Countless columns and opinions have and will continue to be made concerning the events of 9/11 – and they should. One must realize that 3 planes used as missiles killing thousands of “9 to 5ers” is something so much more terrible than what I will now address. Terrorism of any sort is simply against our Creator–my “God” is a God of love. What concerns me is the situation that affected millions of “9 to 5” Americans before and after 9/11. The political and mainstream media silence before and after 9/11 concerning “economic terrorism” inflicted upon American working folk must be addressed.
Think of all the trailer parks and rental units there are throughout this vast nation. Factor in the millions of mortgages that must be met each month by blue and white collar workers “just not earning enough”(2001 “real wages” are proven to be considerably lower than they were in the 60’s and 70’s). This is the America that was terrorized on Sept 11th- a country complete with full time workers earning 6, 10,12 or 15 bucks and hour (we won’t even mention the part timers, who really get screwed). And pundits wonder why over 50% of eligible Americans do not even vote! Why vote, many reason, when neither party will get me what I really need: the identical health coverage politicians receive (for free), a secure job with fair wages protected by a union (the exception, not the rule nowadays), better distribution of income (1% of our population now controls over 85% of the wealth), less of our tax money going to the “war economy” aka defense spending, and more of those same tax dollars going to improving education, rebuilding cities, protecting family farms, state of the art mass transit, and getting all corporate bandits to jail!
The single most important issue that all working folk should focus on- the one that all the above issues (problems) revolve around- is the presence of money in political elections. If American “9 to 5ers”, as I call them, would just rally behind this one issue, things would start happening. If we were to adopt “Clean Election Laws” (on the books in Maine since 1996) to constitutionally begin the process of getting private monies out of campaigns, much would be accomplished. How? First off, the voters would know which candidates accepted private donations and which ones didn’t. It would also “free” those who won election with public funds from feeling obligated to the “monied interests”-whenever new legislation appeared. Basically, it would level the playing field and allow lawmakers to make laws for the common good, not for the 1 %. As I have quoted Mark Twain in previous columns: “The primary purpose of government is to protect us from the crooks and scoundrels!” Yes,our nation’s enemies are fanatical terrorists. They must and should top any list. However, we must never lose sight of the “economic terrorists” who were active on Sept. 10, Sept. 11th, and today. These are the corporations and individuals who have no national allegiance – only loyalty to the dollar, or ruble or mark or yen etc… whatever brings in the highest profits for the lowest wages.
Let’s start demanding, this election cycle, and every other, that we take money out of politics- completely! Let’s call it the “Legacy of September 10th 2001.”
Philip Farruggio, son of a longshoreman, is “Blue Collar Brooklyn” born, raised and educated (Brooklyn College, Class of ’74). A former progressive talk show host, Philip runs a mfg. rep. business and writes for many publications. He lives in Port Orange, FL. You can contact Mr. Farruggio at e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. CounterPunch Special Report: 9/11 One Year After
Bill Christison A Year Later: It’s Happening Here
Alexander Cockburn The Tenth Crusade
Susan Davis Mr. Ashcroft’s Neighborhood
Bruce Jackson When War Came Home
David Krieger Looking Back on September 11
Mike Leon Bush and War
Peter Linebaugh Levellers and 9/11
William McDougal September 11 One Year On: That’s Entertainment!
Riad Z. Abdelkarim and Jason Erb How American Muslims Really Responded to 9/11
Jeffrey St. Clair The Trouble with Normal
Tom Stephens Rise Up…Dump Bush