(By Fay Paxton, cross-posted at The Pragmatic Pundit)
We talk a lot about the “entrepreneurial spirit” of Americans; their sense of courage and adventure. Indeed, it was the zeal and daring of our forefathers that carved this great nation out of hills and plains with nothing more to invest than blood, sweat, tears; the audacity to hope and believe in their own unshakeable “certainty”. That’s how we define America…even today.
Yet, if you listen to any talk show pundit, read any opinion column, take in the blowhard rhetoric of today’s Republicans, they all sing the same song: Wall Street and corporations need “certainty” to invest in the country that gave them their stability and wealth.
Certainty…that ominous word that has suddenly become synonymous with the state of the economy; whether or not one has a roof over his head, food to eat or the means to go to the doctor when ill.
The stark truth is, Americans no longer possess the stuff that built this nation. Our forefathers were vested in the growth and glory of this country. They really did “love” America and were dedicated to its stability and prosperity; not true of our leaders and corporate moguls today. For them America is a means to an end and American citizens are nothing more than props that subsidize and shore up their wealth.
Republicans love to tell us that “government is a problem”, and believe everything from school to prisons should be privatized. But don’t believe it, government serves its purpose. Besides, have you ever wondered why people who have so little regard for the government choose to be a part of it?
Without government, there would be no Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Without government, there’d be no Brooklyn Bridge or monuments in the District of Columbia; no White House.
What private corporation would have undertaken building the mammoth Hoover Dam on the Nevada-Arizona border?
America’s determination and pride is embodied in the Empire State Building that was built during the Great Depression.
In fact, there were many such ventures including the construction of the Triborough Bridge, the Lincoln Tunnel, and the Golden Gate Bridge, to mention just a few. How did such enormous construction projects take place during the years of the Great Depression when so many banks had closed, scores of companies had gone bankrupt, and millions of people were out of work? With support from a forward-looking and pro-active government that believed in the growth of the nation and the stability of its people. Dozens of support industries were enriched and tens of thousands of Americans went to work.
The government kept millions of Americans from dying of starvation. Ironically, that same government rescued the parents and grandparents of many who now fight so ferociously to withhold government resources from everyone else.
And then there’s the canard about the strangling imposition of government regulations. Consider the greed and selfishness of private industry and ask yourself just how necessary regulations are. If corporations could operate without boundaries, would we have clean water to drink?
Would there be more than 1,000 miles of hiking trails through Yellowstone leading to steaming, bubbling hot springs?
They would have us believe the problem is “job-killing” regulations. But somehow, despite all the profit-crushing taxes and burdensome regulations, the stock market has doubled, corporate profits are at an all-time high and they can stockpile trillions of dollars…offshore, of course. If you ask me, they are the ones looking for “free stuff”.
Their complex, foolhardy explanations are merely attempts to shroud in mystery what anyone with half a brain can figure out. No one needs an actuarial accountant to figure out how the economy works, at least not “their own economy”. From the vantage point of a plain old working Joe, it looks like this:
Pay returns to circulation and boosts the economy when employees:
It’s really a common sense deduction. If corporations fail to hire, the entire pyramid collapses.So what’s the truth? The truth is, for all the bluster about regulations, what corporations really want is the freedom to continue to gamble with the financial security of America without consequence. The truth is, they don’t want to pay anytaxes, but to continue to reap the benefits of the taxes paid by middle class America and the working poor. They don’t want to pay for labor either, which is one of the reasons union-busting was so important, right-to-work is the order of the day and Congress can’t even broach the idea of raising the minimum wage.
Corporations and the elite are holding the nation hostage, not unlike the Republicans did during the deficit ceiling debacle. And just as Republicans held out until our credit rating was dropped, it is clear Corporations and the elite intend to hold out until they get what they want…more “free stuff” at the expense of everyone else.