Guest post by Martin Christensen
For years since the economic boom of the late 40’s, early 50’s and on up to the one in the 90’s both low and middle class have been used as pawns either against each other or together to further the capitalist agenda. The methods used range from media stereotype manipulation to war, a successful attempt at dividing and conquering the people. Once the people are divided up into classes, it becomes much easier to manipulate and control people. With this ease of control comes also the ease of exploiting people for either labor power and/ or profit. With us divided and supposedly conquered, the upper class believe they have achieved class conquest, but it’s not limited to class conquest it also means the conquest of the political arena as well. It’s painfully obvious that the voice heard within the hallowed halls of D.C. by Democrats and Republicans isn’t the voice of the people, but the voice of corporations. The proof is shown each day with every new bill passed not by the consent of the people, but by corporate backed politicians.
To ever achieve a true democracy, the low and middle class need to unite once and for all and throw away the shackles of indifference that each class imposes on each other. They must realize that their disunity is detrimental to the survival of the ideals of democracy and social justice. Also realize that the petty squabbles between the low and middle class contributes nothing, but satisfaction to the upper class. Class-consciousness and unity is the only true path to a direct democracy, a democracy where the people’s voices are heard clearly. Not only will this unity lead to a people’s democracy, but it’ll also enrich the arts, the sciences and even the spirituality of people. Allowing them to control all aspects of society from technology to religion to economy and not the upper class controlling all. With a peoples democracy they will also guard against totalitarianism.
Hurdling these obstacles will not be a cakewalk; it will indeed be a tough struggle. The upper class will not want to lose their stranglehold of power over the people. It will take the strength of the peoples unity and the fierce volume of their collective battle cry, “We will not take your abuse anymore!” to loosen the grip and dispose of the upper class, forever.
In a bit I will point out the different variables that align both low and middle class together that break all class borders. We will cover a broad range of issues that affect both classes like the military and even the phenomenon of lottery tickets. Also, you will definitely realize that us communists and socialists are indeed a threat to the old order. We believe in smashing all class borders and offering an egalitarian alternative to today’s capitalist and divided society.
The military has always been an escape for those who had no prospects in life or those who fell for the promise of learning a trade skill and receiving cash for college. So it shouldn’t be surprising that most people who enlist into the military are mainly from either low or middle class backgrounds.
Lets take the Vietnam War for example; about 76% of the men in the military came from a middle or working class background. Even though today our military is diverse with the inclusion of women and minorities, the low and middle classes still constitute the majority of our present military. It shouldn’t be of any surprise that mainly low and middle class citizens populate the military. After all, the wealthy elite doesn’t want to risk their future heirs to their corporations, but instead allow the sons and daughters of ordinary folk to die in place of the upper class youth. Lets not forget the profits reaped from the deaths of our brave men and women in uniform. With each death comes the demand for new uniforms and battle gear for the new recruit and for each missile, bullet, tank, plane and so on comes the demand for replacement battle vehicles and ammunition.
Let not the glory of military service get to ones head nor accept the promise of tuition and government housing bribe one into fighting the capitalists’ war. Always remember how Bush has rewarded our brave veterans, by cutting their veteran benefits. The low and middle class, to the ruling class, are expendable for their war and only deserve minor commitment of their attention.
The Elderly and American Healthcare
*Please note that these stats may no longer be accurate since the inception of the cop out alternative to universal healthcare aka ObamaCare.
One basic human right that every group along the entire political spectrum seem to agree on is the right to adequate healthcare, but that line is drawn to how much and how often one receives healthcare and access to medication. Prior to ObamaCare, a majority of low and middle class had limited access to healthcare and medication. The people who had it worse, though, were the elderly. According to gathered statistics in 1998, 99% of elderly Americans have Medicare, but in January of 2001 1 million elderly were dropped from Medicare coverage. Obviously, 1998, a Clinton year, was an excellent year for elderly healthcare, but once George Bush entered Office elderly healthcare woes began. One million of our senior citizens without Medicare coverage are just too many aging parents, grandparents and veterans without medical coverage. At that age, they are more susceptible to disease and abuse at retirement homes. Medication for age related diseases have sky-rocketed, allowing 27 out of the 50 major medications for senior citizens to rise above three times the inflation rate. This is an absolute outrage! Whoever does not see this as an outrage is without a heart. All healthcare and medicine should be available for all age groups at affordable prices.
For people under the age of 65, 75 million are or have gone without any health coverage. That means about 1 in 3 people below the age of 65 have gone or still don’t have health coverage in any form. Factor in the fact that 13% or more of the population are below the poverty line, which is about 35 million or more people, you begin to realize how ineffective our healthcare system is. And to even further understand the issue of those below the poverty line we must break it down into age groups. With the total being 35 million or more, about 14 million are children, 18 million are working age adults and 3 million are 65 and older. It doesn’t take a mathematician to realize this is a big problem, which is not being addressed by our government.
