Has your paycheck gotten smaller, are you working longer hours for the same or less, have you been laid off or are afraid you will be? Do you have employer paid health insurance? If you do are you paying more of the premium, higher co-pays and deductibles? Are your parents taking bus trips to Mexico to buy their medications? Does your child suffer from asthma? Are your utility costs up? Does your company offer a retirement plan? Is it fully funded? Did you lose your retirement or a large part of it in the stock market crash? How old will you be when your Social Security kicks in 67, 69, 70? Will there be any benefits when you retire? Are you buried in credit card debt?

Did you have to tell your child they would have to borrow the money to pay for increased college tuition costs because the cash you got out of your home equity now has to go to keep your parent in a nursing home and the cost of both is going up? Did your local taxes go up even though services went down? Are there potholes in your street, are your children in bigger classes at school, do you think the only chance you have of financial security is winning the lottery? Are you worried about the gigantic bill we are sending our children and grandchildren in the form of $6.4 trillion dollars of national debt?

If you answers to one or more of these questions make you feel queasy, you are probably part of the rapidly disappearing middle class (median family income $42,400/year). 12.1% (34.6 million people) of the U.S. Population doesn't have to worry about those problems because many of those problems are beyond their financial reach because they fall below the poverty line of $18,392 ($353.69/week) for a family of four per year. One half of those families made less than $9,196 per year.

What you may not realize is that the conditions above are the result of the implementation of a worldview held by the rich and powerful, not only of this country but also of the whole world. It is likely that if we continue on our present path that America will not be any better off than most Central American countries. What does that look like? A Guatemalan friend once explained the income range in his country. He said "15% of our population is very rich, 15% are poor and the other 70% are very, very poor.

The best example of how trickle down economics works is an old joke about the three Scots, who made a pact that whenever one died, the survivors would pour a bottle of fine Scotch over the grave of the deceased. When finally one of them died the other two gathered at the gravesite with the agreed upon bottle. The one holding the bottle thought for a minute and than looked at the other and said "Do you think he'd mind if we strained it through our kidneys first?"

What is happening in the United States and around the world through the process of globalization is nothing less than class warfare. And guess what, it was the richest people in the world who declared war on the rest of us.

Understanding Capitalism

One of the biggest victories of the right has been to unify in most peoples minds the concepts of democracy and capitalism. Most Americans do not understand that democracy is a political philosophy and capitalism an economic one. Americans do not recognize that socialism for example is equally compatible with democracy. Or that mixture of capitalism and socialism are frequently successful such as in many European countries, Canada and other governments. In fact in America when life span, per capita income and child mortality rates are considered America ranks #6 right after five socialist democracies.

The reason conservatism and capitalism establish such a strong bond is that their social agendas are based on a lack of social change, a stability and control over the population and market place. The true capitalist doesn't attempt to change anything except if it leads to the opportunity for personal gain. In fact most capitalists are not interested in any change except when it produces the opportunity for profit. Just as a supply and demand market economy sees nothing wrong with $50 a sheet plywood and $6 per gallon gas in the face of an oncoming hurricane it looks at over population, war, health crises and famine as conditions to profit from not correct.

Capitalism is an economic view not a political one and as such has no interest in solving any problem unless it interferes with or creates profit. It has no ethic, no moral dilemma. In fact the wonderful thing about a corporation is that it has all of the rights and privileges of an individual but no moral liability for its actions. It is perfect for one thing, making money and the only way in can be harmed is by taking money away from it.

The Causes of the Current Class War

It has been obvious for some time to the world's scientists and to Capitalists who see information in the form of market projections, that a number of conditions are reaching critical mass and cannot be ignored.

Population Growth

The current population is 6 billion people and growing by 176 per minute, 10,560 per hour and 253,440 per day, 1,774080 per week, 7,624,544 per month, over 91million per year. This problem will not go away. It is already leading to widespread famine, war, pollution and other problems of cataclysmic proportions and will worsen if left unchecked.

The wealthy in this country and throughout the world are well aware that they can't have the unlimited growth in wealth and fulfill the promise of raising everyone up to an American middle class existence. We are 6% of the world's population and use 28% of its resources. At our current technological level of functioning it would take 2 ½ more earths to bring the world up to our middle class. Besides consumption, this high standard of living is very inefficient and produces vast amounts of waste. For example, the U.S. is 6% of the world's population and produces 24% of the world's greenhouse gasses).

Capitalists do not see any of this as their problem but what they do see is increased markets and an opportunity to use the increased demands to stifle environmental regulation, worker rights and do away from other "costs" that reduce profits. In addition the pressure on government for increased services represents opportunities for new revenue streams through the privatization of traditional areas of governmental function including the prosecution of war.

The great cry of free markets and downsizing government is nothing less than an all out take over of the common wealth and a direct assault on the general welfare for the profit of a few who see people only as human capital. People worried about basic necessities whether they are healthcare or food are happy to survive; they don't demand high levels of services or a quality environment.

The End of the Cold War

The end of the Cold War united the interests of the wealthy and powerful worldwide. The rich everywhere faced the same problems. Dreams of democracy and respect for humanity were breaking out everywhere (remember Tianamen Square). It was soon apparent that governments were no longer useful to corporations in protecting capitalism from communism they were now an impediment. Taxes, environmental laws, regulation for consumer protection, tort liability, civil rights compliance are all seen as limits to profit.

