Somebody asked me, the other day, who is Ron Paul? I realized at that point how completely the global corporations dominate our mainstream media. For those who get their news from Fox, I have a news flash, Ron Paul represents your last and best hope for your ability to hang on to your home, savings, pension and freedom. Ron Paul may represent the last hope for the future of your children and grandchildren.
There is not one Presidential candidate from one of the major parties who cares about America and the welfare of its families. I have previously documented how Giuliani’s law firm is dong the bidding of Spanish King, Juan Carlos, as he has cemented his eventual control over the I-35 NASCO Corridor in Texas which will displace over one million Americans from their homes and place of business and replace public thoroughfares with toll roads from which proceeds will end up in Juan Carlos’ bank account. Hillary Clinton, once the poster child for fixing our corrupt health care system, is now in the hip pockets of the health care industry as witnessed by her lead position for the candidate who is receiving the most money from the pharmaceuticals and the managed health care industry. Ms. Clinton is also for open borders and the abrogation of American sovereignty. Need I say more? Romney, Thompson and Obama are for whatever the flavor of the day is in the mainstream media. They stand for nothing which means they will fall for anything. In short, they are bought and paid for by the global corporations. Of course there is always John “we need more boots on the ground” McCain. A McCain presidency would doom future generations of Americans to the military draft and would subsequently risk their lives in more illegal wars of occupation driven by corporate profit. McCain has proven to be an effective de facto broker for the global corporations and their fervent war fever, not to mention their desire for more sovereignty snatching trade agreements. All of the aformentioned politicians are part of the problem and Americans will only get more of the Dirty Thirty (listed below) if any of them manage to get elected.
If I were a political prognosticator, I would be willing to bet that Clinton and Obama will occupy the oval office come January of 2009. I freely confess that I lose a lot of sleep over this looming likelihood. With husband Bill running amok and masquerading as the “first laddie,” he would no doubt become a major embarrassment to a Hillary run government. However, my main concern is that Hillary will finalize what Bush 43 has started with regard to the destruction of major portions of the United States Constitution and the complete erasure of national boundaries (eg illegal immigration and the implementation of the North American Union and the FTAA). I am also certain that a Hillary run government will further erode traditional American values for the sake of ushering in a form of undemocratic corporate sponsored globalism.
We are on the verge of losing America, forever.
Just what does make America, America? Before we can examine the current threats to America, we must first take a look at the fundamental expectations Americans traditionally hold regarding their country.
Every post World War II generation, has certain commonly shared beliefs that are uniquely American. It could be said that America takes the following 10 foundational beliefs for granted:
1) America is the land of opportunity. If one is willing to work hard enough, they can become a “rags to riches” story.
2) The opportunities that parents will leave their children will be greater than was the case for the previous generation.
3) Despite the character and behavior of some politicians, the American system endures and serves the interest of the people because of the United States Constitution.
4) It is the job of government officials and government agencies to protect the American people from the harm of greedy, self-serving corporations.
5) We will always be a nation that respects individual liberties such as freedom of religion and speech as well as protecting the rights of private property owners.
6) The American education system is the great equalizer and for some this free access to learning levels the playing field between rich and poor as witnessed by the numerous accomplishments of economically poor Americans that have climbed the ladder of success.
7) Despite their differences, their incessant bickering and finger pointing, the leadership as well as the rank and file of the two major parties really does have the best interest of America at heart.
8) Americans believe that our future safety is virtually guaranteed because of our awesome military might.
9) America is the lone remaining super power. As a result, the American people are reaping the benefits of our international dominance with an ever-increasing standard of living.
10) The Depression and World War II generation presided over the greatest change in American History bringing us unprecedented success as a nation and this success fully endures over six decades later.
As the following paragraphs will illustrate, we can no longer take these 10 expectations that Americans have toward life in our country as fact. The winds of change are blowing across our once great nation. This is the story of the most transformative change since the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
America is besieged with a declining standard of living and the American Dream is on life-support. The following list will partially illustrate how far American has slid from its once proud days as the world’s premier superpower. How bad have things become? Below is a snapshot of negative trends in the areas of labor, media, health care, foreign policy, military prowess and integrity in government.
