How are you feeling about your government’s response to Hurricane Katrina?
The fact that the people who should have been there to help your desperate neighbors
instead are off killing and being killed in Iraq? Along with all that equipment
your taxes bought.
How do you feel about oil prices? The fact that Exxon Mobile Corp,
the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, reported a 32 % jump
in profits during the second quarter of 2005, while the rest of us dug deep
into our pockets to fill our tanks. And Royal Dutch Shell, with a 34% rise in
profits? Or ConocoPhillips, with a 51% increase. All of these in just 3 months!
Wouldn’t you like to have a shot at that kind of investment?
Of course, the guys who own your bank do. So do the folks you send
to Washington. And the ones who own Wal-Mart and K-Mart and Nike and the places
where most of us shop. These are the elite members of the corporatocracy, the
equivalents of the Kings and Emperors of times past. They are all benefiting
from the oil price hikes and – dare I say it! – from the tragedy
of Katrina. That storm will serve as another excuse for the oil kings to whine
and moan – and profiteer. As will their brethren who receive the lush
billion-dollar reconstruction contracts.
Who else is making big bucks off oil – and Katrina? Well, let’s
not forget the members of the House of Saud and the other families who run the
7 “Persian Gulf Sisters” (Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi
Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates). And, of course, Osama bin Laden;
he receives a great deal of money from these folks. Your gas-guzzler finances
Now, please don’t misunderstand me. As an economist (remember I once
held the title of Chief Economist, even if it was an alias for EHM), I know
that oil is still way under-priced – if you factor in the costs of the
environmental damage drilling causes to places like Alaska and the Amazon and
the toll on our children of CO2 emissions that are threatening to smother us
(and undoubtedly are causes of the “once-in-a-hundred years” hurricanes
that hit every year now). We should all pay a lot more to fill our tanks, we
should drive cars that get at least 70 miles a gallon. However, the additional
money should go to offset the problems oil is creating for our progeny. Not
to the Bush-Clinton crowd, oil companies, and all their friends at the corporatocracy.
“Ah, wait,” you may be saying. “Perhaps I would not want
a shot a that kind of investment. I don’t care to be party to the destruction
of our planet. I don’t want the blood of indigenous people on my hands.
Or the ruination of future generations on my conscience.”
If you feel that way, then you must ask yourself whether you want people who
do make such investments to control your country, and your destiny. Will
you accept as your leaders men, and a few women, who are party to planetary
destruction, do have blood on their hands, and the ruination of future generations
on their consciences – and who seem entirely comfortable with this? Is
it in your best interest – or your children’s – to keep these
rulers on their thrones? To continue to send them your tax money. To sacrifice
your sons and daughters – and those of innocent people around the planet
– so they may flit around in private 747s and live in modern-day castles?
The obvious answer is a resounding NO!
It is time, my fellow Americans, to listen to the words of our Founding
Fathers. Profiteering without representation must go. The destruction of our
world, for the short-term benefit of a new type of royalty, is unacceptable.
Rise up. Insist that we funnel our money to the victims of Katrina, the tsunami,
the 24,000 people who die every single day from hunger and hunger-related diseases,
and all the others who suffer while a very few of the very rich make themselves
File lawsuits against oil and coal companies and government officials who continue
to cover-up the facts behind Global Warming – a toxic poisoning of your
children far more deadly than secondary cigarette smoke.
Together, let’s topple the throne of King Corporatocracy.