Pity the Billionaire: An Unlikely Refrain

by francine Hardaway on January 11, 2012

After watching the (predictable) results of the New Hampshire Primary, I can only conclude that Americans are sheep, or that things in the country at large are not as bad as the loudmouths have been saying.

The Tea Party has largely vanished as an articulate force, having blended into the Republican Party. And the Occupy movement is silent as well, retreating into a wonky corner of some building lobby in downtown New York. The millionaires and billionaires (Romney and Huntsman) fought it out for who will rule us after Obama.

Unlike in other countries, our protestors don’t continue; they don’t even register at the ballot box. They make some noise, get the pundits excited, and retreat. Even Ron Paul supporters have been muted.

This isn’t the way to make changes. I am reading “Pity the Billionaire,” and it is amazing what happened to Americans in 2008. Wealth vanished. Wealth was transferred. The guilty were rewarded. Nobody paid. It’s very different from the ’30s, when the country vowed never to allow errant bankers to clean out ordinary people again.

On both sides of the political fence, we know this. And yet, our party alignments are so hard wired that we can’t come together. We blame each other, our Democratic or Republican neighbor, not the culprits.

You ought to read this book, which details how things happened during the Recession of the 30s to bring the country together, as opposed to how things are happening now. A dear friend of mine who died a year ago at age 87 was fond of telling me this recession would be worse than the Great Depression because in this recession, people don’t care to help each other.

We still don’t. We are not working for the country. We are working to save ourselves. Each one of us is working to save himself, and the hell with everybody else. We are all in survival mode, fighting each other for scraps of America’s wealth.

It was Benjamin Franklin who said “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” It may be time to remember that, before casting a vote for a man who closed businesses, outsourced jobs, and took extraordinary profits or for a man who, in the last four years, sought merely compromise rather than true change.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Stuart Preston January 11, 2012 at 7:24 am

As a former Republican, now Independent, who voted for Obama, my biggest disappointment in him is the missing, “It’s not what your Country can do for you,” speech.  I really thought he’d fight for a unified country and tear away at the gridlocking bickering.  Instead, it seems he’s just another insider looking to transfer wealth to the wealthy.

So then I turn to the new crop of GOP candidates, looking for one who might be that leader — nope.  Same old crowd of mean-spirited conservatives.

There was an Onion article about the American people creating their own lobby — the only way to get a voice in our government.  I’m starting to think that might be right.  Our government is bought and paid for, and our vote has been rendered useless.  We need to get it back.

I believe the heart of the matter is our media.  Those being led on by Fox News aren’t going to break free of that grip.  When media companies are behind SOPA, they don’t report on it.

I appreciate your blogs, Francine.  What our society needs is a new Common Sense pamphlet distributed about to get us energized, motivated to take our country back.  Who will be our Thomas Paine?  You?

Thanks for letting me rant…

hardaway January 11, 2012 at 8:03 am

I have been trying to energize and motivate without being partisan, but I would say I’m not a success:-) Thanks, though.

JustinCrossman January 11, 2012 at 10:24 am

Your post inspired this one: http://bit.ly/wrlcrJ 
The documentary I AM speaks to your concern about working together. I recommend it highly: http://bit.ly/wBg9qf

hardaway January 11, 2012 at 10:35 am

Someone told me about that film yesterday! Would like to show it!

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