Does America Dream the American Dream?

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Today, life in America consists of an increasing amount of disapproval, dissatisfaction, deceit, and any other negative connotation that could possibly be conceived by the human mind. It’s generations of ignorance and self-indulgence has swollen to the epic and unthinkable proportions of a potential and theoretical dystopian characterized state and, if we are not careful, the ultimate and controlling force of the Iron Heel will crush down upon us. Though the true future may not be deciphered so easily, it is clearly obvious that if action is not taken by those who have yet to act, then it is understandable to an attentive individual to predict that our future may share a similar likeness of something that may be considered as Orwellian.

Aside from the initial reaction of, “You’re lying!” those who have kept under their rocks or have sat and obeyed their telescreens3 may ask, “How is this possible?” Simple, we are on the edge of failing. Not economic failure; for America is too large of a governmental power to fail. No, we have failed on a personal level. Unemployment is currently at 9.1% and congressional disapproval rating fluctuates around 45% and above; as the media says. However, these statistics are meaningless in the whole scope of our problems. Now I am not here to spout facts.

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Actually, critics would probably question my qualification to do so. I do not claim the prestigious status of completing a collegiate degree of any kind. The public’s initial depiction of me is that an average middle class American that has just recently joined the struggle. The television’s daily two-minutes-of-hate is just as influential on myself as the rest of the proletariats. The only difference that is possessed on my part is that I have troubled myself to take time out of my day to devote concentrated thought on issues that I feel strongly about. There is a likelihood that words which are written here will be taken out of context in order to spur the political and emotional gains of others. Because that is America; and that is a problem. Through much observation and deliberation, I have arbitrated a simple argument consisting of three criticisms and three necessities that are devised into simple phrases which will be explained further.

So, in short, there are a total of six premises that must be fulfilled in order for America to once again regain its economic, political, and personal sanity and composure. These premises are: Criticisms: America can no longer agree with itself. Corporate corruption. Widespread political immaturity. Necessities: The willingness to negotiate, discuss, and cooperate with political competitors. Decrease of corporate power and influence. Restored and profound faith in the governmental bodies. As for the meaning of the first criticism, it is simple.

Observations have shown to me that the American peoples can no longer reach a sophisticated agreement with each other. This specifically pertains to American politics. This inability to reach a consensus is caused by over devotions to political parties and other affiliations, along with not enough concentration on the personal values of the individual politicians. Political parties are currently accomplishing nothing except separating our country and slowing progress. However, keep in mind that it is not the job of congress to work quickly. Congress was designed to deeply and intensely debate in order to ensure that the idea proposed is the best for the nation. This is the same for the House as well. However, this initial and well intended concept has been cruelly twisted in order to fit the agenda of political parties. Politicians no longer disagree with a proposed governmental document because it disagrees with their own personal ideologies. Instead, they contest because it was proposed by one who is of a separate political affiliation and is therefore marked as an enemy.

This criticism leads to the necessity that states: (America needs) a willingness to negotiate, discuss, and cooperate with political competitors. The need of this quality is best shown by the use of the filibuster. The filibuster is by all means a crude and immature tactic based solely on the idea of annoying the contesting voters with irrelevant material, in hopes that they will leave and not cast their ballot. There is no debate, informative speaking, or progress; only trickery. Along with the filibuster, politicians today do not argue on the behalf of those they represent. Those they do argue for are not willing to debate either.

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Actual intellectual political debates are extinct, all that is left is arguing. That’s all it is, arguing. No progress is made, tempers rise, and eventually no agreement is decided upon purely because it is not 100% of what that party initially wanted. It does not occur to our political leaders that a conglomerate of two or more political ideologies could be the best option for the country and its people. This cannot continue on. Our political inability to discuss and intellectually debate will be one of our downfalls. We cannot have a democracy without debate because the act of debating and reaching compromises is essentially what our democracy is founded upon. How is it possible to truly represent and speak in the best interest of the people without reaching a decision that, to a degree, is applicable to all parties? Simple; it isn’t. If politicians today are not correctly displaying the wants and opinions of those they were elected to represent, who do they stand for? The conclusion that has been reached on my part is that they represent two entities; themselves and their advocates. Now, keep in mind that an advocate is one who publicly supports either an individual or an idea.

However, in the deceptive state that our country is currently in, most advocates choose to remain anonymous. Therefore, the definition of the word provided is slightly altered to include those entities.  Why do our elected officials portray their loyalties in such a manner? To state a complicated matter in the simplest terms: it is because they get rewarded if they do. Politicians in the current era do not respect the desires of those who are not “donating” to their cause. Whether or not the actual politician physically accepts and deposits the donations is irrelevant. Most donations are either given in a monetary form or as advertisement. As a result, the recipient does not always receive a material benefit, but a conceptual benefit instead.

