It appears that the stalemate/gridlock madness has ended – at least for a short period.
But before you utter a sigh of relief, please consider the costs — estimated to be in the trillions — to the economy and the toll taken on the U.S.’s reputation around the world. Consider also that during this time, members of Congress were paid while the rest of us, including government employees, were left to hang out in the cold. Financial assistance to families stopped. Grants were frozen, as were funds earmarked for natural disaster relief. Support for families of fallen soldiers was suspended.
Please ask yourself: who benefits from a dysfunctional political system, one where the most important financial decisions for our nation can so easily be stalemated?
Answer: the corporatocracy. When it comes to gridlock over health insurance, every day that the decision is delayed, the insurance companies reap millions. When gridlock over climate change and environmental issues, the fossil fuels industries and other polluters benefit. When it comes to GMOs, it’s the big agribusinesses. Over minimum wages… Ok, you got it! The list is extensive.
The corporatocracy donates megabucks to the war chests of both the Republicans and Democrats. Their lobbyists instruct the members of one party to vote for a new law and members of the other party to vote against it, thus insuring that the new law will be tabled. Since most of the existing laws favor big corporations, providing them with tax breaks and other subsidies, it is corporatocracy policy to maintain the status quo.
Each year over $4 billion dollars in government subsidies are given to top oil companies like ExxonMobil, Shell and Chevron. That money comes directly from the taxpayer’s wallets– your wallet. In addition to receiving such funding, these companies are also granted exemptions from numerous environmental standards, freeing them from the responsibility of the consequences of health burdens and environmental damage that result from their actions.
The problem here is deeper than just a fight between the Republicans and the Democrats, far more troublesome than U.S. healthcare and unemployment, and immensely more complex than government spending and a deadline. The government shutdown has been a blatant disregard for the wellbeing of American citizens. Despite the fact that our tax dollars are paid to ensure that we have an active, democratic government, this shutdown is an obvious display that our government is not functioning in a manner that is “of the people, by the people and for the people.” Instead, our government is feeding the beast that is our predatory capitalist economy ruled by the corporatocracy and enforced by our puppet politicians.
The time has come for the people of America to awaken to this realization. We must stand up to our politicians and the large corporations that reap huge profits at our expense. The first step is to recognize that congressional gridlock is no accident. It is a strategy. This should not be “politics as usual!” Please spread the word. Let’s not be hoodwinked any longer. Form consumer movements, or participate in existing one. Insist that the companies you buy from commit to supporting politicians who are committed to you – to us, We the People.