Do you recall former President George W. Bush saying that the fundamentals of the US economy were sound? George W. Bush is a moron. The “fundamentals” of the US economy are in crisis. Our infrastructure is crumbing. We import trillions of dollars worth of foreign goods every year, far in excess of the worth of goods that the US exports. As a nation, we are bankrupt.
Our industry is a joke. Sure we can make fighter jets, battle tanks, smart bombs, ICBMS and other high tech goodies, but can we make can openers, TV’s, microwave ovens, or hundreds of everyday goods? Not so much, anymore. Go into any store in American today and you will find that the vast majority of goods and products on sale were made somewhere else than in the good old USA.
Our infrastructure is in as bad shape as our industries. Bridges are decaying, roads are falling into disrepair, the electrical grid is overloaded and beginning to fail, sewers are overflowing, pipelines are leaking, and the list goes on, and on, and on. It is estimated that it will require at least five trillion dollars in the next 5 years to bring up the infrastructure to a minimally safe and adequate level.
But the trillions of dollars needed to do that don’t exist. That money got spent overseas buying stuff that could have been made in the USA, or on foreign fossil fuel sources. We are screwed big time.
How did this happen? The current government system. I don’t mean just the current President, or even the last President. I mean the whole system, the form of government that we allow to mismanage our lives.
Our government is the tool of special interests. It isn’t really a government for the people, by the people. It is a government of the people by the rich and the large corporations. The pretense that “We the People” govern ourselves through democratically elected officials is beginning to wear thin. The “System” isn’t working anymore, and it shows.
For example, there was a fuel shortage in the mid 1970’s, caused by unrest in the Middle East. We had soaring gas prices, the President instituted a national speed limit of 55 miles an hour to conserve fuel. Gas was rationed, you could only fill up on even or odd numbered days, that kind of thing.
People could see the writing on the wall. Our dependence on foreign fuels was being used by the Arabs to force the US to support the Muslims, or at least not support the Israeli side of a foreign war. The fact that oil is a finite resource that will eventually run out in the middle of the 21st Century became part of the collective consciences. Everyone from the President on down proclaimed that we needed to develop a national energy policy that would free the US from reliance on foreign energy sources. Alternative energy sources were to be developed and phased in. Clean energy sources were to be given priority over polluting fossil fuels. It never happened.
So, why? Why didn’t it happen? Because it wasn’t in the short term interests of Big Oil, that’s why. They make their money selling gasoline to the public, and if the public doesn’t need their oil, the big oil companies like Texaco, BP, Standard, and Exxon would be out of work. So, rather than let the country develop a plan to deal with the eventual depletion of the world’s oil reserves, they work behind the scenes to block the government from actually developing a national energy plan.
They have succeeded for 40 years in halting a true national energy plan, even up to today. And the reason that they have succeeded is because we don’t live in a true democracy. We live in a Republic, with a representative form of government. The big oil people only have to deal with 535 Congressmen and Congresswomen, 435 in the House and 100 in the Senate, plus the President. That’s not so hard.
Five hundred and thirty-five plus one. That’s all it takes. Well, not even that many really. They only need to count on a fifty percent majority plus one of each house to really get what they want, 218 in the House and 51 in the Senate. That’s what Political Action Committees, campaign contributions, and lobbying; not to mention the illegal gifts, outright bribes and blackmail, have been doing for big oil since the 1950’s.
If the government was actually a true participatory democracy there would be no way that big oil, or any of the other big corporate special interests, like big banking, big auto companies, etc., could control the electorate. If everyone who is of age, of sound mind, and not in prison could participate and vote on laws and national policy, it would be impossible for special interests to control national policy. There just isn’t enough money for bribes, or enough lobbyists to spread bribe money, to go around. Policy would be decided on it’s own merits, not on the “needs” of special interests.
We could have a true participatory democracy today if we wanted it. The technology is available. There is no practical reason not to do it. The government won’t allow it though, mainly because the special interests wouldn’t allow it. We are in essence governed by the special interests through our “elected officials.”
The people who really control America will fight to the death to defend their stranglehold on the US government. The special interests will view any challenge to their control as treason.
However, things are reaching a breaking point. The old system can’t continue to maintain the status quo much longer. There will be change soon. It can be good change or it can be bad change. I hope that it is good change, that is why I believe that we need to rewrite the US Constitution.
We need to put the control of the government back in the hands of “We the People.” A true participatory democracy needs to be established, and the rule of law must apply to everyone, especially the powerful special interests who currently rule this country.
I call upon the state legislatures of the various States to vote for resolutions for the US Congress to call a National Constitutional Convention. It is long time past time to do something to take back control of our country and our future.