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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Saturday March 2nd 2024

Pull Together

By Peter Molenaar

Given the unprecedented economic, political and military power of the U.S. ruling class, it may seem like a pipedream to believe that we “ordinary” folks can advance socially even by small increments. But when the foundations of this colossal power are examined, definite weaknesses are revealed.

First, the system of corporate-capitalism is malfunctioning big time. Witness: the Wall Street meltdown, massive unemployment, stagnant wages, fruitless wars, and the developing life-threatening environmental crisis.

Second, only 1% of the population now owns over half of all stocks and bonds and the richest 5% holds 60% of all our country”'s wealth. In reality, there are a few thousand families with hundreds of billions in assets who control the main financial, manufacturing, extraction, media, communications, transport, aerospace and real estate corporations. Clearly, the wealth behind the power is concentrated in the hands of an extremely tiny group.

Third, the ongoing economic crisis has deepened a long-standing division within the ruling class. The dominant section, based on such industries as oil, finance and military contractors, has moved increasingly to the right and pursues anti-labor, racist, militarist and anti-democratic policies. The more liberal sector believes that preservation of corporate power and profits requires concessions to the working class for the sake of proportion and stability.

So, enter Mark Dayton”¦!

In Mark, we have a sensitive beta-male type (okay, “erratic”) who has chosen to walk among the people and is proud to be called a “traitor to his class”. We also have in Mark, a politician with the audacity (and integrity) to place the slogan “Tax the Rich” at the center of his campaign for governor. And evidently, Minnesota is a state with enough class-consciousness to elect the man.

Theoretical note: Given the requisite conditions, accumulated incremental change can induce a qualitative leap.

It is not our contention that progressive tax reform will permanently stabilize the system. Okay? However, here and now, we propose to resolve the budget crisis with the people”'s interests in mind. Most significantly, our tax reform will deliver a serious blow to the hate-your-neighbor-love-your-ruling-class trend.

Starting with Minnesota, tax reform has emerged as the key-link in the chain of social advance. Grab hold of the chain, please. Let us all pull together.

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