- Posted November 14, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Europe's financial crisis
We became involved because liberalism and enlightenment are under attack, and religious fundamentalism and right-wing extremism are on the increase. Here in the States, the right wing actually painted the moderate Democratic President as a fascist, comparing him to Hitler! And the Democrats didn't stand up and point out that fascism is a right-wing phenomenon and the product of corporatism...
In one country after another we are seeing the same political polarization. Here we have no left wing at all; just the right and the center. In Europe, the left has not been doing an adequate job of communicating. Anarchists are gaining strength all over, and weakening popular movements. And the right wing has been very effective with propaganda and intimidation (imagine corporate bosses telling employees to vote for Romney or risk losing their livelihoods!).
My family has lived in Latin America as well as the
U.S. Due to divorce and illness, we have lived in poverty for years, including a period of homelessness in San Francisco. We have subsisted part of the time on public assistance. We have been hungry, and we have been cold...These experiences are not something we "deserve." We are not "leeches" and "moochers." We are intelligent and conscientious and hardworking and public-spirited. And we are sick of being demonized.
The media here do their best to keep the Occupy movement down by minimizing coverage, but we are not going to go away. The problem of the 1% vs. the 99% will not disappear on its own; it must be addressed and dealt with effectively or it will fester until either there is severe repression followed by revolution or political processes bring relief through genuine social justice.
Oppressive regimes destroy themselves in the end by alienating their own people. Not everyone can be disappeared. We have seen one country after another come out from under these dictatorships--whether they call themselves left or right--in the end, the people will not tolerate a government that serves only the wealthy and powerful elites.
Austerity is painful. It is necessary to enact measures that will bring down debt and rebuild economies, but these measures must be designed to distribute the pain equally across the socioeconomic spectrum. Taxes should be steeply structured so that the rich are drawn toward the middle classes, while the poor are enabled to move up. Everyone benefits from having a large and vibrant middle class.
Since the Reagan years, the culture of ostentation and proud selfishness has grown to an alarming degree. People no longer understand that to be rich while others are poor is shameful. It is high time that we went back to valuing virtue and decency instead of bling. Life is better for everyone when it is not miserable for anyone.
- CNN International