John Edwards Got It Right About Two Americas
by Dave Bradley Whatever you think of John Edwards’ recent woes, I have to give the guy credit. His campaign theme of “Two Americas” was right on the money. Now nearly three years after Mr. Edwards criss-crossed Iowa with his message, things haven’t gotten noticeably better for the common working person.
Wages remain stagnant, health care continues to be almost a dream for the poor, our dollars continue to get poured into black holes called wars, higher education is nearly out of the reach of our young citizens, jobs continue to flee our shores while unions are busted and wages spiral down for some, and most concerning of all – wealth concentrates in fewer and fewer hands.
Our mainstream press, much of which is now little more than a mouth piece for the upper 1% with all the money, will blame the president. That is the easy and lazy, very lazy, thing to do. It is easy to blame one person. But we have come to our current circumstance through the dint of some very hard and often coordinated work by groups on the right that are determined to tank the economy so they can take even tighter control of the levers of the economy.
The economic right has had control of the economy for most of the past 30 years. Their supply side, business is God philosophy has led to the problems I mentioned above. With even greater control, they will be able to siphon Medicare and Social Security monies and direct them both to their wealthy friends in insurance and on Wall Street.And workers, who actually create the wealth through their work will continue to get but pennies on the dollar for their effort. If they don’t like it, the Republican controlled congresses have made it easy and profitable to threaten them with moving their jobs overseas.
Part of Mr. Edwards’ message was that power never gives up its hold easily. The media has made it very hard to distinguish just which side has tilted the game so greatly to the side of the monied interests. However, the power grabs in the various states, such as Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa, plus the attempts at killing Medicare and now Social Security (http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/165197-dccc-chair-predicts-failure-for-gops-social-security-plan) has made it quite plain who stands for the 99% of Americans who are not wealthy.
Two years ago I helped on a state senate campaign as a driver for a friend. We visited many small and medium sized Iowa towns. You know Iowans are proud people, yet their towns are getting run down. People do not have money to fix up their houses like they used to. Wages have been stagnated or even decreased while costs for the bare essentials like food and gas have gone up quite a bit. Medical insurance doesn’t cover what it should, so that too is an out of pocket expense.
And in nearly every town over 2000 is a spanking new Walmart on one edge of town while the downtowns sit mostly empty. Jobs are 30 or 50 miles away. Taxes now go for wars that never should have started and for debt service on the tens of trillions in debt run up mostly by Republican presidents. Money seldom comes back from Washington in the form of block grants or highway projects anymore.
This is a scenario repeated throughout the country. People are hurting, but Republicans at every level stand in the way of common sense solutions that could begin a new prosperity. They know that if a robust recovery happens, Obama will get the credit. Therefore, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has pulled every parliamentary trick he can to stop any real help for the poor and middle class.
After all, the class that McConnell represents – that top 1% – is barely affected by the economy.E-mail Dave here Dave Bradley is a self-described
retired observer of American politics “trying to figure out how we got
so screwed up.” An
Iowa City native currently living in West Liberty, Dave and his wife
Carol have two grown children who “sadly had to leave the state to find
decent paying jobs.“