Democracy For the Wealthy, Dictatorship For the Poor

US Politicians and media keep raving about “American democracy. The truth quite different. All three branches of the government are in the service of the wealthiest of individuals and routinely push their agenda and policies, and the results speak for themselves – loud and clear. The rich keep getting richer and the poor poorer. Income for those at the top keeps increasing while for the vast majority, it keeps declining. But, these are not just numbers. We’re talking about real people who are suffering. Since 2009, poverty among American children has risen form about 14% to about 20%.

Even putting aside the fact that the media is owned and operated by that same wealthy class and their corporations and considering the opinions of the people, it’s still very hard to argue there is any semblance of democracy in this country. 73 percent of Americans want a reduced reliance on fossil fuels, and fifty percent want something done about climate change. Fifty eight percent of the U.S., according to Gallup, wants “major cuts in military and defense spending,” much more than the puny 1.6 percent reduction called for in the new White House budget. 90 percent of the American public is in favor of background checks for gun purchases and a healthy majority favors other gun control measures. Yet, none of these are implemented.

When the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas killed at least 15 — 11 of them first responders — and injured more than 200 last week, there was hardly any reaction by the government, as if it were “an act of God”, although it wasn’t God who according to The Reuters news service “had last year been storing 1,350 times the amount of ammonium nitrate that would normally trigger safety oversight by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” The company was required to tell the department and didn’t.

Compare that to their reaction to Boston Marathon bombings which triggered the lockdown of the city and turning it into a war zone and police state and doing house to house searches without warrants and without home owners’ consent. Why? Because their treatment of ordinary people living in their homes is quite different from their treatment of corporations they serve.

And, now, with the new budget cuts, there will be even less on-site inspections. The plant hadn’t been inspected in nearly thirty years, and there are so few OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) inspectors in Texas that “it would take 98 years for them to take a look at each workplace in the state once”. According to the non-partisan reform group Public Campaign, “Already only able to conduct 40,000 workplace inspections a year in a country with seven million worksites, OSHA will see its budget cut by an additional 8.2 percent this year on account of the sequester.”

And, they claim to be concerned about the Syrian government using chemical weapons and want to inspect them! Go figure!

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