It becomes obvious that the ruling class believe it’s important to line their pockets with cash instead of spending it on important issues such as health, education, environment and jobs. The question is how many more people have to die because of lack of adequate health coverage and medicinal access for people to open their eyes to the crisis at hand? Hopefully, the answer is zero, but in our capitalist reality it would have to take a few media covered millions. Only one answer comes to mind, class unity. If we are to ever fix this problem then the low and middle class need to unite and take control of their medical and health resources out of the hands of the ruling class.
With ObamaCare’s inception there have been some improvements in healthcare. Take for example that more people in the US have access to some form of health insurance, but this has also led to problems with employer based health insurance. More people today are paying more into their employer supplied health insurance than ever before. The cost is being placed on workers which means less money for people to pay their bills and mortgage/rent. And recently one of Minnesota biggest and cheapest health insurance companies, Preferred One Health Insurance, is dropping out of the marketplace because its costs are unsustainable. This seems to be the common gripe about the plan. Is it be expected otherwise though? Health insurance companies are capitalist institutions that profit off the suffering of others and the less money they are able to hoard the more problematic health insurance companies will become.
ObamaCare is an amalgamation of what the Right and Left wanted in DC, the people were handed this cop out. How is it beneficial to penalize people who may not want health insurance? Simply put, universal healthcare should be the way forward instead of hanging on to this flawed plan that Hillary Clinton and the rest of the elitists in DC want.
The Workplace and Stress
With unions and other such organizations being a staple in our society, it makes one wonder why workplace problems still exist. Granted, safety conditions, wages and other worker rights have improved since the Industrial Revolution for most companies, but the newest problematic issue that is plaguing many American workers is high stress levels.
One reason that seems to be on top of every ones list are the massive layoffs that have been happening recently. With fewer workers, but more workloads, workers are doing the work that is normally done by three workers instead of one. As a result, workers are more stressed out much faster than usual. With stress also comes the lowering of the immune system that leads to illness, but about 60% of absences are due to psychological problems. Psychological problems cost annually about $57 billion. Those who do report high stress levels at work also tend to have a 50% higher health cost. Those who are physically ill still come into work out of fear of calling out sick, which in turn hinders any productivity and puts the worker at risk of becoming even more sick.
Aside from physical and psychological effects, workers’ social lives are affected as well. The longer and harder a person works allows for less time for family, friends, leisure and even sleep! Now how outrageous is that, not to have any time for anything. Where exactly will the ruling class stop in their endeavor to cut corners on workers rights to life? Most likely it’ll never stop until class unity is achieved.
The Lottery: Exploitation of Desperation
Ever since the inception of state lotteries in the 70’s and 80’s, millions of people have flocked to their local convenience stores and have bought lottery tickets in quantity. If the tickets themselves held any monetary value, millions of people would already be millionaires today. The lottery industry has made such a lofty profit from exploiting peoples desperation for quick money since it all began. Lets take Minnesota for example; their lottery began in 1990. On March 2002, profits from lottery ticket sales reached $20 million. That means a ticket that costs about $1 had to be sold every 20 seconds for the profits to reach $20 million. Another example would be California who, since 1985, has profited at $31.5 billion in ticket sales. It’s amazing how people would willingly throw away money on a game of chance just hoping money will fall in their lap. What’s disgusting, though, is how the industry profits from this.
More than likely this trend will continue especially for the currently 6.1% unemployed in America today. Their need of money outweighs the need of money by the employed, so the unemployed will no doubt spend what they have left on lottery tickets. As long as the classes allow themselves to be exploited by the upper class this vicious circle of exploitation will continue to go on. Something must be done to stop it before it leads to more methods of exploitation. Only class unity will be the blockade against all present and future forms of exploitation.
One may say that I write this in vain, but I’d like to differ. In times of unrest and crisis such as the 60’s Civil Rights struggle and after 9/11, low and middle class have come together for a better and safer society. Sadly, it lasted only for a brief amount of time before the old animosities egged on by the ruling class came back into our collective consciousness. It shows also that people can come together and fight for social justice in any conditions presented to them.
People today are becoming increasingly weary of capitalism and the ruling class. Many see that both Democrats and Republicans are bought with corporate money. Hardly, if ever, do they listen to the voice of the people. They listen more to the crinkle of money that is filling their pockets.
As stated in our Declaration of Independence, “That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it and to institute new government.” People have to be responsible for securing their rights and to make sure that those in power do not abuse them in any way. The only path to making sure that tyranny never reigns is for them unite and take control of the means of governing, economy with 100% employment, production, adequate education and healthcare and out of the hands of the ruling class. This is the only way to a system of the people, for the people and by the people.
Low and middle class, unite not just for yourselves, but also for your children’s future! Let not the boot heel of the ruling class crush your lives anymore! No more exploitation.