In my previous essay, I talked about the big winners of the class warfare in America. Before I focus on the big losers, let me ask why the big winners manage to get what they want so easily. The answer is very simple. They buy the government so that it protects and serves their special interests, rather than the interests of the country. In short, the class warfare in America is corporate power against people power, with the government in between being pulled by corporate money on one side, and popular votes on the other.
Buying the government is by no means new. It happens everywhere and throughout history. You just need to do it discretely under the table. In America, you can do it openly and legally. You simply donate money to elect the politicians who want to work for you at the expense of the country. In 2010, even the US Supreme Court ruled that corporations could spend unlimited money to influence the nation’s elections. Since corporations have very deep pockets, no wonder they can exert so much influence over the politicians at the expense of ordinary citizens.
Who are the big losers? The big losers are the people, the great majority, the wage earners, the middle class, the 99%, or whatever name you want to call them. They only have one strong point – their overwhelming numbers that can change the world by voting, protesting, or by revolution. However, they lack all the other things associated with power such as money, organization, better education, and enthusiasm. A significant segment of them don’t even bother to vote. Many are subject to brainwashing by infomercials and propaganda to naively support the policies that are harmful to them.
In my last essay, I’ve identified the various industries where big corporations have become powerful through buying the government. Does that mean all the people who work in those companies are powerful too? No! Only the top executives win big because of their huge bonuses, stock options and golden parachutes. The rest are wage earners that can be dispensed with through mergers, layoffs and outsourcing. The same case happens to the government, only the legislators and some top officials are bought, the rest are subject to layoffs due to budget cuts, including firemen, teachers, social workers, and policemen. No wonder the slogan “We are the 99%” is able to connect with so many people.
What the rich 1% want are simply two things — more tax cuts and less government regulation to give them a free hand in their business dealings. The smokes screen employed to cover their agenda is simply one thing — This will create jobs for the country. Do you really want to believe it? Between 1972 and 2012, the maximum capital gains tax for the rich has been reduced from 35% to 15%. Where have all the manufacturing jobs gone during this period? The big corporations have outsourced them overseas, especially to China due to low labor costs. Therefore tax cuts for the rich cannot create jobs, but their propaganda says so. On the contrary, it gives them another smokes screen to blame a foreign country: The Chinese are stealing our jobs! And many people naively believe it.
Continued tax cuts force the government to reduce expenditures. This damages the country in many areas such as infrastructure, education, health care, social security, and social programs. The following groups are the most vulnerable in the class warfare:
*The elderly who depend on social security and health care services.
*The students who go to public schools, especially college students who have to finance their education with student loans as tuition rises rapidly.
*The low-income groups that depend on social services and subsidies.
*The middle class in general who must tolerate reduced government services in roadwork, pollution control, public education, recreational parks, and fire and police protection. Furthermore, the middle class is being squeezed by sluggish job growth, stagnant wages, runaway health care inflation, and rising oil prices.
Do you think you are one of the victims of the class warfare? Do you want to do something about it? Do you still want to give the rich more tax cuts? Do you want to depend on the rich to create jobs for you? As I pointed out, the big losers don’t have anything except big numbers. To harness this strength requires organization and better education. Failing these, the losers will always remain slaves of the rich until the whole thing boils over someday.