Now one may ask, “why are donations such as these a bad thing?” The issue is that the donations have transcended the initial concept of giving to a cause out of just intentions into the act of legal bribery. This act ushers the second criticism involving the corruption of America’s political system by the corporate society. If a wealthy individual donates to a political ideal or a figure in which he trusts, no compunction should be had.

However, if a corporation or, “a company or group of people authorized to act as a single entity,” is to donate to a political organization or figure and is then accepted by said organization or figure, corruption has occurred. Not illegal corruption, out Supreme Court has made sure of that, but a moral corruption. Corporations today are entirely misrepresented in the fact that they are considered as people. Not just people, but full-fledged citizens who are given rights just as we are. Such as; the right to participate in politics.  Political participation at the corporate level violates the initial concept of our democracy. The American democratic system is a representational democracy; where officials are elected to represent the peoples of an area. However, due to loopholes and immoral decisions, the Inner Party has decided upon the general understanding that our democracy has grown to become a Capitalist Democracy.

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In the context being used, a capitalist democracy is where free market entities have a right to political representation and expression. However, despite what the beneficiaries of the corporate bribes would like to believe, corporations are not people and the American form of government does not authorize the current treatment of free market entities. Corporations do not live. Nor do they breathe, eat, sleep, possess emotion, or die. They posses no traits to qualify them as human.

Corporations contain no physical attributes of that which is alive. They do not live but on paper. As for the correct representation of our governmental system; it is impossible for businesses to be held at the same standard as individuals because they cannot vote or run for office. If an entity cannot vote, then that entity cannot partake in politics because voting is the method in which the general population participates. If the entity cannot run for office then it also cannot vote because only registered voters can run for office. This is true and has always been true; but has either been momentarily forgotten or ignored.  In order for America to once again regain it’s previous global prestige and influence, the political power of corporations and any other free market entities must be eradicated. (America needs) a decrease of corporate power and influence. This is required because the corporations and other such industries are the job creators. There is no question that large companies and the heads of industry have a potential to produce opportunities for labor.

However, it is still required for the overall power of corporations and other such machines to be reduced in power.   One such reason is that they have proven true the Marxist theory that “whoever controls the base controls the superstructure.” The base represents the economic means of production and the superstructure represents the personal and political ideology, goals, and wants of the society. The simple act of running true to this theory is not the issue here. The issue lies with the fact that America was intended to have been run by the people, not businesses acting as a person.

As shown before, it is impossible for businesses and corporations to hold political power because they are not real people and cannot run for office or vote. Therefore it is ethically illegal for the people of the United States to stand by as the base of our society is governed by those who should not be governing. Not only this, because Americans have let the few control the many in the base, these non human entities are now controlling the superstructure of our society. By controlling the superstructure, these entities are influencing society in ways that should not only be illegal, but are not for the benefit of the American people.

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By controlling the political aspect of the American society, business entities influence important political decisions in favor of themselves. A majority of the time, what is in “their” favor is rarely in “our” favor. Such decisions would include the government bailout of the large, non-governmentally affiliated industries a few years ago. Whether the “bailouts” worked or not is irrelevant. Corporate influence convinced our political leaders that these businesses were too large to fail. This single act, whether it was successful or not, bent (to say the least) the established concept declaring that the federal government had no constitutional authority to spend money collected by taxes to purchase holdings or to take an ownership position in a private business organization. The idea that congress violated the constitution is not being stated. Instead one must observe how congress leapt to the aid of corporations, even when it was highly questionable as to the legality of the the action. As well intended as congress may have been, they had the constitutional and moral obligation to pursue the legal qualifications of the situation with the same amount of scrutiny that is preformed for all other, less controversial issues.

Another aspect requiring the decrease of corporate power and influence relates very closely to the idea of the corporate control over the superstructure. It has been previously stated that large companies and the heads of industry have a potential to produce opportunities for labor. This remains true. However, it does not state where the opportunities for labor take place. In today’s America, outsourcing is in commonplace.

Outsourcing is so rampant that the job market is continuously dwindling and the only jobs that are remaining are white-collar jobs that require extensive education. The issue here lies in the fact that citizens are attending colleges and universities in massive numbers in hopes of obtaining one of these rare jobs. The issue here is that there are so few jobs available that many students and graduates must settle for lower quality work positions or no position at all because the need for their specialized skills does not exist. Along with this concept, there are very little blue-collar jobs left in America. Blue-collar jobs are necessary in order to stimulate the economy by increasing the amount of products that we produce and can either use ourselves, eliminating the need to buy, or to sell to others.