The Dirty Thirty
1. In 1974, the U.S. government declared a health care crisis because we spent 7.5 percent of our gross national product on medical costs. Today we spend more than twice that much. (Bill Clinton, State of the Union, 1994)
2. Under President Dwight Eisenhower's Republican administration, the maximum marginal tax rate was 87%. The Reagan tax cut of 1981 dramatically lowered this to 50%, then again to 28% in 1986. (Hill, S. (2006). 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy. PoliPoint Press, Sausalito, CA. pp. 5-8.). Since then, and to nobody’s surprise, our nation has seen a steady rise in wealth disparity. Reagan called it “Trickle Down Economics,” only, it did not trickle.
3. The largest monopolistic mergers in history of the corporate world which serves to limit consumer choice in this ever-present monopolistic economy. A few of these mergers include:
· RJR Nabisco with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
· Walt Disney with Capitol Cities ABC
· Wells Fargo with First Interstate Bank
· Warner Communications with Time, Inc.
· AOL with Time –Warner
· Kraft Foods with Phillip Morris
· Chase Manhattan with Chemical Bank
· Squibb with Bristol-Myers
4. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention actually reported that 54.5 million people were uninsured for at least part of the year. (Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 2006. Centers for Disease Control.
Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 2006 by Robin A. Cohen, Ph.D., and Michael E. Martinez, M.P.H., Division of Health Interview Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics.)
5. The ratio of average CEO pay to worker pay in the U.S. shot up from a 301-to-1 in 2003 to 431-to-1 in 2004. The average CEO now earns $11.8 million per year versus a paltry $27,460 for the average worker, earning substantially more in one day than the average worker earns all year. Iglitzin, D., & Hill., S. (07/01/2007). Income Inequality Threatens America. The News Tribune of Tacoma, WA. http://www.iom.edu/?id=19175
6. Nike athletic shoes that sell in the United States from $95 to $185 are produced by 75,000 workers employed by independent contractors in low income countries. A substantial portion of these workers are in Indonesia and are compromised of mostly women and girls housed in company barracks, paid as little as 15 cents an hour and required to work mandatory overtime. Unions are forbidden and strikes are broken up by the military. The virtual slave labor, which also comes at the expense of American jobs which have been increasingly exported in the name of securing cheaper corporate labor. In the Vietnamese Nike plants, “To instill discipline, Nike supervisors force workers to stand outside in the broiling sun -- treating them like sun-dried tomatoes. There is sexual abuse…..” “Nike workers average only a $1.60 a day making shoes that Knight sells here for $180 a pair. Lest you think $1.60 is good money in Vietnam, it costs $2.10 a day just for food.” This is an American based corporation which is abusing its workers. When United States wages are suppressed to the point where NIKE et al will hire American workers, you are reading about the future of your children and grandchildren. (CNN.com (02/22/2001). http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/southeast/02/22/indonesia.slaveshop/. and (Hightower, J. (1997). Albion Monitor. http://www.albionmonitor.com/9704b/jh-nikeabuse.html
7. “Currently the top 10 percent of income earners in the United States own 70 percent of the wealth and the wealthiest one percent own more than the bottom 95 percent, according to a Federal Reserve Study. In 2005, the top 300,000 Americans collectively enjoyed almost as much income – 21.8 percent – as the bottom 150 million Americans, more than double their share of income in 1980.” (Iglitzin, D., & Hill., S. (07/01/2007). Income Inequality Threatens America. The News Tribune of Tacoma, WA. http://www.iom.edu/?id=19175
8. The federal government gives tax breaks to corporations which help to supplement these outrageous CEO salaries, to the tune of billions of dollars nationwide. Case in point lies in Phoenix, AZ .where Phoenix Mayor, Phil Gordon, and the Phoenix City Council gave away $97.4 in taxpayer’s money to Citynorth to build a parking structure near a developing large shopping mall. (Fenske, S. (09/06/2007). Revolting Development. The Phoenix New Times.)
