Americans are in Revolt. Countervailing power is the only solution!
Those with power sometimes do not know how powerful they are while those 'without power know very well how weak they are. The have's always have and the have-nots, have not ever--but they do their best to survive. So it has been from the beginning of time as the major law of the universe dictates: "survival of the fittest."
Are humans above it all? Is there just a little bit in a human that is animal? Is it possible that part really is not as good in its spirit as man's best friend, the wonderful creature called dog. Are humans or dogs more inclined to do the right thing if called upon accordingly? Tough question! I look into my wonderful dog's eyes and I know which way he is going to go. When I look a human in the eye, it is my history with the person more than the look in his eye that matters. But, the look in his eye does matter. I admit that it is good to have a fine canine friend help out in the evaluation. Who is good; and who is bad? Dogs seem to know!
As we go back to the turn of the 20th century we find certain humans who had lots and lots of material goods as well as lots of power. These folks were truly captains of industry and they were referred to as "Robber Barons." That term was not very flattering to these people who went to church each week in fine clothes, hoping to charm even the priests into believing in their goodness. But, there was little goodness there!
Robber Barons-- was not a very flattering term for anybody at the time and it is not a well-appreciated term today. It implies that certain Barons are robbers. They rob the people. We all know who they are and who they were in real times from our unedited American History classes. John D. Rockefeller, Milton S. Hershey, J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and Cornelius Vanderbilt were the headliner robber barons of the period. They were all shrewd, cunning, and some might add heartless businessmen of the period. Even they may not have known they were so bad.
These Robber Barons were indeed captains of industry and they were also indeed, robber barons.
They had immense power and ran huge companies and hired many people to work in their facilities. For the workers, it was good because they had a job and they were able to provide for their families, though just barely. For the families, it was not so good because the head of the household had to work most of his waking hours every day of the week. The Robber Barons believed, perhaps even sincerely, that they were providing a modicum of wealth for the plaebians of the new America. But, we know from history, they were short-sighted.
There is a very offensive term that has been used for some time to describe one of the worst acts of the Robber Barons. This term is "labor arbitrage." It came from this period of American History as the Robber Barons tried their best to assure that the wage they paid was the absolute minimal wage. And, they did pay only as much as legally required. They never had a "Zoom" camera on the families who were suffering.
Only the Robber Barons held the power in the period before and immediately after the turn of the twentieth century. The irony is that the workers did not really understand their value in the wealth creation process. The workers were the means to the Barons' wealth. Yet, they had no power, and in most cases were living in destitute circumstances. That was a problems that the Barons had not considered.
The worker at the time had "worker" power but one could not realize it individually. This enabled the barons to exact upon the workers whatever terms were favorable to the barons alone. The workers were mere resources. Though they were clearly the means to the barons' wealth, nobody on the Robber Baron team was about to reveal this to them. And so the negatives ensued.
In the power game, the barons had all the power and the workers had none. -- zero, nada, zilch as they like to say today. Thus, there was a power void. Whenever there is a power void, it will eventually be filled as the seemingly powerless realize that in numbers, they have power. In the days of the Robber Barons, the barons were able to essentially enslave the workers because there was no notion of a countervailing power, and no means of achieving it even if the notion were well known.
What is countervailing power and why is it important?
Wikipedia authors often get it right, "Modern economies give massive powers to large business corporations to bias this process, and there arise 'countervailing' powers in the form of trade unions, citizens' organizations and so on, to offset business's excessive advantage."
Corporations at the turn of the century were just becoming legal and powerful and this was coincident with the Robber Baron period. Corporations were like little dictatorships that created worker cities ruled mostly by tyrants all within the democracy of the United States. This was not a proud moment in American History.
The greed exhibited by one corporation during this period forced another corporation to be as greedy as the first or go out of business. So, corporations and the men (at the time) who ran them, chose to be as greedy as they could be. They viewed it as much a matter of survival as a means to success.
The conditions were perfect. Just as in 2021m there was a large supply of labor from overseas immigration from South of the Border or from Ireland and other counties in famine, and thus there were many needy families willing to send any member into the factory or sweat-lands. This set the stage for the ultimate labor arbitrage. So, let's examine this notion of labor arbitrage in light of countervailing power. Quite simply, labor arbitrage is the movement of the wage which industry must pay for workers to the lowest possible level.
