Letter at Length

Society is suffering slow-motion suicide

Our society is suffering slow-motion suicide under the anti-government, pro-capitalist ruse of conservatives and Republicans. They flap the flag in feigned patriotism while they raid and drain every healthy and humane feature of America.

If we don't wake from their hypnotic drone that "taxes are draining us" and "government is our enemy," we'll find not only Wisconsin teachers without pensions and health care, we'll assume no one deserves these. We'll all just fight among ourselves for increasingly scarce scraps, as the millionaires and billionaires snatch egregious wealth while sneaking out of paying any taxes to the society that generates it. We'll see Fox News and their ilk in mainline media urge we defund and deliver our government to their unleashing of utterly careless corporations to "tend" the public commons by raiding and selling them.

These people don't think they have to care for us, and they don't care. If 10,000 widows lose aspects of their health care so that 10 investors have more houses and investments, Republicans, conservatives and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce types cheer it as "deregulation" or "more for the private sector." At least in intent (and should be in fact) government workers are paid middle-class salaries to tend the public's purposes, not to generate profits (by any means and at all costs) upward to whoever can then take the most. Teachers, firefighters, nursing home attendants — these are the sorts of workers we need in a civil society. Their pay is just, limited and balanced. Just what do the banksters do for their multi-million-dollar bonuses?

A merchantocracy increasingly owns our media and runs our government to their ends, not ours. Forsaking the words "promote the general welfare" in the Constitution, they assume those who exploit the best deserve the most. They'll avoid all taxes yet build more prisons, launch more wars, attack our environment, export our jobs, abandon our people and pervert our government.

We want jobs that provide meaningful relatedness in society as well as pay. They want disposable slaves. Their 30-year run on us has productivity up but income down, corporations rich but us poor, incivility unleashed and kindness mocked. Warren Buffett is right — there is a systematic culture war that the rich have been waging and winning for 30 years. That shrunken government that Grover Norquist wants to drown in a bathtub is us, trying to take care of ourselves.

I'm proud of what government we have here in Oregon, from our city to our governor. And I appreciate that our federal government has helped mitigate the ravages of the local and international takers in the form of graduated taxes, Medicaid and Medicare, environmental and industrial protections and Social Security.

Government is us taking care of ourselves and our environment, acting nobly in the family of nations. Instead of exploiting and abandoning people as the anti-government forces are doing, I want us to praise, protect and promote a government that serves all, not just the few.

Brad Carrier


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