So, I want to start out by saying that governments are important. They are more important than corporations, and you should never want a corporate government. A well run government can do great things for it’s people and help its people prosper. So why do our governments suck so much? Well, because if you don’t watch them and hold them accountable, they will degrade into what we see today. So if that’s true then why don’t we want less government? Well there are many reasons, but the biggest one is that corporation will take over and they are totally amoral machines that always do the least amount possible and always half-ass everything at best.
So, how does the excuse machine work? Well, the excuse machine is a method of obfuscation that your government, and often corporations, use to try and keep you from holding them to account. It is especially important that they get you to doubt yourself along the way and drive a wedge between you and any potential supporters. For some odd reason, people still tend to believe large organizations over other citizens. They usually try to sound believable and will start by only half lying before full out lying. Keeping track of a lot of lies is hard to do after all. Still, they do this all while increasing your taxes and convincing you that all of the critical things you’re voting for are actually voluntary tax increases, so don’t bitch to them if your taxes go up. They never address the fact that your taxes are so high that there should be no need for tax increases, except on the very wealthy because in essence you’re asking your leaders to tax themselves.
Unregulated and unaccountable government explains many issues, from the local to the national and even global level. For example, in my city the government installs fiber-optic cable for itself. It refuses to give the citizens access to it, even though they paid for it, and even though it covers most of the city. In the background the City Council refuses to meet with local providers, but rolls out the red carpet for companies like CenturyLink and Comcast. Giving them full meetings. More than likely, almost all of the government officials are investing in these companies, because they can make sure they have little or no competition. Since the companies are considered individuals under our law and the individuals investing in them are as well, you can’t even find out if that is true, but where there is smoke there is fire. These kind of scandals go on all of the time but are easier to expose when the public welfare is at risk, since you can actually look into the history of the people and companies involved if that level of concern is justified.
Still, the excuse machine is in effect from the onset through a potential investigation. Here are a few examples. A citizen approaches their government with a good idea that doesn’t cost too much. In today’s terms let’s say 5 million or less over a 7 year period. A small amount of money to most cities. This idea will revolutionize the city, bringing in new jobs with good benefits and raising the quality of life for the citizens. Here is what they will probably run into.
- The government is really lazy and they consider themselves underpaid for their work. So they will use every excuse in the book not to do work. While the pay side of this was true in the not to distant past, many government jobs are very sought after by those of us under 40 since the pay is decent and they actually come with benefits. We’d love to have the jobs that the current government officials take for granted and even blow off, but the system of nepotism keeps it in place. Solution: Eliminate nepotism, replace current employees and officials with non-baby boomers, and let them know that although they work hard they don’t work any harder than just about any other working person in America. Especially those holding down 2 or 3 part-time jobs just to make ends meat.
- The government will tell you that any idea you have that doesn’t directly link to a corporation that they’re getting fees from or buying stock in, in the background, is simply too expensive. Solution: Look for other projects where they did find the money. In the City of Bellingham, WA we awarded $30.3 million dollars to a single construction company to re-do our Waterfront. We also had a tax increase to renovate and build new parks around the Waterfront to the tune of probably another $10 million. All while Mayor Linville tried to push our responsibility to help out the homeless onto other organizations and even tried to declare a state of emergency. A few apartments are being built so our elitist government can try and pretend like it cares, but the truth is that Bellingham has more than enough money to end the homeless problem now if we imposed a luxury tax on our wealthiest and most wasteful citizens. On another front, a public fiber-optic expansion would only cost $500,000 initially and would probably start paying for itself as clients hooked up to it. The city instead refused to seriously look into it and rolled out the red-carpet for CenturyLink in the background. Still, even a worse case scenario full fiber install would cost about 1/8th of what the Waterfront project will cost and will help the city out. The Waterfront has just as much a chance of becoming our Simpson’s Springfield Monorail project as anything else.
- The government will threaten you on behalf of corporations. Publicly the government will almost never trample on your rights, but behind closed doors they have no problem with it. Ted Carlson, the Public Utility Director for the City of Bellingham, will threaten to end meetings on behalf of the power company (PSE) if anyone mentions seizing the company. Deputy Administrator Brian Heinrich will even tell them what they can talk to their elected officials about. This is just short of Brown Short Fascism, but in their defense it’s probably Mayor Linville that’s putting them up to it. Solution: Replace not just elected officials, but most of the government with decent, working class people. Never allow any candidate to run unopposed in any election. Demand the tax returns and investment information of all elected officials, even local ones. Demand that all corporate donors are revealed before ballots are cast.
- If you prove them wrong, they’re hide behind their own incompetence or even the weakest people, like the homeless. You see they’re so lazy and corrupt that you can pretty easily prove them wrong, that’s when they’ll use the mess they created, and didn’t really work on, to justify not doing anything better. They’ll say, “we have real problems, like the homeless” City Of Bellingham’s PUD Director Ted Carlson’s response to the idea of Public Fiber Optic Internet after the idea had been proven sound. You see, regardless of how much money they take in, they intentionally mismanaged it for many reasons. In some cases, they may even be trying to make your government inefficient to clear they way for their private sector pals. Ted Carlson said, “if the government is so bad at doing things, then why do you want us to do it.” Well guess what, the government shouldn’t be bad at doing things and we expect a higher level of service for the taxes that we pay. Whatever the reason the solution is simple. Solution: If, lime most Americans (aka the poor and middle class) you are paying high taxes then your government should be providing stellar services. In Bellingham we pay almost 9% sales tax coupled with high property tax. There should be more than enough money to deal with the homeless problem, fund our schools, provide a public option for telecom, transportation, etc. So if they’re telling you there is not, then you tell them that you will be taking the difference out of their salaries, including overpaid school officials, if they fight back, you fire them. They work for the public after all.
