Americans are not stupid, but are all too susceptible to both parties’ efforts at confusing them – with enormous help from the corporate media – so as to prevent them from connecting the dots; if enough of our citizens were successful in doing just that, both parties would be tossed into “the dustbin of history,” as the quaint old phrase so graphically puts it.
The way the American two party system is set up – in fact as two wings of what I have for some years now called The Corporate Interests Party – constitutes a great mechanism for confusing what the facts are and who was and is responsible for the conditions that result in the majority’s not getting ahead in real terms.
If one looks at what the facts are, one sees that for at least the past 30 years both the Democrats and the Republicans worked on the whole cooperatively to remove rational restraints on corporate irresponsibility and greed, resulting in 2008 in the near collapse of our economy, with ripple effects in Europe and consequently almost all of the rest of the world.
The impact of the results of this deep bipartisanship upon the majority of our citizens can be seen in two recent reports on income and wealth from 2007 through 2012 – a Sentier Research report on income that shows that during that period the median income dropped by over 7 percent, and a Federal Reserve Bulletin report on family finances (for 2007-2010) that shows that the median net worth for families dropped approximately 40% over that period.
See here for the Sentier Research report.
And here for the Federal Reserve Bulletin.
Now any objective analysis of the conditions and factors that set up this catastrophe shows that both parties worked together to strip away oversight of the financial corporations and to reduce the corporations’ and affluent persons’ tax burdens since 1980 and also put in place treaties and other agreements, as well as lax enforcement of still extant but weakened controls, to speed up and enable the abolishment of all too many good-paying jobs in the United States.
But what do most of our citizens who vote do in the face of all this? They turn to one or the other of the two parties to correct the situation when both parties have, by working in tandem, brought about that very situation. It is comparable to asking thieves to guard our homes, or muggers to guarantee our safety; quacks to heal us, or con artists to manage our resources.
It’s time we – the so-called “99 percent” – move away from the two-party system and put aside the illusions that – let’s admit it – we are methodically programmed, by politicians, media, and our so-called educational system, to take for “hope” and “truth.”
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(c) Gregory V Driscoll 2012