American history seems to have repetition. As much as things seem to change, the same cycle of challenges to our democratic heritage and our Republican form of government re-occurs, again and again. As before, we have an income disparity problem, such as we have not seen since the time that preceded the depression years. The haves, have most of the wealth while the rest of us struggle each day, each week and each year to survive. Gone are the days when as parents we could count on our children having a better life than we have had.
For we, the people, it is time for a new birth of populism, to re-address, the grievous inequality and unfairness that we citizens encounter each day. The well to do, seem to believe that they know what is best for us. They are arrogant and naive to believe so. They think they know what is best for them.
Let us ask an important question! How wealthy do you need to be? How many millions of dollars do you need to be happy? Some of the top 1 and one half percent talk derisively about food stamps and welfare Moms while a lot of them benefit from corporate welfare. Was it a mere coincidence that our greatest prosperity as a nation occurred when the income disparity was at its smallest and when our tax rate was at its highest? I don’t think so!
We, as a nation, were at the top of the heap, economically, when our nation had strong unions to represent American workers as wages were negotiated with management. Now unions are weak, and wages are down. The American worker is very productive, but no one is there to fight for workers when wages are being negotiated. Workers are subject to the whims of management. The corporate world hoards money instead of investing in new equipment and hiring new workers.
Look at Wal-Mart for example, the Walton’s are billionaires, while their workers are instructed on how to get food stamps. Something is awfully wrong with that picture, the picture of a person working, sometimes on more than one job and still not earning enough money to get by. Most people just want to have enough to take care of their family and have a roof over their heads and enough food to eat. What is wrong is to have two parents working and still not have enough money for a simple and basic life.
A new political movement is needed to help the Main Streets of America, and not Wall Street. We need to regulate greed, and allow the American worker to earn a livable wage.
Small businesses provide America with the most new jobs. Let us continue to make it easier for small businesses and new ideas to flourish.
Today is not unlike, the 1890’s, when the Populist Party of People’s Party had significant success. Many of the agrarian reforms were incorporated into the Democratic Party. For many generations, farmers did not reap the profits of their own labor, as they were subjugated to interests of the Eastern establishment through their middlemen.
It is surprising to hear how strong farmers were, in their protests. William Jennings Bryan, spoke eloquently, in his cross of gold speech. Farmers had looked upon government as a cause of their problems, and they saw government as a source of fixing what was wrong.
Farmers work harder than anyone but they did not and to a degree still do not get what they deserve for their efforts. Bryan crystalized the sentiment of the day when he said, “We have petitioned, and our petitions have been scorned; we have entreated and our entreaties have been disregarded; we have begged, and they have mocked when our calamity came. We beg no longer; we entreat no more; we petition no more. We defy them!”
Move forward over one hundred years and we have a political party, the Republican Party, that defy the people. Seventy-five percent of the public want a minimum wage increase. The party of big business won’t even allow the bill for a wage increase to even come up for a vote. The Republican Party is captive to the interests of the wealthy, just like back in the day when farmers were literally going hungry while the eastern manufacturing interests were getting wealthy off the toil of the farmer.
Today, the so-called makers are getting wealthier and wealthier off the sweat and toil of the American worker. What is amazing is the amount of people who still buy into this new form of slavery. On one hand the supporters of the status quo don’t want a wage increase and on the other hand they do not want food stamps or unemployment insurance for those who lose their jobs. I guess they think that somehow, they won’t suffer from the inevitable consequences of this perverse attitude of letting them go hungry or die. They think they will be safe, when the you know what hits the fan, behind their walled communities with their private security forces.
Danger to us all exists when, the will of the people is ignored. Our government can not stand if the trust of the people is lost and our fellow citizens feel that all hope is lost.
We need a new Populist movement. We need a government that stands up for Main Street and not Wall Street. Do not be distracted by the clever manipulations of the media who are the mouth pieces of their puppet masters. Religious issues are just designed to take our eye away from the ball. Our focus needs to be on our pocket book. If you are working full time no American should need food stamps. Give us back our government! Pass a minimum wage increase! It is good for our economy and it will be good for our nation.