Government for the people—the demos, in Greek—is democracy. That’s what we’re supposed to have: by and for. Our democracy grows weaker with every law the rich pass to benefit themselves and disadvantage others. The health of our democracy now lies at its lowest ebb ever.
There are two factors that are colluding to sicken our democracy. (1) Many people are so poorly paid for their crucial work that they cannot rise out of poverty. (2) The rich have co-opted the democratic process for their own exclusive profit. When both of these things are corrected our democracy will be restored to health.
Many people are so poorly paid
for their crucial work that
they cannot rise out of poverty.
The rich Republicans who are largely responsible for this deadly imbalance will use all the power of their extreme wealth to oppose any step away from their plutocracy and toward democracy. Incidentally, they are almost exclusively Republicans, because to be a Democrat means to be for the people, not the ruling class.
They are the ones who believe that anyone not rich is simply lazy, and the poor therefore deserve the substandard wages that keep them in poverty. They are the ones who believe that they and they alone are the superior people, those who should be venerated by all. A few seconds devoted to this tells any thinking person they are dreadfully wrong on both counts, and the whole country is paying for it. Moreover, it is extremely insulting to everyone else. How dare they make such an insulting assumption!
And they really believe this nonsense. We know this because they say so. Mitt Romney’s scornful statement about the undeserving 47% of the American population—which amounts to 147-million people—is only one example of this attitude among many. These lords-over-all must be disabused of this irrational stupidity, and learn a bit of humility.
The rich have co-opted
the democratic process
for their own benefit.
The steps for rescuing democracy are simple, and are derived from the two factors listed above. They are: (1) No person working full time at any job may earn less than enough to provide the essentials of democratic life in the world’s richest nation. This includes health care costs and savings to provide for old age. Anything less is quite literally poverty wages. (2) The four-decade erosion of laws and regulations limiting the avarice of the wealthy and the socially destructive practices of corporations and the banking industry must be reversed. The influence of greed must be removed from the legislative discourse. Corporations must be prevented from damaging our life support system and from risking the safety of their workers.
We will know we have succeeded when poverty rolls drop below the political radar because there are so few people on them. We will know we have succeeded when the Gini Index shows our level of equality to be the same as the best of advanced nations, not the worst as at present. We will know we have succeeded when corporations and commerce are again properly regulated so environment is no longer being destroyed, when profit is no longer an excuse to do wrong. We will know we have succeeded when the rich no longer have the power to make laws that benefit only themselves.