For the Workers: Fourth of July and Beyond

July 4thAmerica is celebrating the 237th anniversary of its Declaration of Independence from England. There will be cook outs and parties all across the land. Thousands upon thousands of firecrackers, bottle rockets and other noise making fireworks will be exploded to the sheer delight of young and old alike. Hamburgers, hot dogs and other local foods will be consumed as the nation comes together in a state of unity.

Since the first shot at Lexington and Concord, America has risen from 13 unruly fractious colonies to become the most dominant and influential country on the planet. One can go to the ends of the Earth and find something in other societies that have been influenced by America. Whether it’s music, art, fashion, food, electronics, the internet or weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. has made its mark on the rest of the world.

Over the past 237 years, America has defended itself from both external forces and internal revolt to become the envy of many, and the nation has become for just as many the most hated society in the world. Millions around the world believe all Americans are rich and living extravagantly luxurious jet-setting Hollywood lives of debauchery and decadence.

For 90% of Americans, that is far from the truth. In fact, since 1966 most American workers are living no better than they were almost 50 years ago.  The average worker has seen his net income increase by $59.00 dollars adjusted for inflation during that time.  Conversely, some Americans are doing very well; the top 10% of Americans over the same time period have seen their income increase over $116,000.00 dollars.

The income disparity between the top 10% and the bottom 90% of American workers is at the widest point since the Great Depression. Over the last decade the gap widened during the Great Recession, creating a society where few are experiencing the American dream.

Coincidentally, as the American worker’s income began to stagnate, the military industrial complex exploded with the war in Vietnam and, simultaneously, the country’s geopolitical influence expanded to almost every corner of the globe which created a never-ending war.

As American corporations grew into multinational conglomerates, their influence in the politics of the country grew unchecked and resulted in decisions such as the Citizens United case, with billionaires pulling the strings of career politicians who care only about their egos and family wealth as workers, the environment and the poor have been abused by men who only have one goal: achieve and maintain power, wealth and domination.

Today, many politicians across the political landscape — in a variety of local, state and federal capacities — have abused the power entrusted in them by the American people. From Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, who is accused of excepting gifts for influence, to the now incarcerated and disgraced ex Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, the role of many politicians has become self-serving and void of altruism, principles or character. Politics is often controlled by men and women who do not serve the American worker; they serve only themselves with insider stock trading, graft and fraud.

For more than half of that time the Grand Old Party of Lincoln has dominated national and state politics, increasing their influence with members of fringe groups bent on running the country for the themselves and their ideologically impaired brethren. The Republican Party of Abolitionists, the defenders of the Union and protectors of the American economy has morphed, over the last 40 plus years, into the Party of Jim Crow, secessionists and fascism. Policies have brought this nation into a fragile economic state, which has turned the once proud nation into a land of haves and have-nots — with an ever-growing population of people who are forced to live hand-to mouth amidst a crumbling infrastructure that is falling into the realm of ‘Third World’ standards.

The GOP is mainly responsible for reducing the impact of organized labor under the guise of right to work laws, anti-immigration policies that have created a society of shadow people, assaults on women and other minorities by enacting segregation era voting restrictions and introducing legislation that allows the state to invade a women’s body.

The Fourth of July 2013 is a time for celebrating America’s independence from a royal and his cohorts who believed in the Divine Right of Kings. As it was with many of the new ruling class, the bought and sold politicians believe they and their families are more important than the workers of America. The real celebration of the independence of the country will take place when workers stand up to the status quo of abuse, neglect and disdain. It is time for a new revolution, an economic revolution, led by all the workers of the country to free themselves from the shackles of economic inequality.