Winning or Losing
By John Johnson
My life has been hectic, lately. Getting this issue out has been a series of minor mishaps. One thing after another pops up that I have to fix.
The ongoing saga of my four months of bureaucratic hell: I was finally okayed for SSI benefits. I have been an organizer most of my life so did not accumulate much in Social Security.
I got food stamps a few months ago but just found out that once I was officially on SSI they cut off the food stamps. SSI is not much and it should be more, especially for those who lack savings or income. But those are the one the bureaucrats go after.
Our esteemed legislatures don’t have a problem giving more and more tax breaks, bailouts and relaxed regulations to corporations and the rich, but when it comes to poor low-income folks they become cruel and tight wadded. I sent the required number of protest letters but, oops, I didn’t include a big fat check.
Corporations and the Military have been the strongest most pervasive forces in the US, and many other countries for over a hundred years. Lately, they have adopted a much more aggressive approach, especially since the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, stated that corporations, as “persons,” can contribute unlimited finances to political campaigns.
Spurred on by the Koch brothers (whose father founded the John Birch Society), they financed the recent Tea Party movement and put out hundreds of millions for Republican campaigns. We see the results in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Maine, and other states. They immediately attacked unions, public schools and social services, while continuing to reduce corporate taxes.
Last summer the Koch brothers and others financed attacks on the Democratic Party Town Hall meetings, which were broadcast on most corporate media, almost constantly.
But the Republicans are now are having their Town Hall meetings which are packed with people complaining about their budget bill, the destruction of Medicare and the further reductions of corporate taxes. But you don’t see that on most major corporate media. Mostly you see Republicans and conservative Democrats. How many real progressives or members of the left appear on corporate media?
There is a growing backlash. In Wisconsin, hundreds of thousands took to the streets, in freezing weather. Recall votes are underway in a half a dozen districts, currently held by reactionary Republicans. Similar movements are starting in Michigan and Ohio. All states and cities need to be building these movements, including California and Los Angeles. Students are protesting tuition rates. We must force our legislatures to crack down on oil speculators. $5 a gallon is coming up soon.
They no longer care if the US population has the bucks to be a consumer society. After all, China, India and other nations are now in position to take on that role. We may end up wage slaves, lucky to make barely enough to get from hand to mouth.
After ten years of handing out corrupt home loans and making billions off of them, they don’t care that hundreds of thousands of vacant homes around the country fall into disrepair while working poor families are homeless.
It is up to us to build a big enough movement to go after these corporations to make them change their ways or put them out of business. It is them or us and, at the moment, they are winning..