A recent letter to the editor of a local newspaper warned against “demonizing” wealth or “demonizing” prosperity, apparently referring to the attempt to make the rich and Corporate America pay their fair share of the federal and state budgets. You know, what keeps the lights on.

There is no accounting for the generosity of wage-working men and women, who defend the right of millionaires and billionaires to accumulate riches without end when their neighbors and co-workers are suffering to make ends meet, paying the rent or mortgage, putting food on the table, and deciding whether to take a child to a doctor, whose bill cannot be paid.

Such is the propaganda that is spewed by the rich and Corporate America through their ubiquitous television networks, cable TV stations, and hate talk radio. They own them, hate sells, and it helps to convince the average person that the rich are the victims and are to be pitied and allowed to keep their ill-gotten gains. It has been reported over and over in the mass press that the top 1/10 of 1 percent made billions during the pandemic. They have had a great run of income while millions have suffered and died, and that’s just in the U.S. Quarantining, social distancing, and avoiding big crowds have been a boon to these people and they want to see more of the same.

The millions they have spent to keep from paying taxes on their wealth and income would have provided help to untold numbers of working families, but they care little about them if they think about them at all. The millions spent on lobbying their politicians in Congress and in the state legislatures is just an investment in protecting their obscene and growing wealth. From that, they will reap many, many times that investment in more money. Money is what they live for and they would sell their own mothers and grandmothers (if necessary) to keep on piling it up in their counting houses.

President Biden’s Build Back Better bill would have begun to address this runaway avarice, but the powers that be put two of their minions to work to stop it. In the bill was a beginning of a way to start making the rich pay just a little in taxes, since it is clear that they pay next to nothing in taxes, compared with wage-working Americans. They put Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema on the case. The evenly divided U.S. Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaker, gave these two the power of life and death over Biden’s bill. They put their bodies between tens of millions of working Americans and the rich, so the latter can breathe a sigh of relief when the tax-the-rich section of the bill has been excised or rendered toothless.

The evenly-divided Senate also gave these two the power of life and death over millions of people who would have been the beneficiaries of child care, family leave, tax credits, and so much more. In the absence of a single Republican vote, they hold the key to relief to those who pay the national bills for the billionaires. Manchin and Sinema are bought by the rich and they are doing the bidding of the rich, even though they are not as rich as they would like to be...yet. They are Democrats, but they have voted as if they are right-wing Republicans. Manchin even spouts GOP lines about deficits and “entitlements” and being on the dole. He little understands that he (as a coal baron) has been on the dole, as are his big brothers in Corporate America.

Manchin thinks that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other such programs are “entitlements,” but these are benefits that the workers have paid for through their taxes. They are not there because the rich all of a sudden got generous. They worked hard for those benefits. These benefits are not given.

For Manchin and others of his ilk, what they have is wealth that has been created by working men and women. And, they have taken that wealth out of the Earth, which they do not own, even though they act as if they did. The Earth and its wealth belongs to everyone and everything on it. However, the rich have schemed through the ages to gather that wealth to themselves. They have done it through laws, through contracts, through slave labor, through corrupt judiciaries, through military and police power, through myth and propaganda, through miseducation, and through bought politicians.

Mother Earth can take only so much abuse and the rich have abused it in this modern era like no other class of powers that have ever existed. The disasters, natural and otherwise, that are occurring with ever greater frequency are a sign that life as we know it is coming to an end. There have been warnings to be seen and read for nearly a century. All of them have been ignored, especially those of the past half-century. Now, however, when once-in-a-century storms and cataclysms are happening about once every year, the powerful still are pretending that nothing is happening. To do otherwise would tend to close down their spigot of money.

It’s why they have ordered Manchin and Sinema to stifle the clauses in Biden’s BBB bill that would begin to address climate change and global heating. That the rich can ignore the coming disaster that will affect their own children and their children is an indication of the perverse nature of the rich. They really do not care about the planet or its inhabitants. They only care about the money and the profits, which makes them sociopathic or psychopathic, or both.

Why, then, would a working-class American come to their defense and say that calling for the rich to be taxed like a wage-earner is “demonizing” wealth or “prosperity?” There are millions who think just like the letter writer. They have been led to believe that the rich and Corporate America have somehow “earned” the riches that they possess. Much of the beliefs of the workers can be attributed to what they watch and read, and most of it is on television, on cable. All of these “news” outlets are owned by billionaires and Corporate America and they provide a direct injection of their propaganda into the minds of average Americans and the working-class. If that’s all you’re hearing and seeing, that becomes your truth.

Few Americans get their news from other parts of the world or from domestic alternative sources, so what they see on cable networks is truth to them, even as they are cast aside like so much chaff. That the rich are not innocent accidents has been long known. In the 19th Century, the French writer, Honoré de Balzac, wrote: “Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.” Remember that and act accordingly.

BlackCommentator.com Columnist, John Funiciello, is a former newspaper reporter and labor organizer, who lives in the Mohawk Valley of New York State. In addition to labor work, he is organizing family farmers as they struggle to stay on the land under enormous pressure from factory food producers and land developers. Contact Mr. Funiciello and BC.

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