This article is going to expand on my earlier article, Obama, Social Issues vs. Pocketbook Issues.
If you haven't read that article, please do so now and meet me back here when you are through.
Both political parties are playing a giant corporate controlled shell game. Each party tries to energize it's base by making a lot of noise about social issues. The Democrats support social issues like supporting the pro-choice people or being for gay rights. The Republicans play on their voter's fear of those issues. Economic issues are the peas that are hidden underneath those shells.
Economic issues are the meat and potatoes political nasty business that goes on behind the veil of social issues. The corporations that influence (control) the political policies of BOTH parties through their lobbyists usually have little or no interest in the social advocacies of the Democrats or the opposition of those advocacies by the Republicans, they only care about issues that affect their bottom lines. Do they care about Roe v. Wade? Yawn. Do they care about gay rights? Ho hum. Do they care if a "free" trade agreement that helps them to offshore our jobs passes? HELL YEAH, many corporations consider labor to be just a commodity that should be bought at the lowest possible price, regardless of any consequences to America's future and our future! Do they care if a health care bill is passed that nationalizes health care and cuts insurance companies out of the picture? HELL YEAH, they think that insurance companies are ENTITLED to make a profit! Do they care if the Employee Free Choice Act that empowers unions to more effectively organize and raise the living standards of working people passes? HELL YEAH, they don't want unions to proliferate!
With our present virtual one party system being what it is, the last two of the last three items will never see the light of day, but the "free" trade agreement will be acclaimed by BOTH parties!
What that means is that it costs the corporations NOTHING to be magnanimous and allow the politicians that they own or should I say lease to support or attack this or that social issue as a nod to their party base. To quote a line that John Belushi was saying in Animal House as he was handing one of the pledges a beer, "take one, it don't cost nothing". The economic issues that members of both parties concede to their corporate friends cost those of us that are not part of the top 2% plenty. Those issues can cost us our jobs, our homes, our futures and even our health!
Our two party system in it's present state can be compared to old time comedy pairs like Abbott and Costello. The Republicans are the political version of Lou Costello, they say and do inane things like screaming for severe budget cuts while demanding tax breaks for the rich. Incredibly, the mainstream media actually gets many people to take them seriously and vote for them. The Democrats are the Bud Abbott, straight man half of this political comedy team, they give our political system credibility by saying all the things we want to hear like how they are against tax breaks for the rich, etc. Oops, didn't they extend tax cuts for the rich as a concession to the Repuiblicans?
The point of all this is that the same corporate lobbyists visit the politicians of BOTH parties. Democratic blue and Republican red always gets mixed with corporate green! The Republicans are the corporate shock troops that promote the wildest of corporate ideas, bouncing them off the wall to see which ones stick. The Democrats fit into the corporate big picture by acting as the Judas goat, telling us what we want to hear then compromising with the Republicans, giving the corporations what they really wanted in the first place. They tell unions that they are pro union, then support job killing "free" trade agreements that would make Reagan blush. Hey union people, did the Democrats get The Employee Free Choice Act passed yet? Didn't think so!
I am writing this article exactly three hours before President Obama's State Of The Union speech. I am going to go out on a limb and say that he will proudly tell the world how the South Korea US Free Trade Agreement will create new jobs. Many union people have carefully examined this agreement and realize that it is another NAFTA! The President will also abandon many of his original supporters by saying things that establish him as a newly minted centrist President. Ladies and gentlemen, after carefully
examining both parties, I think you'll want to establish a third party and do it before the middle class no longer exists!
Flash!!! This Just In!! As of 8:26 PM EST, I have had a chance to look at the President's prepared State Of The Union speech. I want to take issue with his false assertion that Labor approves of the South Korea US Free Trade Agreement. Only a few unions approve, the AFL-CIO, labor's national organization strongly opposes it! Shame on you, Mr. President!
At one point in my career, I was a DJ. Since old habits die hard, I want to make this dedication: This one's going out to any working person who thinks that the Tea Party, or the Republicans will look out for his or her interests.
Hi there bunkie, I'm I working person who feels that I must reach out to you if for no other reason than to try to stop you from making the biggest mistake of your life, a mistake that's so big that it may not only take you down the drain, but it could also take the rest of the country down the drain with you. That mistake is voting Republican and bringing back the crew that helped to make a lot of people in Wall Street rich, but brought you this recession.
Look, I know that you think that everything in this country is spinning out of control and you are feeling helpless and powerless. I share those feelings and can point to some causes of our problems that you may not have considered.
Remember when Ronald Reagan fired those union Air Traffic Controllers who were on strike? That sent a signal to corporate America that it was open season on unions and began an era of corporate union busting.
Ronald Reagan was also strongly in favor of "free" trade and laid the groundwork for the outsourcing of jobs overseas. He reduced and eliminated many tariffs on imported products that were in place to protect American industries and jobs. This pro-corporate/anti worker philosophy is the cornerstone of the Republican ideology and Reagan was and is the Republican idol and ideal. Years of this nonsense caused a reverse Robin Hood effect that lowered middle class salaries and, in some cases eliminated their jobs entirely.
The Republican ideal of an unregulated "free" market had a solution to the problem of stagnant middle class wages and a growing economic disparity between the wealthy top 2% and the rest of us. The banks could let the middle class run up a tab, so they can have the illusion of a middle class lifestyle. This reached a crescendo during the Bush administration when working people were encouraged to run up their credit cards and use the "equity" of their homes to take out secondary mortgages. The unregulated "free" market that creates "wealth" out of thin air also creates poverty out of thin air when the bubbles it's Wall Street gamblers create pop. When the bubbles burst, the pain isn't shared, exploding bubbles usually hit the little guy or gal the most, especially in his or her 401K. The bursting housing bubble was the straw that broke the camel's back and launched our current depress... er, recession.
Tea Party Movements are usually corporately backed and about as populist as the boardroom of a fortune 500 corporation. They espouse a turbocharged "free" market ideology that will not help the middle class one iota. They believe in trickle down economics which translates to let the corporations do whatever they want, cut taxes on the rich and somehow that will provide jobs for the unemployed. They call themselves "patriots", but have no problem with American manufacturers closing their factories and sending your job to China and other countries. Destroying America's manufacturing infrastructure, American jobs and American families isn't patriotic, it's being an economic traitor!
I know that we were promised CHANGE, but got bipartisan SMALL CHANGE instead! I know that we still have a serious level of unemployment. I know that Wall Street and the banks were bailed out first. All of that was done to placate the Republicans. Think about what would happen to our country if they actually got the majority?
We have to make some election day choices that could literally determine the future of our families and our country:
If you want a return to the corporations come first economic policies that cost America jobs, vote Republican or support a Tea Party candidate. If you want to repair the damage the pro-business, anti working class conservative policies of the Republicans caused, vote Democratic and support unions!