Labor arbitrage creates big hurts in lots of regular people. In many ways in 2021, the "new immigrants," undocumented workers," "illegal foreign nationals," or quite simply, "illegal aliens, are driving American wages down again to the point of labor arbitrage, and it is not by accident. The US Chamber of Commerce is 100% in favor of the continuance of such practices.
The Robber Barons are documented as having exploited Americans, using sweatshops with abysmally low wages. They were fully in control of the labor arbitrage. If workers had to work just 10 hours a day, it was an easy shop but sometimes the periods included 18-hour work shifts, without overtime pay. The abuses of the period included child labor; inadequate safety, minimal health and environmental safeguards; and of course, no pension or health benefits--for most Americans.
There seemed to be no escape. if a worker of that era tried to change his or her plight, they might be summarily discharged for union organizing. There were a lot of reasons for families to just accept their conditions as they were dealt. The Robber Barons assured that those who accepted their dire circumstances were able to survive, though in the most meager ways. Nobody killed anybody.
Humans are animals and when animals are pinched and hurt and their young are hurting, life is different than when you and I are screaming at the TV set because of things so trite as that our favorite team did not score. If the team is Notre Dame, and If I (Brian Kelly) were the coach, then perhaps the screaming would be appropriate and responsible. But, that again is not the theme of this essay.
Eventually, when you are really hurting, finding a solution because of the gravity of a problem such as labor arbitrage with no countervailing power is far more important than the fear of repercussions. A solution must come one way or another. From every void a solution will come.
At the turn of the last century, however, there was a huge void. People were hurting and it seemed they were helpless. However, every now and then, brave men would come by to help. These were union organizers and they tried their best to fill the void. The union organizers intrinsically knew that giving power to the worker was the only solution to labor arbitrage.
Yet, workers knew that the best they could do would be to be able to barely make it if they made no waves at all. If they made some waves, such as fraternizing with a labor organizer, they might be left with nothing. The choice to organize was difficult as the risks were high.
The union workers were very brave souls with a real mission. They suffered and all suffered when trying to take the smallest action to avoid the tyranny of the Robber Barons. Can you imagine working for the Baron and trying to overcome the Baron at the same time?
There is an idea that if a decent wage were paid to the workers-- not substantially larger but seemingly generous, the Robber Barons would have been able to keep their gold and the worker would have achieved the opportunity to live more hours per week with family, rather than at the factory. But, with no countervailing power, the Robber Barons were more concerned about competing against other Robber Barons. They had no regard at all for the power of the worker who was merely part of the means of production. The worker simply had no power.
Wherever and whenever there is a power void, it will be filled..
Over time, unions developed strategies to face and to compete against the all-powerful captains of industry, the Robber Barons. They demanded better wages and better benefits for workers. The unions became the countervailing power against the Robber Barons / corporations that had been missing from the foray for far too long.
Soon after unions were integrated into the fabric of America, life got better for everybody -- workers and even the former barons. Though the sins of the Robber Barons were hard to forgive, the unions helped them to stop sinning against their fellow human-kind.
Enter the Politician
Political corruption is not new to our times. When the Robber Barons had the wealth, there were plenty of politicians who favored their way of life and benefited from it immensely. The people did not count. The political process has not changed much, unfortunately. Joe Biden will ask if you have facts, not that he cares. Listen on!
When the unions gained power, and perhaps as a means of that power, there were politicians who recognized the winds of change and prepared to accept their largesse from Unions as there had become a choice.
Once the countervailing power had been duly established, neither corporations nor unions controlled the scenario. Both were very powerful, and the unions did their best for the worker while the corporation did its best for the former baron class citizens.
Eventually both the corporations and the unions noticed that there was a very large and available third party that had entered the ring. Actually it had always been there but in the early days it represented only we the people. The third party was actually to have been the "people" as represented by the Congress, the Senate, the President, and the Supreme Court. Instead, the third party in its public face was just the government with all of its inelegant bureaucracy.
