According to Forbes Magazine, celebrities earned a collective $4.5 billion over the last year from films, basketball, walking the catwalk, etc. This is a national disgrace that guarantees history will not judge us kindly. Pitted against the backdrop of teacher layoffs, police and fire fighter dismals and the gutting of salaries for public employees across the board, this glaring example of economic inequality is a stain on our face that will NEVER come off.
The defenders of the status quo can shout platitudes all they want, just like the buffoon who uses a champagne glass to bail out water on a sinking ship. They can dismiss the rest of us with labels, Cold War era accusations and quote Ayn Rand, but they cannot ignore the fact that our nation is crumbling-not because of ballooning deficits caused by entitlement programs but simply because the Rich have siphoned off our nation’s wealth for more than a generation and the chickens have come home to roost.
The system is rigged to benefit the rich on the backs of the poor and middle class. Drive to the wealthy side of town and you will see 90′ foot yachts bobbing in the water, tied to private boat docks that abut palatial, 16 bedroom estates. You will also see teenage girls driving Mercedes convertibles and teen age boys speeding away in new Porsches.
It’s a different story on our side of town. We struggle to feed our children and scrimp to pay for our parent’s medication. We work every day and pray our jobs will be there the next day. We brown bag lunches, clip coupons and pay the minimum on credit cards. Our teens don’t drive luxury imports. If lucky, they get our hand me downs. If not, they take buses. We are the 99%.
The disparity between the rich and the rest of us has been a blemish on our history like Slavery and the Trail of Tears. The good news-we’re waking up. Americans are finally defining themselves less according to ethnic origin and more according to class. The Occupy Movement was the inevitable Americanization of the Arab Spring-the uprising that coughed out such malignant viruses as Mubarak and Kaddafi. These movements made us dump the happiness pills of listening to talk radio and do the one thing both pushers and pompous talk show hosts fear the most-become an educated and sober public.
Sobriety can be painful. It forces one to re-assess friendships. We are all in that stage now, awake, thinking which political saviors really had our interests at heart and which others hoodwinked us into thinking that Banks and other big corporations were our friends– the “job creators.”
First early morning smack in the face-the job creators do create jobs, but not in America. Call tech support and you will discover that the best jobs our now overseas, not because of high domestic taxes but because most Americans cannot survive on $5,000 dollars per year.
Second smack in the face-School vouchers. The Rich don’t want to pay school taxes because they send their children to $20,000 plus per year prep schools. Their agenda is give their children the best education and the best opportunities so that our children will be cleaning their children’s 16 bedroom estates.
The final wake up slap-taxes. We get stressed out. The Rich laugh and go shopping. Armies of lobbyists have ensured that millionaires pay less than garbage collectors. The Rich have also manipulated the electorate through such so called “grass roots” movements as the Tea Party. Did any reporter ever mention that the Tea Baggers sprouted during the health care debate about the time that importing cheaper meds from Canada began to threaten the portfolios of Pharmaceutical share holders? Hmm.
We cannot predict what will happen now that millions of Americans have finally drawn a line in the sand against a broken system, a system that is based on greed and the hording of wealth by the few. In prehistoric times, if a hunter came back to the camp carrying a fresh kill, the hunter knew enough to share. If he chose not to, the hunter was usually bludgeoned to death.
The voices in the street are more than just loud. They make sense. The party will not continue go on forever. The political candidates who advocate eliminating Social Security and Medicare will definitely not make it the White House. No, we will not allow our parents to rot in nursing homes while the parents of the Rich enjoy the splendor of a Caribbean resort. We will not accept our children being crowded into sardine cans while rich kids take golf lessons at country clubs. As the 1980’s rock group, Twisted Sister put it, “We’re not going to take it.”