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The Great American Swindle: How Americans are getting Robbed of Prosperity

The Great American Swindle:

How Americans are getting Robbed of Prosperity

By: Solomon Comissiong

The late great Azanian/South African Human Rights Champion, Steve Biko, once said, “The most dangerous weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed”. Those are some of the most powerful and cogent words ever spoken, especially when the critical mind places them in context with modern day life in America. Most people, who were born, raised or have spent much of their formative years within the US (including the author) have been systematically programmed to truly believe that this country is the gold standard when it comes to prosperity. The misleading propaganda runs rampant throughout the imperialist empire. However, the notion of the US being the “gold” standard (in comparison to many other nations), could not be further from the truth—-unless you are member of the elite class that creates and helps promote that fallacious program.

For generations those who control every major apparatus within American society (government, education, media, and economy) have duped masses of the US Hoi Polloi into believing in a system that has systematically “pimped” them. And that is one of the great ironies of American society—many of its most oppressed have been trained to have blind and unwavering faith in a bloodthirsty capitalist system that has no regard for their wellbeing or overall prosperity.

The American capitalist system caters only to the elite class that operates its one dimensional gearshift. The rest are merely role-players needed to toil, day in and day out, chasing the elusive and rapidly declining dollar. They do this all the while unconsciously subjecting themselves to myriad unfriendly labor conditions and with virtually no socially conducive “safety nets”. The ruling class does whatever it can to retain as much capital as they possibly can, even at the expense of people—especially at the expense of the people. The ruling class and their pet monster (unfettered capitalism) eagerly strive to gorge their financial coffers. They generally care very little for the working class, so long as that class can continue to work for minimum wages instead of livable wages. The working class is to be continually “pimped” all the while receiving little to no security for themselves or their families. This is a vicious cycle that has metastasized itself throughout much of American society. The notion of rugged individualism is inculcated into the hearts and minds of many Americans regardless of their socioeconomic background. We are all to believe that if we simply work hard enough we can achieve the mythological American Dream. However, for most, they are unable to see that the American Dream they are chasing is simply that—-a myth. They are not supposed to see, or understand, the sick and twisted reality of why they live check-to-check never to get ahead. A recent survey has indicated that a whopping 77 percent of working Americans are living check-to-check.

The economic system that dominates American society is not built to sustain all or even most of its populous in prosperity. It is truly a system that is catered for the extremely wealthy and their families. While many Americans work multiple jobs only to make ends meet, the elite class enjoys capital gains tax benefits at almost half the rate of the working class. The gross contrast in tax rates should make most working class folk sick to their empty stomachs. They work day in and day out, pay 30 plus percent in taxes, get very little in return socially—meanwhile the elites pay 15 percent in taxes on things like capital gains and hefty inheritances (if anything at all), for exerting any labor at all. Why—because the elite class has the money to even influence the writing of tax laws that benefit their interests. It is not a government for the people; it is profits before the people.

I am far from the elite class however I, personally, would have no problem paying relatively high taxes so long as they primarily benefit the masses of the population. Unfortunately, in the US that is increasingly not becoming the case. In the US, we get the least “bang” for our buck, in comparison to many other industrialized countries. The tragedy is that few Americans even know this, thus they allow their energy and time to be directed towards trivial debates that often work against their own interests rather than demanding more from their plutocratic government. True, a portion of US citizens’ tax dollars go towards things like firemen and public works, however few know that over 53 percent of our tax dollars go towards an already over inflated military budget. Yes, over 53 percent.  That is an astronomical number considering the seldom discussed fact that the US controls and maintains over 750 military bases worldwide! No other country even comes close. The US spends over a trillion dollars a year for military purposes when one factors in, military budget, wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan), and nuclear armament. I wonder how many people, half of that amount, could insure, provide head start programs for children in low income communities, or revamping a vastly underfunded public school system (and no, charter schools are not the answer)? Check out the National Priorities Project to find out what kinds of things your tax dollars could go towards if there was a reasonable trade-off.

