Sadly, today a great majority of Americans are more satisfied with the appearance of freedom— as though it was a reality—and are more often influenced by those things that seem, rather than by those things that really are. For many, working long hours and the chance to have a job that doesn’t quite pay enough, or just enough with overtime, is freedom. Being free to come and go as you please, say or absorb what you want is free, but the one thing many are forgetting are the consequences most face. Sure we are free to pick up and be artists, drive cross country, pursue our lifelong dreams, but for many (most) this just isn’t a reality. 50% of Americans are working paycheck to paycheck, unless you’re willing to risk starving or relinquishing your home, car or whatever else you have that has you completely handcuffed by debt, you’ll be working your whole life to just get by, accumulating things your marketed to daily to believe that you need, only to pass on this debt to your children.
In today’s society the word freedom is thrown around like its something guaranteed, an afterthought, not up for debate, something we settled a long time ago… “next subject.” We are Americans, we are free, free to say and do whatever we want. We feel sorry for other countries who don’t have those “luxuries,” so much so, that we continue to use our power of influence to force them to to adopt our ways of doing things. Yet, who says our culture and policies are the way it should be? Lets take a look at where these policies and culture have led us. We lead the world in incarcerated people per capita, heroin overdoes per capita, gun deaths per capita, mass shootings per capita, cost of medicine, cost of education, wealth inequality, personal and nation debt, all the while ranking 25th in infrastructure behind undeveloped nations such as Oman and Barbados. Are we really the ones that should be teaching others “how things should be?” Are we as a society really that free? If we have no voice, no money and most importantly no power to change these things and our so called leaders are puppets to big business, big banks, big oil, big anything, how free are we really? The people that run these industries and profit from them, disguised in high end suits and hidden away in gated communities have become today’s equivalent to the new slave owner.
How did we get here?
Well let’s take a look at the difference between wealth and power? To avoid confusion, let’s be sure we understand they are two different issues, but one cant exist without the other.
- Wealth, refers to the value of everything people own.
- Power, has to do with the ability to realize wishes, or reach goals, which amounts to the same thing, even in the face of opposition.
First, wealth can be seen as a “resource” that is very useful in exercising power. That’s obvious when we think of donations to political parties, payments to lobbyists, and grants to experts who are employed to think up new policies beneficial to the wealthy. Wealth also can be useful in shaping the general social environment to the benefit of the wealthy, whether through hiring public relations firms, owning ALL of the media companies, marketing firms or having large stake ownership in certain businesses or industries.
Second, and VERY important to understand…certain kinds of wealth, such as stock ownership, can be used to control corporations, which of course have a major impact on how the society functions. The top 20% make up 91% of stock ownership in the United States, no further explanation needed there.
Third, just as wealth can lead to power, so too can power lead to wealth. Those who control a government can use their position to further their own interests, whether that means a favorable land deal for relatives at the local level or a huge federal government contract for a new corporation run by friends who will hire you when you leave government.
This brings me to the the point I want to make. If the top 20% have 84% of the wealth, (which we concluded encompasses tremendous amount of power and influence) it becomes very tough for the bottom 80% — moreover the bottom 90% — to get organized and exercise much power to make the changes necessary that actually benefit the masses. When 90% of society’s interests aren’t being addressed and even worse being purposely ignored to benefit a very little, we have to make the assumption that we are not truly free, nor are we in a true democracy, but a Plutocracy.
Plutocracy – From Greek ploutos, meaning “wealth”, and kratos, meaning “power, dominion, rule”) is a form of oligarchy and defines a society ruled or controlled by the small minority of the wealthiest citizens.
Now, here is where I speak to the left, right indifferent. We may have many different ideals and some that we will NEVER come to agreement on, but one that we must come together on if we are every going to get back to “Country Over Party.”
The one thing that approximately 90% of shar –– we have zero control over of the policies put in place by the plutocrats to strengthen and lengthen their grip over us. The sooner we realize that, the better off America will be in the long run.
Look at it this way…
We are teams, we are debating and battling each other daily, but the league we love and play for is under attack by a higher power. Now more than ever is the time to put our small battle aside for a greater cause, US.
Do you think Trump an ELITE and Republican (today) is going to upset the system and tackle the people he works and mingles with daily? DO you think he is our saving grace? Or was it supposed to be a career Democrat who accepts millions in contributions from big business regardless of the rhetoric on the campaign trail and no matter how you spin will have favors to return?
OR do we need an uprising of sorts, someone who is not a part of the system, someone not connected or influenced by wealth or power, someone who is truly interested in strengthening an entire nation, not just a fraction of it?
I think, as crazy as this sounds, we were somewhat on the right track with Trump, even (righter with Bernie)…. follow me here before you stop reading, slam your laptop shut and call me nuts.
Many bought into Trump’s outsider roll, that he wasn’t a career politician, that he was just as sick of government not helping the masses – BUT most forgot or willfully accepted that he was an elite and didn’t care because he tapped into their deepest fears and closeted hate?
Millions took to Bernie, because “he isn’t one of them” either and spoke to exactly what was wrong with big business and the anti-90% policies that benefit the very few. His problem was he up against BILLIONS of dollars of marketing, incumbent democrats and was so easy to brush off as someone who only spoke in rainbows and unicorns.
They both tapped into the need for an outsider, but the big difference –– one had the money and the friends (potentially friends in REAL high places) and the other had the ear of the millennials, who make a big stink, but lack the follow through (for now). I wont dance around the fact that there was a tremendous amount of demagoguery that put Trump over the top, but that’s for another day…
The focus of this piece is getting to the bottom of the issue we ALL face, unifying people and making them understand that’s its not Republican vs. Democrat, its us vs them. The us being the 90% of us who work day in and day out, crippled by debt and are one stroke away from going bankrupt. The them being the the Plutocrats that control everything we see, hear and do all to their benefit. If we want decisions made that truly effect our day to day lives in a positive way, if we truly want to be a free society, we need to get to this place and get there fast.
We are in an information war and unfortunately the wealthy and the powerful control much of where people get their information from, Whether it be the 24 hours news cycle, social media (campaigns, bots, hacking) or multi-million dollar ad campaigns. If we as a whole continue to rely on them for our information, we will continuously be led to vote for THEIR agendas and not for whats truly best for the people and country as a whole. We need to get back to the facts, the data, historical mistakes and triumphs, trends and reality, if you will. We need to trust, but verify, we need to not let our politicians glaze over questions, but drill down to the root, the whys, hows and plans. Then we need to take this information analyze if for ourselves, see if it fits our agenda and MAKE INFORMED DECISIONS. Finally when in office, we need to hold them accountable, remind them daily on what they committed to and what we need as a nation.
Now I ask…is this what democracy was supposed to look like when it was originally designed? Are we truly as free as we are led to believe? And most importantly do you still think we should be a country divided by ideals and debatable differences or divided by 99% / 1%, the haves and have nots…
I leave with this… Always be asking yourself what benefits a Plutocracy and what benefits the people?