Monday, November 7, 2011

An Open Letter to the One Percenters

Dear One Percenters,

I'm writing to you today to discuss some very important issues – issues that affect 99% of our country's population – and you, as well.

Have you ever heard of a term called the FUD factor?. It is the basis of a great number of problems in our country today. Those letters stand for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Right now, most of our people are beset with a heavy dose of all three, and there is no vaccine for a speedy cure. In our lives, Safety and Security have given way to Fear; Confidence has been replaced by Uncertainty; And Faith has been overcome by Doubt. That's the FUD factor, and we have lived with it for years 

However, many of us have gone beyond the FUD factor. Once you toss in a bit of Helplessness, Hopelessness, or Homelessness, they are taken over by the more virulent FAD factor, consisting of Frustration, Anger. and Despair. A whole lot of our people are in this state as well. And some of us know that waiting just beyond those are Desperation, Violence and a Collapse of social order and government.. None of us want to see that, but we have already seen signs of it from the insurrectionist anarchists who are trying to co-opt the Occupy movement through destruction of public and private property and attacks on police officers..

Of course, this isn't what we have come to know as The American Way. And it certainly is not the American Dream. We are a people who have demonstrated tremendous trusting faith in capitalism and the free enterprise system, but we have learned that the people who seem to benefit most from these are the rich, and not many of the rest of us. And we also had strong faith in our country's leaders. But that has been blind faith and many of you took advantage of that. You bought our leaders to do your bidding for your benefit.. But now our eyes have been opened, and our trusting faith has been replaced by skepticism, suspicion, and outright cynicism.

Our leaders no longer talk to us simply, honestly, and directly. They talk to us in Madison Avenue “sales speak,” pointing out to us how wonderful particular plans and legislation are going to be for the American people, and how it is going to make our lives richer and fuller. Everything is “new and improved.” And we fell for it – hook, line, and sinker, when it should have been crook, lying, and stinker..

Only after we bought into the plans and legislation did we learn the ugly truth. Yes, they did make things better – for the billionaires, multimillionaires, and the big corporations.. We found that they brought billions of dollars in record profits to big business, millions of dollars in salaries and bonuses for corporate leaders, and billions of dollars in reduced taxes for the wealthy overall (that's you and your Wall Street friends). Everything is great in your world while our world is crumbling around us.

But don't worry, our leaders say. That money will be coming to us in the form of more jobs with higher pay and better benefits. It will trickle down to us because you are the Job Creators, the omnipotent and beneficent overlords who will shower us with all things good and wonderful. All we have to do is be patient and wait a while longer.

Well, we've been patient, and we've been waiting, and waiting, and waiting. We haven't seen much of anything trickle down yet, except the sweat of our brow and the tears we shed for our family's future. Maybe there were a few drops that trickled down here and there and we missed them. Or maybe they were so few and far between that they dried up before we had a chance to see them. I've heard that some things that trickle down actually evaporate before the ever get to the bottom, where we are. Anyway, as far as we are concerned, it has been quite a dry spell – pretty much like a arid dust bowl down here among us common folk. Mostly what we have gotten is fewer jobs, no more: lower salaries, not higher; and poorer benefits, not better.

Ten years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope, and Steve Jobs, Now there's no cash, no hope and no jobs." That is supposed to be somebody's idea of humor, and it is clever, but it isn't the least bit humorous when it rings true, as it does for tens of millions of Americans today.
Meanwhile, we wonder how you are doing up there in your lofty Land o' Plenty, with your huge mansions, your summer homes in faraway places, your winter homes on tropical isles, your luxury cars, your chauffeurs and other servants, your private jets, and your yachts? I certainly hope that things are going well for you, because without you,we wouldn't be able to enjoy all those jobs and improved life styles that are going to trickle down upon us all – someday – maybe – if we life long enough.

Speaking about living long enough, a lot of us have passed on without ever seeing that trickle you are supposed to generate. I know you must be saving it up so you can surprise us with a real gusher of riches and transform all of our lives. But, frankly, we would like to see some of it in our lifetimes and in our children's lifetimes, since we have been the consumers who bought your products and services that made many of you rich in the first place.. Without us, you just might be one of us, and this letter wouldn't be addressed to you. 

I hear that a lot of folks in this country are getting a bit restless . They've been mighty patient for a really long time, and they say they aren't going to wait much longer. Oh, don't worry. They aren't going to come after you to steal all of your money or take away all of your houses, cars and other luxury items.. They just want to keep you from adding to your massive fortunes at the same rate you have in the past. You see, they believe in a certain amount of moderation, while you seem to feed at the troughs of excessive greed and self-indulgence, and we all know that excesses of any kind are really bad for you. So, just think of it kinda like being put on a diet so you won't gain too much weight in the future. It will be good for you in the long run. All these people want is just a small portion of the safety and security that you now enjoy, along with a decent home to live in, a reasonably good education, and the opportunity to advance freely in their chosen fields. They want a planned economy with political, social and economic equality for all. Now, is that too much to ask?

Well, I have to close now. I've got to write our Congressional representatives to see when they are going to undo all this mess they've gotten us into with this tremendous imbalance of power and riches. They're the ones we'll really be going after, because they are the ones who enabled this situation of inequity and inequality to develop and prosper, and they are the ones who can undo it. At least, they had better undo it, or we will see to it that we get some other people in there who will – and it won't take another thirty years either, because we have more votes than you do.

Hope you have a pleasant day,

Sincerely (and I do mean sincerely),

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