Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The Tea Party? It’s a load of Koch!
Watching the shenanigans across the pond is salutary. It is a lesson in what can happen when the very rich and powerful ride roughshod over the democratic process. 
Many people will know about the Tea Party movement which has reduced one of the founding fathers fundamental planks from ‘No Taxation without representation’ to simply ‘No Taxation.’ The consequences for the poor seem to be off the radar of this short-sighted and gullible group of citizens. 
The Tea Party movement portrays itself as honest decent folk sticking up for the little people. But their claims do not bear close scrutiny. Behind the scenes there are some very powerful (and extremely rich and deeply unsavoury) people. As George Monbiot made clear yesterday.
“So who or what is Americans for Prosperity? It was founded and is funded by Charles and David Koch. They run what they call "the biggest company you've never heard of", and between them they are worth $43bn. Koch Industries is a massive oil, gas, minerals, timber and chemicals company. In the past 15 years the brothers have poured at least $85m into lobby groups arguing for lower taxes for the rich and weaker regulations for industry. The groups and politicians the Kochs fund also lobby to destroy collective bargaining, to stop laws reducing carbon emissions, to stymie healthcare reform and to hobble attempts to control the banks. During the 2010 election cycle, AFP spent $45m supporting its favoured candidates.
But the Kochs' greatest political triumph is the creation of the Tea Party movement.” Guardian 2/8/11
They have pulled off the masterstroke of getting hundreds of thousands onto the streets to campaign for the ultra-rich while believing they were in fact supporting ‘middle America.’
The effect of all this on the world economy is very worrying. There is a movement from the ultra-rich, whether they be corporations or individuals to do as they damn well please. They have been described as feral beasts beyond normal controls. While we have supine, scared or corrupt politicians across the globe, very little will change. 

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