June 17, 2013
It’s never mentioned. Whether it’s the “Sequester”, the deficit or the national debt, schools closing, out of date bridges not being repaired, plans to reduce Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, social security, etc., etc., its name is not uttered.
And then there is the very stark example of the high cost of college and the huge debt now being taken on by students, now larger than all credit card debt combined. All manner of reasons and remedies are given over and over in forum after forum but none dare mention its name.
When I was in college the tuition for a full-time course load was $125 per semester and naturally I graduated with no debt. Now it is common for undergraduates to leave school owing $30,000 to $50,000 or more with or without a job. And the debate is whether or not to reduce the interest rate on future student debt.
So, let me now mention the unmentionable, the actual and underlying cause for all these problems and, in fact, most of the problems we are facing in this country today. Its name is CAPITALISM.
Capitalism has accomplished what it was designed to do, i.e., accumulate wealth. And in the U.S., where money is speech, corporations are people, politics is mostly about money, and a small percentage of rich persons have most of the money, it is only natural that things would wind up the way they are.
Corporate capitalism now controls most political decisions, sets its own rules and regulations (the fewer the better), determines how much tax to pay or not, moves money and jobs offshore to make money easier, all the while pushing for less regulation, lower taxes, and more political power. A classic death spiral.
Let me go back to the college debt problem, and really to most of our problems. If wealthy persons and corporations were paying the rate, proportion, amount, share of taxes that they were in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s there would be no college debt crisis, no bridges falling down, no schools closing, no sequester, et al.
But now comes the moment of truth, the denouement, the great unraveling. Just as the cigarette CEO’s, later to be referred to as “The Seven Dwarfs”, swore that cigarettes do not cause cancer, and before them the asbestos(is) producers, the black lung coal companies, the acid rainers, and on and on, denied, solely in order to protect their profits, that their products had any ill effects in any way, now the carbon mongers, capitalist poster boys, are telling us the same thing about their wonderful and absolutely necessary energy producing products.
But it is now no longer a question of lung disease, dead trees and lakes, or a myriad of other ill effects that unrestrained corporate profits produced, now it is an issue of survival for some of us, for most of us, maybe for all of us. And the dwarfs are singing the same old song: “It’s not us, it’s nature. You can’t survive without us. You’ll lose your job.”
Corporate capitalism will be blamed for whatever catastrophes global climate change brings. And rightly so. Only such a system would protect profits at the expense of everything.
Are we going to let them decide our fate or are we going to do something, anything, to stop this madness?