Why Socialism Matters Today By Timothy V. Gatto

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By Timothy V. Gatto
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
October 23, 2009

I recently paid my dues and joined the Socialist Party USA. Why did I do this? It’s pretty easy to figure out. I don’t believe that this nation has ever been threatened by those that control the government and Wall Street as it is today. We are all at the mercy of the credit card companies that convinced the Federal government to amend the bankruptcy laws so that people facing destitution still must pay off their credit cards. The pharmaceutical industry charges up to and above 2000% for brand name medicines that have no generic equivalent. The bankers on Wall Street have raped the taxpayer upwards of 7 billion dollars that cannot be accounted for by the Inspector General of the New York Federal Reserve Board in testimony this week. In fact, the Fed has not even investigated where this money went!

The Federal government according to Senator Dick Durban who told a local radio station in April: “And the banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.” All of this does not bode well for the future of this nation. Would you like me to go on? I have truckloads of information to write about. Let me give you some more examples just so you know I’m serious.

Goldman Sachs is even more golden than we’d thought. The top firm on Wall Street posted a record third-quarter profit of $3.19 billion, a billion dollars higher than expected, thanks to returns on advising on takeovers and more aggressive investing. That quarterly result more than triples the $845 million it posted this time last year. As for the big question of compensation, the bank said $5.35 billion was going to salaries and the year-end bonus pool, up from last year. “Their biggest challenge and the thing that seems to get the most press is how much they put aside for comp expense,” one financial analyst tells Bloomberg. “A year ago we were talking about whether they would survive and now they just have too much damn money.”

Workers at major Wall Street firms will make as much as $140 billion this year, and the reaction from the public and Congress can already be predicted. According to an exclusive report in The Wall Street Journal, “Workers at 23 top investment banks, hedge funds, asset managers and stock and commodities exchanges can expect to earn even more than they did the peak year of 2007.” Wall Street executives will make the case that many firms like Goldman Sachs (GS) will produce record annual profit results for their shareholders, and that their stock prices have handily outperformed the market. But the board of directors approving the pay might have been better off delaying some of the payouts for a year, or reducing them in the name of self-preservation.

Nothing is more likely to anger Congress and the Administration than headlines announcing that the average Goldman employee will make $700,000, which means its executives will make many times that. It’s enough to pay the health insurance premium for the average American family ($13,375) 1.7 million times…. Or, apparently, it’s enough to reward the employees of Goldman Sachs for a bonanza trading year, at a firm where average employee compensation was recently $622,000 — and likely to be greater this year.

That’s just some of the news from Wall Street. I wrote yesterday how Goldman Sachs (of which most of Obama’s financial advisers are Goldman Alma Mater BTW) took TARP money and invested it in failing banks and when the banks received stimulus money they sold the banks and took the profits.

So why am I attracted to Socialism? Well, I guess you could say that after studying American history most of my life, I see that the top financial elite keep taking and taking and except for a few “philanthropies” that don’t amount to squat, never give it back. The thing is, in this country, with few exceptions, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

That’s not the only reason that Socialism attracts me. To tell you the truth, both the Republicans and Democrats are virtually a “millionaires club”. If they are not millionaires when they get elected, they are after a few years in office. They are controlled by corporations that pay for their re-election campaigns. If that isn’t bad enough, each member of the House and Senate has over two lobbyists for every elected official in Washington. They are given presents and in some cases outright bribery. Want me to go on?

We are fighting wars overseas to keep the military industrial complex humming along. Boeing, Northrop-Grumman, Raytheon, General Electric, the list goes on and on. Does anyone try to stop this wholesale slaughter and financial giveaway? A few, Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul are two that come to mind. There’s not many.

So why did I choose Socialism? It’s because Socialism wants to give back the power to the people. They want democratic elections paid by federal funds with no corporate money involved. They want democracy, not just in government, but in the workplace. They want and end to this robber baron society that makes its wealth off the backs of the workers. It wants those “institutions that are too big to fail” to be owned and run by their workers and accountable to the people.

