By Marc D. Goldfinger
If Barack Obama stood up this election year and said, “I will not take any Wall Street money,” he could possibly win the election by a landslide. That’s just a conjecture. One of the wonderful elements about the Occupy Movement is that everyone is a leader.
Right now, close to 50 million people in the U.S. are in poverty or right on the edge of it. Democracy is hanging by a thread and those in power are gutting the Constitution because the House and Senate are listening to the big money people.
The so-called Patriot Act is stronger than ever. Even United States citizens can be disappeared. All the elements to create a fascist police state are in place. Remember, in a democracy, the one thing we have left is one-person, one vote. And all over our country different states are trying to make it more difficult for people to vote while corporations are declared to have the same rights as individual people.
Who has more money—an individual person or a corporation? Well, that’s a no-brainer—of course a corporation has more money. A corporation is a conglomerate of greed-driven individuals that want to keep their riches and will do anything to make that possible.
Predatory capitalism has been happening across the board for over the last 30 years and has been growing at a phenomenal rate while 17 million American households are now “food insecure.”
When a person comes in to get Food Stamps, he/she is faced with a mass of paperwork—13 to 15 pages to fill out—while their stomach is growling and their children are crying for lack of food. Why is it that we can’t help the poor but always have more money for weaponry?
When people start to slip into poverty, there should be a ladder and someone leaning over to help them up that ladder—but instead—when people start to slip—there is a greased chute and piggy hands shoving them down.
Did you ever wonder why employers now check credit records of prospective employees? If they find their credit records are poor, they won’t hire them. How absurd! People are willing to work but because they NEED money, they can’t get the job! What’s wrong with that system?
There is not a war on poverty—there is a war on the poor! When you start to fall, the system kicks you lower. In 1968 the minimum wage kept a person/family 30 percent above the poverty level. In 2012, to have the minimum wage equal the buying power of the past, it would have to be over $15 an hour—and it’s not even close.
You know, when I was in that voting booth in 2008, and I saw Barack Obama’s name there I cried with joy as I filled in that black oval. I had hope for the first time in over eight years after I watched helplessly as George W. Bush thrust us into two wars our country could not afford.
He and his Congress were spending money destroying other countries while America was falling apart. And when the great financial collapse and mortgage fiasco hit in 2008, no one gave money to the poor—they gave money to the rich. Of course, why should the people who really need the money get fed; the giant corporations had their mouths open for more even as their stomachs were fat with gathered riches?
The government put the poor up for sale. If we don’t rise up and complain vigorously, we will be sold down the river. Which is exactly what is happening in today’s American empire. Corporate America is sitting on $2 trillion of cash; they are recording record profits at our expense, while the people of America hunger for a decent meal and a place to live.
Look at it this way. If a town in North Dakota was freezing and the oil company in the town was sitting on billions of gallons of oil waiting for prices to go up while people froze to death, what do you think would happen? Why, the people of that town would rise up and take that oil so their families could stay alive.
That’s the position of the United States of America right now. Just look at what happened in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit and people were shunted off and filled the Mississippi Coliseum. Mostly people of color by the way. No water, no food, no medical supplies for days, when W. Bush’s America could have been flying in all those necessary supplies.
But the truth of the situation is that the Abyss of American Slavery still exists in the minds and hearts of much of white America. Those people of color in the stadium were expendable in the eyes of our corporate plutocracy. Why save the poor when the rich can just vacation in hot spots all over the world?
The poor in this country are more than bought and sold. They are sold out! The younger you are in America, the more likely you will be living in poverty in the future if the current greedy-corporate-driven trend continues.
It doesn’t have to stay like this. One person, one vote. Occupy America. It is our duty to rise up and take our country, the United States of Amerika, back from the fat corporate pigs and financiers that control it.
I have hope but I am not optimistic. When I filled in that ballot for Barack Obama, I believed in his Audacity of Hope. Right now he is a mediocre president who has done some good things but not enough. Obama is just a whole lot better than Bush, who threw America down the shit-chute in just eight years.
But will he stand up to the corporate fat cats that feed at the same trough as the House and the Senate? It’s no accident that ¾ of our Congress are millionaires or better. It’s no accident that today’s Supreme Court is giving away our rights, one by one.
It’s no accident that student loans are getting more and more difficult to pay back. Student loans are immune to the recovery of bankruptcy—they just don’t go away and keep gathering interest—and how can you make payments if you can’t get a job?
Why aren’t the preachers in the churches talking about the poor rising up and taking their country back? Jesus said, “The poor will always be with us,” but he didn’t say they had to stay that way!
Occupy Wall Street isn’t over. Right now it is just planning, waiting for spring. Like the buds and the flowers and the leaves on the trees, Occupy will bloom all over the country and say, “It is time! We have had enough!”
It looks as if Mitt Romney will be running against Barack Obama. Mitt Romney—that corporate greed-driven raider who even swears that his dog likes riding on top of the family car with a 70 mile an hour wind blasting in its face. He tells us in his own words, “I like to fire people!”
Romney means it. He wants to fire the people of the United States and make us all slaves no matter what our creed or color is. It is amazing that a carpetbagger like Romney has risen so high in our political structure. No, maybe not.
But it is time to wake the sleeping giant, the American people, and make them aware that the lobbyists who throw gifts at Congress are ripping them off. Folks, let us say, “No More.” Let us rise up this spring and Occupy our country and free it from the chains of oppression.
And then, when we take our country back, we can all join hands and sing together, like Dr. Martin Luther King, “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”
Marc D. Goldfinger is a formerly homeless vendor who is now housed. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Marc also has books on www.smashwords.net that can be downloaded for $2.99.