Wake Up and Live: The World Wide War on Working People

John Michael Kelley

Posted Oct 12, 2005      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
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Wake Up and Live: The World Wide War on Working People

by John Michael Kelley

Has your paycheck gotten smaller, are you working
longer hours for the same or less, have you been laid
off or are afraid you will be?  Do you have employer
paid health insurance? If you do are you paying more
of the premium, higher co-pays and deductibles? Are
your parents taking bus trips to Mexico to buy their
medications?  Does your child suffer from asthma?  Are
your utility costs up?  Does your company offer a
retirement plan?  Is it fully funded?  Did you lose
your retirement or a large part of it in the stock
market crash?  How old will you be when your Social
Security kicks in 67, 69, 70? Will there be any
benefits when you retire?  Are you buried in credit
card debt?

Did you have to tell your child they would have to
borrow the money to pay for increased college tuition
costs because the cash you got out of your home equity
now has to go to keep your parent in a nursing home
and the cost of both is going up?  Did your local
taxes go up even though services went down?  Are there
potholes in your street, are your children in bigger
classes at school, do you think the only chance you
have of financial security is winning the lottery? Are
you worried about the gigantic bill we are sending our
children and grandchildren in the form of $6.4
trillion dollars of national debt?

If you answers to one or more of these questions make
you feel queasy, you are probably part of the rapidly
disappearing middle class (median family income
$42,400/year).  12.1%  (34.6 million people) of the
U.S. Population doesnt have to worry about those
problems because many of those problems are beyond
their financial reach because they fall below the
poverty line of $18,392 ($353.69/week) for a family of
four per year.  One half of those families made less
than $9,196 per year. 

What you may not realize is that the conditions above
are the result of the implementation of a worldview
held by the rich and powerful, not only of this
country but also of the whole world.  It is likely
that if we continue on our present path that America
will not be any better off than most Central American
countries.  What does that look like?  A Guatemalan
friend once explained the income range in his country.
He said ғ15% of our population is very rich, 15% are
poor and the other 70% are very, very poor.

The best example of how trickle down economics works
is an old joke about the three Scots, who made a pact
that whenever one died, the survivors would pour a
bottle of fine Scotch over the grave of the deceased.
When finally one of them died the other two gathered
at the gravesite with the agreed upon bottle.  The one
holding the bottle thought for a minute and than
looked at the other and said Do you think heӒd mind
if we strained it through our kidneys first? 

What is happening in the United States and around the
world through the process of globalization is nothing
less than class warfare.  And guess what, it was the
richest people in the world who declared war on the
rest of us.

Understanding Capitalism

One of the biggest victories of the right has been to
unify in most peoples minds the concepts of democracy
and capitalism.  Most Americans do not understand that
democracy is a political philosophy and capitalism an
economic one.  Americans do not recognize that
socialism for example is equally compatible with
democracy.  Or that mixture of capitalism and
socialism are frequently successful such as in many
European countries, Canada and other governments. In
fact in America when life span, per capita income and
child mortality rates are considered America ranks #6
right after five socialist democracies.

The reason conservatism and capitalism establish such
a strong bond is that their social agendas are based
on a lack of social change, a stability and control
over the population and market place. The true
capitalist doesnԒt attempt to change anything except
if it leads to the opportunity for personal gain.  In
fact most capitalists are not interested in any change
except when it produces the opportunity for profit.
Just as a supply and demand market economy sees
nothing wrong with $50 a sheet plywood and $6 per
gallon gas in the face of an oncoming hurricane it
looks at over population, war, health crises and
famine as conditions to profit from not correct. 

Capitalism is an economic view not a political one and
as such has no interest in solving any problem unless
it interferes with or creates profit.  It has no
ethic, no moral dilemma.
In fact the wonderful thing about a corporation is
that it has all of the rights and privileges of an
individual but no moral liability for its actions.  It
is perfect for one thing, making money and the only
way in can be harmed is by taking money away from it.

