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I fully realize that our government is unlikely to ever do anything much that I might think is wise or desirable. We just don't see eye-to-eye. They've done a piss poor job of taking care of the little people or leading the world to peace or addressing our most serious concerns like climate change and all the other ecological imperatives. Rather than attend to those weighty matters, they'd rather manufacture fake excuses to justify the ongoing robbery of the poor by the very very rich.

Occasionally I feel compelled to sound off on what I think the government should do, even though I know they'll do the opposite. The plutocrats can't hear small voices like mine. Never have and never will – and they have all the power. As an inconsequential citizen, all I have is my indignation.

It is my humble but firm opinion that the time has come to quit coddling the billionaires. There is plenty of wealth to go around in this most fortunate of nations. They're the ones who don't get it. Obscene wealth in the land of justice for all makes poverty especially ugly.

It is nothing short of shameful that we are talking about cutting what is already a woefully inadequate social safety net in a country as wealthy as this one. When does the bullshit end?

I have long found it appalling how much we do for those who have everything and how little we do for those who have nothing. Whose values are these?

If we were true to the values we expound, there would be no dire poverty in this nation. We could take care of our own if we were in the least committed to doing so. It is well within our means. Does the Donald really need another gold-plated yacht?

We coddle our billionaires and punish our poor. WTF is wrong with us?

We Are All Related

In recent times the upper class has been caught acting the fool in grand fashion and on a global scale. The sheer irresponsibility of our bankers and financiers, and those who love them, is stunning. They have embarrassed their entire class while robbing the rest of us blind. I think it goes to show that wealth with its attendant power, at a certain level, is toxic.

The irresponsibility of our wealthiest class is an embarrassment to humanity.

By all rights, we should be talking about how best to strengthen and improve the poor excuse for a social safety net that we have. What's with all these mega-rich mega-assholes trying to screw ordinary people out of a chance to have a marginally decent existence? All for a few bucks. Why are they squeezing the little people so hard? They already have every fucking thing. They just don't know how to stop. They won't be happy till we're all serfs.

CEOs talk about shared sacrifice, but the only thing they want to share is your retirement money with their wealthy friends.

The Obscenely Rich Men Bent on Shredding the Safety Net

Is it me or is there something profoundly unseemly about the specter of a bunch of spoiled rotten billionaires scheming to defraud the helpless and the poor? It strikes me as a pathetic new low to see the insanely over-privileged grasping greedily at the crumbs of the downtrodden and dispossessed. How fucking perverse! Noblesse oblige has up and died. Let them eat cake has become eat shit and die. For eight long years I railed against Bush only to realize after he left that it wasn't just him, it was the greed monsters behind him...and they're still with us.
My living memory includes the jfk, mlk and rfk assassinations, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, Watergate, Kent State, Jackson State, Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes. I have seen the ugly underbelly of our nation bared more times than I can count, and there is one thing I know for sure – that ugly underbelly is still there. It's the one thing that never changes.

Never forget the true character of our government of, by and for the 1%, and never forget that our resistance is key. Someone has to stay awake. And if you are, please wake up the guy next to you. We've got to break out of our slumber while we still have a fighting chance. The 1%'s war on the rest of us is not over. November 6 did not change that.

Where We Stand

Great wealth makes people lose their minds. What could be clearer than that? I think we'd be doing the rich a huge favor to apply a substantial portion of their wealth to the betterment of society (much more substantial than that contemplated in the oft promised lapse of the shameful and offensive Bush tax-cuts), leaving them enough to be comfortable of course, but not enough to derange them.

We need to lower the ceiling and raise the floor. We need fewer billionaires at the top and fewer abused women and children, and fewer neglected people at the bottom.

Poor people, ailing people, needy people, unlucky people should all be cared for in a minimally compassionate and responsible manner, which is exactly what we would do if we were a compassionate and responsible people. And, FWIW, that's what I want us to be. I know I'm not alone in that, even though it sometimes feels that way.