Of course, when it chose to do so, and only when it was inclined, this third party known as the government, did claim to represent ordinary people. However, most of the time, as we have all come to realize in 2022, the temptation of the politician to feed himself from the public treasury is so overwhelming that he still has little time to include we the people in his greed-driven thought process.
Self serving politicians are more visible today because they promise the people everything to get elected. John Quinton called it right when he described the greed of a politician in this way: "Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel."
The corporations and the unions fought for the control of this powerful entity known as the government. Whoever won over the politician had the tie breaker on their side. For the most part, only at election time did the people matter. And, we know politicians love their perquisites.
Depending on which politician was on-the-take or as they would like to have it said, "depending on which group got the politician's ear," things moved in that direction with a little help from government friends.
Meanwhile, though the forte of the unions was to organize workers, not all regular workers were in the union camp. These were the unorganized workers. There was no mistake then as there is no mistake today, when groups of people organize for any purpose, it is the unorganized people who are left behind with no power. There is only so much bounty and plunder to gain that those without organized power are always destined to become society's losers, giving up their meager holdings for those organized to take them from them with impunity.
There really is no big pot, from which to distribute to all. When a union wage is exorbitant for example, the unorganized in society feel the pain in their purchasing power far more than do the union members.
For years, as unions grew more powerful, they represented the interests of the organized working people and the corporations represented the interests of the descendants of the wealthy Robber Barons. There were and still are classes of people in America but in America, since there are no classes permitted as all men are equal under God and the law; nobody talked about classes. So, we say there were / are no classes. But, there certainly were the rich and poor. There still are. There is no doubt about that.
One can conclude that from all of the good parts of the first major countervailing power, unions, came about a middle class. Without the good work of brave union organizers, the gap between poor and rich would be ever widening and thus the countervailing power brought by the unions helped all of America and all Americans. There was no longer just the rich and the very poor.
The middle class did not have enough to be rich and they did not have so little as to be poor. In some ways, they could see in both directions. Some middle class descendants became poor and some became rich and some stayed in the middle. Thus there were the nouveaux riche, coming from no-place to gain seats that had once been reserved for the rich alone. Unions were a major reason for enabling the emergence of the middle class.
How did this happen? Over time, from their emergence during the Robber Baron years, labor unions became stronger and stronger. Owners and management had to pay attention or they risked economic loss from strikes and other union actions.
Unions thus became a strong countervailing power. They got big enough to shift some corporate profits from very wealthy owners to the middle class. The middle class gained better wages and unprecedented benefits. An economic side benefit was that money stayed in the hands of those most likely to spend it. Thus, with the middle class holding some of the country's wealth, this stimulated the national economy and provided more and more essential public services.
What about the poor?
The poor, however were still poor. Who represented the poor? Though supposedly representing all the people, in many ways government became a Robin-Hood type ally of the poor. The notion of one-voice, one vote meant, other than direct campaign contributions from the wealthy, that the poor counted just as much as the rich at election time, and this notion was not lost on the politicians.
And so there came massive initiatives directed at the poor. With programs such as Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society," the poor in the second half of the twentieth century seemed a lot less poor than those whose labor had been arbitraged at the "turn of the 20th century." There were programs that good Americans put together to help the poor and from this came plenty--from housing projects and food distribution centers, and even cash payments, often with no work requirement.
This assured that the poor could share in the health and wealth of the country. Some watching all this have humorously called the creation of so many agencies to serve the poor as Poor Inc. The rich again in one way or another were able to make money--this time, ironically, by serving the poor.
But, there was a problem. The poor still were isolated to the tenements and complexes that had been designed to make life more comfortable for them. Yet, everywhere in these complexes were poor people and their "poorness" became even more obvious. The people living in these facilities after awhile began to refer to their neighborhoods derogatorily as "the projects."
Yet, despite the partial economic / neighborhood segregation, the poor for the most part shopped in the same stores and malls and paid the same prices as everybody else for their wares. So, they knew for sure that they were poor. Many of the children of the poor eventually, through major educational programs--college loans and scholarships, escaped to be successful but this story is not about that. And, yes, the middle class awaited all those who were able to make the great escape. Nobody forced anybody to be poor and the more opportunity that business produced, the more likely it would be for more and more poor to escape their condition.
