Collective action for the common good

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Our political/economic system is corrupt and we, the 99%, are the victims. It is time to organize and revolt against the system. Presently capitalism works only for the 1%, not for the 99%; plus corporate capitalism is anti-democratic.

Corporations and the wealthy buy legislation and then are free to ignore the public good. How do they ignore the common good? They are free to add toxins to our food and environment; they move jobs overseas; and they move money to tax havens, leaving the 99% with that tax burden. Wages have been dropping for 40 years.

Having ruined the private-sector jobs and pensions, corporate capitalism and the wealthy are now attacking public-sector jobs and education, privatizing services, and attacking unions. They are eliminating all our security and are sowing fear. We have been sold a bill of goods by con artists who have been busy stealing us blind.

It is time to revolt — to recognize that individuals aren't at fault, but it is the system that is to blame — and to take collective action. (Individual actions such as recycling and boycotting Walmart lack teeth in the fight against the power of corporate greed and their push for privatization and consumerism.) We must abandon YOYO, "You're on Your Own." Instead let's embrace WITT, "We're in This Together." The government is supporting large corporate greed because the wealthy and their corporations are funding legislators at all levels.

What collective action can we take to advance the common good? Examples:

1) Mind the Store Campaign: toxic chemicals in consumer products. Organize locally to talk to top retailers. www.saferchemicals.org (Get Retailers Rendezvous tool kit);

2) www.raisetheminimumwage.com/pages/campaigns: Raise the minimum wage which is abysmally/immorally/unconscionably low (which also will raise wages for workers above minimum wage);

3) Move to Amend.org: Amend the Constitution to make it clear that corporations are not people;

4) Rolling Jubilee.com: The 99% buys bankruptcy debts sold by banks at pennies on the $, then abolish debt (otherwise it goes to speculators who try to collect full value of debt);

5) Alternet.org: New strategies for social change are necessary to deal with the plagues dominating our economy, democracy, and world communities.

Join us in looking for and honing strategies for changes that are inclusive, effective, and not primarily for the elite.

Tom Ard
Oak Park

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