Social programs are the extortion that capitalism must pay for peace. This concept is not written in any law book or widely discussed as an accepted premise. I declare that it has been the case since FDR and the New Deal. It was reinforced with introduction of Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps.
As a nation, we recognized that a safety net had to be in place to keep large numbers of our citizens from hitting bottom. We did not want to live in a country where the streets were lined with sick, homeless grandparents. So capitalism struck a deal with the millions of peasants: Let us make unlimited profits and we will maintain a safety net to catch you at your weakest moment. That unwritten social contract prevented the democratic mob from storming the gates of the CEOs and robber-barons.
For decades, the peace treaty remained in place with occasional exceptions. Then Ronald Reagan came to town and capitalism decided they didn't want to pay the ransom any longer. They slashed the taxes of the rich as each subsequent president followed suit.
Twenty years and trillions of dollars of debt later, after two unfunded wars to boost the stock prices of Haliburton and defense contractors, now capitalism claims that we can't afford the programs that they stopped paying for decades ago. They have every intention of completely dismantling the safety net. The peace treaty is over.
What capitalists don't realize is that if you do not pay the ransom, you do not get the peace. It may take years after a Romney presidency, but the programs will fall. We will return to bread lines and beggars in even our smallest towns. Capitalists will wring every last dollar out of this country and then watch from their protected gated communities as we tear each other to pieces.
Yes, there is a contract. There is an agreement between a moral society and those that only care about money. As long as the agreement is maintained in a balanced state, we can maintain peace. What scares me is that the contract has become horrifically unbalanced. The clear intent of the GOP and newly coined corporate-people is to cancel the contract altogether.
I don't want to live in that country. That is not an acceptable alternative. And no, I will not leave. As time passes and the contract is dismantled, we will have to relive the 1930's, re-fight the union battles, and show corporations that people fight wars, and corporations are not people. Corporations will eventually lose. But at what cost?
Just pay the damn ransom...