As a point in time summary, during this period in the mid 1900's the three major forces were corporations, unions, and government. Together, the work of all three of these major forces has gotten the poor to understand the good life but in many cases the stubbornly poor know that the next step in the "good life" is difficult if not impossible to achieve for them. They have to work to achieve the next level.
Some knew they could change their lives but others felt that they had few choices. Television of course made it even worse to be poor as the poor were never exalted in TV shows such as "Leave it to Beaver." The heroes of the shows of the 1950's and 1960's were never somebody who had nothing before they became a hero. The "Beave" had that nice home with the white picket fence. It was nothing like the projects.
And, so, just like the void that caused the unions to form, and for government to take more of a role with the poor, there was another power vacuum. The poor were better off for sure but they had no power. They still did not feel good about themselves, but was that the objective of the assistance? The poor had people vouching and lobbying for them but on their own, they were powerless. The poor, other than having the inalienable opportunity of all Americans to chose to become successful, which somehow had left many of them behind, had little control of their destiny. Living in the "projects" was a continual reminder of that.
Wherever and whenever there is a power void, it will be filled.
And, so, seemingly out of nowhere for many in this situation, another power group emerged. These were called community organizers. This movement began, shall we say, with well-intentioned people in the US. They believed intrinsically that the people who had to live in complexes or the "projects" were left out of realizing the American Dream. As in all things, this conclusion was not hard and fast as many had climbed out of their poor life through education grants and job opportunities, and they had moved on. But, it certainly was not common thought. Community groups, once formed, never were successful if they actually helped the poor.
Community groups, such as Acorn served the poor?
President Obama in a prior life was a Community Organizer. Did he escape or expand the definition? To serve the poor, in this, their time of realized need, bands of people appeared, who called themselves community organizers. They believed that everyone, regardless of their status in life should have the opportunity to own a piece of the American Dream. The "dream" was symbolized by a nice house with a garage--preferably a two-car garage and a nice car.
Over time, the controversial group Acorn became one of the most powerful of these community organizing groups. Before too long, the community groups began to operate as much for the good of the community groups as for the poor. The poor gained single family housing though in most cases, they could not sustain the mortgage payments. The community groups became more cash-rich and more powerful as the poor had become their means for them to gain a lucrative financial end.
During Barack Obama's run for the presidency, many Americans were first introduced to the notion that there was an occupation called "community organizer," as the candidate president posited that was his profession. The major reason people would meet a community organizer from Acorn or from another group is if they needed help in getting a home mortgage. Thus, many people in the middle class had never even heard of the term.
To help poorer Americans have a shot at the American Dream, community organizers brought those with nothing, who were looking for the American Dream to the banks where the organizers helped them obtain a mortgage. So, the poor in this scenario were being lifted from the projects to a real home.
The community organizers helped give the poor the status and the power to negotiate a home mortgage with neighborhood banks. In most cases, the poor had no real income, no assets, and they had no possible means of paying back the loan. None of this mattered to the government. So, they got the loan. Eventually John Q. Public, in the form of the American taxpayer paid the loan when the mortgagee defaulted.
The Acorn and banking Industry relationship really was not very symbiotic. Left on its own, the banking industry, in my humble opinion, would not have gotten in bed with Acorn for any reason whatsoever than that they were compelled to do so. Banks actually had no choice or else the government would take away their licenses. What was the result? Acorn made a ton of money. The poor got a piece of the American Dream. The banks were left holding the bag but nobody ever liked banks anyway. What's wrong with this scenario? Well, as we all know, in 2008, the bag of bad debt completely burst.
The overworked term, "perfect storm," applies here as the power structure was perfect for the American Dream to unfold for the poor. The government through the Clinton-backed Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) changes that became law in 1993, gained for the Democrats who have never been known to protect the taxpayer's money, the power to punish banks for not loaning to minorities. Minorities were known as the "plain old poor," as reported by hard neighborhood numbers.
