“I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference in the world.” -Robert Frost
By John Perkins
As the events in the Middle East and the tragedy of Japan’s earthquake continue to unfold, we are called upon more than ever to transform the U.S. government, one that relies heavily on predatory capitalism. We are witness to truly historic changes in global leadership that will affect generations to come. The old power brokers are being forced to loosen their militaristic grip. Japan, a country that has been brought to its knees, must rebuild and re-think its alliances, and in doing so will change the balance of geopolitics.
At home, our budget lies shattered; backbiting political leaders swap tales of how they want to cut aid to those who can least afford it, while doing nothing to curb runaway military spending. Faced with our current economic, educational and energy crises, we must reject the road populated with Hummers, pollution and homeless vets returning from war without support. We must take the economic road less traveled.
We must build a new road that calls for Wall Street to be held accountable for the economic crisis it created through skimming profits and developing new and riskier financial tools. We must tell President Obama and all our elected officials the old formula of benefiting the few at the expense of the many must stop now.
We as citizens must demand a transparent accounting system where the corporatocracy can no longer operate its dizzying and disastrous shell game. We must demand change now so institutions representing we the people (including unions) are strengthened and the true voice of the people is heard over the empty rallying cries of Wall Street and its continual and criminal theft of hard-earned American dollars.
We cannot become so wrapped up in debates that only focus on the current economic crises and forget to address the systemic problems. We must stop letting partisan politics and special interest groups distract us from enacting laws that will rid us of the mutant virus form of predatory capitalism and offer instead a healthy system that demands corporations serve the public interest.
We cannot allow indicators of “good news” like temporary increases in the stock market, tiny spikes in GDP and payoffs of loans by bailed-out banks to soothe us into believing things have returned to “normal.”
We’ve seen the consequences of allowing the bail out of banks, insurance companies, automobile manufacturers and the executives who bulldozed our savings. None of these short-term fixes solved the systemic issues of predatory capitalism. Our present system is a failure. There is no “returning to normal” – that simply is not an option. The economic road we’ve traveled has only led us to less.
We must change the parameters of the journey.
So I ask you, as we witness continued layoffs, closing of schools, cuts in healthcare, financial aid, unemployment and veteran benefits, to take a stand. Follow your own passions; use your talents to demand change. Take whatever actions are most appropriate for you.
One thing we can all do is to sign petitions. I ask you to start right now; join me and the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network in demanding President Obama make those responsible for the economic crises pay for their crimes.
Please sign this petition in support of forcing Wall Street to pay.
I urge you to continue to support organizations that help to rebuild Japan and to keep a discerning eye on the Middle East. Remember there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Do not be lulled into believing that what is best for the corporatocracy is best for you.
About John Perkins
John Perkins is the author of bestsellers Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, The Secret History of the American Empire, and the new book, Hoodwinked: An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the World Financial Markets Imploded – and What We Need to Do to Remake Them, among others.
Perkins is a founder and board member of Dream Change and the Pachamama Alliance, nonprofit organizations devoted to creating a stable, sustainable and peaceful world. He has lectured and taught at universities on four continents. He tweets as @economic_hitman.
Check his website for upcoming events – JohnPerkins.org.
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