive to generate profits are headed; discarded and left to die.
To say America is in decline is an understatement and it is only going to get worse. It is true that the economy has recovered, but the recovery has all went to the wealthy as regular Americans have lost 7% of their income, and to ensure America’s retired population dependent of food stamps goes the way of nearly a quarter of America’s children, House Republicans are cutting over $20 billion from SNAP and livid they cannot impose Paul Ryan’s cuts of $135 billion. The question every American should be asking is why is Wall Street, or the Chamber of Commerce, having any say in economic policy or pushing to cut Social Security when they are not elected, or appointed, by any government leaders? Obviously, Americans cannot ask because they are unaware the shadow government driving economic and social policy has sway over the government. The executive vice-president of government affairs speech calling for ending Social Security was not carried in any newspaper or on corporate media’s evening news because Americans, including Republican’s most ardent white retired supporters, overwhelmingly want Social Security, Medicare, SNAP, and safety nets strengthened and demand the wealthy pay higher taxes and contribute the same percentage of income to accomplish it.
It is a sad commentary indeed, that the people who built America and contributed to the obscene wealth Wall Street, banks, and corporate giants conceal offshore are facing a prospect of working until they drop dead. Republicans are attempting to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP, and any program for the people at the behest of America’s real leaders; ALEC, Wall Street, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and to ensure the government lacks funds to maintain, let alone strengthen, those programs, they are keeping wages low, jobs scarce, and given the opportunity, will raise taxes on those least able to subsist in the Republican economy. What the Chamber of Commerce really wants is to keep Americans working, and profiting business, until they either drop dead or are no longer productive, and if at that point they are unable to write monthly checks directly to corporations, they will be discarded like obsolete or broken machinery.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.