[HCCN] fw: Michael Moore - America is NOT broke

Judith Robbins JUDY at ROBBINSandROBBINS.com
Mon Mar 7 18:32:47 EST 2011

[A You tube link to watch M. Moore delivering this:   http:// 
Worth watching if you are able. -- JR]

Published on Monday, March 7, 2011 by CommonDreams.org
America Is Not Broke
by Michael Moore
Speech delivered at Wisconsin Capitol in Madison, March 5, 2011

America is not broke.

Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that  
you'll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life  
your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long  
shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It's just that it's  
not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in  
history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the  
portfolios of the uber-rich.

Today just 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans  

Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom  
benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer  
"bailout" of 2008, now have more loot, stock and property than the  
assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can't bring yourself  
to call that a financial coup d'état, then you are simply not being  
honest about what you know in your heart to be true.

And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of  
men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our  
economy, would mean that we'd have to accept the humiliating  
acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy  
to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now  
run this Republic -- and, until this past month, the rest of us have  
felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it.

I have nothing more than a high school degree. But back when I was in  
school, every student had to take one semester of economics in order  
to graduate. And here's what I learned: Money doesn't grow on trees.  
It grows when we make things. It grows when we have good jobs with  
good wages that we use to buy the things we need and thus create more  
jobs. It grows when we provide an outstanding educational system that  
then grows a new generation of inventers, entrepreneurs, artists,  
scientists and thinkers who come up with the next great idea for the  
planet. And that new idea creates new jobs and that creates revenue  
for the state. But if those who have the most money don't pay their  
fair share of taxes, the state can't function. The schools can't  
produce the best and the brightest who will go on to create those  
jobs. If the wealthy get to keep most of their money, we have seen  
what they will do with it: recklessly gamble it on crazy Wall Street  
schemes and crash our economy. The crash they created cost us  
millions of jobs.  That too caused a reduction in revenue. And the  
population ended up suffering because they reduced their taxes,  
reduced our jobs and took wealth out of the system, removing it from  

The nation is not broke, my friends. Wisconsin is not broke. It's  
part of the Big Lie. It's one of the three biggest lies of the  
decade: America/Wisconsin is broke, Iraq has WMD, the Packers can't  
win the Super Bowl without Brett Favre.

The truth is, there's lots of money to go around. LOTS. It's just  
that those in charge have diverted that wealth into a deep well that  
sits on their well-guarded estates. They know they have committed  
crimes to make this happen and they know that someday you may want to  
see some of that money that used to be yours. So they have bought and  
paid for hundreds of politicians across the country to do their  
bidding for them. But just in case that doesn't work, they've got  
their gated communities, and the luxury jet is always fully fueled,  
the engines running, waiting for that day they hope never comes. To  
help prevent that day when the people demand their country back, the  
wealthy have done two very smart things:

1. They control the message. By owning most of the media they have  
expertly convinced many Americans of few means to buy their version  
of the American Dream and to vote for their politicians. Their  
version of the Dream says that you, too, might be rich some day –  
this is America, where anything can happen if you just apply  
yourself! They have conveniently provided you with believable  
examples to show you how a poor boy can become a rich man, how the  
child of a single mother in Hawaii can become president, how a guy  
with a high school education can become a successful filmmaker. They  
will play these stories for you over and over again all day long so  
that the last thing you will want to do is upset the apple cart --  
because you -- yes, you, too! -- might be rich/president/an Oscar- 
winner some day! The message is clear: keep your head down, your nose  
to the grindstone, don't rock the boat and be sure to vote for the  
party that protects the rich man that you might be some day.

2. They have created a poison pill that they know you will never want  
to take. It is their version of mutually assured destruction. And  
when they threatened to release this weapon of mass economic  
annihilation in September of 2008, we blinked. As the economy and the  
stock market went into a tailspin, and the banks were caught  
conducting a worldwide Ponzi scheme, Wall Street issued this threat:  
Either hand over trillions of dollars from the American taxpayers or  
we will crash this economy straight into the ground. Fork it over or  
it's Goodbye savings accounts. Goodbye pensions. Goodbye United  
States Treasury. Goodbye jobs and homes and future. It was friggin'  
awesome and it scared the shit out of everyone. "Here! Take our  
money! We don't care. We'll even print more for you! Just take it!  
But, please, leave our lives alone, PLEASE!"

