It has been a great decade to be an American! That is if your fifth car is a Tesla and your third home is a gated mansion in the Hamptons. For the rest of us working stiffs and the people the debauched (formerly the elites) love to insult as they call us their “base”, it has been a journey of financial uncertainty and economic distress. While the wealthiest 1% are gaining more fortunes than sultans in Riyadh, the bottom 90% have become indentured servants of the aristocracy who are bleeding our planet with their gluttony and insatiable appetite to add yet more zeros in their Swiss bank accounts.
If only more Americans realized that our nation has been turned into the biggest pyramid scheme since pharaohs walk the earth and turned humans into possessions in order to build towering temples to worship tyrants. The more things change, the more they stay the same. We are led by neo-pharaohs from DC to Wall Street who are turning all of us into chattel of corporatism and federalism in order to enhance their legacies as they increase our anxieties. Sadly, we are too distracted by disinformation and outright lies from realizing that crony capitalism is nothing more than the biggest laundering operation in the history of mankind. They are transferring wealth from the mass majority of humanity into the pockets of the oligarchy, but we are too busy fighting each other over nonsensical labels and divisive politics to see how they are making slaves of us all.
Donald Trump loves to rave about how wonderful the economy is as he points to the record highs of DOW Jones and the various exchanges on Wall Street. For a man who brags about being a graduate of Wharton and rants about his business acumen, he sure is an idiot when it comes to microeconomics and the struggles of everyday Americans. In truth though, Trump is no idiot, I wish that was so because that would almost make him a benign fool. Trump is a cunning hyena who pretends to be dim witted in order to cater to the whims of the unthinking herd who confuse stupidity for “plain spokenness”.
Do not let the political-media complex deceive you with their half-information and half-baked stats. The mean is not the same thing as the media income. If there are a hundred people in a room and 99 are making a dollar an hour and one person is making $1,901 an hour, it could be reported that the average wage in that room is $20.00 a day. The average income does not tell the story, a better way of getting the true situation of that room is by looking at the median income. By looking at the dispersion of money and seeing where the true middle point of wealth distribution, we can better ascertain the financial station of all 100 people in that room. In the same way, looking at the wealth explosion of Wall Street is blinding us from seeing the true picture of the economy and the real life struggles of the poor and middle/working class.
Vladimir Lenin once noted that if a lie is repeated enough times, eventually that lie becomes an accepted fact. That is how Trump managed to get elected, he kept saying “make America great again”. With enough repetition devoid of policy plan, he was able to gather a critical mass of believers who suspended logic and voted for the same man who impoverished countless businesses and working Americans by declaring bankruptcies, denying his debt and stiffing hard working people from money owed to them. The art of the deal is really the art of the steal; Donald Trump is the shrewdest of swindlers who uses his brand and his stature to gain leverage and screw over everyone else. When he gloats about the economy and points to the inflated stock prices of Wall Street, he is yet again reverting to the art of the steal.
I would be reverting to half-truths myself though if I presented this duplicity of Trump through the narrow lens of politics. Both Democrats and Republicans partake in this insidious lie. Barack Obama is given credit for “saving the economy”. Democrats point to the same bloated profits of Wall Street as proof that Obama did a good job by pulling our nation from the ditches of the Great Recession of 2008. The record number of homeless people who are pilling up in towns and cities throughout America beg to differ. Obama shoveled over $14 trillion to the same criminals and degenerate gamblers who bled our economy while giving the middle finger to his most loyal supporters and regular Americans who lost their homes to foreclosures and got grounded into the dust of poverty and governmental dependence. Hope and change was just a slick marketing gimmick to foist a corporate tool on America. Yes they did!
The political and media class are in collusion with corporations to serve their plutocratic masters and they get paid handsomely for it. They keep presenting the fortunes of Wall Street as some a bellwether for the rest of us. That bellwether is actually a death knell for the vast majority of Americans; corporatism is nothing more than a scheme to choke up livelihood from Americans into the coffers of multinational corporations and gluttonous billionaires. Imagine a big toothpaste; the only way that the status quo maintains this Ponzi scheme of corporatism is by slowly squeezing the money and means of people from the bottom to feed the greed of the people at the top. It was easy to ignore the plight of the homeless and the poor when there was a vibrant middle class in America. As they keep squeezing the tube upward and wringing our money to water the opulence of the 1%, more and more are getting kneecapped into a life of hardship and hard luck.
Our problem as a society and humanity as a whole is that we keep conflating wealth and unfettered authority with sagacity and benevolence. Plutocrats and their puppets in DC got rich and powerful not by caring for us but by pillaging us. On a daily basis, I keep getting inboxed or mentioned by one Trump supporter after the next praising Donald’s leadership because he happens to be a rich and successful businessman. They look right past the obvious, Trump made his fortunes because he inherited tens of millions from his daddy. Trust fund brat Trump magnified his inheritance by gaming the legal system and refusing to pay his debt. Yet Trump has legions of supporters based solely on his empty promises and because he is a supposed billionaire. Christian conservatives would do well to read James 2:6 and see what the good book says about worshiping the rich and disregarding the least among us.
Before my liberal friends too happy, they should really stop and reflect. Those who self-identify with the “left” should stop idolizing the rich and famous and reverting to cult of personalities. It’s hard to make fun of Trump worshipers while bowing before the alter of Obama. The same way that Trump cited meaningless rhetoric and token promises to get elected, Obama did likewise to capture the White House. Liberals would do well to think on these things; there is nothing progressive about using regressive monetary policies like Quantitative Easing and Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) to incentivize equity by disincentivizing saving and capital investments. This is exactly what Obama did for his eight years in office and why the gap between the 1% and the rest of us exploded under his watch. This same Obama corporate laundering scheme is being maintained by Trump.
Mark Twain once said “there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Twain hit the nail on the head, we are being led by a cabal of confidence men who populate the halls of Congress, the White House and the halls of power from DC to Manhattan. This is not a partisan issue, both parties and the pundits in corporate media are intentionally feeding us propaganda and distortion in order to keep us perpetually distracted from the truth. Until we stop confusing the wealth of the few for the health of the many and until we stop accepting mendacious statistics and talking points written by political insiders as facts, we will keep getting the government that we have and the grifters we deserve. #LiesAboutEconomy
“Lying is a cooperative act. Think about it. A lie has no power whatsoever by its mere utterance. Its power emerges when someone else agrees to believe the lie.” ~ Pamela Meyer
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Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.
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