Commentary: Valuing the dignity and worth of humanity

Where have we went wrong since Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in 1933 during the Great Depression and initiated “The New Deal”? His creation of a “Works Project Administration” permanently replaced direct relief assistance with a major public works program that employed 8.5 million from 1935 to 1943 and provided economic stability to the unemployed and relief to those who were suffering from extreme poverty.

Research studies presently show that our citizens cannot afford to buy a home in 78 percent of the country due to the high costs of homes. Seventy percent are living paycheck to paycheck and 10 percent are in extreme poverty despite a 3.8 percent unemployment rate in this country. Parents cannot afford to pay for higher education for their children. This scenario sounds eerily like the Great Depression of the 1930s. How could that be in what has been described as the richest nation in the world?

Have you heard the slogan, “that we are the 99 percent who are too poor to buy a congressman?” It is a fact that 1 percent of the wealthy have been controlling an inordinate amount of the wealth in this country since the 80s. The wealth has continued to trickle up to the wealthy instead of down to the working people who produce their wealth. So much for supply-side economic theory that has never worked for the working person!

In the 80s, the Reagan administration started allowing bigwig corporations to begin merging with other bigwig high-paying CEO corporations evolving into monolithic corporations free of anti-trust law violations. These conglomerates used their money chests to influence Congress to build military bases all over the world to protect their vital resources located here and as far as Timbuktu and everywhere else in the world. And collective bargaining unions began being busted.

Today, small business entrepreneurs, here and abroad, have a giant mountain to climb and many bridges to cross to maintain a decent living wage and provide health care packages for themselves and their employees. Attempts to bust collective bargaining unions by these bigwig corporations have been very successful. It enables the growth of assets in their companies and accruing of wealth for the corporate managers that translates into political influence and power.

“Citizens United” passed by Congress, allows unlimited campaign contributions without revealing their sources. Then, their lobbyists secure legislation that favors expansion of their enterprises. This is not what a Democratic-Socialist-Capitalist-Republic is supposed to look like.

Adding injury to insult, is the president and his bigwigs proposing to slash funding of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security in a futile effort to bypass Congress to build a wall to keep out immigrants from applying legally for asylum. These Central Americans from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have been victims of violence and extreme poverty under these dictatorial and/or military corrupt rulers who also control 1 to 10 percent of the wealth.

On the bright side, the collective process of trading goods and services here and abroad has helped much of humanity to earn a living, albeit not a living-wage living, and avoid a high level of human deprivation that can and has resulted in collective violence leading to wars. If we wish to begin creating a world that strives for peace and prosperity, we must work on creating a system that eventually learns to value the dignity and worth of all men and woman. We should be striving to be the model of excellence for all other countries to emulate instead of being ranked No. 19 in a recent world survey study of the happiest and least happiest nations.

We have fallen prey to too much false propaganda that continues to be a big contributor to keeping Americans at odds with one another evidenced in Ms. Hilton’s March 18 letter to the editor in the DSN titled, “Pelosi adding to the immigration problem.” Ms. Hilton received false information that followed the congressional house approval of HR.1, a bill to expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of money in politics, strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and for other purposes.

HR.1 does not permit non-citizens to vote as she was erroneously led to believe by House of Representatives minority whip from Louisiana, Steve Scalise. Sources: Fact Check.Org. and Snopes articles.

Be careful who you are voting for and have a blessed Easter.

Bill Clemens is a resident of Smyrna.

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