My name is Patrick M McCormick and I have created this blog as a platform for my political views as well as those of select contributors.

I believe that American Politicians have lost sight of their goal: To uphold the Constitution and protect the rights of the people of the United States. They argue and bicker on the floor of their respective houses, positioning themselves for the next election, while they accomplish very little business for the citizens of this country.

Meanwhile our economy is sliding downward. Millions of our precious jobs have have been exported overseas. Our social safety net and other public services are being cut. Our middle class is rapidly disappearing and the numbers of citizens existing below the poverty line is increasing dramatically.

I plan to examine the causes of these terrible changes to our American way of life. Your comments will help us all arrive at some important conclusions.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The USA… 14% of US are Below the Poverty Line… What Happened?

Commentary by
Patrick McCormick

This kind of poverty did not happen overnight, it crept up on US slowly, over many years. How, you might ask, we had everything? While we were sleeping, our Country’s lifeblood was sold for campaign contributions to major corporations and foreign interests, “One vote at a time”.

It reminds me of the old Johnny Cash song. ” I’ve got a 56, 57, 58, 59 Chevrolet. I got it one piece at a time”. The song is about a “Good old boy” that got a job in a General Motors plant and began stealing car parts. Over the years, he built himself a car. It might have been an awful looking thing, but it was the product of many years continuous effort on the part of a small time crook.

The same thing has happened to US. We elect other human beings to political office in order to maintain our nations welfare. The jobs they receive are important ones; prestige, power and influence come with the territory. It is reasonable to assume those elected want to stay in their new positions, and they do. The problem is this, it costs a lot of money to campaign for political office; much more than the office holders are paid for their new jobs. They have to raise that money somehow.

The good news for them is there are many large corporations and foreign interests standing in line to give them that cash. These “Special interests” don’t give away money because they like each fellow’s politics, they pay the money because they get something in return. What they are buying are votes. The process has a name; influence peddling. It is a dirty business.

Influence peddling is the means by which the coal industry was allowed to pollute our air and water. Today there are methods of generating renewable energy from other sources, the sun and wind to name two of them. The old fossil fuel companies, coal and oil, do not want any new competition. They donate huge sums to office holders and, to cover their bets, even those running for office get some cash. Nobody in their right mind gives away money and these old fossils are not doing that. They get something in return.

A coal-fired power plant receives tax breaks and subsidies for their operations. These benefits allow them to operate much more inexpensively then a new Thermal Solar or Wind operation. The new, clean and environmental friendly methods of generating electricity cannot compete with the old fossils. Although our leaders say it is time to stimulate the production of electricity by renewable means, it is not happening.

Energy production is just one area. There are thousands of Special Interests waiting to donate money to our politicians. They all want something in return. They want votes in their particular favor on a myriad of subjects. They can buy what they want. The USA is for sale, not by US the People that own it, by those that we hire to manage our affairs… our elected officials.

We never used to manufacture many of our goods in foreign countries. Our large corporations wanted to get at those sources of cheap labor. New Trade Agreements sprang up. Most of these Treaties are one-sided affairs allowing for an enormous imbalance of trade.

With the new treaties, our major corporations began shipping American jobs out of the country. We got thousands of different inexpensive products in return. Because of the imbalance of trade, we also began piling up huge foreign debt. Oddly enough, the large corporations, or foreign countries, that profit, are not paying for the interest on this debt; WE, The People, American taxpayers, are paying the bills.

Therefore, in order to satisfy big business, our country endured a steady stream of lost jobs and absorbed trillions of dollars in foreign debt. Neither one of these things make our country stronger, in fact they are sucking the lifeblood from our economy.

Our government pays its bills with tax revenue. With less people working, there is less tax revenue. Our government's revenue is going down hill while its debts are rising. It is a formula that will led to bankruptcy. Something has to change.

An old joke went; Politics is a two-syllable word comprised of poli and tics. Poly means many and tics are bloodsuckers. The joke would get a lot of laughs. Somehow, it does not seem so funny today.

There are two groups of people with the ability to fix our problems; politicians and voters. There is not a lot of interest supporting campaign finance reform in Congress. That leaves it up to US, the voters.

The future is in our hands.

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