Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Shifting Sands

With the most sincere effort I'm able to muster, I fail to understand how socialism could be construed as anything but a common benefit. At face value, it means nothing more than taking the necessary steps to support one's society, ensuring the well-being of each and every one of
its constituents. It's a holistic approach that takes into account both the needs of those who are able to provide for themselves- without diminishing their ability to succeed financially, and those who are unable to provide for themselves, and therefore require assistance.
The problem is, we have been duped by the "American dream"; the promises of a mansion with rolling green hills, a seven figure bank account and garage filled with elite status symbol cars has kept us salivating over a reality few of us will ever see. In fact, we are so invested in the idea that we will one day be wealthy, that we
preemptively guard our theoretical future wealth from any potential threat (such as taxes,) at our own expense. We fail to understand that by voting for or supporting the plutocracy (read: “G.O.P."), we are actually ensuring that we'll NEVER find ourselves with any more wealth than we presently have, and in fact are likely to lose even more.
Part of the problem is this proclivity to divide everything into "us" vs. "them". Society is a body, complete with interdependent systems. When there is an infection in one part, without proper care, it will eventually spread, ultimately causing catastrophic systemic failure. Our current society is infected, and thus far bereft of proper care.
In the last century, we were the most upwardly mobile society on the globe. Our diversified economy, built on domestic manufacturing jobs and a strong balance of import and export industry provided such a surplus of well paying jobs that we had the largest middle class in the
world and no debt to speak of. In fact, at the end of Bill Clinton's presidency, we were firmly "in the black".
Flash forward a decade: our mobility trails behind England, China, and even India. Our middle class has all but disappeared, and we are three trillion dollars in debt. Our leaders tell us that each corporate tax break, every industrial deregulation and social program cut is a necessary “shared sacrifice”we must bear, if we are ever to climb out of our current morass. In
fact, it's exactly this mindset that has gotten us here, and- make no mistake, will keep us here.
Unless we change our collective paradigm by recognizing that we are an interdependent system wherein each and every part is absolutely integral, (yes, even a competitive economy,) we will continue to fail. The social body will sicken and ultimately die. We will lose every social support we've come to rely upon; medical care that needn't be paid out of pocket at time of service, public education, even police, fire and emergency, will become things of the past.
Until we rectify our ways with drastic measures such as (a), insisting on a progressive tax for all (b), encouraging corporations to bring manufacturing jobs stateside again by offering incentives to do so and enforcing penalties for refusal, and (c) supporting the regrowth of our middle class by any and all means necessary, this decaying body will crumble from the inside, until, even the ivory towers that are occupied by the plutocrats themselves will crumble and fall,

built as they are,
upon this foundation of
violently shifting sand.

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