Social and Political Commentary

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"All Men are Created Equal!"

... At last, Americans are protesting!

by Jackie Wattenberg

Amazing! Americans in more than a hundred cities are protesting our way of life
– political and financial. Protesting favors to the super rich, bailing out
banks but not those mistreated by banks.

Amazing! Americans are declaring that capitalism isn't working except for the
super rich, banks and corporations. A month ago one unique super-rich man,
Warren Buffet, urged in a New York Times headline to “Stop Coddling the Super-
Rich!” Super rich himself, he is an exception because the Republican super rich
have been holding back any program that is generous to those struggling to
exist.

While all over the world capitalism has added waves of socialism to their
governments, we Americans have struggled to survive under the dominance of the
very rich and powerful. All over Europe, South America and in most other parts
of the world where dictators are not in power, their governments have “mixed
economies” that consider the needs and rights of all of their people, rich,
middle class, lower groups most in need. All of the world's countries, except
the most impoverished, have given their people health care, yes, even Saddam
Hussein did! Our Republicans in Congress are still opposed to any health plan
except one that continues to profit the insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

What chance have Americans had for better, fuller lives if they were struggling
just for the basics of life while the rich and super rich have thought only of
doubling their wealth? And our Senators and Representatives have not attempted
to change this imbalance?

But finally, Americans are protesting! Mostly young people camping out in our
parks, but on a recent Boston radio station four senior citizens driven there
from their distant homes to join Boston's protesters, women in their seventies
and eighties declaring how unfair and undemocratic our “economic inequality” is
and must be changed. Will some elements of “socialism” be possible, even
demanded? Why is socialism so feared? All it means is that some of the nation's
industries and resources are owned by the government--but most countries
moderate that so there is only partial control of these areas, but they assure
that all of their citizens have a share of the nation's wealth, protected from
total insecurity.

Remember in grammar school when there was someone's birthday party EVERYONE got
the same portion of the cookies, candy and popcorn--sharing as many religions
expound.

Another area some of the nation-wide protesters are angry about is our constant
wars still demanding funding that otherwise could help feed hungry children and
find a small hovel for the homeless people in our country. At present, with
figures shifting every day, more than 650,000 people are without a home to sleep
in. If homeless, how can they afford to eat? In most cities there are a few
places that offer meals for the needy and shelters for those without homes, but
shelters are often full, so turn away some who need a safe place at night. How
frightened many Americans must be with winter looming at our back doors!

Peace-hopefuls resent that not only are the rich arms makers President
Eisenhower tried to warn us about wallowing in money for weapons to kill, but
our young, life-inexperienced soldiers are still dying in needless wars before
they've had a chance for living a full life as our Senators and Representatives
have.

And while Iraq is still unsettled and not peaceful, Afghanistan is still losing
more lives in this, the tenth year of that war, fought to catch Osama bin Laden,
now caught and killed. President Obama opposed the needless Iraq War, now
regretted also by former President Bush himself, but still is entrapped in
Afghanistan. Is it he who will not end that war in a country that defeated
Russia and Great Britain, or is it the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex
that troubled Eisenhower that is forcing Obama to struggle on?

It is upsetting to see President Obama on TV attempting to pass a Jobs Bill to
offer work in fixing damaged and dangerous bridges, schools, repairing roads,
work for many unemployed who have been unable to support themselves or their
families. We hear complaints that “the president isn't creating jobs!” But he IS
trying, but the Republicans in Congress, especially the Republican-dominated
House, refuse to pass the Jobs Bill to create jobs, and complain mightily that
“the President isn't creating jobs!”

So a great portion of U.S. citizens are suffering from lack of money to pay
mortgages, feed their families, pay rent, buy new shoes for their children, pay
medical bills and buy medicines. So where is the money that we know is somewhere
in this advanced country--in the bank accounts of our bankers? Facts are showing
that the banks and financial investors who provoked the great financial disaster
three years ago—remember them?--are doing beautifully. Well, remember how we
bailed them out? So they still have our great supplies of money, and are working
very hard for it--investing wisely and stashing it away.

It is a fact, cited by Warren Buffet in his article about “Coddling the Super
Rich,” that the very rich pay less in taxes than some who work in jobs that
barely pay their expenses. The Super Rich feel no guilt about having four or
five homes while some of their fellow citizens are homeless, while they can
travel all around the world while many poor today cannot take a train to see
their elderly parents or visit their grown children.

The great movement of protests for greater sharing of our wealth and rights,
ending our needless wars--$2,000,000,000 each week in Afghanistan—must be
respected by our powerful and rich. And more so, by our president, senators and
representatives, our governors and mayors. They must be reminded of words in our
Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson:

“All men are created equal, they are endowed by their Creator with certain
inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of
Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men,
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever any form
of government becomes unaware of these ends, it is the right of the People to
alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation
on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem
most likely to effect their Safety, and Happiness.”

December 2, 2011


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