Impotent Rage: The Political Circular File

It’s amazing how quickly people can change their tune. In a few short months, Obama being stalled out by partisan obstructionism is suddenly undone and every columnist and self-righteous blogger is pointing fingers squarely at the president in chief.

The American media is stupendous at its job of making the public care about even the most irrelevant things. From Paris Hilton to Donald Trump, it’s questionable if these clinical narcissists would have been known outside of their immediate circle of scummy friends if it weren’t for the tabloids and celebrity magazines making these famous for money clowns into stars. When the world is literally/figuratively on fire due to global warming and corporate corruption, it would be nice if the press had their priorities straight so the flock at large knew what was going on.

It’s important for the informed skeptic to see this smoke screen for what it is, a diversion of public outrage at government instead of the private industries which are responsible for their grievances.

Climate Change: sponsored by Exxon and Co.

Let’s be clear: The role of government is largely to protect people from each other, as well as managing common resources. Unfortunately for literally everyone on the planet, the US government has failed spectacularly to do both of those roles with regards to the energy industry and climate change.

But the government is not the only actor in this. Indeed, the most apt description of the government in this particular issue is someone being paid off to look the other way. US government has failed to come down hard on US energy companies, and one can argue that leaving one of our most precious resources in the hands of private industry was the initial mistake. Exxon Mobil, for example, knew about the damage they were over 30 years ago.

This is why ‘March for Science’ and similar toothless initiatives to make government “aware” of climate change make no sense. We know for a fact that government representatives are influenced by lobbyists through the legal bribery of the US system, and yet we somehow believe that making noise and holding signs will change something. Money makes the system drive, so you have to hit them where it hurts.

Where are the mass protests at Exxon? Where are the passionate rebels as coal power plants continue pumping carbon into the air? Where are the excited entrepreneurs taking advantage for a demand for green energy across the nation? Well, that’s the trick. By convincing people that the problem is government and not the polluters themselves, the misdirected outrage is as good as garbage. Business continues as usual, and protesters are simply ignored.

Millions Suffering: sponsored by Kaiser and Co.

Although it may be contentious to suggest nationalizing the energy companies (the UK has been talking about it for years), our immediately adjacent neighbors in Canada as well as many other first world countries all know the benefits of nationalized medicine. It’s a proven system, and it could bring the number of “uninsured” (read: without healthcare) to zero. So why hasn’t it caught on in the US?

Be mad at your congress-person all you want, but the truth remains that private industry is bankrolling the obstruction of healthcare reforms. Huge companies are willing to put forth millions of dollars to ensure that the most needy in this country are, in some circumstances quite literally, left in the cold.

Healthcare is a common good. No one wants to be sick and unhealthy, yet there seems to be animosity against fellow Americans if one’s tax dollars were to go to make someone else healthy. It speaks to far deeper, more troubling aspects of American culture that we would rather capitalize on sickness and misery instead of banding together to end it.

Yet we place the blame for the healthcare debate in the hands of government, rather than the countless private hospitals and enormous insurance firms which ultimate rake in considerably more money than it actually costs to perform the procedures done. The US is the highest healthcare spender in the world, and that does not translate into better care when millions of Americans are without any kind of coverage.

Difficult by Design: sponsored by TurboTax and Co.

Perhaps one of the most quintessential aspects of being American is having to file, and hating to do, your taxes. From the maze like tax code to processing times, everything about this tends to make people sneer at the letters “IRS”.

And yet, even here, private industry is partially to blame for the bullshit the average person has to deal with, even if they choose never to deal with a non-government entity when filing their taxes. Yep, lobbying again. It turns out, tax-preparation companies have lobbied against simplifying your taxes and they’ve done so for years.

The implications here are particularly interesting, because here we have government attempting to improve itself and a private enterprise that benefits from bureaucratic confusion is blocking changes for the better. It simply demonstrates how any private business influence on a public interest can become cancerous and detrimental if they succumb to greed.

Let’s remove the cancer

It’s not enough to ask the government to “be aware” of climate science so they can pass down new regulations. It’s not enough to hope our officials will one day push back against private health care. It’s not enough to shake your fist at the IRS because tax forms suck. It’s time to target the companies that make our lives shit by putting profit before people.

Stop buying brands that use slave labor. Don’t do business with polluters. Don’t watch shows sponsored by drug companies. Don’t drink refreshments by companies that lobby public utilities. And if you find yourself inconvenienced by living with a moral code, then stand up and voice your grievances directly to the enemies of humanity.

If you bankrupt the bribe makers, then the only voices our politicians will hear will be the will of the people.