It’s happening again. That time of the year when we watch as our government fails to work together and the media is abuzz with the new “crisis”. What makes matters worse, is our leaders do not solve these problems and put us at ease, but instead they manufacture such problems to create a faux crisis in a disguise to cut programs that benefit the working poor. The real crisis is class antagonism, but don’t expect the media to report on that anytime soon.
Look at your local paper or news site now. You will see splashed across the headline, “Government Shutdown Looming”, “Sequestration Countdown”. Markets react, stocks fall and game goes on. The right is going to blame the left, the left is going to blame the right and we will hear over and over again that our government is going to have to shut down, cuts will have to be made, this is a shared sacrifice. Yet, it’s not being shared by the politicians who voted to make sure their pay continues during a shutdown, it won’t hurt the wealthy who won’t see a cut their services they require. Who then is sharing this sacrifice? The working poor who work tirelessly and still bring home less than it takes to survive and our unemployed citizens who rely on their unemployment checks while endlessly looking for new work in our tough job market.
This is nothing more than class alienation. The government is once again flexing their capitalist muscle and taking “aggressive” measures to balance the budget but making sure to only hurt the working poor Americans. Strikes against government, unionized workers, social security, and other programs designed to help the working citizens.
Austerity does not work. It has not worked. European countries using austerity measures to lower their debt has done much more harm than good, and as Paul Krugman has pointed out “…austerity hasn’t even achieved the minimal goal of reducing debt burdens. Instead, countries pursuing harsh austerity have seen the ratio of debt to G.D.P. rise, because the shrinkage in their economies has outpaced any reduction in the rate of borrowing.” (New York Times, Austerity, Italian Style). So if austerity won’t work, has proven itself to not work, why are we so adamant to try it?
The answer seems simple. The GOP needs it to fail, they win by getting a smaller government, and they win because the devastation of austerity will severely bruise the Obama administration. None of the effects of austerity will hurt the GOP or their corporate cronies. We are allowing the minority in our congress to dictate our policy. Congress needs to act and end this tyranny.
Cuts to programs like Meals on Wheels, a cut that will do nothing but make it harder to feed senior citizens who need not only nutritious meals, but someone to check up on them. Cuts to programs like WIC. Helping feed women, infant and children. Again, another program not affecting the capitalist upper class, but devastating to the working poor.
So what can we do?
Call. Act. Demand. Tell congress you want action now! Not in 3 months, not next year, but now! They need to start listening to the voters, we need our debt problems solved and we need to figure out how to bring back jobs. We are just under an 8% unemployment rate and we should be able to bring this down a few points. But to accomplish such a task, the partisan bickering needs to end. Congress has work to do and they are not doing it.
Boehner and the rest of the GOP have recently had at a getaway discussing how to revive their party, and now are congress is headed on for yet another vacation. The answer is right in front of them, but they are ignoring it. The answer is action. The more they ignore getting things done, the worse off the working poor are in our country. The GOP has left the working poor behind, they are a party of the takers, disguised as the makers. They claim “we built it” but in fact, the working poor built it, the unionized, hard working Americans built this, and the capitalist class took it.
The more congress delays and stalls the more they ignore real looming problems, actual crisis facing our country such as hunger, jobs, the economy, climate change and endless war. Lets put our citizens back to work, lets boost our economy and lets figure out ways to lead the world in clean energy. We once set the pace for the world, we showed them how things are done and they followed suit. Lets once again be that nation. We must learn from the mistakes of countries like Greece. Who does austerity hurt? Not the Donald Trumps of the world.
We are ready to revive our workforce. Our economy is ready to grow. But like a tree, the economy grows from the bottom up. Ignoring problems that keep the bottom from prospering will continue to hinder the overall growth of our economy. If our politicians continue to ignore us, its time to let them know they will be replaced. 2014 is not that far away. We hold the power to wield the change we desire and its about time we come together and do so. This is our democracy, they work for us, we are their boss. Lets act like it. Together.