How about that. George Carlin said what I was thinking. I don’t feel so alone in my cynicism. This video is NSFW. It’s full of Carlin’s colorful language. Here’s a kernel:
“[Big wealthy business interests] don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. … You know what they want? Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it.”
The part that haunts me:
“They don’t care about you … at all … at all … at all.”
He keeps driving that point home, as if people don’t hear, or aren’t listening, or … don’t care.
Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis … all of these chronic diseases are preventable. They don’t suddenly appear because our genes encoded them. The environment we put people in fosters them. But that environment makes some people very rich, which provides them the influence to perpetuate it.
From The New Yorker: Is America An Oligarchy?
“… a new study concluding that rich people and organizations representing business interests have a powerful grip on U.S. government policy. After examining differences in public opinion across income groups on a wide variety of issues, the political scientists Martin Gilens, of Princeton, and Benjamin Page, of Northwestern, found that the preferences of rich people had a much bigger impact on subsequent policy decisions than the views of middle-income and poor Americans. Indeed, the opinions of lower-income groups, and the interest groups that represent them, appear to have little or no independent impact on policy.
“Our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts,” Gilens and Page write.
I totally agree with Carlin that the US is a corporate oligarchy. Have been describing it that way for some years now. It’s insidious, esp. w/ the Supreme Court decisions about unlimited corporate donations to political campaigns.
Insidious is a good word. It connotes stealthy, not very transparent.
I think people mouth the words … that business has a lot, maybe too much power in this country. But deep down, I think they think someone is still watching out for them … making sure supplements are safe, food additives are safe, GMOs and pesticides are safe, the water we drink is clean, the air we breathe is clean. Deep down there is this trust. Carlin is calling that trust into question.
Am catching up with your postings and happy to see George Carlin again. I believe this was from 2005, and how great it would be to have him still around to “tell it like it is.” The part that really gets me is, “nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care.” That seems to be the case I fear.
I grew up with Carlin. I just rewatched his famous 7 Dirty Words monologue. He was so talented. And this piece in The Atlantic: The ‘7 Dirty Words’ Turn 40, but They’re Still Dirty.
You are SO RIGHT, Bix, no one is “minding the store.”
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