There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.
The United States is a dismal place at the present time, not because we don’t know what to do, but because we’re determined not to do it. At this point the odds may be better than 50% that we won’t stop the implosion of America.
What with the timid, uncertain Democrats and the electorate’s temper tantrum last November, we now have in the U.S. Congress a large collection of functional illiterates, who are a motley mixture of nasty ideologues and some really intellectually challenged politicians, certainly a familiar bunch at the local level and oftentimes inhabiting state legislatures, but not a good sign for a wise public policy at the national level.
A nation can be one or the other, a democracy or an imperialist, but it can’t be both.
Do we really want to save money, roll back the encroaching American police state and actually begin to address the national debt? The disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to date have cost us $1.2 trillion and rising.
Along with packing our bags asap, we might consider closing the numerous military installations we have around the world and shutting down the welfare subsidies to the defense industry. There are billions of dollars to save—which will become trillions over time. Now imagine if we really decided on nation building in America?
The fundamental business of the country, that is, production and distribution of commodities, is on a sound and prosperous basis.
(President Herbert Hoover in response to the stock market crash of 1929, the beginning of The Great Depression)
The “fundamentals” of America are not remotely sound. Accept the very real fact that class war—a real one–is well underway. Would you normally let someone burn your house down, threaten your children’s future or even let your grandmother die because of unaffordable health care?
We wanted peace. General Motors chose war. Give it to them!
(Strikers at General Motors, December, 1936)
Mass affluence is over.
(Ad Age, 2011)
In lieu of hanging the bought and paid for politicians in the city square, tossing Wall Street executives out of their penthouse windows and burning down the mansions of the rich, we will merely begin with non-negotiable shared sacrifice, meaning ending tax cuts for the wealthy, stopping unnecessary oil subsidies and closing corporate tax loopholes.
A patriotic and conservative start, well within the American mainstream! It is a serious attempt at addressing our national debt, clearly the “most important” public policy issue facing America right now. Of course, this is about class war, and if you don’t at first succeed, well….
It would be so much better if we knew our culture.
(Wynton Marsallis, trumpeter, composer, educator)