December 26, 2009
-- by Dave Johnson
Health care: huge majorities of the public want something - anything - along the lines of a "public option" or Medicare buy-in. In the last election people turned out and overwhelmingly voted in Obama, 60 senators and a huge majority in the Congress.
But after "the system" plays itself out we instead end up with government power ordering all of us to buy insurance from giant insurance corporations. It remains illegal for us to buy into Medicare because this would interfere with the stream of money flowing from all of us to a few already-wealthy executives and owners.
It is so clear now what our system has become. The wealthy have a lock on our politics, and we can't help but see it. It is in the way of getting anything done. It is blocking our ability to do anything about our urgent problems like health care, climate change, financial reform, and of course the low-wage, everything-to-the-top structure of our jobs.
The other day I wrote, Concentration Of Wealth = An Influence Lock On Our Politics,
We have now reached the point where wealth is at least as concentrated as it was in 1929. With similar consequences.
The societal consequences are dramatic. This happened as a result of wealth's ability to influence our country's decision-making. And that influence was used to increase the wealth of the influencers, which increased their influence. But this has come at the expense of regular people, whose incomes have stagnated, forcing them into increasing debt.
We have reached a breaking point where a consumer-based economy can no longer be sustained. But this has not led to any loosening of the grip that money has on our political system. If we don't force the political system out of that grip and restore democracy we will not be able to fix our economic system.
The question is, with the mask pulled aside - with everyone seeing how the wealthy are controlling the system - will we find ways of fixing it? Will we be able to take back democracy from the malefactors of great wealth? The obvious steps include getting all corporate money and influence out of our politics - and our lives. But even if we manage to vote in 100 Senators and 100% of the Congress, will we be able to accomplish this?
We all have to start talking about this, and making it the #1 priority of our political efforts. Nothing else can be accomplished until we take this on, but if we take this on then we can finally get on with the business of governing for the people.
Posted by Dave Johnson at December 26, 2009 9:33 AM
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