Hillary No Change or Hope
I find the candidacy of Hillary Clinton boring, contrived to be progressive, and disingenuous. Hillary Clinton, a former Goldwater republican, senator, and Secretary of State under President Obama is running to be the first female President and it is a sad situation.
A recent article by Lisa Featherstone in The Nation highlights Mrs. Clinton's efforts "as first lady of Arkansas to weaken teacher's unions and scapegoat teachers - most of them women, large numbers of them black - for problems in the education system.." Also according to Ms. Featherstone, in 1996 when Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, "Hillary wasn't a mere spectator to this; within the White House, she advocated harsher policies like ending traditional welfare, even as others in the administration, like Labor Secretary Robert Reich, proposed alternatives. Clinton defended her preferred policies by demonizing mothers struggling to get by as "deadbeats" who were "sitting around the house doing nothing."
On foreign affairs as Secretary of State, Ms Featherstone says that "Yet Clinton, as secretary of state, went so far as to claim that wars could help liberate women - for example, by making the Taliban respect human rights in Afghanistan..." Does this view of the world demonstrate the recognition of the realities? She sounds more like a republican warmonger living in a bubble of spreading democracy, and we all know how well that has worked for the last sixty years.
Mrs. Clinton latest show of duplicity has been attacks on Bernie Sanders Medicare for all proposal which in 1993 she supported. She opposes meaningful Wall Street reform (reinstatement of Glass-Seagal), the $15 minimum wage, free public college education, and has consistently supported intervention in Libya and the Iraq war.
The general election with Mrs. Clinton running against one of the GOP buffoons will be close and she could easily lose because she offers nothing new except being female. The progressive supporting Sen. Sanders will not be inspired to vote for her and this could easily lead to her defeat because Mrs. Clinton is merely a republican running for president as a democrat, no change or hope.
Inequality is the M. O.
The current day analysis/discussions of inequality in the United States focuses on outrageous pay for corporate CEOs, low wage fast food workers, lost manufacturing jobs, equal pay for women, and the general deflation of worker pay. It is as if this phenomena is new but to those who have plowed into the real history of America the circumstances on inequality is modus operandi of capitalism/colonization.
A little history refresher will explain the reality. The great colonizer, England, of the 1600's sent its religious baggage to the new American colony to serve as cannon fodder for the genocide of the rightfully inhabitants. British royalty's goal was to steal the resources to enhance the wealth of England and themselves. Constant wars with Spain, France, and the Dutch required money and resources; administering colonies in the West Indies and elsewhere required money and resources; and of course maintaining a viable slave trading industry.
Before and after the American Revolution, hundreds of uprisings and rebellions (like the Shay's Rebellion of 1786) occurred in which working class whites (and former indentured white slaves), small farmers, and a few free Negroes (and escaped slaves) revolted against low pay, high taxes, and lost jobs due to slavery while at the same time the business class gained all the economic benefits. Sound familiar? These rebellions posed a grave threat to the business class: the large landowners (and plantation owners), merchants, manufacturers, bankers, etc. This group formed militias along with the support of local sheriffs and the military to suppress the rebellions.
This class warfare served as the foundation for the creation of the Constitution as a document which according to Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States": The Constitution, then illustrates the complexity of the American system: that it serves the interests of the wealthy elite, but also does enough for small property owners, for middle-income mechanics and farmers, to build a base of broad support. The slightly prosperous people who make up this base of support are buffers against the blacks, the Indians, the very poor whites. They enable the elite to keep control with a minimum of coercion, a maximum of law - all made palatable by the fanfare of patriotism and unity.
So in conclusion, nothing has changed in 400 years and the only constant has been Americans' stupidity, racism, and denial of reality that has allowed the inequality to continue. How long will it take for the so-called working classes to wake up and realize that they have been duped by a capitalist greed-based system designed to protect the wealthy at their expense? When will they realize that the tax system, trade policies, Wall Street, corporations, and the Republican party are all part of a system of oppression designed to limit the worker and protect, promote, and enrich the wealthy? Don't hold your breathe!
Back to the Good Old Days
You probably haven't read enough American history to recognize the return of the "Good Old Days" of three to four hundred years ago when America was being "founded" by wealthy British expatriates and supposedly persecuted Puritans, but should. You see if you read that history you will better understand how you as a middle class American are being screwed today.
Back in the 1600's and latter, the wealthy colonists with the British king's blessing divided up the best land and setup farms/plantations along the eastern shores of New England stretching to Virginia and South Carolina using indentured white slaves and/or Puritans to work the land. These workers were soon replaced by captured and enslaved Native Americans who were ultimately replaced by kidnapped Africans. Under this system all the benefits, that is, wealth went to the owners of the farms/plantations, in other words all the income flowed to the top and of course to the British royalty who financed the initial operations. The freed whites, former indentured servants, where pushed further west to provide a bulwark against the feisty Indians who did not like their homeland being stolen.
These folks became the small farmers, tradespeople, common laborers, and protectors against Indian uprisings etc., essentially the middle class of the period with the slaves at the bottom of the economic ladder. Fast forward to the Great Depression where the middle class was in soup lines, starvation was commonplace, and homelessness rampant along comes the New Deal; and with the growth of unions we saw the growth of the middle class. Income equality existed, of course, but the playing field was much fairer.
Since 1980 with the election of the buffoon, Ronald Reagan, and the adoption of neo-liberal economic policies America has become a bastion of economic inequality. The job market is defined by a recent report: In the NELP’s report “The Low Wage Recovery: Industry Employment and Wages Four Years Into the Recovery,” researchers found that there were now 2.3 million more of the lowest-paying jobs, 700,000 fewer middle-income positions and more than a half million fewer higher-paying jobs.
In addition, rents consume 50% of low wage salaries, close to 47 million people live in poverty including 16 million children and 1.5 million people live in extreme poverty. Needless to say, the wealthy are still wealthy and acquire most of the economic growth. It seems that after 400 years not much has changed but the form of slavery, exploitation, and the denial of opportunity just like in the "Good Old Days".
Comments to think about.