9. Two-thirds of all the tax benefits for pensions and retirement savings now go to families earning more than $100,000 a year. Only 7 percent of these benefits go to families earnings $50,000 or less. (Horney, J., & Greenstein, R. (01/06/2006). House Pension Bill Would Make Some 2001
Tax Cuts Permanent For The First Time. Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. http://www.cbpp.org/12-14-05tax.htm
10. Children born in 1994 will face lifetime tax rates of more than 80 percent. (Clinton administration, 1994 budget)
11. Retiring Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., who stepped down earlier this year as chairman of the House committee that regulates the pharmaceutical industry, will become the new president and CEO of the drug industry's top lobbying group. Public Citizen, a non-profit consumer advocacy group, called Tauzin's hiring “yet another example of how public service is leading to private riches.” Tauzin gets a pay package reportedly worth at least $2 million a year, making him one of the highest-paid lobbyists in Washington. "Tauzin switches sides from drug industry overseer to lobbyist." Welch, W. (06/18/2004). USA Today. Tarzan switches sides from drug industry to overseer to lobbyist. http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/drugs/2004-12-15-drugs-usat_x.htm
12. Much to their detriment, American kids continue to be dumbed down. An ignorant populace is more vulnerable to losing their rights because one cannot understand the loss of constitutional rights when one does understand these rights. “About 11 percent of young citizens of the U.S. couldn't even locate the U.S. on a map. The Pacific Ocean's location was a mystery to 29 percent; Japan, to 58 percent; France, to 65 percent; and the United Kingdom, to 69 percent." "Survey Reveals Geographic Illiteracy," Bijal P. Trivedi (11/20/2002) National Geographic Today
13. If one goes back to 1979, prior to the period when the growth in inequality really took off in the United States, the top 5 percent on average had 11 times the average income of the bottom 20 percent. If you fast forward to the year 2000, the most recent economic peak, you find that that ratio increased to 19 times. So over the course of those two decades, the gap between the wealthiest and the lowest income families grew from 11 times to 19 times. (Bernstein, J, Multi- National Monitor, May 2003 Volume 24 Number 3. The Hierarchy of Income Equality in the United States http://multinationalmonitor.org/mm2003/03may/may03interviewsbernstein.html
Lack of health insurance causes roughly 18,000 unnecessary deaths every year in the United States. Although America leads the world in spending on health care, it is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not ensure that all citizens have medical coverage. When will the pharmaceuticals and the HMO’s have made enough money? (Institute of Medicine of the National Academies Insuring America's Health: Principles and Recommendations (01/14/2004). http://www.iom.edu/?id=19175
15. College Tuition rose 8 times faster than inflation through the 1980’s and 1990’s (Department of Education, 2000). The silver-spooned children will be well prepared for futures which will help them to get even wealthier and at an increasingly disproportionate rate as compared to middle income children.
16. The 2.7 million Americans with the highest incomes will have as much money as the after-tax income of the 100 million Americans with the lowest incomes (Former Labor Secretary,Robert Reich, on Oprah, June, 2006).
17. One percent of the country controls 40% of the wealth (Robert Reich on Oprah, June, 2006).
18. According to the most recent government figures, 37 million Americans are living below the official poverty line of $19,971 a year for a family of four, and the number of poor people in America has increased by 5 million over the past six years. (Iglitzin, D., & Hill., S. (07/01/2007). Income Inequality Threatens America. The News Tribune of Tacoma, WA. w
19. Tax policy changes since 1977 have provided the top one percent of households with an average tax cut worth more than $40,000 in 1999. The average tax cut that the richest one percent of households has received exceeds the entire income of households in the middle of the income spectrum (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, (2005). Isaac Shapiro & Robert Greenstein)
20. Eminent domain cases enacted against American private property owners have risen over 300% in the past 10 years as compared to the previous 40 years. Many of these cases involve the taking of private land and making it a gift to private, corporate campaign donators. (Arizona Coalition to Protect Personal Rights, 2005; castledomain.com).
21. Inflation, at a minimum, averages 5% per year (Government Accounting Office, 2005). Over the past five years, has your income gone up by 25%? If not, you are poorer. You can thank, in large part the money games initiated by the Federal Reserve for the erosion of the dollar.
22. “In the radio sector, corporate broadcaster Clear Channel has grown from 40 stations to over 1,200 today. Concentration of broadcasters has resulted in canned programming and a loss of local content that have undercut the media’s public service mission. The corporate media have become the gatekeepers of a candidates’ viability, especially in high-profile races such as president, governor, or Congress.” (Hill, S. (2006). 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy) PoliPoint Press, Sausalito, CA. pp. 5-8).
23. “By 2000, the U.S. media system was dominated by fewer than 10 giant conglomerates owning a staggering array of media properties, including NBC, CBS, ABC, MTV, Fox News, CNN, Turner Broadcasting, ESPN, America Online, Time Magazine…” (Hill, S. (2006). 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy) PoliPoint Press, Sausalito, CA. pp. 5-8.). How can the American trust what they see and hear with this type of media consolidation?
24. Today the top 400 income earners in the U.S. make as much in a year as the entire population of the 20 poorest countries in Africa (over 300 million people). (Weissman, R., May 2003, Vol. 24, No. 5 Title: "The Wealth Divide" (An interview with Edward Wolff) Multinational Monitor. “New York is an especially bleak case study.