Bankers who wanted to become truck drivers could have resisted. Those who wanted to remain bankers knew that if they chose to not loan to the poor; they were finished. Community groups figured out that if they became the tattletalers, and squealed at the slightest negative action of the banks, they were in a position to better their personal "business" financially. And so, the groups extorted money from the banks and for the funds they received, they agreed to give the banks a good report card to the government auditors. The major forces in our government were complicit! Nobody was innocent but nobody went to jail. Bankers who were honest saw this government action as fraudulent but if they spoke up, they would lose.
Tracing through history we find that Mr. and Mrs. Clinton and many very liberal Democrats believed and many still believe that everybody is entitled to a home, and whether "everybody" could afford a home or not should not be a consideration.
My opinion and my banker first cousin Joe, a great human being, believed that everybody should have a home as long as the same everybody can afford it. The Clintons did not add the qualifier. It really did not matter to these folks whether the mortgagee ever worked a day in their lives or, if the truth be known, whether they were in the U.S. legally or illegally.
Originally, there was nothing in it for the Republican Congress to give Bill Clinton this bill in 1993. So, there was Republican resistance but then Clinton figured a way to buy Republican support. Like politicians today, Clinton had to give the Republicans something to get them to go along. It may not have been the Louisiana Purchase but then-President Clinton promised the banks the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act.
This was a big concession to business but not necessarily a wise one. Without this post-depression law that had kept the financial industry stable for 60 years, banks were permitted to engage in much more risky ventures with depositors' money. The combination of mortgagees not being able to pay mortgages (toxic assets), and the ability of banks to play roulette with depositor's funds had a lot to do with the financial crisis in 2008. Moreover, the government knew it was destiny. The crash had to happen.
Acorn hustled the banks and because of major government pressure to survive, banks willingly paid Acorn a "fee." This was pure extortion so that Acorn would not complain to have government probes launched against the bank's lending practices. The question has been asked many times, "Why would banks pay so much without even a small fight? Sol Stern, a famous consultant in the financial industry is quoted often with the best answer:
The banks knew they were being held up, but they were not going to fight over this. They looked at it as a cost of doing business.
While ACORN et al was hustling the banks, unfortunately they were also hustling the poor in their communities. They charged a nominal fee in the neighborhood of $100 for their services in getting poor families their requested mortgages, whether the families could afford the $100 or the mortgage, it did not matter as long as ACORN got paid.
Additionally, the new homeowner often got a mortgage with lousy terms. That as much as anything else created the conditions for eventual foreclosure. On top of it all, community groups like Acorn found other ways to get money from the taxpayers. In the last several years before its bust-up, for example, they received about 40% of their money from US. Various governmental agencies doled out big bucks to Acorn and others for one reason or another.
In 2010, Acorn's corruption and scandals finally caught up with the group and it went under. It filed for bankruptcy and seemingly was taken out. After four years of anonymity, Acorn seeds have been popping up all over the country and liberal veterans are pleased to tell conservatives that just like the big shark, they're back.
Conservatives thought they had ended Acorn once and for all. They had tapes of Acorn giving their low-income clients advice on how to engage in tax evasion, human smuggling, and child prostitution Now, as noted, dozens of mini-entities have sprung up with the same leadership and they are back doing their dirt all over again. Watch out, corruption breeds corruption.
The sub-prime bubble that burst in 2008, was inflated first by Clinton, and then George Bush did nothing to stop it. Bush knew that illegal aliens somehow were able to get mortgages for homes they otherwise were not able to afford. It got so bad as the banks were trying to prove the loans were worthy that they began to accept statements from Acorn that showed the "undocumented income" of "undocumented people" on the plus side of the books to help assure them getting a mortgage. Acorn referred to this as "under the table money.' They clearly were aiding in people avoiding paying taxes but no charges were filed. Ask the government why if you can find somebody you can trust.
Apparently George Bush liked the fact that illegal aliens were taken care of in the US as it seemed good for the businesses who would employ them. Unfortunately George Bush and then Barack Obama and now Joe Biden and the whole Congress are still pleased to look the other way when non-citizens are fleecing the public treasury. Donald Trump chose not to be part of the scam.
