Al Anzaldua gave this speech at an Occupy Tucson event in October, 2011:
THE NINETY-NINE PERCENT SPEECH
In my lifetime, I’ve never seen the 99% of Americans so economically beleaguered, and I think I know
WHY WE ARE IN THIS SORRY CONDITION.
… because giant, multinational corporations have hijacked our politics and economy. They are controlling or at least influencing the elections and political agendas of legislators (Fed & state), governors, and even some mayors and judges, as well as the agencies that are supposed to protect us, such as the FDA, USDA, & EPA. Which corporations? Examples include: Monsanto, Exxon/Mobil, Mellon/Scaife Industries, Philip Morris (Altria), Merck, Cargill, Phizer, Koch Industries, Wall Street banks -- i.e. Big Tobacco, Big Oil, Big Chemical, Big Agriculture, Big Coal, Big Pharmaceutical, Big Banking. And don’t be fooled that just because a business is family owned, or is based in the U.S., that it’s a purely domestic company. Koch industries, for example, family-owned and headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, has branches in 59 other countries!
WE ARE IN THIS SORRY CONDITION
…because a new type of fascism is creeping upon us. The old fascism was national. This new fascism is multinational. In the old fascism, governments took over corporations. In the new fascism, corporations are taking over governments! I am not talking about mom & pop companies here. I am speaking of group of gargantuan, multinational corporations moving towards monopoly or cartel as they squeeze out smaller businesses. They are seizing power to the detriment of smaller businesses, which we need for a healthy economy.
A CYNICAL MASQUERADE
The biggest of these corporations use the masquerade of libertarianism and American-sounding front groups to mislead, trick, the average U.S. citizen into thinking they are for a free market and freedom from “BIG GOVERNMENT.” This is a cruel joke. They want nothing of the sort! They want big government, a powerful government with claws and teeth to protect them instead of you! And the last thing they want is a freer market with lots of competition. They want a rigged market, a rigged economy with taxpayer subsidies & government contracts for themselves! For example, Koch Industries gets millions in government contracts each year and billions in government subsidies. BTW, they don’t call this welfare. No way! They only call “welfare” what poor people get from government. When they get government help, it’s called free enterprise!
Make no mistake, the corporate plutocrats lust for government, but a convenient government that always says “yes” to them, a government which allows them to produce deceptively labeled junk and GM food -- a Big Fat Government for them, but a lean and mean government for everyone else. The humbug “libertarians” who run these corporations want liberty alright, the liberty to poison our air & water, while they foist tired, old, dirty technologies and fuels on us. What are the front groups they employ? Listen closely to their deceptive and wholesome-sounding names: The Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, Hudson Institute, Cato Institute, Americans for Prosperity, Citizens for the Environment, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Freedom Works, Reason Foundation, American Legislative Exchange Council, Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation, Bill of Rights Institute, Heartland Institute (I pass Heartland full-page ad around). These front groups provide deceptive ads and studies, money & logistical support for politicians & movements they favor, and supposed neutral “experts” on TV & radio. I want to remind you all that the biggest insurance companies & banks (AIG, Citigroup, Goldman Sacks, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America) are still too big to fail!!
As long as they remain gigantic, they can threaten our economy and blackmail us into bailing them out with our hard-earned money, which they use for million dollar bonuses and lobbying against our interests.
STAY WITH ME ON THIS NEXT PART
(Part 2 will be published next week)