Profits for the 1%, or a Fight for Our Future?

Transient Homeless Soul Sleeping on the Streets

Scientists around the world agree we must stop drilling and using fossil fuels to make the economy run. If not we face the end of life on our planet, as we know it. Nature is proving that the scientists’ warnings are true, with record high temperatures, massive storms, flooding, and wildfires. Ocean warming and drought are impacting sea life and agriculture. These are all extreme signs of global warming and dangerous climate change.

In response to these warnings the logical thing to do would be to make a major shift away from fossil fuels, to forms of clean energy. It would mean a shift in diet that wouldn’t use the majority of agricultural land for meat and dairy and require massive transportation of goods by trucks, and planes. It would mean stopping the use of plastic and other pollutants that can’t be recycled. This is a necessity not a choice!

But what is logical and desirable for the 99%, what is good for the health of the planet, runs up against the profit drive of the 1%. The EPA, (Environmental Protection Agency) is run by climate change deniers, friends of the fossil fuel industry. Companies are drilling for oil and increasing the use of fossil fuels. Regulations that made even minor reductions to auto and coal plant emissions are being removed. The bosses and bankers continue to increase their bank accounts no matter what the long-term consequences are.

That is not the only sign of how crazy things are today. The U.S. government just passed a huge increase in the military budget, another gift to the defense and military contractors to make even more weapons of mass destruction that lead to death, environmental ruin, a refugee crisis and misery all over the world. We have faced the threat for months of the U.S. or North Korea using nuclear weapons against each other. The majority of the world is being held hostage while Trump and Kim Jong-Un threaten each other like kindergarten bullies with the possibility to launch a nuclear war.

If the problems of climate change and war and peace are not enough to upset you let’s look at the other results of this system. Congress just passed a huge tax cut for the corporations and the wealthy while cutting social programs and assistance for poor people. In the richest country in the world millions have no healthcare. An opioid epidemic rages, while the drug companies make huge profits. The gentrification of our cities makes billions for the real estate developers and banks, while workers have to live further and further from where we work and tent cities of the homeless exist in every city. Student debt is ballooning, ruining young people’s future even if they have an education. How many elderly people have no pensions or support except for what their families can give? How many have lost their homes due to foreclosed mortgages and how many have mountains of credit card debt? Where is the bailout for them? But there is plenty of money to bail out the corporations and banks when they are on the verge of collapse – money from our tax dollars.

This is the profit driven and crazy society we live in today – a society that only works for the richest minority at the expense and sacrifice of everyone else. If they are allowed to stay in power they will continue to destroy our lives and the future of our children and grandchildren.

People say it isn’t possible to change the world and that it is too complicated to solve these problems that we face. But is it logical to accept a world run in the interests of the profits of the 1%? We are the overwhelming majority. We do all the work and provide all the services to make society run. Wouldn’t it make more sense to fight for our lives, our planet and our future?

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