The Causes of the Current Class War

It has been obvious for some time to the worlds
scientists and to Capitalists who see information in
the form of market projections, that a number of
conditions are reaching critical mass and cannot be

Population Growth

The current population is 6 billion people and growing
by 176 per minute, 10,560 per hour and 253,440 per
day, 1,774080 per week, 7,624,544 per month, over
91million per year.  This problem will not go away.
It is already leading to widespread famine, war,
pollution and other problems of cataclysmic
proportions and will worsen if left unchecked. 

The wealthy in this country and throughout the world
are well aware that they canҒt have the unlimited
growth in wealth and fulfill the promise of raising
everyone up to an American middle class existence.  We
are 6% of the worlds population and use 28% of its
resources.  At our current technological level of
functioning it would take 2 ҽ  more earths to bring
the world up to our middle class.  Besides
consumption, this high standard of living is very
inefficient and produces vast amounts of waste.  For
example, the U.S. is 6% of the worlds population and
produces 24% of the worldҒs greenhouse gasses).

Capitalists do not see any of this as their problem
but what they do see is increased markets and an
opportunity to use the increased demands to stifle
environmental regulation, worker rights and do away
from other costsӔ that reduce profits.  In addition
the pressure on government for increased services
represents opportunities for new revenue streams
through the privatization of traditional areas of
governmental function including the prosecution of

The great cry of free markets and downsizing
government is nothing less than an all out take over
of the common wealth and a direct assault on the
general welfare for the profit of a few who see people
only as human capital.  People worried about basic
necessities whether they are healthcare or food are
happy to survive; they dont demand high levels of
services or a quality environment. 

The End of the Cold War

The end of the Cold War united the interests of the
wealthy and powerful worldwide.  The rich everywhere
faced the same problems.  Dreams of democracy and
respect for humanity were breaking out everywhere
(remember Tianamen Square).  It was soon apparent
that governments were no longer useful to corporations
in protecting capitalism from communism they were now
an impediment.  Taxes, environmental laws, regulation
for consumer protection, tort liability, civil rights
compliance are all seen as limits to profit.

The corporate vision of the future also changed.
Before the end of the cold war, one half of the market
of the world had been largely unavailable to them.
The increased market forced a change in strategy.  To
make a profit in the future is not to make a profit of
$20 from the small proportion of the population in the
industrialized world but to make a profit of a $1 from
every person in the world.  This view is no different
from the 18th century British Mercantilist who
imagined what great profits could be made by ғjust
adding an inch of cloth to the shirttail of every

Democratic governments of informed populations get in
the way, itԒs much easier to deal with totalitarian
oligarchies that are willing to share in the profits
and exploit the fearful, uneducated citizens they
govern.  That is why the marriage of American capital
and Chinese Communist authoritarianism was made in
capitalist heaven.  Chinese Communist Capitalism is
the wave of the future.

The Economics of Globalization

Capitalists are nothing but pragmatic.  During the
Irish potato famine grain and cattle exports were at
an all time high.  The Irish survived on potatoes but
paid their rents in grain.  When the potatoes rotted
in the cellars and the Irish had to eat the grain
instead of paying their rents the British landlords
(who had stolen the lands from the peasants and rented
it back to them) knocked down their houses and evicted
them to clear land for more grain and cattle.  Over a
million, one in ten Irish starved, their mouths green
from eating grass.  Like all good capitalists the
British then used their excess profits to buy the
cheapest, most derelict ships they could find and
robbed another million of their last farthing so that
they could force economic deportation under the threat
of starvation.

Not much has changed, agribusiness dumped cheap corn
on Mexican markets after NAFTA forcing somewhere
between 1.53 million Mexican farmers off from the
land who could not compete. They then illegally
immigrate to the U.S. where they lower demand and
wages for American workers. With the land in Mexico
now cleared of small farmers, industrialized mono-crop
farming by multi national agribusiness companies like
Con-Agra and Archer Daniels Midland move in and raise
more cheap products, putting more farmers out of
business in the next country. History repeats itself a
win-win-win situation for Capitalists. 

