We have been here before. At the turn of the last century, Teddy Roosevelt brought the monopolies and robber barons to heal as they plundered America.
We forgot the lesson though, and in 1929 run-away fiscal insanity brought global economic collapse. Another Roosevelt, F.D.R., straightened it out. We have forgotten our lessons again.
This new revolution began in 1980 with Ronald Reagan, has continued through two Bush presidencies and Bill Clinton. Clinton continued in the same economic vein as his predecessors; he was just a better money manager.
The idea is let the multi-national corporations have their way in the world and everything will be just grand for America. We now let the oil companies rape us with little protest.
We have become a docile, obedient, brainwashed people. We send our jobs to communist China and India who now, thanks to our own stupidity, have plenty of money to demand more oil and help drive the price up. What irony that those of us who fought in Vietnam and Korea against the communist menace are now terribly unpatriotic if we speak up about American jobs going to communist China. As if American workers should have no problem competing against sweatshop labor with no environmental regard.
The answer is the same to our problems as it was at the turn of the century and after the 1929 Wall Street Crash. It is called GOVERNMENT REGULATION!
We the people elect a government to serve us: we the people, not the profit margins of the multi-national corporations.
Our government can easily stop American jobs from going overseas. They are called laws. We long ago used tariffs on foreign produced goods to balance competition and replace taxes. It is called stop giving American companies tax breaks to send jobs overseas.
Our government can bring the oil companies and their incredible profits to heel; it is called setting limits on prices for emergency purposes and windfall profits taxes. It is called the end of price gouging and market manipulation.
It is called investigating the relationship between our president, whose family is heavily invested in oil, our vice president, who is the former CEO of a company that services Big Oil, and our secretary of state who was a former Chevron employee.
Gas was $1.46 a gallon when George W. Bush took office; it is now at or approaching $4 a gallon. Are we starting to get it yet or will we continue to be bled dry as we remain obedient and subservient?
Dont let the propaganda agents of big business tell you that all we need to do is let Big Oil drill in ANWR (the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) and everywhere else they want in the U.S. We use 60% of the worlds oil and we have 2% of it. If we started drilling for oil in ANWR today, it wouldnt be flowing for about 10 years, and by todays prices, its quantity would only be enough to reduce prices by maybe one cent per gallon. Drilling in ANWR and other domestic drilling is not a solution -- it is just more spin so you wont see the truth.
The truth is we need a government. A government that wont let our children chew on toxic toys from China and wont let the oil companies rape us. We need a government that encourages alternative energy exploration. We need a government that cares about its people.
We are a country, not a gigantic corporation. We breathe the same air and drink the same water and drive the same roads. There is a common good. We are all in this together.
You have been told since 1980, the start of the me generation, that only profit is good and the market is your god. It is time to reclaim our heritage. You have been fed a lie, it doesnt work. Are we beginning to understand? Are we there yet?
Jim Ramelis is president of Crossleft.org, a progressive Christian political action site in Mackinac County.