The political uproar this year has really got me motivated. I want to do more for this country than just work some pointless job to make money for a corporation and shareholder that doesn’t even care about me. I’ve gotten sick of the hard work that we put into our jobs just to see a wage increase of twenty-five cents an hour while the CEO of my company enjoys a $10 million dollar bonus for whatever it is that he does.
Like you, I am sick and tired of the way we have let this country spiral out of control. It’s time to stand up, it’s time to take to the streets because writing/e-mailing your congressman and senator does nothing but fall on dead ears or some overpaid media specialist that reads and responds to your questions and concerns.
This country was founded on the words that the government is by the people, for the people and of the people but, what is it that we have now? Mega corporations and the ultra wealthy can spend unlimited amounts of money to fund people that will let them do nothing but make more and more money while providing as little assistance to the rest of the population. We used to have programs that would help people, welfare wasn’t just something used to shame people like it is today. In the 1920s welfare programs and education programs helped working class citizens start to make a better life for themselves. The lower fifth of the population was making the same gains that the upper fifth was making. Now the upper one percent of the population is making astronomically more than the entire country.
I’m not looking for a Utopian made up society that only exists in a book. I’m also not looking forward to a future dominated by corporations and money. I don’t understand, with all the wealth there is, why we still have starving children, homeless people, terrible roads and highways, a failing power grid, a privatized prison system, the death penalty, “religious freedom” laws (we already have freedom of religion). All of these things are used to manipulate us into focusing on the wrong issues and are used to pit us against each other.
We need to change all of this. We need another civil rights movement. It’s time to stand up and tell the government what we want. I want single payer healthcare. I want fair livable wages. Not everyone wants to go to college and hell, most of the bosses I have ever had don’t have degrees. So why is it now a requirement? Why do I all of a sudden need one? And if I do want one I have to incur a debt that will cripple me if I don’t succeed. And even if I do succeed I still have a debt that will be as much as I make or more per year.
Why can’t we have tuition free public colleges, universal healthcare and welfare programs that provide for a citizens? Scandinavian countries do it, most of Europe does it and they are some of the most industrialized and progressive countries in the world that can still turn a profit in their business. Scandinavians are also the happiest, healthiest and their median household income is still very respectable despite the “outrageous” amount they pay in taxes. You’re not going to lose your paychecks to higher taxes. We’re going to stop the tax loopholes and tricks that ultra wealthy have had written in. We need to have a fair tax system where everyone pays in. If you’re a corporation and you have all the rights a citizen has, why is it that they don’t pay taxes on the profits they make? Why do they get a tax break and even a tax return when they have paid nothing into the system?
Like you, I am frustrated with what is going on in this country. The media is more concerned with Donald Trumps Presidential reality show than they are with what is really going on. A leader is someone who promotes growth, strength and teamwork. A leader doesn’t promote hate, violence and division. To me the entire political process is now just a show that is put on where our voice means nothing and our vote even less. We have the illusion of democracy and yes we do enjoy these great freedoms, more freedom than most countries but little by little these freedoms are being suppressed and taken away.
There are plenty of ways to have a fair, healthy quality to our lives. I’m not saying everyone needs to be a millionaire but if you call making $18k a year to work 2,080 hours (that’s 40 hours of work a week, per year with no vacation) then there is something wrong with you.
Now you might be asking what kind of job that is. Well that’s what I made last year working for Best Buy full time while selling close to, if not over, a million dollars worth of product for them. One of the highest in the Houston area. Now for all the hard work I put in I got $10.50 an hour. They just made a killing off of me and my skills. I’m not asking for 10% even of what I sold for them, but four or five percent of that would be nice. $30k or $40k a year seems like a fair wage. I could live on my own, I could afford a similar car or better than what I have now. I could afford health insurance and pay bills. I can also use that money to help start a retirement fund or just put it back into the economy by buying the useless shit that we all need.
Is that too much to ask for? To be paid a respectable amount to drive your business, make new customers and sell a million dollars worth of product. It must be because I got fired for spending mine and my parents money there. I got fired for violating the employee discount policy, yes I used my dads debit card to make an employee purchase, yes I was fired for it. But if I just used my parents cash instead then it would have been just fine and I would still be there working. So what is the point of not being able to use a debit card? I have no fucking idea, you tell me! All I have to say is fuck Best Buy and fuck corporate America!
I’m sick of situations like that, where as an employee we have no rights to fight why we are being fired and have no say in the process even. Things like that need to change. We need more rights because without us there wouldn’t be Best Buy or any retail/fast food job. So if you wanna keep stuffing your fat faces with McDonald’s and Burger King then maybe you should respect the human being across from you when you order your food. You wouldn’t tell them to their face that they needed a new job and didn’t deserve a raise. So why do we act like they don’t deserve more as well? Why are we so privileged that we can tell someone else that they aren’t worth more? A monkey could do their job… Well I hate to break it to you but we know that’s fucking ridiculous.
We can make this country an even better place to live. We can make this a country where everyone really has a chance at the American Dream. I was so pumped and programmed into believing that there really was an American Dream when I was growing up. I don’t see it anymore, I see people working themselves to death to survive. I see people working themselves to death to pay their bills and to put food on their table. I see skilled labor that can’t get a job because they don’t have a degree or because some ass hat that went to business school was taught to just ship it all over seas and to fire employees to make sure they make a profit. That’s not business, that’s extortion and a scare tactic. It’s wrong.
This is my declaration to you. We can take this country back. We can make the American Dream real again. It starts with your vote. Vote in November, vote for every election you can. Make your voice heard. If we can’t do that then we need to take to the streets and demand that our voices be heard. I want universal healthcare and I want tuition free colleges and I want people to be able to make a livable wage. Not just a livable household income but a wage that each individual can live off of. We must demand that our voices be heard.
With that said this isn’t a violent demand for change. We can’t use violence. We have to be better than that. We have to walk, arms linked, in protest at what is happening. We have to march to the capitol and demand that these things be done. When Franklin Roosevelt was president he said that he wouldn’t do anything for the emerging labor movements unless they forced his hand. They didn’t use violence, they used their voices and peaceful protesting to force him to sign bills that reformed our labor laws at the time. We have to force our politicians hands now. They aren’t capable of thinking on their own and in reality we didn’t elect them to think on their own, we elected them to make sure that the rest of government knows what we want. That is how a true democracy works. The people run it. I have written to my congressmen several times and have never received an answer to any of the questions that I have asked, only a generic response with a digital signature at the end thanking me for writing to him/her.
If you believe that violence will be used against us, you may be right, the powers at be are surely afraid at what the power of the people can do. It’s clearly evident to see this by what happened after the civil rights movement of the 60s. The corporations actually came out and said that they needed to tighten their grip because they were losing control of the people. Violence is bound to happen but I will tell you now that violence on our side will not be tolerated. We will not be violent and we will not have violent people participate in this revolution. We need leaders that want to promote these same things. We will denounce this violence and organize a peaceful protest. If you’re thinking it can’t be done than I urge you to reconsider, there are non violent ways to protest. Hate and violence cannot and will not be tolerated. I urge you all to stand with me, stand with the people and lets take this country back and put it into the hands of the people where it belongs.