November 3rd, 2010 09:48 EST
The Politicians Could Have Reduced Local Taxes, Instead They're Blaming Washington
A sordid tale of the bought and the screwed
Watching our inboxes fill and hearing our phones clamor with pleas for more money conveys the impression that America`s main industry is politics. But it`s not lifting us out of the recession, because it`s not about leveling the playing field, it`s about transferring wealth from 99 percent of us to one percent of us.
We seem to be listening to the ideas with which we`re most comfortable, and that`s the royal road to trouble. This grinding recession has been very kind to the politicians, and Wall Street isn`t hurting either. The politicians have been able to ply their lies because we`re grasping at straws. They have been able to blame Washington for rampant local corruption and soaring property taxes. The platitudinous Tea Party hasn`t got an idea in its collective head and is the bought creature of billionaires.
Politicians of every stripe are telling us we need more jobs, but what they`re not telling us is that Wall Street does pretty well when business cuts payrolls " in the short term, at least. But how will we buy things without jobs? Well, Wall Street cares about quarterly profits, not about our future. Just as the press cares about revving up the anxiety machine instead of informing the republic.
Has there ever been such an incessant racket for our money, our votes, such a ruthless preying on our nerves? And do any of us really believe the people asking for our money and votes are listening to us? Recent polls say 78 percent of the people polled want their politicians to compromise with each other to get things done. Are they listening? Maybe not getting things done is good for somebody, like maybe that one percent of our population that is getting richer.
You don`t have to be a forensic accountant to know that the politics industry is about making somebody rich, and you don`t have to be a forensic accountant to know this election is being bought under our noses by people with plenty of it. If they really wanted to ease our tax burden they would have streamlined local and regional government to reduce property taxes. Instead they have chosen to blame Washington.
On November 2 we are sending to Washington and our state capitals people who have been bought, not with our nickels and dimes, but with big bucks, and those people will not represent us "however much they begged for our money "they will represent the same big money that ships our jobs overseas in a scramble for cheap and abused labor, screws us out of pensions and medical benefits, finagles our insurance, forecloses on our homes, and gets us into wars we don`t understand.
Business is alive and well in America, the business of giving us the business. The stakes are very high and the electorate has lost, no matter what the outcome is November 2. Elections that cost so much money, money that could be much better spent, cannot be good for us. But they`re good for somebody; they`re good for those who can afford them. It`s like A.J. Liebling said, Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one. Representation is guaranteed only to those who own a politician. Or two. Or three - you get the picture.
Djelloul (jeh-lool) Marbrook was born in 1934 in Algiers to a Bedouin father and an American painter. He grew up in Brooklyn, West Islip and Manhattan, New York, where he attended Dwight Preparatory School and Columbia. He then served in the U.S. Navy.
His book of poems, Far From Algiers, won the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize from Kent State University in 2007 and was published in 2008. His story, Artists Hill, adapted from the second novel of an unpublished trilogy, won the Literal LattÃ© first prize in fiction in 2008. His poems have been published in The American Poetry Review, Barrow Street, poemeleon, The Same, and other journals. The pioneering e-book publisher, Online Originals (UK), published his novella, Alice MIller`s Room, in 1999.
He worked as a reporter for The Providence Journal and as an editor for The Elmira (NY) Star-Gazette, The Baltimore Sun, The Winston-Salem Journal & Sentinel and The Washington Star. Later he worked as executive editor of four small dailies in northeast Ohio and two medium-size dailies in northern New Jersey.
Del`s book, Far From Algiers: http://upress.kent.edu/books/Marbrook_D.htm
New review of Far from Algiers: http://www.rattle.com/blog/2009/05/far-from-algiers-by-djelloul-marbrook/
Artists Hill, Literal LattÃ©`s fiction first prize: http://www.literal-latte.com/author/djelloulmarbrook/
His blog: http://www.djelloulmarbrook.com
His mother`s art: http://www.juanitaguccione.com
His aunt`s art: http://www.irenericepereira.com