Why do working class people whose lot has steadily declined over the years of Republican-dominated politics since 1980, vote against their interest? The core Republican belief system of minimal government and low tax rates is in the interest of the top 1% of wealth holders and not in the interest of the rest. Since the Republicans need half of the voting public to get elected, a lot of people need to be fooled.
I read a post on Facebook last week from a person who suggested that if America just let oil companies drill, drill, drill in the US, our problems would be over. Unfortunately, the truth is that the US only has 2% of the world’s oil reserves and uses 25% of the world’s annual oil production. If we stopped importing foreign oil, our reserves would be gone in 2.8 years. Why do people believe that we can drill our way out of our problem? We won’t have cheap energy for much longer. And since we have not taxed energy consumption like the Europeans, who have used those tax revenues to build public transportation infrastructure and where the high price of fuel has led to efficient vehicles, our hangover from overindulgence on oil will be all the more severe.
The Tea Party is right to be angry. Corporate America no longer depends on American workers to produce its products, but it depends on the American working class to vote against their own interest by supporting anti-regulation and anti-tax politicians. The question is where that anger should be directed. The working class needs to become better informed. Let’s stop voting against our interest.