Monday, June 1, 2009

Robber Class v. Robbed Class: What Can We Do? by Cindy Sheehan

Robber Class v. Robbed Class
What Can We Do?
Cindy Sheehan

In my new online book: Myth America: 10 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution, I outline a clear path for grassroots communities, from neighborhoods to associations, to divorce ourselves and declare independence from the Robber Class.

What is the Robber Class? Among other things, the Robber Class is the class that just profited off of the bankruptcy of General Motors.

Besides losing tens of thousands of good union jobs, Greg Palast, economist and journalist, outlined the illegal plan for GM’s bankruptcy in raiding retiree’s pensions to pay off six billion dollars in loans to Citigroup and Morgan Chase. So again, while tens of thousands of autoworkers lose their jobs and retiree’s lose their pensions, the banksters don’t lose a freaking penny.

Besides, as Greg points out in his brilliant article linked here, raiding pensions is clearly illegal under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act; which was enacted by Congress in 1974.

Who is responsible for this outrage? The Obama administration and its Car Czar Steven Rattner (Stevie the Rat, according to Palast).

Greg does a good job of outlining the problem and exposing the Obama administration for what they really are: tools of the Robber Class, but he doesn’t propose any solutions, probably because there are none if you go after the Robbers in a head-on, full frontal attack.

So what can we do here in the Robbed Class? The so-called Ship of State that “turns slowly” cannot turn at all if the rudder keeps pointing in the direction of economic piracy for the Robbers and economic pillage for We the Robbed. We can't turn the Ship of State around, but we can turn ourselves around...most of us move more easily than this Empire laden with corruption, anyway. It's easier to turn a canoe than an aircraft carrier!

First of all, I banked at Washington Mutual; which was subsumed by Chase in the frenzy of bankster bailouts and immoral consolidations. After I finish writing this, I am going to my bank and close my account. I am sure my few hundred dollars won’t break the bank, but if we all started to pull our money out of banks and invest instead in local credit unions, it will send a clear message to the banksters. Choose a credit union that invests in your community and has a board made up of locals who have the best interests of your community at heart.

Do not buy into the myth that “Credit is the Lifeblood of our Economy” (Barack Obama in his "non-state-of-the-union address" to a joint session of Congress). Credit is the lifeblood of the Robber Class, but the death knell for our personal economies. Do not use credit except under the direst of circumstances and stop paying your credit card bills. The merchants you purchased goods and services from have already been paid with an electronic transaction after you purchased real goods and services. If you aren’t a debt slave to your credit card company, you are freeing a lot of your real income to pump into your local economy and to do something that we are never encouraged as a society to do: Save for a Rainy Day! We were told our homes were our cash-reserve or our investment in the future, but the bursting mortgage backed derivatives bubble, created mostly by Obama's economic team, solved that issue.

One of the reasons that we are in this mess is because we were sold the illusion of prosperity based on credit. How can we not feel prosperous when we are surrounded by such cool stuff being stored in a really cool home burdened with a really hot mortgage? Look around you…what was purchased on credit? What was purchased used? What was purchased using cash? What was bartered or traded for?

This brings me to my third point: only buy used, only use cash or bank debit cards, or only buy from local merchants. Oftentimes “mom and pop” stores cannot compete with the Megalo-Marts of today, so the goods are more expensive. The money you will save on not paying credit card interest and buying what you can at thrift stores (that often benefit charities---Good Will claims an 84% rate of return to its charity) will offset the extra money you may have to spend when you frequent local merchants. Also, ask yourself why those goods are so cheap at the Megalo-Marts? Because they were made by virtual slave labor in factories that American companies open up in foreign countries so the “savings” can be passed down to you.

Lastly, consume less. Do you really need that 10th pair of shoes or latest video gaming system? Can your old beater run another year or two with a little TLC (give your neighborhood mechanic some business). Bailout the economy of the local shoe or appliance repair shop. Lose the “disposable society” mentality and make do.

Another thing to consider above the fact that our economy is intended to make us debt slaves to the banks for our entire lives, is that we fund our governments war crimes around the world with our tax money. I stopped paying income taxes after my son was killed in Iraq because I paid for Empire with my own flesh and blood, but now, we are financing corporate welfare and still losing our homes and jobs. It's not right and not paying your taxes will also send a message to Robber Class Politicians.

With the impending hyper-inflation that is predicted by many economists, local currencies may spring up organically around the country, but until then, form co-ops of trade: trading goods or services. Form growing co-ops for food. Form neighborhood associations that are modeled after “Neighborhood Watch” but instead of being paranoid, form “Neighborhood Care” associations.

The bottom-line is: Keep your dollars as geographically as close to you as you can. I am not talking about being greedy or stingy. Stop sending your hard earned money to Washington, DC, New York or your local state house that is also on the verge of bankruptcy.

Additionally, buy necessities and staples now when your dollar still has a little purchasing power.

I am not trying to be an alarmist, far from that, but we need to take care of each other. The Robber Class is taking care of itself and certainly is not looking out for our best interests!

Cindy Sheehan is the author of four books, including her most recent book: Myth America, The 10 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution.

Order your PDF copy of Myth America for a 10.00 donation at www.CindySheehansSoapbox.com

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