A humane existence, as free of unnecessary suffering as possible, should be the bare minimum guaranteed to all. We could do that without too much discomfort in a country as fabulously wealthy as this one, despite all the bogus rightwing poor-mouthing we so often hear. We are not broke. We are not poor. Well, most of us are but as a nation, we're rolling in it. If we stopped pissing our treasure away on unnecessary wars and quite subsidizing mega-corporations and the filthy fucking rich, we'd be in high cotton. We could easily take care of our own if we had the will, and do a much better job of it than we have ever done in the past. All members of the human family should be equally revered under the law. And it's a poor family that won't take proper care of its own.

It's hard to make it in our highly competitive, dog-eat-dog society. A lot of people don't manage it. Not everyone is lucky, or skilled, or possessed of great advantages or good health. Life is a catastrophe for a lot of people. But a family takes care of its own. Life shouldn't be a roll of the dice, a giant crap game where the winners skate and the losers go to hell. Dog eat dog and every man for himself doesn't reflect positively on the state of civilization. How far we haven't come.

Don Siegelman, Leonard Peltier, Bradley Manning and John Kiriakou are all still in prison. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are not. Unnecessary wars, secret and otherwise, go on unabated. Disgraced neocons still, inexplicably, have a powerful voice in our government. Torturers, war profiteers and financial brigands are still running amok at the highest levels of society. The main stream media is still a corrupt and highly deceptive tool of the 1%. The 1% are still firmly in charge and their class war against the rest of us is still very much on. Big Brother is still compiling data on our every move, climate change denial is still the de facto law of the land and racism is still a big ugly blight on the American soul.

Where We Stand

As a social species we acknowledge certain obligations to one another. One of the most basic is to be dependable and helpful to each other as much as possible. We all rely on each other in a thousand different ways, and the only way to respect that web of mutual obligation is to honor it by leaving no one behind. We're all in this together. You don't turn your brothers and sisters away when they need help. There is no good reason to scorn poor people. They didn't win a lottery to get there. They didn't choose it off the menu. It is not a moral issue, except for the extent to which you do or do not feel compassion in response. Those who are sane would leave poverty if they could, and even those who aren't deserve our help. No one should be left to suffer and die without hope or assistance.

Even republicans would benefit if there were fewer desperate people in society. Why don't they realize that? Desperate acts are committed by desperate people. If there weren't so many of them there would be less crime, and less fear...possibly even less loathing. Push people and push people till they're living on the edge, then push them some more and expect what you get.

Many countries are rightly proud of how strong their social safety nets are. Common features are universal health care, free education, a high standard of living, low unemployment, a happier population and a more equitable distribution of wealth. We should learn from them and aspire to do it even better. I'm tired of being viewed by people of advanced nations as a violent aggressive backwards yahoo whose ignorance is eclipsed only my arrogance because, you know, I'm an American. I want people to respect Americans again, and to have worthy and respectable reasons for doing so. I want a responsible social safety net that I can be proud of as a US citizen. I want to be able to hold my head up in the world. I want a system worth marveling over. The fat cats are always crowing about how we are leading the world. My question is, leading it to what? Desperation? Ecocide? The bloody French Revolution?

We should all be able to count on having a reasonable future. We have a long way to go to get there from here. In the mean time, I sure as hell don't want to see the social safety net we've got, such as it is, shredded by a bunch of money-deranged whiny-ass billionaires whose great good fortune landed them in the privileged positions they are now so shamelessly abusing.

Everyone belongs to society. We owe it to each other to be thoughtful about that, and respectful of every member. No one should have to feel desperate and alone, or without hope. Help should be there for those who need it. We should resolve to take proper compassionate care of each and every member of our national family. Because it's the right thing to do. Because it will make us a stronger society. Because we owe it to each other.

If we were truly a great nation, we would take care of our own. No excuses.

Congress should make us proud Americans in the reality-based universe by lowering the ceiling and raising the floor.

That'll be the day, right?


Originally posted to One Pissed Off Liberal on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:21 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, Invisible People, and Extraterrestrial Anthropologists.

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