Everyone has heard the term “machine politics” but have maybe a vague understanding that it happened in the late 19th century in Chicago and the machine was Democratic. Actually, the truth is that machine politics is the definition of political corruption, which has always occurred on “both sides of the aisle.” More about that later, but back to the main point…
Now, you teach your friends all about machine politics in the 21st Century by following the the slow unveiling of one of the most vile machine administrations in recent history, the Chris Christie Criminal Conglomerate. The CCCC stories read less and less like democratic politics and more and more like organized crime. You have your Godfather, who can lift you up, or completely screw you over and ruin your life, depending on whether you support his plans to steal from the public purse. Nice little research project ya got goin’ there at Rutgers, perfessah. Be a shame if sumpin would happen to it.
Case in point: Christie, after making political capital by pretending to stand up for the people of New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy, has managed to keep relief funds away from 75% of eligible applicants without cause. No reason needs be given; Christie was trying to figure out how to loot the public funds we provided to Sandy survivors and hadn’t quite perfected his plan, one might suppose.
That’s what the machine does: siphons off public funds into private purses of the rich. No, not 100%. Only about 50% but that’s enough to add up after a few decades, which is what you plutocrats have used to destroy everything that was great about America.
The machine goes by a different name these days. It calls itself “privatization.” Privatization represents the most obvious means of transmission of the public commonwealth to the 1%. The privateer promises the same results at a lower cost and with limited liability. The government gives away the money to the privateer. The privateer is rarely held accountable for the malfeasance, negligence, recklessless and malicious acts that follow.
As a matter of fact, privateers often sue and win to get back the “profits” lost when events of nature interrupt it’s normal profitmaking activities. Guess who pays for the double scam of privatization?
It’s you and me. And then we wonder why we are getting poorer every day. Everyone has had hard time except those at the top, who are spending like there’s no tomorrow. Which there may not be. I am nearly too old to care.
As I sit here in my little studio apartment watching everyone lying to everyone else in the hope that they can screw someone else over to make themselves look better, it is difficult to be optimistic.
A dear friend of mine, who spent her entire life as a human rights activist, escaped the clutches of HUAC and was the named plaintiff in Cutter Laboratories v. Black, told me in 2009, I have never seen it this bad.