I was glad to see President Obama go to Normandy Beach and give a speech to honor the 65th anniversary of the D-Day victory! Most of our surviving WWII veterans are in their 80’s and 90’s and need to be thanked while they are still with us. In many ways they are, “the Greatest Generation” as newsman Tom Brokaw has called them. I thank them for their service and the values they have given us.
I heard some conservative using the Greatest Generation as an example of people who provided for their own family and didn’t need socialistic programs from Big Government. The commentator stated the Greatest Generation utilized what it had and this is a big part of why the Greatest Generation should be an inspiration to us all.
I think this conservative commentator is absolutely right that we need lots of the things the Greatest Generation was able to utilize that made them the inspiration they are today. Things like President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal socialized programs that provided, direct relief, economic recovery, and financial reform that benefited the Greatest Generation’s parents and them. Then you had socialized programs like the GI Bill, which offered young war veterans cheap loans to pursue business opportunities and education that before World War II would have been out of their reach. This government assistance produced a thriving middle class. It educated hundreds of thousands of teachers, scientists, doctors and engineers who helped the long post war economic growth. It made that generation stress the value of education and of taking advantage of great government programs to better your self. It taught that generation that programs like Social Security and Medicare were worth fighting for.
The conservative corporate media will of course ignore the fact that socialism in part made the Greatest Generation the successful generation that it was. The corporate media will continue to use phrases like: “Liberal, cradle to the grave mentality, big government and big brother” to describe socialism as some kind of creeping evil.
When I see the average citizen fall for this rhetoric I know that the real big brother, corporations and the right-wing think tanks and media that they own have succeeded in their propaganda. The think tanks and media succeeded when they were able to get the middle class to label the poor getting assistance as, “welfare queens.” This while Wal-Mart the ultimate welfare queen got $1 billion in taxpayer subsidies and abatements. Many of the states give Wal-Mart money while they cut social programs for their citizens.
A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study found, 11 of the 14 most medically significant drugs developed in the United States between 1970 and 1995 originated with government-funded research. Then this public investment was privatized in exclusive licenses to drug companies without return to taxpayers. Anyone remember the recent Wall Street, banks and auto manufacturers bailout? That bailouts proved that, the foundation of corporate welfare is to socialize the cost and privatize the profits
Most businesses wouldn’t be able to survive in a free market system because the government would not be able to protect them from free market discipline. Dwayne Andreas, CEO of corporate giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), in 1995 told a reporter, “the only place you see a free market is in the speeches of politicians. People do not understand that this is a socialist country.”
We have corporate socialism in this country and it’s not going away. If the corporations and their think tanks have their way public socialism to help the needy will disappear and be funneled to help the greedy in the form of corporate welfare. Right now we have a government of big business, by big business and for big business. We need a separation of corporate and state. We also need to remember that the people are the government and our tax dollars should benefit us not corporations that have no loyalty to this country.
Those WWII GI’s who landed at Normandy made the world safe for every generation to follow. If we don’t soon put people before profits we will doom our following generations.
Tom Morell “the Night Watchman” sings only one thing…the truth:
“Many people consider the things government does for them to be social progress, but they consider the things government does for others as socialism.” ~ Earl Warren