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Yes, yes, poverty exists, just as war does, and the two feed off each other. When I titled a book "War Is A Lie" I meant that the justifications offered for wars were false and that the idea that we must always have wars is false. Our government doesn't market new poverty campaigns in the same way it does wars. It markets campaigns to dismantle healthcare and pension systems or to eliminate foreign aid or to restrict organizing rights. But our culture pushes the false notion that poverty must always be with us.
How do you get politicians living off legalized bribery to criminalize bribery? How do you persuade the corporate media to report on the interests of flesh-and-blood, non-corporate people? How do you take over a political party when the only other one allowed to compete is worse? These are not koans, but actual problems with a single solution.
It might seem like there are a million solutions: pass state-level clean election laws, build independent media, build a new party, etc. But the fundamental answer is that when the deck is stacked against you, you insist on a new deck. Power, as Frederick Douglas told us, concedes nothing without a demand. We cannot legislate our way out of plutocracy. Instead, we the people must seize power.
The University of Virginia is reviewing a proposal to import hundreds of Asian workers for various campus services, pay them less than a dollar per hour, and possibly deny them egress from their campus housing outside of work hours.
But not just kidding: the article linking to this page merely extends to their logical conclusion the arguments made against living wage standards.
2.21.11 Best-selling author David Swanson joins Coy to discuss the labor unrest in Wisconsin. Be sure to check out his most recent book War is a Lie.
By David Swanson
To kneel before the corporate throne of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And here's what he had to say there on Monday.
President Obama again stressed that he wanted to freeze non-war/military spending well into the next president's tenure:
"That's why I've proposed that we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years. Understand what this means. This would reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade, and bring this spending -- domestic discretionary spending -- down to the lowest share of our economy since Eisenhower was president. That was a long time ago."
While economists have shown that investing our public dollars in the military hurts our economy, because investing in other industries would produce more jobs, the fact remains that millions of Americans who have jobs have them through the military and the privatized war machine. How do we keep those people at work while employing more people for the same investment, and while avoiding all the other negative consequences brought on by the war economy?