For decades now in the United States a conflict of values has been evolving. The rise of the middle class throughout the post war years, continuing into the 90’s was precedent-setting. Unions thrived, wages for the average worker increased, and people were able to reach for their American dream. Then came the bastardization of the Reagan era economics. This, even though we saw that they did not work then.

Politicians never admitted and many in the middle class refused to believe that the trickle-down economics philosophy was really a scam for corporations and the upper class. The G. W. Bush presidency promoted the same economic policies, as well as many other disastrous policies- including war which led the country into the massive debt and the biggest crisis since the Great Depression. The greed that set in at that time continues today, even more vehemently, by the rich and powerful who are now in control of the government. They continue to promote the same lies and policies in order to further enrich themselves at the expense of the rest of us.

The conflict for me is this: The rich and powerful who are creating an oligarchy in this country will not increase wages or increase the minimum wage so they can continue to pad their own pockets and keep the large businesses’ bank accounts exploding in cash. This ploy obviously is increasing the stocks to outrageous, unrealistic and unsustainable levels, again in order to increase their wealth and their stockholders’ bank accounts. At the same time, they want to gut the social support services that assist those in need of basic necessities who cannot afford them, as a result of their aforementioned policies. They cannot have it both ways, or can they?

They cannot, by any rational, caring and sensitive interpretation of the conflict. If they are not willing to have their companies pay a living wage, then the support service are necessary to keep people from starving and dying. Do they care about that? Not according to their myriad attempts to sabotage and gut the Affordable Care Act, for example.

If average folks cannot afford a better education, then the rich and powerful can keep them ignorant and much easier to persuade, manipulate and control. By making college education more expensive and taking away the tax deductions, fewer people will be able to afford a college education.

The policy changes being proposed in the Federal government at this time with the Department of Education, the removal of internet neutrality, the Justice department and others, all are moving quickly to a position of trying to feed the people information that those in power wish to have people hear…and only that information. This should strike fear into the minds of every American citizen because it resembles what we see in foreign countries under dictatorships and the former or current Communist countries which have no access to any information other than state-sponsored news programs and propaganda.

It is becoming more and more obvious that those in positions of wealth and power do not care. They appear to have the philosophy that the “worker bees” are expendable. If they die off, there will be others to replace them in the factories and the offices to keep their businesses running. They will continue to abuse the “worker bees” by demanding them to work unrealistic hours, because they need the job. There is no appreciation for dedication of the employee beyond the benefit they provide to the bank account of the company.

The sad reality to me, is that Americans seem to accept this situation as their plight with no recourse or opportunity to promote change. Apathy in the workplace, and life in general, has evolved over recent years by the lack of response to our so-called “representatives” in Congress consistently acting against the best interests of their constituents. This has resulted in people adopting a feeling of futility and complacency. It is as though they feel that it no longer matters, as the rich and powerful will do whatever they want to do anyway. So, why bother wasting time expressing our disagreement.

We have seen millions of people protesting in other countries against abusive and oppressive government regimes. Why not here?

Yes, although there were some sizable protests the beginning of the year in Washington, D.C. and some other major cities, but to add to the feeling of futility, nothing seemed to result from them. The oligarchs ignored the protests and did nothing but move forward their own agenda. Why? Because a one day protest does not carry the same weight as a consistent, daily protest by millions, disrupting the daily operations of government. Can we see that here? Unfortunately, probably not.

And why not? The “worker bees” have to continue to work to put food on the table and try to survive. Also, my guess is that the majority cannot even tell you the names of their Congressmen/women. Many people who vote during the elections go on to forget about politics since, as they see it, they have done their civic duty. The rest, who didn’t bother to vote because of apathy or complacency, continue to live in their own little bubbles oblivious to what is happening with their government. This country is also so large geographically that a commitment like what would be needed to stage a sizable, ongoing demonstration would require the majority of the people to invest a huge amount of personal capital beyond their capabilities.

So, in reality, do the oligarchs care about the plight of the majority of Americans? The answer is a resounding “NO” according to their recent actions. They only care about their personal bank accounts and could care less how many people they squash while padding their stash!

While most of upper class proclaim to be good Christians, their actions are the polar opposite of what is the true meaning of Christianity. As we proceed toward the Christmas season, anyone think the rich and powerful will suddenly have an epiphany? That peace and goodwill and concern for the “worker bees” will blossom and flourish?

Nope, I don’t think so either!

 

[Richard Moberly is an occasional contributor to Columnist with a View. He lives and works in Jacksonville, Florida. We welcome his views on current states of affairs!]