If we had paid attention to history we might understand the imperative of battling the rich.
I consider myself to be a Conscientious Capitalist. I believe most people in business are even if they don’t call themselves that.
I define Conscientious Capitalists as people who know and understand that it is absolutely possible to have financial success without sacrificing our individual or collective ethics, morals, and integrity. I also include in this definition the principle that our economy is NOT a zero-sum game in which I can only win if I ensure that you lose.
What seems to be missing in today’s version of a "free market" is what was missing in the last Gilded Age – compassion and restraint. Then as now, a small number of oligarchs in business and in government control and manipulate too much of our economy for their own personal gain.
What I think we need today are leaders who aren’t beholden to Big Money and who, instead, will fight for and enforce laws that regulate and produce a more equitable distribution of the gains created by the working class. Yes, it is the working class that drives our economy. It is the working class who are the actual job creators. Our economy will never fully recover without a thriving and prosperous middle class.
It also requires and is fully capable of supporting real pathways for the poor to truly follow out of their poverty. One such path should be higher education that gets progressively cheaper the lower one’s income until it eventually becomes free. Yes, free, and yes, it would be paid for by taxing the rich so that they will enjoy the benefits of having a well-educated workforce upon which to draw and which, today, they claim they want but can’t find.
Chris Hedges doesn’t mince words, and he may be too far left for some of you. He calls our oligarchs today a cancer in our democracy.
I think he’s right. Today’s oligarchs need to remind themselves about how we treat cancer. They also ought to think about what cancer eventually does to its host body if it can’t be treated and subdued.
Either way, it doesn’t end well for cancer.
"The blanket dissemination of the ideology of free market capitalism through the media and the purging, especially in academia, of critical voices have permitted our oligarchs to orchestrate the largest income inequality gap in the industrialized world. The top 1 percent in the United States own 40 percent of the nation’s wealth while the bottom 80 percent own only 7 percent, as Joseph E. Stiglitz wrote in “The Price of Inequality.” For every dollar that the wealthiest 0.1 percent amassed in 1980 they had an additional $3 in yearly income in 2008, David Cay Johnston explained in the article “9 Things the Rich Don’t Want You to Know About Taxes.” The bottom 90 percent, Johnson said, in the same period added only one cent. Half of the country is now classified as poor or low-income. The real value of the minimum wage has fallen by $2.77 since 1968. Oligarchs do not believe in self-sacrifice for the common good. They never have. They never will. They are the cancer of democracy." – Chris Hedges
If you want to do something that can change our system and make it possible for people of integrity and commitment to us instead of to money to be elected, then please sign on as a Citizen Co-Sponsor of the American Anti-Corruption Act at http://unitedrepublic.actionkit.com/event/cosponsor/9815/
See on www.truthdig.com