The executives in the board rooms and hedge funds could not contain  
their laughter, their glee, and within three months they were writing  
each other huge bonus checks and marveling at how perfectly they had  
played a nation full of suckers. Millions lost their jobs anyway, and  
millions lost their homes. But there was no revolt (see #1).

Until now. On Wisconsin! Never has a Michigander been more happy to  
share a big, great lake with you! You have aroused the sleeping giant  
know as the working people of the United States of America. Right now  
the earth is shaking and the ground is shifting under the feet of  
those who are in charge. Your message has inspired people in all 50  
states and that message is: WE HAVE HAD IT! We reject anyone tells us  
America is broke and broken. It's just the opposite! We are rich with  
talent and ideas and hard work and, yes, love. Love and compassion  
toward those who have, through no fault of their own, ended up as the  
least among us. But they still crave what we all crave: Our country  
back! Our democracy back! Our good name back! The United States of  
America. NOT the Corporate States of America. The United States of  

So how do we get this? Well, we do it with a little bit of Egypt  
here, a little bit of Madison there. And let us pause for a moment  
and remember that it was a poor man with a fruit stand in Tunisia who  
gave his life so that the world might focus its attention on how a  
government run by billionaires for billionaires is an affront to  
freedom and morality and humanity.

Thank you, Wisconsin. You have made people realize this was our last  
best chance to grab the final thread of what was left of who we are  
as Americans. For three weeks you have stood in the cold, slept on  
the floor, skipped out of town to Illinois -- whatever it took, you  
have done it, and one thing is for certain: Madison is only the  
beginning. The smug rich have overplayed their hand. They couldn't  
have just been content with the money they raided from the treasury.  
They couldn't be satiated by simply removing millions of jobs and  
shipping them overseas to exploit the poor elsewhere. No, they had to  
have more – something more than all the riches in the world. They had  
to have our soul. They had to strip us of our dignity. They had to  
shut us up and shut us down so that we could not even sit at a table  
with them and bargain about simple things like classroom size or  
bulletproof vests for everyone on the police force or letting a pilot  
just get a few extra hours sleep so he or she can do their job --  
their $19,000 a year job. That's how much some rookie pilots on  
commuter airlines make, maybe even the rookie pilots flying people  
here to Madison. But he's stopped trying to get better pay. All he  
asks is that he doesn't have to sleep in his car between shifts at  
O'Hare airport. That's how despicably low we have sunk. The wealthy  
couldn't be content with just paying this man $19,000 a year. They  
wanted to take away his sleep. They wanted to demean and dehumanize  
him. After all, he's just another slob.

And that, my friends, is Corporate America's fatal mistake. But  
trying to destroy us they have given birth to a movement -- a  
movement that is becoming a massive, nonviolent revolt across the  
country. We all knew there had to be a breaking point some day, and  
that point is upon us. Many people in the media don't understand  
this. They say they were caught off guard about Egypt, never saw it  
coming. Now they act surprised and flummoxed about why so many  
hundreds of thousands have come to Madison over the last three weeks  
during brutal winter weather. "Why are they all standing out there in  
the cold? I mean there was that election in November and that was  
supposed to be that!

"There's something happening here, and you don't know what it is, do  

America ain't broke! The only thing that's broke is the moral compass  
of the rulers. And we aim to fix that compass and steer the ship  
ourselves from now on. Never forget, as long as that Constitution of  
ours still stands, it's one person, one vote, and it's the thing the  
rich hate most about America -- because even though they seem to hold  
all the money and all the cards, they begrudgingly know this one  
unshakeable basic fact: There are more of us than there are of them!

Madison, do not retreat.  We are with you. We will win together.

Michael Moore is an activist, author, and filmmaker.  See more of his  
work at his website MichaelMoore.com

"How is the War Economy working for You?" -- Veterans for Peace

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