Friday, July 2, 2010

Celebrating Freedom? A Dose of Reality

How free can Americans truly be this Independence day? "Home of the brave, land of the free," should be changed to "home to the broke, and land of the enslaved." This country's debt is a staggering $13 trillion and counting. Check out the debt counter.

A large part of this debt can be contributed to the Iraq War that most Americans do not support and were taken into by deceptive measures. Wake up America, our government knew about 911 long before it happened. If they didn't help to plan it, they allowed it. Buildings don't come down like that unless there are strategically placed detonations devices. Metal doesn't melt by jet fuel alone. It was never about terrorism. It was about instilling fear into Americans, so that corporations could rob the world of oil. But moving on.

We are in the worst economic times since the Great Depression and it ain't over yet. Check out this video. I watched the entire presentation on Link TV by Richard D. Wolff, Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

In May, one in every 400 households in this country had received a foreclosure filing, according to RealtyTrac 's U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. The US unemployment rate for the last two years has hovered around 10 percent, only rivaled by the period in the mid 1980s. Check it out:

Congress sold out to corporate America long ago, passing laws allowing them to do as they please. Corporate America has experienced record productivity and profit levels over the last 40 years, according to Wolff. Due in part by its massive outsourcing practices, putting millions of Americans out of work. Getting even more greedy, some Wall Street genius created an investment vehicle called CMBS (Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities), which is now bringing down lenders worldwide -- harkening back the days of the early 1990's and the Savings and Loan crisis. However, we have already surpassed the number of banks that have failed in the S&L catastrophe and as of March 31 the FDIC is in a deficit of $20.7 billion. Bank failures are expected to peak this year (83 have failed already in 2010) and be slightly higher than the 140 that fell in 2009. Check it out:

According to Wolff, the reason we are in such dire straights is because even though corporate profits are up, corporations haven't increased the standard of living for Americans since the 1970s when you compare inflation rates with salaries. However, as Wolff states, Americans work longer hours than any other country in the world. So we are working harder and longer for less money. And you'll love this, because our standard of living hasn't increased, the credit card companies loan us the money to buy all the material things they say we need. And because we no longer make the money to save to buy a house, companies loan us money, which they then trade on to make additional money. And low and behold when Americans were at their debt limit and could no longer pay-- wala the subprime mortgage meltdown. Corporate America lulled Americans into complacency and we bought it hook, line and sinker.

In case you didn't get the concept yet let me explain. When the 70's ended Amercian's standard of living froze and has not increased since, and yet corporate profits have soared. And with this profit investment banks invested in what they thought was a safe bet the CMBS market, allowing them to trade on and profit from commercial real estate loans in addition to residential loans. When the bubble burst and they got caught with their pants down who bailed them out? We did the ones they turned their backs on when the profits rolled in.

Meanwhile, millions of Americans are without access to quality health care, because of pre-existing conditions or job loss. Yet our US Congressmen and women have access to the best health insurance in the country without having to deal with pre-existing conditions. Why shouldn't they? After all they are the ones who let the insurance companies get away with murder. It's their just rewards for looking the other way, while millions suffer. The temporary high-risk insurance pool created by the Health Care Reform Act that was to be in place by July 1 is now put off until the fall of this year. Who are we kidding? The insurance companies have until 2014 to raise rates across the board for undoubtedly less coverage. You can't force a conscience on an industry.

To top it all off we allowed the oil companies to screw us again by creating what is likely to be the largest oil spill in American History in the Gulf of Mexico, killing not only livelihoods of millions of Americans who depend on the waters of the Gulf, but millions of sea creatures who call it home. The oil is still flowing, skimmer ships that should have been in place weeks ago have finally been deployed. Why? It's as if BP and Halliburton want this to go on as long as it can. We have the technology to create a clean, reliable energy source and yet the government refuses to acknowledge this. Why, because corporate American would stand to lose billions of dollars. We have polluted our lands, our waters for the sake of profit.

We are fast becoming a third world country. There is approximately 30 to 40 million people living in poverty in the US, according to the National Poverty Center. The population of California is 36 million. Capitalism doesn't work, because the people that run these companies have no soul. They truly only care about profits.

Independence, that's a joke. We are not free when corporate America runs this country. We have to be the change we see in this world. Instead of setting off fireworks this weekend, we should all pray for and send light to the Gulf of Mexico that is slowly dying and all those Americans without homes, without jobs and without health care insurance.

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