Jim Hightower, a veteran progressive commentator in the USA, recently published From Democracy to Plutocracy at OtherWords.org. He discusses misuse of the term ‘conservative’ and his words are relevant to British Columbians as well.
Real conservatives would not favor lumbering our children with tens of billions in future financial commitments hidden off the books and shielded from public view for reasons that favor only private businesses. Real conservatives would not fund corporate tax cuts with borrowed money nor would they gift public assets to non-residents for little or no financial return to the province. They would not hide MLA expenses paid from public funds nor throw millions of dollars in severance at political appointees who were hired outside the public service for terms they knew to be limited. Conservatives would not hire executives to run public services for salaries more than twice those of the private sector nor would they pay millions in bribes to criminals to ensure the masterminds of fraud remain unexamined.
I could go on with examples but the point is made. The BC Liberals are not conservatives, they are servants to the greedy One-Percenters, the elites who cry because their present unprecedented share of national wealth – now about 40% – is too little and must be increased, even at the expense of the poorest citizens in our midst. Roger Ebert said it well,
“Wanton consumption is glorified. Corruption is rewarded. Ordinary people see their real income dropping, their houses sold out from under them, their pensions plundered, their unions legislated against, their health care still under attack.”
These are Hightower’s words,
Today’s media and political powers, for example, keep using the word “conservative” to describe current political trends in our democratic republic. Poor choice of words. . . . an autocratic power grab is underway to enthrone corporate power and moneyed elites to rule unilaterally over our government, economy, and environment. There’s nothing conservative about that.
Rather, a word from America’s past best encapsulates their goal: plutocracy. It’s the direct opposite of democracy, which is government by the many, by all of the people–by us. Plutocracy, on the other hand, is government by the wealthy–by them and for them.
. . . Wall Street banksters, corporate chieftains, speculators, and other pampered plutocrats are out to crush the hard-won laws, rules, institutions, and social compacts that We the People have struggled to put in place over the years to undergird our democratic authority.
Busting unions, unleashing corporate money in politics, restricting access to courts, and gutting financial and environmental regulation–all of these and more are about supplanting our democracy with their plutocracy.
Call them what they are–not conservatives, but self-serving plutocrats. Or nail them with another good word from the past: “Kleptocrats,” advocates of government by thieves.
Abby Zimet at CommonDreams.org provides a perfect example in On Ass-Backward Priorities: The Recession Is the Fault of Foster Children and Their Hoity Toity Clothes
This Week’s WTF News: Michigan’s GOP lawmakers want to close a $1.4 billion deficit and fund $1.8 billion in business tax cuts. They propose to do this by cutting disability assistance, early childhood funding, indigent burial expenses and requiring foster children to spend their $79 clothing allowance only at second-hand stores. This might save as much as $200,000, and thus our national economy and the world as we know it. Sorry but we’re speechless.
Categories: Income Inequality