A definition of an Oligarchy: A small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution.
Reality Check 201 … Part I
It’s true, America’s super-wealthy are becoming richer and richer. Immersed and spoiled in opulence beyond imagination, many dedicate their entire existence to living in the style and manner of the fictional Great Gatsby. Some inspired to be “On top of the world” dedicate their life to becoming the world’s first Trillionaire.
However in contrast to America’s super rich and “invisible”, far too many of our country’s 99% working stiffs are left to wither away in financial obscurity with nothing to show for their lifelong dedication to their job and country but an upside down mortgage, a near empty savings account and a few tarnished employee of the month plaques.
Resembling a punch-drunk prize fighter who leans haphazardly against the boxing ring’s padded ropes, we expect him / her to fall at any moment and not get up before the referee’s ten-count.
Trying to survive a continuous flurry of perilous “economic punches” to the head and to the body, the majority of America’s 99% eventually succumb to the mental and physical trauma of being “forever” indebted to the banks and as a result of extreme pressures, they simply give up on enjoying the simplest wonders of life.
Unfortunately some of the “fallen” will enter a shadowy realm that’s ruled by depression and curl up into a ball, patiently awaiting death, appearing somewhat relieved when they finally hear “death knocking at their door”.
During their final moments of “living above ground”, they exhale a giant sigh of relief understanding that they’re finally about to be free from the unbearable yoke of Wall Street’s compounded interest rates and late fees.
Hallelujah, no more phone calls from collection agencies and no more credit-card offers in the mail.
Make no mistake, it’s hard and even sometimes cruel living in the world’s richest country and having to work 60 plus hours a week in order to make-ends-meet while holding down two jobs that pay an average of $8.50 an hour.
Your financial troubles are especially difficult to accept knowing that not too long ago you worked faithfully in a manufacturing plant that empowered you and your family to live a comfortable life.
However because of a change in company ownership and a “new focus” on increasing shareholder profit, [vulture capitalism] your dream career has now been outsourced to a country whose workers are willing to work for one-third of what you once earned. Your introduction to the harsh realities of the “Free Market” has left a bitter taste in your mouth that not even a steady flow of Jack Daniels can remove.
Living meal-to-meal during the worst of times and living paycheck to paycheck most of the time really sucks. Accepting the reality that we’re all nothing more than an expendable pawn in a capitalistic game of chess that’s brilliantly orchestrated by “invisible” tycoons who liken their self to be European royalty is truly a bitter pill to swallow.
Meet the Oligarchs
Their passion and goal is to privatize any potential money making governmental service and replace it with their own capitalistic version, minus of course any “pesky” rules and regulations that threatens optimal profit.
Their overall lack of empathy for the poor and the near-poor creates instant challenge from their political opponents whenever they boisterously proclaim their love for Jesus Christ and his teachings.
Based upon their support for cutting federal and state funding for food and health programs that feed and doctor America’s poor and struggling middle-class, the oligarchs appear to be far removed from the harsh realities of living life outside the “ivory tower”.
An Oligarch pulls back the velvet curtain
On February 13, 2014 at a speaking engagement in San Francisco moderated by CNN Money “Fortune” senior editor, Adam Lashinsky. Venture-capitalist and American billionaire Tom Perkins graciously pulled back the “velvet curtain” and revealed to the world what a substantial number of rich and powerful Americans earnestly believe.
Perkins: “Only taxpayers should have the right to vote”… and “wealthy Americans who pay more in taxes should get more votes”.
Now take a couple of seconds to allow Tom Perkin’s “1820s American Whig Party-Like” political philosophy to soak in and “register”. It’s very important that you do.
Most people would agree that it’s fair to assume that individuals who are passionate about personal core beliefs usually say exactly what they mean when given the opportunity to give their opinion on topics that’s important to them.
So it’s safe to assume that billionaire Tom Perkins, a man who never has to worry about the consequences of being “politically incorrect” when giving his personal opinion, meant exactly what he said during his political pep talk in San Francisco to a roomful of blushing GOP wanna-be billionaires.
To the politically “less astute”, Mr. Perkins’ comments were nothing more than “rich-folk bravado”; a narcissistic burst of pompous audacity that was only “wishful thinking” and should not be taken seriously.
If you consider yourself to be in the category of being politically “less astute” and are willing to believe that billionaire Tom Perkins was not serious about wealth and privilege then it’s time for you [in the words of world renown thespian Samuel L. Jackson] “to wake the expletive up” and smell the coffee,… of course he believes the wealthy should get more votes than you and I.
Reality Check 201 … Part II
In November 2010 during a radio address, Tea Party Nation President Judson Phillips said denying the right to vote to those who do not own property “makes a lot of sense.”
