The Republican Party is making no efforts anymore to even disguise the fact they only work for the 1% and anyone with enough money to lobby (*cough, cough, BRIBE) them.  So in my mind it really begs the question of why do people who aren’t in the 1% still vote in a way that is counter-productive to their own needs?  Maybe the answer lies in the fact that schools stopped teaching critical thinking decades ago.  I remember an experienced teacher 30 years ago when I was in elementary school being supervised to make sure she was teaching “the right way”.  I also remember her in a rare candid moment her asking the school vice-principal, “Why are we teaching this crap?  We need to be teaching critical thinking. Everyone needs to know how to critically think.”  It sure seems like our Western teaching of fragmented pieces of random data really has confused enough people that they aren’t even aware of what is in their own best interest anymore.  

So I’m here to explain to anyone that doesn’t yet get it. The fact that the federal minimum wages is still set at $7.25/hour from 2009 means many people aren’t just being exploited for their labor, they are being so damn exploited at this point some would say it borders on abuse.  I personally would say it is full on abuse.  Sometimes I wonder if America’s working poor have been so psychologically and financially enslaved that many have some strange employment form of Stockholm Syndrome where they start to empathize with and defend their captors as a mechanism for self-preservation.  

If this was Europe people would have been rioting in the streets already.  That’s how the Yellow Jacket Movement began: working people finally became angry enough to riot because they weren’t being paid enough to live while more of the profits and wealth went directly to the greedy elite through corporate profits.  The story in America isn’t really much different.  However the difference being that the French are still willing to cut off the elites’ heads if necessary, and that seems to function as a final check of their power.  

We have officially arrived at a point in American culture where the 1% feels truly entitled to exploit the poor and the working poor while providing no benefits.  American Corporations are now the greediest I have ever seen them in my life.  Their attitude is along the lines of “screw everyone else as long as we make more money”.  They really don’t care about the social cost of anything as long as they can make another buck.  

I gave a hitchhiker a ride the other day.  He explained to me he ended up homeless on the East Coast because he had zero opportunity to improve his education.  He had worked some previously at low paying jobs, but he could never get the healthcare that he needed either.  I couldn’t help but think how his life could have been better had he lived in a more progressive America that offered educational opportunities to even the poor and Medicare for All to everyone.

Hopefully this short piece will open some more people’s eyes to what is actually going on in this country.  We can only hope more people will vote Democratic and Progressive in 2020.  Then we have a chance at some real change. If we get a Democratic president and manage to flip the Senate to Blue then we have a real chance at implementing real progressive strategies that would actually benefit average Americans.  

America’s elites and corporations know no ends or bounds to their greedy.  I feel it is partially that way because they don’t fear their heads ever being cut off for being that greedy.  We are at such an extreme right now that it absolutely needs to be reined in. 

Still don’t believe me about any of this?  Many want to think we are “America, land of the free” but try doing most anything without any money in “the land of the free” and you we see just how “free” you truly are.  



Chris Madsen is a writer and activist based in the great state of Hawaii. He frequently writes from the unique perspective of his Pacific home. His opinions are his own.

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