As hard as it is to believe, the government, in concert with the new countervailing power, the community groups, were responsible for delivering the American Dream to the poor. The CRA law actually encouraged community groups to market loans to targeted groups and they would collect various fees from the individuals and from the banks. It was more profit as a motive than altruism.
In essence, the "regulators" imposed an "Affirmative Action" approach to CRA. In most cases, to book the loan, bank officers had to relax the credit standards of the bank to get the loan approved. So, banks were trained to cheat by the federal government itself or pay the consequences. Banks also learned how to minimize their own risk. Yet, by 2007, as the price of housing began to drop, the financial party was just about over.
The community organizers had become the fourth great US countervailing power. Were they needed? They surely thought so. They orchestrated so many wonderful things for poor people that, after the down payment to them, many families actually believed that what happened to them was a miracle. It actually was but it was unsustainable. The Community Reinvestment Act gave the poor the advantage over the banks and said basically that sanity was no longer important in lending.
Eventually, as Banks were bundling and selling their mortgages to the unknowing investment community and the price of homes began to decline, or not increase, there was no escape for somebody who really could not afford the mortgage in the first place. They could not sell the property and win the game.
They could not keep the property because they could not afford the monthly payments when they finally came due. So, what would they do? They would ultimately default and hightail it out of town. This created what was almost a second great depression. It happened because Jimmy Carter in 1977 and Bill Clinton in 1993 created bad legislation, and because George Bush for eight long years, permitted it to be the law of the land.
So in 2009, the next President, Barack Hussein Obama, at a time of great financial trouble decided to solve the problem by throwing gobs of taxpayer money at it as had George Bush several months earlier. Words emerged that had seldom been used in the US lexicon, such as TARP, stimulus, bailout, and porkulus. These became bywords on the American landscape. The people were saying no tarp, no stimulus, no bail outs, and no porkulus, but our unresponsive representatives in Congress felt they knew better. The US was in turmoil.
The fourth countervailing power, community organizers, were in it for the money and they directed the flow of profits their way. The unorganized, mostly from the middle class, were the ones hurt as they funded this largesse. The poor were clearly hurt as they had to give up their new homes that they never could have lived in if there had been reasonability tests applied to the loans. But, they were hurt anyway. There was a time that mortgages were so easy to get that the people joked about getting a new home with no down payment and there was a brand new Lexus in the garage courtesy of the mortgage.
For awhile, it seemed like the unions, the corporations, the government, and the community organizers had already decided how to split the loot and they were going to get away with it. They were impervious to the people left out. Then, all of a sudden the market collapsed, and somebody said:
Look, up in the sky, it's a bird, no it's a plane, no it's Superman. Someone else said, " that Mister Trouble always hangs around, 'til he hears this mighty sound, -- "Here I come to save the day -- that means that Mighty Mouse, is on his way. Then people began to gain the scent of TEA in the air. For a time, this was as pleasant a scent as the scent of freedom.
Remember wherever and whenever there is a power void, it will be filled.
But, just before the scent of TEA came in 2009, the United States had room for just one Superhero. His name of course is Barack Hussein Obama. Though some say that Obama is not a bad guy, watching him for many years now, and again post Trump with Obama as his advisor, Americans have learned that everything he touches turns out bad, and since Obama always wants to touch lots more than he has, things got progressively worse, even in his last year, 2016. Then. Trump gave the world a reprieve and now Biden has Obama as a principal advisor in 2021.
With his thoughtful gifts in 2009 to US Citizens, such as a try at Cap and Trade, and Obamacare, and his 40 brand new Marxist czars, amidst the longest recession since the deep depression, regular Americans began wondering what was happening to America? Now we wonder what has happened to America. Another power void surely had been created. Many people lost half or more of their retirement savings in just a few months. There was another need for countervailing power. This time, it was driven by the middle class in response to all of the shenanigans and the complicity of the Congress and the president. The middle class had emerged as the newest unprotected class.
Corporations were still for corporations and owners. Unions were still for unions and their members and leaders, and Community organizers, even though they began to be attack by conservative forces in Congress about 2010, continued to be for community organizers. The poor and the the middle class, who were supporting this huge burden had been forgotten. And so, there was yet another power void.