25. The top fifth of earners in Manhattan now makes 52 times what the lowest fifth makes - $365,826 annually compared with $7,047 - roughly comparable to income disparity in Namibia.” (Iglitzin, L., & Hill, S. (06/27/2007). Income Equality Has Run Amok: Do Leaders Even Care? New York Daily News.)
26. Even the Social Security Administration is involved on the war being waged against the American middle class. “The annual wage income above $94,200 is completely untaxed by Social Security. While an average worker pays 6.2% of their income to Social Security, a CEO earning $1 million pays only 1% of his salary. As is, only 83% of all wages are subject to Social Security taxes, so this would increase annual revenues by nearly 20%, or $100 billion a year.” (Iglitzin, L., & Hill, S. (06/27/2007). Income Equality Has Run Amok: Do Leaders Even Care? New York Daily News.
27. The Illinois Children's Mental Health Act of 2003 provides for compulsory mental health program for all children aged 0-18 in order to "provide for screening to "ensure appropriate and culturally relevant assessment of young children's social and emotional development with the use of standardized tools." (www.edwatch.org). In the Issues and Strategy Bulletin (HPISB#750-September 30, 2004), Howard Phillips quotes Lew Rockwell about George Bush’s plan to test the mental health of all citizens, "The New Freedom Initiative is a plan to screen the entire U.S. population for mental illness and to provide a cradle-to-grave continuum of services for those identified as either mentally ill or at risk of becoming so. Schools would become screening agents and not only for children, but for parents and teachers as well. Take your pick; are we speaking about Brave New World, 1984 or something far worse?
28. A quick glance at war profiteering in the Bush Administration demonstrates how the American people are funding the expansion of corporate profits (Nation Books/Avalon Group, 2004). Halliburton's prime contracts with the Pentagon jumped from $483 million in Fiscal Year 2002 to $3.9 billion in Fiscal year 2003, and increase of nearly 700%. Meanwhile, the American people have seen the Euro dollar surpass and the Canadian dollar catch up to the worth of American dollar.
29. With the advent of the North American Union (see www.spp.gov) and the dollar in virtual free fall, the Peso is in sight. When the dollar approaches the value of the Peso, we will see the ushering in of the Amero as our currency and the American dollar will be worth next to nothing.
30. "We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the work is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries." David Rockefeller, founder of the Trilateral Commission, in an address to a meeting of The Trilateral Commission, in June, 1991.
Can anyone deny that the global corporations are having their way with the middle class of America?
Did you intend, when you wrote your last check to the IRS, that you were going to be supporting the corrupt kleptomaniac system of the elite? On the national level, save Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo, can anyone name another politician worthy of your trust and subsequent vote?
Look at Ron Paul on the issues. He is our one and only hope for political salvation. What will we get with a Ron Paul Presidency? Well, your kids will not have to fight and die in the Middle East. The value of the dollar will be restored as will the inherent value of being an American citizen. Health care will be affordable. The time-honored principles of the United States Constitution will be followed for the benefit of every citizen in America. Put down the remote and do your homework (www.ronpaul2008.com
Unless you relish the thought of living under corporate sponsored feudalism, you best open your checkbook and contribute to Dr. Paul’s campaign. We cannot stand behind party politics any longer. Oh, I can just anticipate the hate mail I am going to receive over my endorsement. But I care about the future of my son and my country more than I care about any political allegiance. Join the Ron Paul Revolution.
How bad does it have to get before you will get off your rear end and do something for yourself and your family? In 2008, we must elect Ron Paul or we will witness the pallbearers of the Global Corporations carrying the United States Constitution to its final resting place.
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About the Author
Dave Hodges believes that the most endangered species on the planet is the American middle class. His work is dedicated to preserving our uniquely American way of life. He is a University of Denver graduate, 1977, BA, sociology;` and a University of Phoenix graduate, 1996, MC, community mental health counseling.
Dave has been a high school, college and university level psychology instructor and curriculum developer for over 25 years. Dave has also coached high school and college basketball for the same amount of time. In addition, he is a nationally certified mental health counselor in which he counseled drug addicted ex-felons attempting to productively transition into society.
Dave is the host of the talk show, Common Sense, which airs every Sunday at 3pm on KBSZ 1250AM. The show is live streamed and can be accessed at http://www.kbsz-am.com/streaming-audio/. The show is also archived and podcast at www.thecommonsenseshow.com