Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

July 2, 2014

Forum: We the people can change the system

The biggest priority in this country is to improve the economy by creating more living-wage jobs and making affordable the education and job training needed to secure those jobs. Many professionals who were making a good income in a stable career are now downsized to working two or three low-income or minimum-wage jobs with no benefits and part-time hours. Most humiliating of all is having to fight a multinational company that requires you to train your replacement abroad and then takes away your job and your pension.

Since the 1980s, tax cuts for big business were supposed to create jobs, but they kept the money for their CEO salaries and sheltered the rest in off-shore bank accounts to avoid paying taxes in the United States. Jobs were created, but in other countries where the workers are paid the least and the clean air, water, and food safety standards are abominable. The U.S. system is rigged against the middle and working class while the wealthy make out like bandits. Remember the Wall Street bailout? Those banks are larger now than ever. Surprised?

U.S. Supreme Court rulings in Buckley v Valeo, Citizens United v FEC, and McCutcheon v FEC removed limits on campaign spending, equated money with free speech, and granted the same constitutional rights to corporations as individual citizens.

Politicians are funded by big business and the wealthy. They pass laws that favor their benefactors and when they leave office they go to work for Wall Street banks, big corporations or the agencies that are supposed to regulate them. Corporate armies of lawyers, accountants and lobbyists bombard politicians with money and favors, which President Carter correctly calls legalized bribery. The system is rigged against us and it is time the big corporations start living by the same rules as the rest of us.

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