Wherever and whenever there is a power void, it will be filled
Whenever there is a power void, it will eventually be filled as the seemingly powerless realize that in numbers, they have power. The poor still had nobody but the community organizers who were creating problems for themselves and were also fleecing the poor. The middle class and the small business people across the US as well as some from the ranks of the poor and the rich had become "mad as hell" about the pure buffoonery and reckless spending of our government.
The leaders of this government became caricatures of themselves. Hearing after hearing with one buffoon after another speaking in their patented buffoonish language, the government clearly showed that it had begun to believe that it had limitless resources. Worse than that, the government solution was always to spend every dime in sight to satisfy its perceived needs. Our government has not changed much though today's Republicans have simply decided to hand in the towel and let it happen. Government has gotten even worse since 2008. It is still hell bent on continuing to bail out every special interest so they cannot fail while adding so much national debt that the country itself is now in danger of failing and defaulting on its debt.
And, so people by the millions for years have been writing Congress and making their concerns known. Congress, for the first time that I can remember clearly told the people that the Congress knew better and it has simply ignored the cards and letters and the spirited debates that once occurred in Town Hall Meetings. Congress became completely unresponsive and it is still unresponsive though now it is controlled by Republicans. The cries of the people do not matter. The people continue to have every reason to feel completely helpless, at the mercy of a corrupt government, and without power.
Many hard working people are still being hurt today and will continue to be hurt by policies that elevate the needs of certain people over people who provide the work engine for the country. All citizens have a right to expect that by working hard for themselves, they should be able to keep the fruits of their labor. Redistribution of wealth and the redistribution of healthcare has become the new mantra of Congress and the President. This has not been cutting it with the people at large. A look at the success of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump shows the frustration of with the Congress and the president. Redistribution is one of the basic tenets of socialism, and that is not the American way. Americans have decided that enough is enough, and neither elected representatives or the establishment elite of both Political Parties can no longer control the people.
The people at large have been neglected by corporations, by unions, by government, or by community organizers and thus, there has been a large void to fill.
Before the hard left and the socialist corrupt press misrepresented, defamed, disparaged, villainized and dishonored the TEA Party, it was able to make a huge mark on the political scene as a countervailing power for middle class regular Americans.
What happened to the TEA Party? In 2009, it became the new countervailing power. Quiet for many years after a dishonest press smothered it with negatives, and the government's IRS harassed its leaders, it is quietly at work reflecting the discontent of the majority of today's American people. The TEA has not only boiled; it has boiled over. The people are upset at elite politicians, the government and the media. The simple reason for its existence has always been that government had gone astray. Government has been taken too much from the people. People who liked TEA Party philosophies have not gone away; they still want their government and their country back. NOW!
The work of the TEA Party is happening today and it will go on in the future as this grassroots non-partisan network works to achieve many objectives. The TEA Party, without pushing its name, has gained power across the land. It is filling the void as a countervailing power. The slogans, precepts, objectives, desires, and love affairs of the people who would be classified as being TEA Partiers are many.
There are several hundred slogans, precepts, objectives, desires, and love affairs, within the philosophy espoused by the original TEA Party. Keep your eyes open.
Eric Olsen, organizer for the Billings TEA Party Group in Montana, as quoted in the Billings Montana Gazette in 2010 summed up his perception of the destiny of the TEA Party as a movement in an unconventional way. He knows the folks "of TEA" will not give up...ever:
If someone gave me $1 million to leave [the TEA Party] , that would be tempting, Olsen said. But then Jennifer would take over and they'd have to give her $1 million. And then someone else would take over.
TEA, the fifth and soon to be the controlling countervailing power never had a scent so sweet!
Summary of the Conservative Populist Movement. Can it be called The John Doe Party?
Some think that the Taxed Enough Already (TEA) Party, which was never a unified singular purpose group, has gone away. It could not be further from the truth. Since it was regular people and not elites that sponsored gatherings and created a conservative agenda, it was pretty easy for the TEA Party to slip under-ground for the last several years; but it has been active nonetheless.
