It’s not left vs. right,
it’s bottom vs. top
Economic inequality. What does that mean? Economic inequality is the difference found in economic well-being among people in a group and among groups in a population. By some measures, the difference in wealth and income between the most rich and the rest of us is at a greater divide that it has been since 1928.
We have given almost unlimited power to corporations over the last 50 years. Board rooms donate exorbitant amounts of money to both national parties and their candidates. Lobbyists and consultants write our laws, and the legislators sign them. Corporations fund think tanks that use marketing techniques to convince us everything is going great, and if it’s not, then it’s “that other guy’s” fault to divide us up.
Things are getting harder and harder for everyone else. It used to be, one could get a good paying job out of high school that supported a family, and one parent could stay home and raise the kids.
Then in the 1970s wages began to not keep up with inflation. So first, we started to borrow money. Credit cards have become a way of life and a status symbol. Then both parents started working, and wages began to slip even more. About 43.1 million American people live in poverty according to 2015 U.S. Census information.
Trade agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA, and PNTR (Permanent Normal Trade) with China, starting in the 1990s, had a huge impact on American economics. Employers are now able to move their facilities and millions of jobs somewhere that does not require them to pay a living wage and benefits.
Good for the board members and stockholders, horrible for American workers.
Both political parties supported those trade agreements. Our representatives of both parties are largely owned by their donors. To hold onto their positions, they are expected to go along with what is best for corporations. Little of what is important to the people is considered.
We are the cure. We must stop dividing ourselves up over social issues like guns and abortion. We must think big. We must look at the big picture and come together to save our democratic republic. Our government was intended to derive its power from the people. If we want to preserve that, now is the time to come together.
It is bottom versus top, and there are more of us than there are of you.
I am one of the organizers for the group Democracy Rising. If you would like to join us, we meet the third Monday of each month at the Hoquiam Library at 6 p.m.
Marianna Hopkins Everson
Time to get off
Tulsi Gabbard, a congressperson from Hawaii, just announced the “OFF” bill (HR 3671). The bill proposes to move the United States’ electricity, auto and rail systems to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035.
Climate change is caused by the burning of fossil fuels. There are other factors, but they are dwarfed by the impact of burning fuels. The recent widespread fires and floods are a wake-up call. The stifling smoke in every Washington household and the recent loss of scenic parts of the Columbia Gorge have hit home. The fingerprints of climate change are on these extreme events.
We are in that moment in history before a thing becomes the thing. It is time to get off fossil fuels. Call Rep. Derek Kilmer and tell him to support the OFF bill. Be on the right side of history.