It's a Business

 Modern times have seen us lose much of our innocence regarding notions of political figures being heroic and committed to serving the public and the good of the nation. To even say it almost sounds like the set up to a bad joke. There probably was a period in our history when the idea of becoming an elected official meant being humbled by the opportunity to serve the nation. There probably was a time when many in Washington woke up feeling overwhelmed with the idea they had another day serving their great nation. Of that I have no doubt. But those days have been supplanted by moneyed corporations and the lobbyists that represent them in Washington corrupting the process in favor of the wealthy.

For those wealthy corporations, things have gone excessively well over the last decade and more. They have become wealthier than ever. Take 2010 as an example. As David Cay Johnston points out in Reuters, “The aftermaths of the Great Recession and the Great Depression produced sharply different changes in U.S. incomes that tell us a lot about tax and economic policy. The 1934 economic rebound was widely shared, with strong income gains for the vast majority, the bottom 90 percent.

“In 2010, we saw the opposite as the vast majority lost ground. National income gained overall in 2010, but all of the gains were among the top 10 percent. Even within those 15.6 million households, the gains were extraordinarily concentrated among the super-rich, the top one percent of the top one percent.

“Just 15,600 super-rich households pocketed an astonishing 37 percent of the entire national gain.” ( And it wasn't just 2010 that saw middle and lower income Americans, or bottom 90 percent plus, get hit. The last eleven or so years saw the middle class shift from stagnant growth in the previous two decades to actually becoming more impoverished. “While the earnings of middle-income Americans have barely budged since the mid 1970s, the new data showed that from 2000 to 2010, they actually regressed. For American households in the middle of the pay scale, income fell to $49,445 last year, when adjusted for inflation, a level not seen since 1996. And over the 10-year period, their income is down 7%.” (

We have elected officials, both Democrat and Republican, that are almost exclusively focused on helping the wealthy become more so, and are essentially abandoning us, except in the one place we still count to them, in votes. So they hit the road and, depending on who's turn it is to drive, steer all kinds of sweetness and inspiration in our direction to get us thinking that maybe this is the one or at least the lesser of two evils. They know what we want to hear (they ought to) and they just say whatever. They'll say one thing in one state and say something a little different in another. Whatever it takes to get those votes going in a specific direction for that election season as is deemed necessary to cover the next term depending on the office in question.

The two parties are basically a two headed organization existing solely to serve its own needs as any other business enterprise. That's especially true as, if elected officials stay in office long enough, they can earn a six figure salary, have great benefits, get flown home on the weekends, get wined and dined by wealthy interests and retire as board members of or as lobbyists for moneyed interests making annual salaries of seven figures or more easily.

They can get well connected with the defense and intelligence industries and the pentagon for example, then retire to high salary jobs in related fields. The defense industry is already a revolving door for greedy politicians and others to get jobs in the public sector, then go into the private sector, and back again. There are estimates up to 60 percent of intelligence jobs are outsourced to private firms hiring former public sector employees that leave and then go back to do the same job as a “private consultant” for our government because we would be stuck without them. ( ( ( ( (

You and me, as the people that earn the least and pay the lionshare of the taxes, are on the hook for these people and their scamming our intelligence and national defense in such a way. ( (

It doesn't matter if we think it's fair. It's business and big business, and big business cares only about increasing its own wealth. The defense industry is the same, making big dollars – from US taxpayers – by the US military maintaining large bases overseas. Do we really need over 50,000 troops in Germany? World War II ended in 1945 and the Cold War ended in 1989. Last close contact we had with Germany was back in 2006 when President George W. Bush tried to give Chancellor Angela Merkel a massage, and if anything that was really us committing the act of unwanted aggression, let's be honest. (

The real reason we have so many troops overseas is to protect oil fields that are deemed US interests as they are owned by or have close relationships with US oil companies. But those are private businesses. They aren't giving us a piece of their profits aside from what little taxes they pay to make up for the huge amount we have to shell out for the oversized military. ( Why do we have to foot the bill for their private security? We aren't getting compensated by US owners of factories in Eastern and Southeastern Asia for bases protecting them. And those are the very same “American“ factories that went over there taking our jobs with them. So we have to pay to protect our cheap labor replacements on foreign soil?

But today's politicians don't see it that way, because doing so doesn't get those campaign dollars rolling in. They have either helped destroy good paying US jobs and the unions, or sat idly by while it happened and it isn't just management servicing Republicans. It was Bill Clinton that signed off on NAFTA. Barack Obama said on Nov. 3rd, 2007 while campaigning in Spartanburg, SC., "And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I'm in the White House, I'll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I'll will walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner." (

When unions called out to him in Wisconsin and so many other states, to fulfill that promise he made, inspiring them to get out the vote for him, though it was regarding unions closer to home, he wasn't there. I suppose it was more beneficial to him letting wealthy corporations see he was not on the side of unions and would give them the cold shoulder if the time came for them to cut their unions down further than already was the case. The only thing that has protected middle income and lower income pensions from being raided to shift money over for executive bonuses, executive health plans, executive retirement funds and even executive pensions, has been unions. But unions are not management friendly, so Democrats and Republicans can't really get too friendly with them either except during campaign season.

In the media there are never voices from sources outside of Republicans or Democrats. Republicans and Democrats run the presidential debates, ensuring we never hear any other voices there either. ( In those debates they even decide which questions cannot under any circumstances be asked – so we don't really get to see them under scrutiny like we think we do. They run the show, pick the winners and it's a racket. The wealthy get wealthier, Democrats and Republicans are more entrenched and in it to make a profit than ever, and the only people not getting wealthier and not benefitting from the system are you and I.

During the Great Depression huge amounts of public funds went to putting people to work through a service called the WPA. But the only people that got huge sums of money this time around were already wealthy corporations. Meanwhile, people lost their homes, vehicles, retirement savings, children's college savings and more. Meanwhile, people in the inner city saw their children's educations get worse and jobs become scarcer. This is no longer public service; this is a tool to get wealthy as the two party system becomes an extension of the private sector using slick marketing to sell us on their product. Once we buy it, it's no longer their concern and we pay the price for that. The only way to change this problem is, over the next ten to twenty years, to begin electing independents and new parties in significant enough number to impose checks and balances on this system that has increasingly become sadly laughable and cringe worthy as we watch the pointless political drama repeat itself time and again.

To read about my inspiration for this article go to




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