I thought the same thing. Welcome to our great, great police state, err, I meant nation!
Government as Corporations' puppet is so out of control, once upon a time we stood up for ourselves - - and even each other when the issue was important enough. ...First they came for the Jews and I didn't stand up because I wasn't a Jew, then they came for... Ya know?
We need to take the big bitch back, keep it out of our bedrooms, out of our heads, out of our sex lives, close all the tax loopholes that big business benefit from while average Joe doesn't and ends up giving all his money up the ladder to make the rich richer. It's a trickle UP economy people, why do you think you're living paycheck to paycheck? The rich man's money isn't finding your pocket, is it? /end rant>
In my view, Americans have been more disconnected from their government than earlier generations have been. Obama seems to have changed that to some degree. Whether it was him or people that knew they needed to stand up to make sure we didn't get George W. Bush version 2.0 in McCain. I know this because Obama was the first vote I ever cast, and I know that's sad, but I never used to feel like I could make a difference or that it was just picking the lesser of two evils.
Obama seems to want to make this country better, and he's fighting a tough battle with the media making controversies out of every little thing the White House does, even perfectly innocent things. That can't make the job easy. A participatory system could be a tremendous asset if used properly. Health care for example is something Americans want to a large degree but Congress being in the pocket of big business, they wont pass a good bill without being made to.
If Obama were to recruit us as soldiers and help us fight for what we want, and he wants to get us, together we could effect some real change. And Americans want to be soldiers, it's just that we don't feel empowered. I know that if he were to lay it out for us plain and simple and propose a plan, we could band together and get some shyt done! Don't you agree? We have to figure a way to be more powerful than the corporations with their lobbyists. The country belongs to the people, not the companies!
I think you'll find that the total of what a person earns, whether is be considered salary, bonus, gift, whatever, and the percentage of that, that they SHOULD pay taxes on without the loopholes, is highly divergent the higher you go up the scale. I wish I could offer you evidence of that, but it's not something that anyone advertises I suspect.
What if there was a website that tracked the pieces of legislation, gave information on their potential effect, along with anything attached to it (amendments, riders, etc), provided information on what contributions have been made to try and get it passed and by what lobbyists on behalf of what corporations/organizations?
Is all of that possible? Feasible? I have to imagine that if it were written plainly enough so that people could understand what was going on without any trouble, that people would be interested in it and might encourage them to call or write their representative, or somehow else get involved when they see something going on that stinks. I know I'd be interested!
The problem with lobbyists is that people without $500,000 to contribute to a campaign war chest don't ever want the same thing that people with $500k want.
When situations like these are allowed to exist, how can we expect this country to be able to hold up to ideas like, "this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that [b]government of the people, by the people, for the people,[/b] shall not perish from the earth."?
This allows, no, requires that this country is legislated in the favor of corporations, being that corporations have a duty to their shareholders to ensure that they do everything inside, and I'm sure at times outside the law to increase the value of their stock. They hire lobbyists to influence, or bribe if I'm not going to mince words, the law to allow them to keep higher percentages of their earnings.
In theory, the more money you make the higher the percentage of income taxes you pay. When the tax code is changed to allow CEO's and the like to receive bonuses ten times what their salary is and for that bonus to be tax deductible for the corporation, how does that benefit the general public, the average American? This wouldn't happen unless our fine politicians who write the tax code were very well taken care of.
It's really sad that the wealthier you are, the less you have to pay in taxes. This will never change as long as money is considered free speech. Politicians don't even have a choice. They have to raise thousands of dollars a week just to save enough to get themselves re-elected. Even if a politician wanted to do what was right and screw the money in favor of the greater good, it likely wouldn't have much effect and I suspect he wouldn't remain in office long.
Obviously I'm not a professional analyst or politician so forgive all my inaccuracies and for my argument not being at all elegant. I'm just one of the little people who grew up being educated on how great our country is, all the lives that have been lost for the idea of the USA, only to eventually realize that our country had been bought and sold.
Can anyone tell me how we come back from this? What can be done? Is it going to require a political action group be formed to stand up for the general public, charging massive dues so that the average American can have a lobbyist fighting for what he needs?
Remove that [Google], and the whole internet gets that much more scarce. Throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
It would just be easier to give these Chinese "Filtering" organizations the ability to remove things from the Google.cn indexes and keep it from being reindexed, that way people can still find the good without Google being blocked for the bad.