Democracy is Socialism. No more fat cats garnering nominations so that the people must vote for the lesser of two evils. No more billionaires that treat people like slaves to do their bidding. No more Federal Reserve owned by private banks that operate under a veil of secrecy, owned by private banks, some that aren’t even American owned! They kept the interest rates artificially low so that the vultures could feed on “derivatives”. Now they’re low so people will buy retail and charge their purchases. Meanwhile retail accounts for 70% of the GDP and sales are flat and our business-orientated government tells us we’re coming out of the “recession” while millions are still out of work! Nice trick, that.

Our government lies through its teeth on everything from this “War on Terrorism” to our civil liberties being dismantled one by one. Tell me, how long is it going to take the American people to see that they are being played for fools?

Obama is a liberal? Please, A Socialist, exactly the opposite. He’s in bed with the bankers. Fooled again my fellow Americans, just like the time before that and the time before that. Remember that “compassionate conservative?” With compassion like that who needs Satan.

Look, the Revolutionary War wasn’t fought so that we could end up here. Thomas Jefferson said: The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is its natural manure.” While I’m quoting great Americans, Benjamin Franklin said: “Those that would give up their liberty for temporary security shall have neither”. That’s what we did by accepting the Patriot Act I and II and The Military Commissions Act and The John Warner Defense Act that eliminated Posse Comitatus so that Federal troops could hit American streets for law enforcement over the objections of individual State Governors so we can set the stage for a military dictatorship! I don’t want to forget the FISA Act that lets the government read your e-mail and tap your phone.

Does this sound like America? Let me tell you what the Socialist Party stands for:

from the SPUSA Statement of Principles….
THE SOCIALIST PARTY strives to establish a radical democracy that places people’s lives under their own control – a non-racist, classless, feminist socialist society… where working people own and control the means of production and distribution through democratically-controlled public agencies; where full employment is realized for everyone who wants to work; where workers have the right to form unions freely, and to strike and engage in other forms of job actions; and where the production of society is used for the benefit of all humanity, not for the private profit of a few. We believe socialism and democracy are one and indivisible. The working class is in a key and central position to fight back against the ruling capitalist class and its power. The working class is the major force worldwide that can lead the way to a socialist future – to a real radical democracy from below. The Socialist Party fights for progressive changes compatible with a socialist future. We support militant working class struggles and electoral action, independent of the capitalist controlled two-party system, to present socialist alternatives. We strive for democratic revolutions – radical and fundamental changes in the structure and quality of economic, political, and personal relations – to abolish the power now exercised by the few who control great wealth and the government. The Socialist Party is a democratic, multi-tendency organization, with structure and practices visible and accessible to all members Join us today

The only ones that are afraid of Socialism are the mega-rich that have everything to lose. In the United States, the richest 1 percent of households owns 38 percent of all wealth. The top 5 percent own more than half of all wealth. Or to put it another way, the top 5 percent had more wealth than the remaining 95 percent of the population, collectively. From Edgar Wolff (Edward Wolff is a professor of economics at New York University.) Does that make you seethe? It sure does me.

I’m not asking anyone to join me. That is something you must decide for yourselves. All I know is I can’t see anything good coming from the two corporate political parties, the Greens or the Libertarians and certainly not the Conservative Party. I tried to start The Liberal Party of America. It was a lost cause before it started. The two corporate parties during off years gerrymander districts and make it almost impossible for the incumbent to lose. (BTW gerrymandering is illegal). They also raise the bar, requiring sometimes hundreds of thousands of signatures to get on a ballot.

I’ve got the feeling that Socialism will be attracting more and more Americans. In December 2006 I predicted Obama would be President. I’ve made more than a few predictions. On my radio show on Blog Talk Radio (www.blogtalkradio/liberalpro) one listener calls me Obe Won. All I know is how I feel and what I’m doing to change my country into a place where my Grandchildren will want to grow up. I guess that’s the best I can do.

Thanks to Emily Spence for information from her newsletter.

Read Tim Gatto’s new book Complicity to Contempt



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