Who is Us

Alex Paramo

I just read a disturbing article regarding the growing inequality in the United States. Our media has led us to believe that we are ALL having a tough time, during these tough times in this tough time economy. I guess the overt and covert message is that we all need to toughen up, stop complaining and get through this, but a closer look at the situation reveals that we have been once again duped by our corporate-media friends.

The fact is that the top 1% in our country have have gained at least $6.1 trillion in the past five years. The media continues to lead us to believe that times are tough and they are but not for everyone. The stock market is worth 50% more than it was 5 years ago. The overwhelming majority of that windfall goes to the wealthiest 7% while the rest of us have seen our “wealth” drop by 4%. In fact, “In 2009 the average wealth for almost half of American families was  ZERO (their debt exceeded their assets).” Why is this important you ask? Why should you care if you are firmly entrenched in the middle class with your 9-5, your pension plan and your walled/gated community? Well the income disparity in this country is at all-time high proportions. “Out of all developed and undeveloped countries with at least a quarter-million adults, the U.S. has the 4th-highest degree of  wealth inequality in the world, trailing only Russia, Ukraine, and Lebanon.” For the rest of us the threat is more immediate. A U.S, Congress composed of millionaires and multimillionaires, has decided to cut some funding for essential programs like; “Meals on Wheels” that helps seniors and the disabled, the Head Start program that helps low-income preschoolers enter the school system at the level of their more affluent peers (not to mention cuts to the food stamp and unemployment programs). While our “elected” representatives cut crucial funding for our nations most vulnerable, they continue to subsidize the oil and gas companies that are recording record profits. They continue to indirectly subsidize Walmart, which refuses to pay it’s employees a live-able/fair wage and instead gives courses to it’s employees on how to apply for federal assistance.

Much of the information cited here was provided by an article written by Paul Buchheit who is the founder of the website: usagainstgreed.org. Who are the Us? When so many of us stand around passively, hoping and waiting for something to change? When so many of Us do not care and turn our backs on the most vulnerable? Who are the Us when so many cannot find jobs and too many of the jobs that are being “created” do not provide a high-school student with a suitable enough salary to pay their bills (never mind a head of house-hold). When everything seems so out of our control? The Us are the We, as in We the People. Unlike many, who unwittingly do the bidding of corporate execs, I am not against government. I believe in government: a government of the people, by the people for the people. The only way to take back our government from the corporate masters that corrupt it is to cut off the hand that feeds it. We need to get the money out of politics, now! Regardless of party, or ideological affiliation, we the people need to unite and reclaim our sovereignty. Until that time we will all be singing the same refrain, best said by the late Michael jackson: they don’t really care about us!

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