If you’re a working stiff with some sense of rhyme or reason, you should feel them near. They come in all shapes and sizes, these predators.
For starters we have the ever-present War Sharks. These are the gung ho wave the flag gang, made up of Pentagon sharks and the super rich ( along with their political and media lackeys) who would just love to continue phony wars and wars on terror. Oh, need we forget the new one, or redux of the old one: A Cold War with Russia and China? These folks never met a military budget increase that they did not love. Most of these jokers are your traditional garden variety of Chicken hawks that don’t mind bombing the **** out of foreign cities and foreign citizens. They really don’t care much for whatever pawns… oh , scuse me, US soldiers, are sent home in boxes.
Next, and not least at all, we have the Corporate sharks. These folks, from the CEO down through the executive sector of the company, reap in most of the extra money which could have gone for raises, across the board, to the 99 % of their workforce, excluding the execs. The CEO we know is in the black for mega millions per year, PLUS stock options and other perks. Well, his or her top execs also get $ millions or $ hundreds of thousands in salaries, plus the perks and of course the stock options. Then they sell us the tripe that America has a ‘ Free Market’ with competition. Imagine how this writer’s cable bills have reached over $200 monthly for what… mostly crap? Plus, I have to sit and watch countless commercials because those who run this corporate empire made sure to allow more and time devoted to them. In the old days this baby boomer remembered watching a NY Giants football game on the boob tube one Sunday afternoon. There was a time out called and I saw singer Julie London singing a Marlboro cigarette tune. It lasted but ONE MINUTE and right back to the field of play as the Giants broke the huddle. ONE MINUTE! My $200 bucks buys me the opportunity to watch upwards of FIVE MINUTES of commercials per timeout. And those damn pharmaceutical commercials, bombarding us with drugs that HALF OF THEM should never have been allowed on the market! Imagine how much money those car insurance companies are earning with the preponderance of inane commercials?
Sadly, though it should be the backbone of America, small businesses have too many sharks running them. Since the % of American working stiffs that are unionized in private business is less than 10%, large and small businesses can have a ‘ Field day’. I recall a neighbor who worked for a small cabinet business. He and the few other co workers were under the auspices of the owner, who felt he alone should reap the fruits of their labor. So much so that when the business was doing well, the owner, instead of handing out raises and bonuses, went out and leased two BMWs, one for each of his children, who really didn’t even work there! One wonders how many similar sharks made out through the PPP payroll protection program, instead of passing ALL the money to the employees?
Finally, for purposes of this column, I come to the political and media sharks. Since many members of both Estates are millionaires, how in the hell can those people know what it is to live in these uncertain economic times? We have a nation of hundreds of millions of Renters, with little or no protection from the Landlord. Many who own homes may still be either underwater or close to foreclosure. Does one think that a millionaire politician or millionaire media personality can really ‘ Feel your pain’ as mega millionaire Bill Clinton liked to say? These sharks, regardless of being with the Republicans or Democrats, only care about, to put it bluntly, Serving the empire. If it means banging the drum for a new Cold War or ‘ Military intervention’, they will do so. Remember, war or the threat of war brings in lots of money… and that is what America is really all about for the sharks… without the water.