“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
―Sun Tzu, The Art of War
I read Diane Ravitch’s Blog daily and the names of wealthy robber barons and wolves of Sesame Street appear often, because these billionaire oligarchs are behind the push to destroy the democratically run public schools in the United States and then use that tax money to fund for-profit private schools that usually aren’t better than the public schools and are often worse. And little seems to stand in their way.
Taking advice from Sun Tzu, I wanted to understand the enemy—as I see them—and decided to do a bit of research starting with The American Conservative.com that said, “The rich elites of this country have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris, and Tokyo than with their fellow American citizens. … Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension—and viable public transportation doesn’t even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call and a chartered plane to get to the Mayo Clinic, why worry about Medicare?”
Payscale.com says, “The psychology of the rich is different than the psychology of the poor. … some studies suggest they lack empathy. For example, a study in California showed that drivers of the most expensive cars defied the law and did not stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk, while drivers of more common cars obeyed the law and waited for pedestrians to cross the street.”
And if you think most Americans can depend on members of Congress to stop this robbery, think again. ABC News.com reported, “In contrast to lawmakers’ $1,008,767 median ‘average’ net worth calculated by the Center for Responsive Politics, median household net worth in the U.S. was $68,828 in 2011, the most recent year for which the U.S. Census Bureau has estimated household net worth.”
In addition, President Obama’s net worth is listed as $12.2 million. (CelebrityNetWorth.com)
I’m sure you’ve heard plenty about welfare and how deadbeats are living off taxpayers—for instance, free school lunches for the 21 million kids who live in poverty or food stamps for Wal-Mart employees who are paid poverty wages, but I’m also sure you haven’t heard much about how the Government spends more on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs.
And the evidence suggests that the Congress takes care of its own, because the wealthy are never satisfied with what they’ve got and always want more. According to Think by Numbers.org, “About $59 billion is spent on traditional social welfare programs. $92 billion is spent on corporate subsidies. So, the government spent 50% more on corporate welfare than it did on food stamps and housing assistance in 2006.”
In fact, BigThink.com says, “Recent experiments have demonstrated that people who associate greed with positive values—a view that correlates highly with having wealth—are more likely to behave unethically in a host of circumstances, including cutting off drivers in traffic and cheating while gambling. In fact, research shows that simply being in the presence of physical wealth reduces people’s propensity to share. Of course not all financial professionals are liars and cheats but the industry, by its nature, seems prone to unethical behavior.”
In conclusion, if you are familiar with what’s happening in the war to destroy the democratic public schools in the United States and the billionaire oligarchs—for instance, Bill Gates, Rupert Murdock, Michael Bloomberg, the Koch Brothers and the Walton Family, etc—who may profit off America’s middle class tax payers who pay taxes to support the public schools, you may have a better understanding of why they’re doing this.
This doesn’t excuse what these billionaires are doing. What it means is that the rest of us, the other 316+ million Americans who are not wealthy, have to fight back to hold on to what little we have left.
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.
His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy that started life as a memoir and then became a fictional suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.
And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.
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