Now it is not entirely apparent as to how this immediately relates to corporations. However, consider the amount of income tax that is payed by the poorer citizens compared to the more wealthy. For a single individual earning a yearly income of $0-$8,500 is taxable by 10%. That means that up to $850 is viable to be taken as income tax. That leaves $7,650 for that individual live live off of for a year. Now consider a single individual who earns a yearly wage of $379,151 and above and is taxed at 35%. After taxes that person still has at least $246,448.15 to live with. (I have no intent to declare that the wealthier Americans should pay more for income taxes. In fact, I feel that in an ideal society we will have enough industry so that it is not necessary to tax each other at different amounts.

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However, if the American government requires more revenue through the income tax, those that can easily afford it are morally obligated to step forth and save those who cannot afford the additional strain).  A common complaint that is given by the corporate society and the pro-corporate politicians is that if corporations were taxed more, then it would dissuade these corporations from creating new jobs. Not only do these same corporations barely create American jobs to begin with, but it is claimed that the monetary funding would not be sufficient to do so. Lets take into account the Fortune 500 corporation Seaboard. At the moment of the compilation of this text, Seaboard is ranked 500th in the Fortune 500 complex. On 3/25/2011 Seaboard had a market value of $2,815.0 million dollars and had a revenue of $4,385.7 million. For corporations earning a taxable income $18,333,333 and above is subject to a 35% tax rate. So after Seaboard is taxed (judging by the given information) it will still have $2,850,705,000 to spend.

According to the same listings that the other information was retrieved from, Seaboard made a recorded profit of $283.6 million dollars7 that year. That means that $2,567,105,000 was spent in order to keep the company running*. It is my understanding that Seaboard is a conglomerate operating mainly in the food industry (in America), therefore these expenditures could include: employee wages, refrigeration systems, transportation, and so on. Basically, what all this translates into is that pro-corporate individuals attempt to convince America to lower taxes on corporations by claiming that these so “job creators” will not create.

Any corporation that receives millions of dollars in profit (the amount that they get to put in their pockets) and claims that they cannot afford to create jobs are not only lying to everyone, but taking advantage of the American people as well.*All of the statistic given were found in the Fortune 500 section of the CNN Money web site. All of the information can be easily found by inquiring with any search engine and it is accessible to all who are willing to look.

Putting aside the multitude of grievances and wrongdoings affiliated with pro-corporate politicians and the corporate society itself; one must observe the ways in which Americans socialize with each other. Leading into the third criticism: “widespread political immaturity.” By immaturity I am attempting to refer to the way that the current political society is handling inter-party communication and the act (or lack of the act) of addressing controversial political issues. The basis of these two areas of complaint mainly revolves around the idea of political rhetoric. Political rhetoric is presently at an all time high in America. Now when one hears “political rhetoric” he or she is often unsure as to it’s true meaning due to the idiomatic contexts that it is put in.

A common meaning that is given to the phrase is “bashing” or giving an opponent a negative image by comparing and falsely linking them to nazis, communists, or any other negative party or idea. Even though this description fits closer to the idea of “libel” or “slander,” it is the adopted form of the phrase and will therefore be addressed before the original definition of political rhetoric.  The common acceptance of the definition of political rhetoric, though slightly incorrect in a grammatical sense, is one of the biggest issues in the socialization between political officials. I cannot speak for exactly all, but I’m sure that most will follow suit as I express my disgust with the behavior of those who are supposed to be the wisest, most intelligent, and the most mature peoples in our society. We elect politicians to stand on our behalf and express our beliefs to the rest of the elected society, a position of grandeur and majesty, and then repaid for our gift by squabbling and name calling.

Politicians no longer feel the need to debate with each other; why should they when it is easier to label a competitor as a socialist than to give an intellectual response? The American political system has become a playground where little children in suits gang up on each other and instead screaming, “Bed-wetter! Bed-wetter!” they cry “Bush is a nazi!” or “Obama is a socialist!” or something along those lines. If one would ask any extremely right winged political correspondent as to why Barack Obama’s healthcare plan is bad for America, they will most likely respond in a way that will most likely say, “it’s socialist!” or it will relate to a common slur directed at him of supposedly being a Muslim. Why is it socialist and why is Obama a Muslim? Because Obama has been labeled as a socialist early in his campaign and therefore everything that he says or does as president is tainted with socialism. Obama is a Muslim because Americans are very wary of those of the Islam religion because of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Obama’s political competitors extort that fear for their own gains. However, all parties are guilty of committing acts such as this. If an individual were to approach a very left wing politician and ask about Texas politician Rick Perry and his ideals, he would more than likely declare that Perry is a racist. Why is Perry a racist? Because he is from Texas and he attended a hunting camp that for years possessed a name that we now consider a racist slur. Whether Obama is or isn’t a socialist or that Perry is a racist is not under debate here. What is being stated is that politicians and even the American people need to stop generalizing and labeling individuals with negative personas when they do not possess clear and infallible evidence to support their claims.