Little discussion as to how Americans are getting “pimped”, ripped off, and hoodwinked by their imperialistic government seldom, if ever, reaches the mainstream airwaves of the corporate media. The corporate media deliberately omits this type of information from their airwaves because they are as much a part of the elite class as the corporate democrats and republicans who have built their careers on misleading their constituents. And thus the tragic tale of oblivious Americans goes on. Far too many Americans are oblivious to the fact that their blind support of the US capitalistic system is partly responsible for their stagnant economic existence without fundamental human rights like: free quality healthcare, a livable wage, and access to a quality education from head start through college. These things that almost seem like utopian ideals to most Americans are actual realities in many other countries.

I recently had the privilege to travel to Norway to deliver a lecture on Hip Hop, Corporate Media and Social Justice. Had it not been for this opportunity I may never have traveled to that Scandinavian nation. While in Norway I was able to witness a populous whose government places the value of its people before profits. That, in and of itself, is antithetical to the social climate in America. Due to the fact that Norway does not spend 53 percent of its budget on illegal wars of aggression, they have the monetary resources to finance a top notch public school system, free college education for its children, universal healthcare for all, and a livable wage of more than 14 US dollars an hour. Norway even has a prison system that is based on reforming its inmates. Compare that to the US model that prides itself on dehumanizing inmates and places hundreds of prisons on the stock market under corporate supervision/ownership. The Norwegian government does this all with far, far less than the US’s gigantic overall government expenditure.

Few complain in Norway about their high taxes because they are able to tangibly benefit from what they get in return for them. Americans complain about their taxes for all the wrong reasons. Misinformed supporters of the Republican Party complain about high taxes all the while asking for tax cuts that will primarily accommodate their corporate puppet masters on Capitol Hill. They have been programmed like faulty robots to believe that tax cuts for the elite benefit them in some shape, form or fashion. Ironically many of these androids parrot their disdain for high taxes while having insufficient health insurance and virtually no way out of their economic purgatory. It does not matter to them that they get very little in return for their taxes (especially in comparison to other countries), or that their government uses their taxes for destroying lives in ill-fated wars (meanwhile 40,000 Americans die a year due to lack of health insurance); all that matters in their narrowly manufactured worlds is that they follow the socially engineered pack.

Unfortunately so long as the corporate media creates the agendas by which most Americans decide to fight for, their overall prosperity is doomed. The corporate media’s interest will always reside with that of their corporate and governmental clients. America is, without a reasonable doubt, a fascist state. The merger between the state and the corporation has been a reality for generations. Today’s America would be Mussolini’s “wet dream”. Until the masses of working class American’s stop allowing themselves to be systematically used by elitist politicians (and the corporate media), the vast majority this country’s wealth will continue to be concentrated in the slimy hands of the ruling class. Sadly far too many working class Americans have been trained to suffer peacefully, all the while supporting the corrupt system that treads upon their hopes and dreams. With unemployment, poverty and home foreclosures at rising and unacceptable numbers the American Dream has become the American Nightmare. It is time we all woke up, organized ourselves, created sustainable coalitions and demand (not request) that our tax dollars go towards our prosperity (jobs, justice, equality, education, peace, and healthcare)!

Solomon Comissiong is an educator, community activist, author, public speaker and the host of the Your World News media collective ( Solomon is the author of A Hip Hop Activist Speaks Out on Social Issues He can be reached at: [email protected]

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  • Martin

    Excellent reading. Very comprehensive except omits discussion of the central role of The Fed and fractional reserve banking in the demise of “the American Dream”. This is another of the key tools used by the plutocracy to enslave the workers in never ending debt.

    Until The Fed is shut down, there can be no escape for the masses and they will always be unwitting slaves to debt.

    But first the masses need to become aware - and so we need more articles like this. Thanks for posting.

  • weilunion

    Thank you Solomon for you write eloquently of the Great American Swindle.

    This country seems to have two mythological narratives. The rugged Western saga of the go-it alone Gary Cooper; the other the Connestoga Wagon, the Western saga of the cooperative going out west.

    but Marx was right as you state: the ruling ideas are the ideas of the ruling class and until we can mobilize to afford an education for those oppressed mentally and materially the great unraveling of human lives will continue and the Whore House of free markets will become an international terror, as we see now and have for decades.