The media and all the Lois Lerner's out there have had a tough time attacking conservative individuals since the TEA Party was more or less underground. The steam of the TEA of patriotism, however, is still hot. The believers in America-First are incensed at what has been happening to our country. Even more-so for many, the wimpy Republican response has been nauseating for those looking for somebody to stop our tyrannical president. . Donald Trump and Ted Cruz's successful candidacies are a reflection of the sentiments of the people without having to use any particular name.
The new conservative populist movement is a result of a combination of budget compromises that funded Obama's wish-list 100%, while not rolling back any of his dramatic expansion in government spending. That's not all. The push for amnesty led by one-time TEA Party favorite Florida Senator Marco Rubio in the Senate, and the disintegration of trust in GOP House leadership, which brought down Boehner's speakership, changed the movement and made it more alive, and more tuned in; yet more subdued.
Instead of having fun with tri-cornered hats symbolizing patriotism and expecting that most Americans are patriotic, the people who once were Tea Party stalwarts transformed from idealistic babes waiting to get thumped by a corrupt media and government. They began to distrust more than trust even those politicians who promised that they mirrored their beliefs. They are now a far more savvy and far more successful and a much more effective countervailing force. They have no label now other than a description as a much more cynical electorate. TEA Party groups were major victims of Obam's IRS abuses, and they were ignored by those they helped elect. Therefore, local TEA Party leaders and those citizens simply paying attention to what is going on in America are now challenging the very politicians who they pushed into office in 2010. Fool me once!
A young lady who was once a self-described TEA Party activist, when testifying before Congress on IRS abuses, captured the new essence of the new populist residual of the old TEA Party sentiment in these words: I'm not interested in scoring political points. I want to preserve and protect the America that I grew up in. The America that people crossed oceans and risked their lives to become a part of, and I'm terrified it's slipping away.
Thank you very much. And, so it is the people against the establishment today. The new countervailing power is alive and well, and it is driving the 2016 Presidential Election Campaigns but nobody is drinking any more TEA. To join the movement, all one has to do is believe in America. Nobody needs to tell anybody. I would call it the John Doe Party if it needed a name.
The people in the TEA Party returned to their roots. It is no longer an organized political machine as it once was. Instead, it is simply a movement of people who believe that America can and needs to do better. Those politicians, once trusted in 2010 and 2014 have used up their chances. And so, the people, not a group easily picked off by a corrupt media, have found alternatives to elite Republican double-dealers. They have found a brazen-faced New York real estate mogul who plays by the people's rules. Additionally, they have Ted Cruz, another outsider with grand eloquence and no shortage of guts. Cruz sticks to his guns, and does not play the elite Republican game. That's why his fellow Senators, the same Senators whose greed drives their very being, fear Senator Cruz. They do not want their gravy train to end.
By the way, I am a Democrat and my populist conservative view is right in line with this thinking. More and More Americans from all Parties, are deciding that the power of the politicians needs to be minimized and the power of the people expanded. That's why Bush, Rubio, and John Kasich never had a prayer. The people are sick of politicians. Insider, elitist politicians create an extra revulsion in the caring citizenry.
So, is there a TEA Party left to fight as a countervailing power. There does not need to be a formal group as the people are together on this one. Look around and you can see that the spirit of the TEA Party is the new heart and soul of the Republican Party. This is much to the shock and chagrin of too-comfortable GOP Congressional majority. It is not nice to fool the people.
About Brian W. Kelly,:
Brian W. Kelly is a former IBM Senior Systems Engineer and Retired Professor of Business and Information Technology (BIT) at Marywood University in Scranton, PA. He was a candidate for US Congress from PA District 11 in 2010. Kelly was also a candidate running or Mayor in his home town of Wilkes-Barre PA in 2015. Brian still manages his own IT business (www.kellyconsulting.com), and he has recently completed his 63rd book, available at www.bookhawkers.com.
Brian is currently running for office as a write-in candidate as a Democrat for Congress to represent the 17th PA District You can check out his two campaign web sites at (www.briankellyforcongress.com and www.kellyforussenate.com). These are both in the process of being rejuvenated for 2016 and 2018. The good news according to Kelly is that when running as a write-in, there are virtually no campaign expenses.
Thank you for being part of the quiet populist revolution to save America.