By Robert A. Vella
First Lady Michelle Obama sent out an email asking people what they are thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday. Here is the response I sent her:
Dear Mr. President and First Lady,
I am thankful for getting healthcare coverage, under the Medicaid expansion provision of Obamacare, for the first time in six years. Now, I won’t be one illness or injury away from financial ruin or perhaps something even worse.
On a sadder note, I am also thankful I’m old enough that I may not have to witness the final destruction of American democracy which is inevitable – in my opinion – if current trends continue. Our nation cannot survive under the current circumstances. When money rules at the exclusion of everything else, a republic becomes a plutocracy. When amoral and self-serving business interests subordinate the larger interests of the people, corporatism replaces democracy. When growing economic inequality stratifies society to a critical point, it collapses under its own weight. The failure of America’s leadership to address this imminent crisis is not just the result of political obstructionism. It is also due to a lack of courage within the socioeconomic establishment to speak directly to the nation about this incredibly serious problem. Yesterday, Pope Francis wrote of the “tyranny” of unfettered capitalism and the “idolatry of money.” His sentiments were profoundly accurate, bravely delivered, and long overdue to an increasingly desperate world.
I am not a religious person, but the Pope’s apostolic exhortation really grabbed my attention. In it, he also wrote:
“In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world,” Pope Francis stated in reference to the supply-side economic theory promoted by conservative ideology and popularized as “Reaganomics” in the 1980’s. “This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system,” he emphatically added.
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Great post Robert! And you are right, ‘this nation cannot survive under current circumstances’. It will implode. There is only so much that can be pulled out of those who are already at the end of their rope. Yes, there will be spending during the holidays, but after that, then what? Gas prices are on the uptick. And I am sick to pieces of being told that there is no inflation, when I see the prices and they are certainly NOT taking a nosedive. People are broke and are living on fumes, pretense and borrowed money, but that has to end as it is unsustainable and the powers that be can try and drill it in to us that the economy is on the upswing, but we know that that is a load of crap.
Thanks, Shelby. The economy is indeed a load of crap, and it’s dumping on everyone except the rich.
Thank you for very interesting post. The situation is very much the same here in the UK, the poor suffer with no hope of improvement while the rich get increasingly richer. One austerity measure after another plunges people into poverty, particularly the sick and disabled in the form of welfare cuts, while leaving the rich unscathed. Sadly today it is all about greed and acquisition by the few at the expense of the many. Here food and Energy prices continue to rise at an alarming rate, there are now people so poor that they cannot afford to heat donated food that they receive from food banks and thousands die of cold in their own homes. I would say in the UK that here democracy is hanging by a thread as the needs of corporations override that of the people. I am pleased to hear that the pope has spoken out .
I am sorry to hear the UK is in a similar state as the US, but not surprised. Our two nations are joined-at-the-hip in many ways. Yes, corporatism is in ascendency although that “victory” will inevitably come with terrible costs to the rich as well as that being suffered now by the poor. The old adage about “reaping what you sow” is evidenced in history whenever societies become so stratified. The end will not be pretty.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.