reply to post by detective_gray
How cynical an answer would you like?
One might argue that the American Revolution was led by aristocrats who wanted America's land wealth for themselves.
Thomas Jefferson wrote: "debts had become hereditary from father to son, for many generations, so that the planters were a species of property,
annexed to certain mercantile houses in London." So the aristocrats convinced all these farmers to rebel, and then the aristocrats claimed former
British property (including slaves) for themselves.
It is a myth that only the south participated in slavery. Many Northern cities, such as New York, had huge slave populations.
Slavery did not officially end in New York until 1827, but even after that, Northern cities remained important ports and financial hubs for southern
slave traders and for products (such as cotton) made with slave labor.
Abraham Lincoln did not end slavery out of any sense of justice, but rather, as a means to undermine the Southern war effort. He wrote:
"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without
freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving
others alone I would also do that."
Lincoln did next to nothing to provide employment or shelter for freed slaves, beyond allowing freed slaves to join the northern military in the Civil
Prior to the Civil War, the US Government's sole source of income was tariffs on imported goods. The Income tax was started in 1862 to fund the
In 1895, the US Supreme Court ruled the income tax unconstitutional. Which brings us to President Woodrow Wilson and his advisor Edward Mandell
House. In 1913, House pushed the 16th Amendment through Congress, legalizing the income tax. That same year, House pushed legislation through
Congress that created the Federal Reserve, a private central bank.
Thomas Jefferson wrote:
"The central bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the Principles and form of our Constitution. I am an Enemy to all
banks discounting bills or notes for anything but Coin. If the American People allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by
inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the People of all their Property until their
Children will wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered."
So 1913 proved to be a watershed year, when America was handed over to the bankers.
By 1918, the US government was collecting $1 billion on income taxes.
By 1920, the US government was collecting $5.4 billion on income taxes.
By 1945, the US government was collecting $43 billion on income taxes.
Which brings us to the Cold War. For 50 years we had two ideologically motivated nuclear powers engaged in a struggle for global dominance. Each was
willing to destroy all human life in the process. Some people think it's good thing that the Soviets lost. "We'd all be in gulags otherwise."
When I think about the victor, however, I can't help but notice that the United States accounts for 5% of the world's population while holding 25%
of the world's prison inmate population. We have private prisons here, Americans still making money off human captivity. And we have the military
budget of the next nine most industrialized countries combined, which we use to stick our noses all up in other countries' business, from South
America to the Southeast Asia to Babylon. So we're still making money off the subjugation of politically-convenient "others."
During the Cold War the CIA made money off coc aine sales. Now it's Afghan opium. So we like to make money off addiction: tobacco,
coc aine (used during slavery to keep slaves alert and to prevent them from escaping), opium.
And we fight wars for oil because we shudder at the thought of having to use public transportation, and we sell off stockpiles of outdated munitions
to inner-city gangsters, and we sell people mortgages they can't possibly pay off to turn a profit selling that debt overseas, and keep people up to
their eyeballs in credit card debt because its the only way to get a good credit rating, and turn college graduates into indentured servants who spend
a decade or more paying off college loans, and while we're happy to have itinerant Mexican laborers provide us with cheap produce in winter heaven
forbid we allow them to drive or go to school or speak their own language, and we're probably going to elect Hillary Clinton as the next president
because we're so fond of what political royalty has to offer - foreign imperialist occupations aside - that we shudder at the thought of any
substantive candidate who asks us to consider the consequences of our way of life.