    In 1958 the welathy paid 90 percent tax on everything over 425,000 and we had 39% of the entire work force in America in unions. Now, they sit by their pools, the bourgeoise, and they collect as financiers their ‘rents’ in the form of capital gains, paying only 15%. Clinton got them down to 39% of their ‘income’ not by capital gains, but they in reality pay nothing. During this time, 1958, putting aside the horrors of America this was supposed to be the Golden Years of Capitalism. Hight taxes on the rich, building of freeways, housing, public services and unionized paid jobs with benefits.

    The Rich still had their Las Vegas’ and their Rat Packs and all the rest. But now we are down to 7% unionized, with most of us being ‘crew members’ for this or that corporation. And now the bougreoise not only outsources our work but is in the process of dismantling the entire social strcuture to outsource it as the British have.

    The Scandinavian countries have or had, social democarcy. This ise not free market capitalism. They pay taxes but get something for it, not drones, war, imperialism and racism and sexism and homophobia.

    But alas, as I write this the corprate news is censoring any news coming out of France or Spain where workers by the millions are on national strike.

    It will take a great and grand mobilization to stop the state capitalists for they are now moving at lightening speed. Unless there is an organized working class, capitalism will continue to create and be the culture of cruelty it is.

    Thanks for hitting the most important issue. Economics, the relations of production and who owns the means of them. For anyone who is interested in stoppoing the private ownership of the means of ‘educational’ production, which is going on now, then they must confront the little shop or horrors we call the capitalist system.


  • rabshakeh

    spot on. the american system of control is as ingenious as it is insidious. the american ruling class not only perpetrates a corporate colonialism enabling predatory capitalism [the "pet monster"] to run amok around the planet, enabled by outright military occupations and 750+ military outposts, but a domestic program of cognitive colonialism. that is, the occupation of the minds of the masses. americans have colonized minds, the myths of the ruling class thoroughly dominating their worldview and shaping their value systems. the gov’t doesn’t need to employ physical violence at home because the obedient masses unwittingly control themselves. the key to understanding this brainwashing is not so much in what americans think [most americans are incapable of critical thinking], but what americans believe. americanism is a belief system, a veritible religion, complete with rites, rituals, symbols, & holydays. that helps explain why americans react so violently when americanism is questioned/criticised, and why their beliefs are in clear contraposition to reality. yeah man, the swindle of the ages.

  • Jack Lohman

    Excellent piece, but we have to quit skirting the issue (i.e. “a bloodthirsty capitalist system” and “because the elite class has the money to even influence the writing of tax laws.”)

    This whole crash is due to one thing and one thing alone: political corruption that has allowed CEO greed to flourish because the politicians share in the profits via campaign contributions.

    I call that payola and bribery, and these people should go to jail. You may call it “political support.” But as a retired business owner, if I had an employee (or board of directors) taking cash on the side and giving away corporate assets in return, I’d at least fire him and also try to have him jailed. Does this sound like what’s happening in the political world? We re-elect those b*stards.

    Yes we spend 53 percent of our budget on illegal wars of aggression, but have you looked at the campaign cash coming from the defense industry? What would they do if there were no more wars? How about a military coup? What will happen when the wars end and Blackwater brings its private (and armed) troops back to the US?

    Hey people… wake up.

    Nothing is going to change until we have public funding of campaigns. But that is “fair” and our politicians do not particularly like fair.

    • rabshakeh

      jack, if you’re suggesting that the current system would work if only we could end “corruption,” then you need to wake up. the system isn’t corrupt; it is working precisely as it is designed to work, which is for the few on the backs of the masses. its not about ending corruption, campaign finance reform, fixing the budget, cutting taxes, or any of the other reforms politicians trot out to keep us distracted. the system itself must be overthrown and the working class [the hoi polloi] must take control of its own destiny.

      • Jack Lohman

        Working “as it is designed to work???” You mean, the Constitution was designed to accommodate political bribery?

        I don’t think so. And if we got the politicians off the payroll of the special interests I don’t think I’d care if the R’s or D’s won power because I’d know that the unbiased decisions would be in the best interest of the nation.

