Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Madness: Glenn Beck and Capitalism

What is there to say about Glenn Beck?

Is he a sensationalist? Obviously. His fits of crying and bombastic statements offer irrefutable proof.

Is he dangerous? In my opinion, yes.

Glenn Beck promotes an America in which the separation of church and state is eroded beyond repair. Advocating for one nation under a very specific god, he seeks to strip away rights and liberties under the guise of freedom and liberty.

A bit of a contradiction there, Glenn.

In his America, personal riches take an enormous priority over compassion. This skewed view is a big part of the problem I have with conservatives in general, and Beck especially. They promote this supposed American ideal of independence and self-preservation to the point of selfishness.

Taxes are bad, keep all your money, welfare should be eliminated and anyone who says differently is, somehow, a Nazi.

Some of you may agree that taxes are bad, because you don't get to keep all the money you earn. However, that sentiment is almost exclusively an American one. America's dependence on capitalism has created a nation that see's success as how many houses and cars you personally own, rather than how everyone is doing in a collective sense.

This selfish ideal has led to backlash against progressive measures intended to help the less fortunate in many aspects.

Think about this: In many European countries, they don't bat an eye about a 50% tax rate, because they know it's for the common good. Homelessness rates are at or near 0%, education, including college is free, as are health care and many other social services. People in those countries see excessive wealth as unnecessary, because when you create a huge gap between the rich and the poor, problems happen.

Compare the crime rates of most socialized European nations with those of the US. The differences are staggering. The US, which has an enormous gap between the rich and poor with a shrinking middle-class, has a murder rate that is 4 times higher than any European country.

I was offended when so-called Tea Party activists held their ridiculous rally on Saturday and expressed concern over rising tax rates. These are people making over $200K per year, some making millons, saying they are worried about their livelihood if tax rates increase slightly. Meanwhile, millions of their fellow countrymen attempt to support families on day laborer salaries or are simply homeless. Unfortunately, these people are too busy with the horrors of day-to-day survival then to try and hold a rally asking for a more reliable government safety net.

The simple fact is that the divide between rich and poor is growing at an alarming rate. The once-vibrant middle-class is shrinking as more and more middle class families find themselves in poverty. The government is supposed to take care of it's citizens but voices like those of Beck and Sarah Palin equate safety nets for the less fortunate with Fascism, Communism and Socialism, though it's a good bet they have no idea what any of those truly are.

Call me a Socialist, I'd wear the moniker proudly. Ending homelessness, providing free health care and education for all, a more vibrant job market, guaranteed living wages, a much smaller gap between CEO pay and worker pay a Wall Street holding a minimal, if any, role in the government sounds much better than what is currently going on. Capitalism is failing. It's time to modify corporate and political greed or face our fate as a modern-day Roman Empire.

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