The corporate vision of the future also changed. Before the end of the cold war, one half of the market of the world had been largely unavailable to them. The increased market forced a change in strategy. To make a profit in the future is not to make a profit of $20 from the small proportion of the population in the industrialized world but to make a profit of a $1 from every person in the world. This view is no different from the 18th century British Mercantilist who imagined what great profits could be made by "just adding an inch of cloth to the shirttail of every chinaman,"

Democratic governments of informed populations get in the way, it's much easier to deal with totalitarian oligarchies that are willing to share in the profits and exploit the fearful, uneducated citizens they govern. That is why the marriage of American capital and Chinese Communist authoritarianism was made in capitalist heaven. Chinese Communist Capitalism is the wave of the future.

The Economics of Globalization

Capitalists are nothing but pragmatic. During the Irish potato famine grain and cattle exports were at an all time high. The Irish survived on potatoes but paid their rents in grain. When the potatoes rotted in the cellars and the Irish had to eat the grain instead of paying their rents the British landlords (who had stolen the lands from the peasants and rented it back to them) knocked down their houses and evicted them to clear land for more grain and cattle. Over a million, one in ten Irish starved, their mouths green from eating grass. Like all good capitalists the British then used their excess profits to buy the cheapest, most derelict ships they could find and robbed another million of their last farthing so that they could force economic deportation under the threat of starvation.

Not much has changed, agribusiness dumped cheap corn on Mexican markets after NAFTA forcing somewhere between 1.5-3 million Mexican farmers off from the land who could not compete. They then illegally immigrate to the U.S. where they lower demand and wages for American workers. With the land in Mexico now cleared of small farmers, industrialized mono-crop farming by multi national agribusiness companies like Con-Agra and Archer Daniels Midland move in and raise more cheap products, putting more farmers out of business in the next country. History repeats itself a win-win-win situation for Capitalists.

"Free Trade" treaties like NAFTA , CAFTA and the FTAA allow corporations to avoid environmental, and labor regulation, employing virtual slave labor, dumping of toxic waste without restriction and the corruption of local governments. To multi-national corporations global warming, resource depletion, pollution and the exploitation of humans are not concerns, just conditions to be exploited in the mad scramble for corporate dominance.

Globalization is the outgrowth of this strategy. It is about pitting poorer and poorer people against each other until people will kill each other just to have any job. American companies argue against tariffs on Chinese goods that are causing a huge trade debt and loss of jobs, stating that China is only taking jobs we already lost to Mexico and Malaysia. In the meantime we lost another 300,000 jobs to those countries. So while 13-year-old girls are making car parts in Mexico, programming jobs are going to India and the Chinese are virtual slaves producing cheap goods for Wal-Mart the multi-national corporations tell us how great globalization will be for us.

Corruption of Governments by International Policies

The World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Trade Organization (WTO) operate in concert. Multi-national corporate interests dominate these organizations. They lend money to poor countries whose governments are dominated by elite economic interests. Often the conditions for loans include allowing Multinational companies to enter markets and compete with locals usually driving them out of business. The elite typically siphon off the loans through corrupt contracting and sometimes, outright theft, sticking the working people with the bill.

When the country is unable to repay its loans because there has been no improvement in the economy, the World Bank and IMF demand that in exchange for debt forgiveness or restructuring, the country submit to what is called "shock therapy". The countries natural resources are sold off to multi-national corporations, government services such as utilities, water are privatized and the country suffers the same disassembly as a bankrupt corporation by its creditors. Of course the wealthy and corrupt governments are unchanged, in fact they usually profit from this as well. They get a piece of the action. In addition, these corrupt governments usually negotiate Free Trade agreements. With bribes from multinational corporations or pressure from the U.S. government to sign Free Trade agreements supervised by the WTO, agreements can come before or after loans. These agreements prevent local or state governments from making business, labor or environmental rules that might impede companies from making a profit. In other words anytime the question is people vs. profits, profits win.

Corruption of American Politics

The fastest growing business in Washington D.C. has been lobbying. Both parties have become too dependent on corporate donations to make independent policy based on the needs of the people. The Republicans however have taken it to new heights. Starting a policy under Tom Delay where lobbyists who gave to both sides were denied access. The message was clear, if you want access to the Republican controlled Executive and Congress you give all the money to the Republicans.

In response, corporations have been able to write legislation to be passed, install its own people in regulatory agencies that supervise them, discount scientific information detrimental to there profits and consolidate the press under their control. In the eyes of corporations political parties are to be bought to change public policy to favor profits. Differences are to be exploited with fear so that free people will voluntarily give up their freedoms for the promise of safety. Corporations don't really care about abortion or gay rights, but they will fund those who are against such things if those voters will put in office people who will serve corporate interests.

Don't fear the one world government,
fear the one world corporation

The rich are terrified of the masses, so it is better to pit them against each other. Encourage divisiveness over religion, culture, ethnicity, or race. People who don't buy into the great capitalist dream or even resist it are the enemy. The Muslim world (war on terrorism), socialist countries in Europe (Old Europe), indigenous and working people in Central and South America (war on drugs), and Africa (aids and evangelism) are being dealt with as we speak.

In America, fear is the weapon against reason. If you are afraid of your neighbor's religion, political leaning, sexual orientation, that your child is learning about evolution, then you have already bought in. What you really ought to be afraid of is as benign as your local gas station, your TV set, and the credit card in your wallet. Fear and the marketing of unneeded goods and services, these are the tools of your real enemies. The answer is simple peace and justice in every aspect of our personal, spiritual and political lives are the enemies of the corporate control. As Bob Marley once sang "WAKE UP AND LIVE".