A more grammatically correct meaning of “political rhetoric” is essentially when one uses language intended to be have a persuasive effect on an audience that lacks the sincerity of the speaker or realistic implications. To put it simply; it is the art of saying what is wanted to be heard. Politicians today are too determined to try to appear to be the perfect candidate for everyone. It has reached the point where politicians begin to contradict themselves depending on whether the crowd of spectators cheers or boos at their initially established agendas. Everyone is aware of this. There are widespread slurs about politicians, mostly stating that, “all politicians are liars!” and “you can’t trust anything that comes out of a politicians mouth!” or something along those lines. Following along this concept; who hasn’t heard at one point in their life a running politician declare that “I will not raise taxes!” or “We will pull out of Iraq (or some other country that we are at war with)!” After this declaration, the next thing you know, your taxes have increased and we have increased activity in the foreign nation that we were already at war with. It is understandable as to why Americans have this negative view of “the lying politician” in their book of stereotypes. In order for the general population’s opinions of our political leaders to improve, the intentional deception must come to an end. If one cannot give a straight and honest answer to issues that are relevant to our society then that individual should not be running for office. Though it is not a favorable alternative, “I don’t know” or, “I have no opinion yet, but I will look into it,” is immensely better to do than to lie in order to please the masses.

It is not entirely the fault of the politicians as to why this rhetoric is so prevalent. We as the American public have helped spread the wave of deceptive statements through our lack of action that has been taken to stop it. One cannot forget that politicians are people too. Can any of us honestly say that we could resist the temptation of taking the easy way in? By “in” I am referring towards being elected into office. If all one had to do to get elected into a very influential political office was to bend the truth and perfect the art of pleasing a crowd with words, I might have run myself. We, as Americans, have failed in our constitutional duty to keep our leaders in check. I say “we” because it is all of our faults; no one person or group is responsible. The people are at fault for turning away their supervision and the political classes are guilty of taking advantage of an unethical advantage.

The declaration of where the blame is lies are the prerequisites to the third necessity: (America needs) a restored and profound faith in the governmental bodies. In order for this to be achieved, action must be taken by both of America’s classes. We, as the people, must restart our vigil on our political candidates and scrutinize what they say. Half answers, irrelevant answers, and deceptive answers can no longer be accepted. Mr. Republican, is president Obama a socialist? “Well, his policies do not fit the normal…” No! Answer the question that has been asked, then if more information is required you may explain the pretenses as for why. Now, Mr. Democrat, is President Bush a nazi? “Yes, he is invading Iraq and Afghanistan for oil…” No! Granted that credit is due since you actually answered the question, but you have no pretense to declare such a statement. The American people must keep check on our leaders and it must be done immediately.

The people have allowed our political state to degrade to the intelligible lie-fest that it is today. Compare it to letting children loose in a candy store; candy jars will be knocked over, bigger children will pick on the littler children, someone will scrape a knee. It is just as much of the parent’s fault as the children’s. What did you expect them to do? Of course they are going to think that their imaginary friends (one of which who just happens to be named Seaboard) are real people, they don’t know any better.

In the case of the politicians fitting the childish act of name calling; for shame. Name calling has always been regarded as inappropriate behavior for mature adults and it is despicable to see that America’s elite have stooped to such a level. In the cases where name calling is not involved, for shame as well.

America’s political leaders must be entirely honest, most of all to the people who graced you with such a prestigious and reputable position. America’s political leaders are supposed to be the best of the best, the elite, and the magnum opera of the political field. Yet they can’t even keep their opinions from changing depending on the composition of the crowd in view; ridiculous. We don’t need pleasers in Washington, we need leaders. We need any and every man and woman who is confident, strong-willed, and intelligent enough to step forth and stand for what they believe is best for the freest country in the world. Those who can work together and push America along the uphill climb to the precipice of greatness that it once claimed as it’s own. Stop with the lying. Stop with the deception, the bending of the truth, the screaming, the yelling, the libel, the crowd pleasing, and, most of all, stop with the catch phrases.; it’s not helping.   In conclusion to the six statements I have made, I wish to state that I am no Ernest Everhard8. As an individual I possess no natural tendencies to lead a revolution against the tyrannical Oligarchy.

Does America require a single individual to spear head the democratic revolution? No, it is not up to the individual to save America from the endless down spiral that we have grown accustomed to. It is up to the people. All the people Speak up! Be heard! Spread your voice and take back control of what is ours. You have heard my voice, now let’s hear yours.

By

Dean Herrett

Email: deanherrett-at-me.com

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