֓Free Trade treaties like NAFTA , CAFTA and the FTAA
allow corporations to avoid environmental, and labor
regulation, employing virtual slave labor, dumping of
toxic waste without restriction and the corruption of
local governments.  To multi-national corporations
global warming, resource depletion, pollution and the
exploitation of humans are not concerns, just
conditions to be exploited in the mad scramble for
corporate dominance. 

Globalization is the outgrowth of this strategy.  It
is about pitting poorer and poorer people against each
other until people will kill each other just to have
any job.  American companies argue against tariffs on
Chinese goods that are causing a huge trade debt and
loss of jobs, stating that China is only taking jobs
we already lost to Mexico and Malaysia.  In the
meantime we lost another 300,000 jobs to those
countries.  So while 13-year-old girls are making car
parts in Mexico, programming jobs are going to India
and the Chinese are virtual slaves producing cheap
goods for Wal-Mart the multi-national corporations
tell us how great globalization will be for us.

Corruption of Governments by International Policies

The World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and
World Trade Organization (WTO) operate in concert.
Multi-national corporate interests dominate these
organizations.  They lend money to poor countries
whose governments are dominated by elite economic
interests.  Often the conditions for loans include
allowing Multinational companies to enter markets and
compete with locals usually driving them out of
business. The elite typically siphon off the loans
through corrupt contracting and sometimes, outright
theft, sticking the working people with the bill. 

When the country is unable to repay its loans because
there has been no improvement in the economy, the
World Bank and IMF demand that in exchange for debt
forgiveness or restructuring, the country submit to
what is called ԓshock therapy.  The countries natural
resources are sold off to multi-national corporations,
government services such as utilities, water are
privatized and the country suffers the same
disassembly as a bankrupt corporation by its
creditors.  Of course the wealthy and corrupt
governments are unchanged, in fact they usually profit
from this as well.  They get a piece of the action.
In addition, these corrupt governments usually
negotiate Free Trade agreements.  With bribes from
multinational corporations or pressure from the U.S.
government to sign Free Trade agreements supervised by
the WTO, agreements can come before or after loans.
These agreements prevent local or state governments
from making business, labor or environmental rules
that might impede companies from making a profit.  In
other words anytime the question is people vs.
profits, profits win.

Corruption of American Politics

The fastest growing business in Washington D.C. has
been lobbying. Both parties have become too dependent
on corporate donations to make independent policy
based on the needs of the people. The Republicans
however have taken it to new heights. Starting a
policy under Tom Delay where lobbyists who gave to
both sides were denied access. The message was clear,
if you want access to the Republican controlled
Executive and Congress you give all the money to the

In response, corporations have been able to write
legislation to be passed, install its own people in
regulatory agencies that supervise them, discount
scientific information detrimental to there profits
and consolidate the press under their control. In the
eyes of corporations political parties are to be
bought to change public policy to favor profits.
Differences are to be exploited with fear so that free
people will voluntarily give up their freedoms for the
promise of safety.  Corporations donԒt really care
about abortion or gay rights, but they will fund those
who are against such things if those voters will put
in office people who will serve corporate interests. 

Dont fear the one world government, fear the one
world corporation.

The rich are terrified of the masses, so it is
better to pit them against each other.  Encourage
divisiveness over religion, culture, ethnicity, or
race.  People who donҒt buy into the great capitalist
dream or even resist it are the enemy. The Muslim
world (war on terrorism), socialist countries in
Europe (Old Europe), indigenous and working people in
Central and South America (war on drugs), and Africa
(aids and evangelism) are being dealt with as we

In America, fear is the weapon against reason.  If you
are afraid of your neighbors religion, political
leaning, sexual orientation, that your child is
learning about evolution, then you have already bought
in.  What you really ought to be afraid of is as
benign as your local gas station, your TV set, and the
credit card in your wallet. Fear and the marketing of
unneeded goods and services, these are the tools of
your real enemies. The answer is simple peace and
justice in every aspect of our personal, spiritual and
political lives are the enemies of the corporate
control.  As Bob Marley once sang ғWAKE UP AND LIVE.