Think before you blame

Robert C. Currie Jr. Commoner’s Comments

November 26, 2013

I cannot resist responding to a Nov. 26 letter to the editor of the Bladen Journal by Jerry Lewis of Harrells, N.C., in which he implied that Democrats are responsible for NAFTA. Like Mr. Harrells, I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat, and I agree that NAFTA has been extremely destructive to our nation’s economy.

But, neither the Republicans nor the Democrats gave us NAFTA. Had George H.W. Bush won a second term, he would have signed the bill that Bill Clinton signed, because giant corporations do not answer to our nation’s political leaders; obligated by campaign contributions, and intimidated by raw political power, our national leaders, regardless of party affiliation, march to the tune dictated by big business.

Neither did President Obama and the Democrats give us ObamaCare. The practical public option President Obama originally proposed is a far cry from the compromise he gave into in order to at least get something passed over the overwhelming opposition. A self-supporting public option would have applied only to our nation’s uninsured; it would not have been federally funded, just federally regulated. Citizens who could afford health insurance would have been unaffected. A public option that applied only to the uninsured would not have been a socialistic single-payer plan for all as opponents have implied.

Clever as pundit’s rhetoric is, the Affordable Care Act will not create a transfer of wealth. Besides, if corporate CEOs are making twelve hundred times as much as their corporations’ minimum-wage employees, wealth has already been transferred, now hasn’t it? When low-wage workers of giant corporations qualify for tax paid public assistance, while their employers enjoy astronomical salaries, and their stockholders enjoy substantial dividends, in which direction is the transfer of wealth flowing?

As for comparing Democratic policy to Communism, which political party advocates better conditions for America’s working poor? As for comparing President Obama to war-mongering Adolph Hitler, does President Obama put “boots on the ground” in unwinnable quagmires, or keep our troops safely out of harm’s way by using drones? Which takes us back to transferring wealth. How many billions did the military industrial complex coffer while 4,600 U.S. troops, ordered to “cut and run” to Iraq rather than “stay the course” in Afghanistan, paid the supreme price? How many profit-collecting war mongers joined our military themselves, while over 40,000 U.S. troops, now committing suicide on the average of 22 per day, were maimed for life?

As for a Democratic desire to put the American people into slavery, what do American venture capitalists do in nations like Bangladesh, where shoddy factories burn or collapse on hundreds of workers making the equivalent of $38.00 per month? And that takes us back to NAFTA, as well as CAFTA, which was signed by Republican George W. Bush, and drove the final nails into the coffin of our region’s centuries old textile industry. Do Democrats want to enslave the American people, or do campaign contributing special interests simple want to displace American workers, and exploit foreign slaves and U.S. markets simultaneously?

Think about it, please.