Let’s not be mistaken Mister and Ms. American voter,… in the “Tea Party Nation world”, individuals who rent property as opposed to those who own property are, “flat out of luck” in their twisted version of how the American democratic voting process should work.
According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, approximately 35% of American adults rent their domicile. That’s a whole lot of potentially disenfranchised voters. So the next time you’re all primed up at the voting booth to pull the lever for your preferred candidate, stop and think, “does this smiling face in the empty suit really represent my best interests”?
Question: “Do you approve the Tea Party Nation’s criteria for voting?
Comment: “If not, then why vote for politicians who covertly support the systemic stripping away of voting rights of American citizens”? Some “stuff” just doesn’t make sense and this “stuff” is one that doesn’t.
Phillips further stated: “The Founding Fathers originally said they would put certain restrictions on who gets the right to vote. It wasn’t that you were just a citizen and you got to vote”.
“Some of the restrictions you know,… you obviously would not think about today. But one of those was you had to be a property owner. And that makes a lot of sense, because if you’re a property owner you actually have a vested stake in the community.”
“If you’re not a property owner, you know, I’m sorry but property owners have a little bit more of a vested interest in the community than non-property owners.”
Question: “How does this particular political system differ from old-world European feudalism”?
Answer: “It doesn’t differ, it’s the same”.
Americans are entitled to know that today’s 21st century Tea Party is a complex amalgamation of reincarnated “we hate government interference” political ideologues who strongly believe that only a selected group of people should ever be allowed to participate in “American democracy” and consequently be the exclusive beneficiaries of American wealth and profits.
Across the United States, Republicans who hold the political party majority in their respective state’s House of Representatives and Senate, aided and abetted by their Republican governor, have legalized political Point shaving in the form of oppressive voter suppression laws.
It’s the dream of every sports “bookie” to be able to “fix” sporting events without fear of criminal prosecution. And just like the sports bookie, it’s the dream of every corrupt special interest group to be able to “fix” the outcome of political races without fear of criminal prosecution.
Need a spike in state-wide Republican political victories? No problem, create oppressive voter laws that hinder projected Democratic voters from casting a ballot.
Democrats and Independents, if the GOP’s blatant attempt to obstruct and suppress your right to vote doesn’t motivate you to get up and vote in local, state and federal elections, then what will?
On March 19 during a radio interview, Wisconsin state senator Dave Schultz (R) stated, “I am not willing to defend them (his senate Republican peers) anymore. I’m just not and I’m embarrassed by this.”
Schultz’s comments are based on Wisconsin’s Republican majority-led senate recently passing voter suppression laws that limit the hours / days of early voting throughout their state, but particularly in areas of Wisconsin that strongly support Democratic politicians.
Republican leaders are not dumb. They fully understand that the average American will not opt to endure the inconvenience of standing in long lines for long hours in order to vote, especially when they have to work that same day and especially when they have been culturally conditioned to believe their vote doesn’t count.
Work vs. Voting, it’s not even close when you’re struggling to keep your head above financial waters and you’re working two jobs.
Across the board, Republican prognosticators and campaign managers strongly believe that a lesser amount of people voting in local, state and federal elections equates to more GOP victories. It’s a simple strategy,… create disillusionment and indifference within the ranks of your opponents “camp” while unleashing your own hoards of dedicated voters at the polls. Hell it just happened in Florida’s last special election.
It appears oligarchs are not interested in implementing true democracy unless they control the election’s outcome and their special interests are routinely accommodated.
Make no mistake the Oligarchs are on the march.
In closing,… ever since the American Revolutionary War, democracy in the mind of most Americans has always been that sweet, low-hanging fruit that motivates and inspires them to fight and even sometimes die for.
The belief that corporations are people and that only certain groups of Americans should be eligible to vote greatly desecrates the meaning and intent of the American Declaration of Independence that so eloquently reads:
“We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness” .
To the politically informed, it’s obvious that American oligarchs are closer than ever to accomplishing their diabolical scheme of creating an American feudalistic society. These “invisible” tycoons are betting heavily that via the assistance of corrupt and simple-minded politicians, they can successfully break the spirit of voters who stand between them and their envisioned empire.
The question is will the majority of the country’s 99% fall for the trap and give up on voting when faced with “road blocks and obstacles”? You better believe the Oligarchs and their minions are betting that we do. We can’t allow our public schools, our U.S. Postal Services, and our blue collar jobs to go the way of the dinosaur. Now get out and vote and stop the Oligarchs before it’s too late.
My name is Greg Boyce and I approve this message.
As always the New Orleans Examiner is interested in what you think. Have a large segment of America’s 99% grown “soft” and have forgotten the value of their vote? Inquiring minds want to know.
Until next time, Good Day, God Bless and Good Fishing.