Hey neighbor! I like that tri-cornered hat. And I like having you for a neighbor. Also, I like the Tea Party -- the Boston Tea Party -- that was an anti-corporate action. The citizens of Boston tossed 90,000 pounds of tea into Boston Harbor. All that tea belonged to the East India Company -- about a third of their total annual import.
The real issue wasn't the tea tax -- the tea would have cost less than people in England were paying -- the issue was that the East India Company wanted to set up what today is called "vertical marketing." That is, they wanted control of the distribution and sales of tea -- all tea -- a monopoly. All the Colonists had to do to get cheap foreign goods was to accept global corporatism. They didn't, and we could say that this country was born in an anti-corporate action. So why aren't you standing with us Occupiers?
OK, you say the Democrats suck. Can't argue with that. Do they suck as much as the Republicans? We could argue about that, about which party is worse, but really, why bother? They are both owned, bought and paid for. By corporate interests. It should be clear by now that whoever happens to be in the White House may make a little bit of difference -- style and stuff like that -- and we all have our preferences. But as to the big issues, close to nada.
You say you don't want the government messing with your life. Who does? But the government is supporting monopoly power, and that's messing with all of us.
You say you are against government welfare. Well, neighbor, the big welfare, the biggest government welfare by far and far, is to a handful of the biggest corporations. It's a long list -- bailouts are only the tip of the iceberg. Corporations are subsidized by government trade policies, government price supports, government water, government research grants, government courts and government armies. Government subsidies of giant corporations put small operators out of business. Really.
You say you want to keep what you earn. Good idea. But maybe that huge chunk that gets deducted from your pay check (which is not getting bigger) is so big because those who are benefiting the most from government pork aren't paying their share. Money made from just having money gets a discount! The top 1 percent now controls 40 percent of the wealth in this country. They must have worked hard for that, huh? As hard as you do. How could the fact that half the money is stacked at the top mean that there is less for you? Paying for what you get is only fair.
You say you are for American traditions. This country worked hard to curtail corporate interests for a hundred years. Corporations were not "persons" -- that would have been considered ludicrous. Corporations were not allowed to meddle in politics -- politics was for living citizens, people who had a stake in the future. As a rule, before the Civil War, corporations were not allowed to own stock in other corporations. And corporations usually had a limited life span.
When we grew up -- assuming you are close to my age (I get special rates at restaurants) -- the average CEO earned around twenty-four times the average employee. Today the average CEO earns over three hundred times the average employee. Do you think they are working harder? Are they smarter than they used to be? Do you think they could get away without government subsidies and protection, without legalized corruption?
As long as the big money owns the congress, whatever we argue about doesn't really amount to much of a tiddly-wink. This is a citizen's issue -- not a partisan issue -- government supported and subsidized global corporate interests have both parties in their pockets. Let's work together to fix that. Then, and only then, will we be able to argue out, in a democratic republican way, in an American way, all that other stuff. That's common sense.