Barak Obama and John McCain are the choices given to the American people for their new President, notwithstanding the fact that Bob Barr and Cynthia McKinney are running also. But the inconvenient fact is that this election means absolutely nothing as far as changing life for the better for ordinary Americans, both the disappearing middle class and the poor.
The positions of both candidates, as we move through the summer months, slide ever so swiftly towards the middle of the road, while voters on both sides ravage each other like pit bulls set loose in a ring. There is no middle of the road though, the powers that be only pretend there's one to keep the electorate divided and fighting over non issues such as gay marriage and abortion. What they don't want you to even contemplate however, is the fact that the corrupt politicians, in league with corrupt corporations, and reported as Gospel truth by a corrupt media, are re-instituting the Gilded Age right here in the U.S.A.
Middle class families are already feeling the squeeze in every aspect of their buying power. The poor have become so destitute that many diets consist mainly of Ramen noodles. But as they call this an 'economic correction', we should be taking a look back to the 19th century, and the privatization of government services and the flow of cash to faith based charities, to shine a light on what these so called 'compassionate conservatives' have been up to.
The late 19th century in America saw the government trying to help alleviate poverty by instituting laws that decreed an Overseer of the Poor in each county in the country. The Overseers would assess the needs of a poor individual, and grant relief based upon each family's need. But of course, along came the 'reformers' who decried the subsidizing of anyone less fortunate than themselves, ie; the bankers, lawyers, and corporate entities. Their 'reforms' included privatizing the Overseer positions to corporate entities, diverting massive aid to faith based charities, and requiring work in exchange for aid.
Here's what happened. The charities grew fat, stopped even pretending they were helping the poor and corruption and massive salaries and perks for charity workers became the norm. In order to comply with the new laws requiring work for welfare, the Overseers held public auctions for the poor who could not support themselves, allowing for the LOWEST bidder to contract to feed and house the poor person, in exchange for labor. Ahhhh. Forgot about this little American slavery tidbit did you? It was because of the major abuses in the 'reform' system and the absolute corruptness of the corporations and the 'faith' based organizations, that the whole idea of welfare at that time collapsed entirely. Which was what they intended all along, after making a bundle off of the government first of course.
Finally, after decades of suffering a true Gilded Age in America, men of compassion stepped forward and gave us a Progressive Era and a New Deal. The implementation of government programs to keep the poor from starving to death, obtain medical care, and have a home to live in actually did alleviate poverty and suffering in this country. But of course, where ever the smell of money is coming from, there you will find lurking like jackals the bankers, the lawyers, and the corporations. Almost from the beginning of the New Deal, they sought to take it over in much the same way as they did in the 19th century. Slowly, ever slowly, they turned the poor into the fall guy for all of the ills that befell the nation, ills conceived and implemented by the very people who spoke out against the poor and the welfare system.
After years of beating it into the very soul of the United States that the poor were to blame for every budget deficit, and that the only way out of the monetary crisis was to 'reform' welfare, the American people once again were hoodwinked into handing control of government and this time, taxpayer dollars to the hyenas in our midst. Here's what they've done with 'welfare reform'.
Since Bill Clinton's election year capitulation to the Republicans, welfare reform has cost this country more money than the system that was in place ever would have. In fact, the first year alone, 1997, the states ended up receiving $4.7 billion dollars more than they would have under the old system. The trend continued on for year after year, with the money that was allocated for programs such as child care going instead to fill state budget gaps, due to the new leeway given to the states as to how best to spend their welfare dollars. In 2004, New York State alone used $1.4 billion dollars of it's welfare money that was to go to pay for education programs and child care on budget gaps entirely unrelated to the poor.
As the the welfare reform of old, faith based initiatives were put forth. More and more of the grant money that was supposed to be helping the poor and even the middle class, went to faith based charities instead. Million dollar salaries, Cadillacs, mansions, vacations to exotic locations, and enlarged overseas bank accounts were the result. People going to the so called 'faith based' charity for help paying their rent, or light bill, or even to get food, would be put through (and still are today) an arduous application process, and after hours of waiting, would invariably be told there was no money left to help them. Organizations would give the poor the bare minimum required to keep up with federal guidelines. Oversight was nonexistent, because hey, these are 'religious' charities right?
But then came the biggest scam of all, and why all of the efforts of those who wished for welfare reform were worth the wait. Because the payday was finally coming, and the largest heist in world history came to fruition with the precision of a missile strike. They privatized the Food Stamp program. They privatized Medicaid and Medicare. They privatized every aspect of the welfare system they could, with the result being out of control costs and less services for those who need it.
With the Food Stamp program, the criminal politicians gave control over it to the banks. Banks like Citigroup and J.P. Morgan. even though there has not been any real rise to food stamp allotments for recipients for over a decade, the costs of the program have doubled during the past ten years. Why is that? Because now there's a middle man. The banks that administer the programs get their cut, the store that accepts the food stamps get an extra few cents per food stamp dollar spent, and the food stamp recipient gets lower aid amounts to offset the corporate welfare. The same with Medicaid and Medicare. HMO's and insurance companies as middle men, paid extra money to ensure less services for recipients. To the tune of billions of wasted tax dollars every year.
As they ship more and more jobs overseas every year, and more and more of the middle class begin to join the ranks of the poor, the demand for services from the welfare system is going to rise. This will be great for the thieves in our midst in the short term, whose sole intent is to steal as much as they can before they break the bank. But it will mean nothing for the people in need of help, as the budget axe falls again and again and again. There will be plenty of money for the corporations that are running their respective programs, but in true trickle down fashion, the people who the programs are intended to help will get the shaft.
That's why this election really means nothing. Nothing is going to change. If McCain wins, he runs the country into the ground at the same pace as Bush. The people surrounding him will urge him to accelerate the destruction of all programs designed to help both the poor and the middle class. If Obama wins, the money designed for programs will once again be diverted to 'faith based' charities, who will them be entrusted to do the right thing. But all one has to do is take a look at the around the corner lines at virtually every food bank in the country to know that the money is going to go into someone's pocket and not to the people who need it. You may as well give the money to Halliburton and KBR, at least they rob you to your face. But whichever candidate wins, no one is going to bring back all those lost jobs, or hold American corporations who shipped the jobs overseas, thereby hurting our nation, to account. Oh sure, the platitudes are all out there. "I promise". Uh huh. And if you believe that line any more without getting a signed statement of intent from all the candidates, then I've got a bridge to sell you. Oh, never mind. It was just bought by a corporation also wasn't it?
The point is that they are deliberately shoving us back into the Gilded Age, and everyone who should be stopping them is either asleep at the switch, sold out and became part of the problem, or been suckered into believing it's for their own good. And the protection of the country of course. Very soon, there will be two classes in America. The haves, and the have nots, period. And as Bush himself said, and it's true of ALL politicians, "I call you my base". There's only one way to stop this decline. One chance to save this country from the tyranny being thrust upon us. And that's to shove the corporations out the door of the nation's Capitol. Enact laws keeping corporate entities from running government programs. Redo the New Deal so it's fair and works for everyone in such a way as to afford all a chance to rise out of poverty. Any other suggestion, especially privatizing more government programs, are ludicrous, and put forth by the thieves and the sociopaths who could care less about America, but love that bottom line.
What it all boils down to is that in order for this election to really be about 'Change We Can Believe In', then one of the candidates, and we know it's not going to be McCain, had better step forward and give us a detailed plan on how they intend to alleviate poverty in America, and how they intend to get our middle class jobs back. How they intend to cut the bankers and corporations out of government decision making and ripping off the taxpayers. If not, we're all better off heading for Canada and applying for political asylum, period.