Wednesday, August 5, 2020

They couldn't care less

As just about everyone knows, there are very serious problems with the Unemployment Insurance system in Florida. Much has been written about this in the last five months or so. 

Here's what's begging to be said while we go through all of this: the problems and snafus we're dealing with right now serve as a perfect example of why, if you're supporting Republicans, you're harming yourself.

I've told you before that former Gov Rick Scott and his crew deliberately designed the Florida State Unemployment System to frustrate unemployed Floridians so that the fewest possible number of applicants could successfully complete their applications and thereby draw benefits. 

Now our current Governor, Ron DeSantis, has let the cat out of the bag. He said the quiet part out loud yesterday and admitted in an interview with Miami's CBS Affiliate that that's how the system was designed to work. (This is actually the second time DeSantis has acknowledged this.)

This is what happens when you vote for Republicans. They will look out for their well-heeled friends. They'll kiss up to major corporations, giving them every incentive and tax break you can think of.

They'll look out of everyone but you. Everyone but Floridians who work for a paycheck.

They could not care less about ordinary Floridians. If you keep voting for Republicans, you're enabling this strategy. Big business and the politicians' wealthy cronies will keep getting all the consideration, all the breaks, all the access.

And working people like you and I will get the crumbs. An ever-increasing share of the tax burden, systems that are designed to keep us from ever receiving any benefit that comes from those taxes we pay and the certain knowledge that our elected officials are completely indifferent to our financial and personal well-being.

Here's the kicker: The system is also designed to give access to the corporations and rich friends and to shut you out.

The donors, the shakers-and-movers, can easily arrange a lunch or an office sit-down with their bought-and-paid for elected officials--or senior staff, at the very least--by just making a call or two. 

And there's always those fabulous $10,000 a plate fundraisers where you can hob-nob with your Congressperson.

But if you or I want to get the ear of our elected reps, a polite-sounding, generic word-processed email from a junior staffer or intern is what we'll get.

And when we band together to advocate for the common good--in an org like Common Cause, for instance--the end result will usually be the same.

A few ordinary citizens and taxpayers like you or I will get our five minutes at a town hall or meeting of the county commission to beg our elected officials to take into account the needs of ordinary people, to stop giving all the priority and all the consideration to those who need it the least and to occasionally think about the other 98% of us, but it will change nothing.

We'll get a polite nod or two from the commissioner in whose district we may live but we'll still be shut out. The system was designed to safeguard the interests of corporations and the donor class, keeping taxes and state or municipal services as low as possible, while dishing out just enough handshakes and polite smiles to keep rank-and-file taxpayers and citizens from seeing how thoroughly we've been taken for granted and pushed to the margins.

That's how the game is played. If working people keep on pretending this is not so, and keep sending Republicans to rep us in Tallahassee and Washington, it will never change.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile 

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

No comments:

Post a Comment