- Accuse your citizens/customers of not being thankful for what they have. This has a slightly religious slant to it and you can always find a place on the map where people have it worse. This allows you to inflate the cost of necessities and pretend that they’re luxuries. “Don’t complain about your high water prices,” a corporate goon or government official might say for example, “at least you’re not living in Flint, Michigan.” While this is true, the situation in Flint is unacceptable, and the fact that President Trump didn’t make this a top priority to address as soon as he took his oath is reason number one-million and fourteen why he should be impeached, but this article isn’t about him directly. Anyway, this tactic is very effective, as it might make the person feel guilty and ashamed for asking anything more out of their government.
- Tell the citizens that you see their point, but their idea is unnecessary. Ken Mann of the Whatcom County Council said this about a crosswalk because he, “never noticed anyone cross the road there.” Well, of course they didn’t. It was unsafe to do so without a crosswalk. It is now reported that disabled people are using the crosswalk just about everyday.
- Talk about unity and shame progressives for not getting behind your shitty candidates. This is the current line of the Democratic Party who refuses to learn from their mistakes. For example, tell the Bernie voters that although you understand their concerns you just can’t support candidates that actually give a shit about other people like Bernie Sanders, Keith Ellison, or Elizabeth Warren right now (then cough the word never into your hand). You’d like to but right now we need unity. Of course what this really means is unity behind the corporate Democrats that have ruined the party and cost us the election. Another local examples. Kelli Linville loves CenturyLink, a company whose corporate values totally align with Donald Trump. So in essence, on this and a few other issues, the Democrats effectively support Trump and the Republicans. Sure, they’ll never admit to this, but actions speak louder than words. They’re hoping to walk a fine line where they can take care of their corporate donors, and appear to be progressive. A better example is the DNCs support of Tom “Trump Likes Him” Perez and Cory “Steals Medicine From Grandmas” Booker. These guys are the premier DNC “leaders” right now. Sure, they gerrymander on a few issues and can appear to the untrained eye to be good Democrats, but they’re horrible people. If you bring this up, the Democrats will almost admit to it as well, but talk about unity again. In essence they’re always running the fear vote so they can take care of their corporate donors. Was Clinton a better candidate than Trump? Yes she was, but she was severely flawed because she made horrible choices during her career that made her an easy target. She did that to herself, not the Republicans. For example she wanted to hand out no fly zones like lollipops at the banks and did not support Universal Healthcare. We had an almost perfect candidate in Berine but the DNC stabbed him in the back because the Democrats figures that we would never vote for the horrible Republican alternative out of fear of what might happen. They are still doing the same thing, and if this is their strategy moving forward, as it appears to be, we’re screwed. Note: You can also work the shame angle from the unity angle. You can shame progressives for not getting into line and creating a terrible situation when the truth is that the Democrats largely did this to themselves. For example, Trump had a 5:1 bot ratio. Clinton generally thinks the internet is annoying.
- Tell them to be careful of how they ask for things. Sure, this one is rooted in reality. Being respectful of others is usually the best policy. However, sometimes your officials don’t deserve your respect. You know like when they back telecom companies that support Trump’s FCC agenda, like Kelli Linville and some of the COB council members do. Still, this puts them in a position of power since they can easily ostracize those that seem to “care too much” and are “too upset” about their policies. Guess what guys, it’s ok to be very angry with your government. There are just as many Democrats that screwed you over as Republicans, and the time to hold them to account is now. Solution: Locally, we need a mayor that isn’t so corrupt. While she seems to gerrymander pretty well she supports the militarization of the police with as much regard as buying potting soil, she supports Trump by supporting telecom companies that will prioritize the information you receive, she supports overpaying high level school administrators while the schools themselves can hardly function, she supports a Waterfront project during an age when physical expansion is foolish. The list goes on and gets even worse at the State and National level. Time to replace most of our leaders. Oh, and it’s ok to be angry with them too and let them know why. They’ve earned it and don’t deserve your respect. Hell, they’ve gotten rich by screwing you over. Kelli Linville says she has a soft spot for the homeless, well guess what, if she would put a reasonable luxury tax in place (aka tax people like herself) the homeless problem would be dealt with humanely and efficiently. Meaning we could easily house, give medical care too, and feed the homeless. There is a currently a 6:1 ratio of unoccupied housing to homeless people. The truth is that she pretends to care publicly, but will never take real action to solve the issue because it would mean taxing her donors.
I’ve given you a few examples, many of them hyper-local but you all have your own. The sad truth is that this is considered par for the course in most of the country. In the current state that most town are in basically any good idea will go through the flow chart I’ve posted. Still, the solution is simple. If the government has become untrustworthy, and does not serve the people, then we need to replace it. There are many more community minded, young people, waiting to do so that would be happy to have the good jobs our government officials take for granted. So let’s get them in there, hold our governments accountable, and create a modern civilization. You don’t have to feel bad. You won’t be putting anyone out. The current officials have already made their private investments, and all of their decisions are based on taking care of the corporate citizens first. So if they fall on their face instead of getting mega-wealthy off of the suffering of their own citizens, then it’s not like they don’t deserve it.
Specifically to the residents of Bellingham, WA. Remember the slogan for the next election, since our local paper has been bought and does not do any real investigative reporting in relation to the government. Linville Lies. Just look at the state of our city. The proof is all around you. If the Herald folds, then let it go. We need a news source that will actually do investigative reporting. We can create that online and member fund it like The Young Turks do. Losing the Bellingham Herald will be no big loss if they won’t start acting like journalists and holding accountable.