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Commentary :: Politics
It's Your Money and I Can Do Anything I Want With It
27 Nov 2012
Most of us Americans love our country and our government. We don't like everything they do and how they do it, of course. There is a lot we would just love to change about how it does its business. We vote in an effort to change that. We vote to see our system, set up long go to be participatory and to evolve with the times, work. Democracy has benefited any number of nations, and many have seen their lives improve across the world, and as a symbols to many in the world with regards to democratic nations and their aspirations, we want to prove it can be done.
However, when it comes to the voice of the people, in many ways the phrase something's rotten in Denmark applies. We live in a system whereby our nation's rules and regulation are arrived at through compromise - or they are supposed to be. We know that through this process things get given more priority or less and are sometimes shelved and left out of pieces of legislation that we feel should have them. That's what happens in a participatory system, and one that requires people of differing viewpoints arrive at consensus on how best to proceed with regards to the problems facing our nation. Democracy is never perfect, but neither is any other system.

There are many ways this system can be corrupted, but perhaps the oldest - well, second oldest - is through money. Of course, money is not a bad thing and neither is people wanting to better their lot by making a little more. People being able to do so, providing a good, secure and decent life for themselves and their loved ones through their efforts, is a good thing. A person becoming wealthy through the fruits of their labor is also a good thing.

Money can most certainly be a positive force in people's lives, however, that same thing can turn destructive when used in order to corrupt otherwise good and well intentioned people, and moreover a system that is supposed to be accessible to all - not just a select few. Right now it is money that dictates what proposed policies get put into effect, and how so. Political contributions determine what a politician will do once in office, no matter what they say - that is if they intend to get re-elected.

Sure, we want them to be honest, but we know that's the exception to the rule given the nature of Washington, D.C. Even with the president of hope, that has proven not to be the case, and consistently so. I was a big supporter of Barack Obama in terms of espousing the idea he could back up what he said, and be the politician he said he would. Instead, just like so many before him, he made all kinds of promises on the road in 2008, and once in office did what best suited those that contributed the most money to his campaign.

It was not a matter of Barack Obama, of course, because John McCain would have been exactly the same. In fact, the Senator we all knew as a maverick willing to buck the trend and never back away from his stated opinions, did just that once the big donors on a national level got involved, and his positions changed quickly during his 2008 run for the White House. Mitt Romney would have been no different, and, like McCain, decidedly so, as big dollars determine who gets in, and what they do once in office.

It is not so much a system with two separate parties divided by ideology, as a system controlled by a small group of wealthy corporate donors that hold hostage what laws get passed. Sure, politicians will introduce laws and even debate the aspects of those proposed policies they feel should get the most attention paid to them. When the laws are finally agreed upon, if there is anything that corporations stand to benefit from them in any way, that is how those laws will end up as they sit on the president's desk awaiting a signature, with secondary attention paid to those things that would benefit the average American - if not less.

We see foreign policy shaped to benefit corporate donors like the defense industry. Why else would we have huge bases overseas? The excuse used is if we cut defense spending, people would be out of jobs. And that's their excuse? We support over 79,000 troops permanently stationed in Europe to support the defense industry? Who is that really benefitting? Many of the contractors working those bases are not American, they are locals. The surrounding areas benefit in terms of US dollars being spent. But where is this huge threat to US national security in Europe? How much money do you think Europe is costing us alone?

We have quiet currency manipulation deals with nations that provide cheap labor and foreign bases in the pacific region to point guns at any threats to those factories. But this is supposed to be a free market based economy. There is nothing free market about manipulating currencies and spending vast taxpayer dollars to have the military protect the interests of wealthy corporations in foreign nations. That's wealthy corporations asking people that will never benefit from their businesses to hold their hands and pay a large percent of their bills. Why should we?

Stop the currency manipulation and bring back the troops so they have to pay for their own security, and deal with the local mafiosos, dictators, terrorists, kidnapping rings, warlords, tyrants, theocratic rulers and monarchs on their own. We'll see how long it takes for them to be running back to the US, with factories popping up all over the place.

But, because politicians on both sides of the isle get huge donations from industries like the defense industry, we keep on sending us tax dollars to prop up corporations that don't benefit us. We won WWII and we didn't have vast foreign bases overseas prior to the war's beginning. The Nazis never stepped foot on US soil, and never even came close. 79,000 plus troops in Europe do not keep terrorists based in Africa and the Middle East from working to striking at us. I mean large numbers of these people, including Bin Laden, came from Saudi Arabia, yet we have 200 plus troops stationed there. That's because large troop numbers don't take out terrorists, intelligence, air strikes and special forces incursions do that.

Yet, we have this huge bloated foreign base infrastructure and we have to pay for it. That's because the wealthy corporate donors control what gets passed and where our money goes. The defense industry donates to both sides in each campaign season, and this ensures politicians spinning the outdated idea of the necessity for huge bases and large numbers of them spread out worldwide on our dime. We already know it's not necessary. The corporations benefitting from cheap labor ensure the quiet currency manipulation deals stay alive because of their donations. They also want those big US guns, paid for by you and me, pointed at the nations they have their cheap labor factories in, that we don't benefit from one penny. Oil companies and mining concerns also donate huge monies to keep those guns pointed and they get their way.

Both parties are involved and the biggest sleight of hand here is maintaining the two party only system that makes it easy for them to control, and easy to fool us. We get mad this year, no problem, they put most of their money into getting the other party elected in large enough numbers to shut us up so they can continue their games. We get mad again and our attention, anger and hostility gets the treated to the same thing as does a person's desire not to lose their bet in a simple street shell game - misdirection. The house wins every time, as corporations have donated to both parties, and the business of being a politician in America today has to do with them, the large companies, not us, the 99% plus of Americans.

They are not only playing with our lives, they are taking our money via those politicians they bought and paid for and saying, "you can't do a thing about it. It's mine now!" And all the while it's the money for the poor, elderly, infirm and indigent they have us staring at each other about back home. Boy, they sure are slick, you have to give that much to them.

To read about my inspiration for this article go to
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