You want to raise the ire of someone who identifies with the Occupy movement?
Bring up money in politics.
The general consensus amongst the 99 percent is that there are too many people involved in politics that are following the Golden Rule.
No. Not the nice, altruistic Golden Rule. The other one. The one that dictates “he who has the gold, makes the rules.”
As such, there are many, many Republican “job creators” out there who are trying to exploit the rule to their advantage.
None bigger than the folks behind Koch Industries (the fine folks who bring you products such as asphalt, chemicals, paper and pulp products and ranching concerns). The two brothers at the head of the company have pledged $60 million of their own dollars – and rounded up people pledging another $40 million – in an effort to defeat President Barack Obama in November.
That’s $100 million. One hundred million dollars being pledged to get one person fired.
You know how many people you could put to work with that $100 million? Lots, and you’d still have money left over to provide the training and education to the next generation of workers, who we’re constantly reminded need more and more training for the U.S. to compete in the future.
I was out shooting pictures Wednesday (another shameless plug), and I got to talking to a fellow reporter at the game. He mentioned to me that a local school district was preparing to cut the tennis programs at its high schools. Of course, there are plenty of other things that need funding before tennis, but it’s a prime example that school districts are struggling with budgets to the point that they’re not cutting fat any more, and have started slicing into muscle and bone.
Although, I guess with $100 million, they probably will be creating jobs. You know, ones for actors, directors, sign makers, petition signature collectors, voice over artists …
We can point a lot of our current issues of money in politics to the Citizens United decision, which has given the OK for corporations and the like to contribute unlimited funds to Super PACs, which can support candidates – as long as they don’t coordinate (just ask Stephen Colbert).
The Super PACs are out there flinging mud with the best of them, and collecting millions and millions of dollars to get their message out without providing full disclosure.
Of course, now, even President Obama is saying he will embrace the help of a Super PAC, after being one of the leading detractors of the process.
But he’d be a fool not to. It’s the way the system is set up now, and in this environment, you need to use every club in your bag – even if it is a broken down wedge. Because there’s another saying that is often used among competitors, no matter how noble they are: “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.”
So, for the 99 percent, at this point the best they can hope for is that they find a sympathetic ear amongst the 1 percent. A person who will remember what it’s like for those of us who don’t have $60 million to throw away on a political campaign.
You know, a world where people who call themselves job creators actually create jobs, instead of trying to get one person fired.