Who’s Got the Power?

Fighting each other?

Bob wrote the following Facebook post November 12, 2016, just shortly after the chaotic presidential election. It was shared 32 times. 

It’s not cis-whites versus the diverse.
It’s not rural-versus-urban.
It’s not old-versus-young.
It’s not conservative-versus-liberal.
It’s not Republican versus Democrat.
It’s not ANY of those things, people.
It’s not even rich-versus-poor, per se.
It’s the powerful versus the powerless. That’s ALL this is.
It’s the upper 1%, hell, the upper .01% versus ALL OF US.

The ONLY way the people in power can prevent the rest of us from taking it back is that they work diligently to keep us fighting each other. That’s IT. That’s ALL they’ve got. Because we literally outnumber them so thoroughly that if we all simply unified and decided that the powerful had no power, then the powerful would have no power. We wouldn’t even have to DO anything except decide to ignore their demands, if we had the organization and courage to do so.

And so they have built a huge supporting infrastructure to keep us divided and distracted. It’s Roman bread-and-circuses taken to its logical 21st Century conclusion.

The recent election was a direct manifestation of the economic fact that for the past 36 years those in power have taken ALL of our raises. Despite doubling per-worker productivity in that time the average worker on the average job has not seen an inflation-adjusted raise, and in many cases such as women and minorities the inflation adjusted pay for a given job has actually gone DOWN. Down, despite the economic fact that each job produces twice as much wealth in terms of increased productivity, which means that extra wealth is going somewhere, but not to us. Our bosses have taken all our raises for two generations, and they don’t want us to understand that, and they REALLY don’t want us to try to do anything about that. So while CEO pay has increased tenfold, the average worker produces more and gets paid less.

And THAT’S why so many of us feel disenfranchised and angry. And THAT’S why so many of us were willing to vote for ANYBODY who said they’d “make America great again.” Because we don’t feel great, we know we’ve been and are being shafted.

But what we have to do now is remember NOT to fight each other. That would just be playing into the hands of the people who are ripping us off. We have to ignore their attempts to divide us by race, religion, gender, sexuality, geography, whatever. We HAVE to get past that and acknowledge that the REAL battle is that a very small number of pathologically greedy individuals have hoarded so much money and power that the rest of us are broke and powerless.

And we have to FIX THAT. When we fix that everything else becomes easier, particularly when we stop letting the upper .01% use their TV channels and websites and newspapers and lies to turn us against each other. That’s just how they keep us distracted while they rip us off.

This video is a great accompaniment to Bob’s writing, with excellent visual examples that show the extreme imbalance in our country.