        • kiksuya

          Jack…just two brief things to consider…the Constitution was written by entitled White men in power, therefore, like rabshakeh stated the system is working as it was planned to work. So 221 years later I think that it is evident whom the founding destroyers/capitalists where speaking to when they wrote about “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” “right to bear arms,” & “freedom of speech & religion” etc. Given the atmosphere of anti-immigrant sediment, Islamaphobia, institutionalized racism, modern-day Jim Crow laws towards Brown people, modern-day lynching of Blacks via Capital Punishment & Police Brutality, illegal interventions in sovereign nations etc. this countries government whether Republican or Democrat is out to continue the legacy of its immoral “founding fathers”. That brings me to my second point. Taking Democrats and Republicans off of corporate payroll is not enough to create the necessary change. The grand majority of them, if not all, have reformist mentalities at best. The U.S. government/system as we know it today is not at a place where it can be reformed it must be dismantled and completely reconstructed from square one!

          Excellent article Solomon!

    • steve

      Mention the Federal Reserve (FED) and most people, including Americans, will think that you are talking about the financial arm of the US government.

      That assumption, however, would be well off the mark.

      The Federal Reserve is in fact a private company.

      Many Americans also believe that the FED is part of their Constitution.

      However, that assumption is also far from true. In fact, Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution actually outlawed such an entity from ever existing -

      ‘only Congress shall have the power to create money and regulate the value thereof’.

      In stark contrast to this statement, the Federal Reserve Bank is owned and run by private individuals and international bankers.

      These international bankers have the power, through the United States Treasury, to print money by simply adding ink to worthless pieces of paper.

      What is more, they also control it’s value and even loan it to the US’ and other governments around the world, charging interest for the privilege.

      This ability affords the Federal Reserve huge amounts of power, despite the fact that their very existence violates the US Constitution.

      With that in mind is the Federal Reserve the greatest, and most overt, financial crime of all time?

      The Federal Reserve was originally begun with approximately 300 individuals and banks backing it.

      Each bought a number of shares at a cost of $100 each.

      As these shares are never publicly traded one can only wonder how much each is worth today!

      Collectively, the shareholders in the Federal Reserve make up the strongest financial cartel in history.

      Each year the Federal Reserve collects billions of dollars in interest payments alone, distributing the profit between it’s members.

      The Federal Reserve is allowed to print as much money as it chooses yet pays no interest, fees or charges to the US government.

      This ability to literally print as much money as it wants was bestowed upon the FED in 1913, despite it being quite illegal.


      The FED creates money and then lends it to individual, companies and governments throughout the world.

      Through the banking sector they then turn a huge profit by charging interest on these loans.

      The basic tenants of supply and demand dictate that the endless printing of new bank notes will cause inflationary pressures.

      This means that the FED could manipulate the money flow in order to drive up inflation and therefore interest rates.

      Any other organisation with that sort of power would be under constant surveillance in order to ensure that it wasn’t abusing it’s power in order to commit fraud.

      In stark contrast, the FED’s dealings are often concluded behind closed doors and with little to no supervision.


      Back in 1913 there had been many failed attempts to get the Federal Reserve Act through Congress.

      At this point in time the bankers elected to fund Woodrow Wilson’s attempt to gain the presidency of the United Sates, in return for his continuing support of the FED.

      Just before Christmas that year, when most other Senators were away on holidays, one Nelson Alrich managed to get the Federal Reserve Act through with little resistance.

      Nelson Aldrich, incidentally, was a grandfather to the Rockefellers.

      After his election to the Presidency Woodrow Wilson passed the Federal Reserve Act, only to later comment, “I have unwittingly ruined my country”.

      There are a great many commentators who believe that US presidential candidates are now carefully selected and funded by the FED, so that they can guarantee that every new president will be sympathetic to their cause.


      Whilst there may still be some smaller shareholders in the FED, it is believed that the Federal Reserve is owned and controlled primarily by the following Central banks -

      1.  Rothschild Bank of London
      2.  Warburg Bank of Hamburg
      3.  Chase Manhattan Bank of New York
      4.  Warburg Bank of Amsterdam
      5.  Rothschild Bank of Berlin
      6.  Lehman Brothers of New York
      7.  Lazard Brothers of Paris
      8.  Kuhn Loeb Bank of New York
      9.  Goldman Sachs of New York
      10. Israel Moses Seif Banks of Italy


      On June the 4th 1963 one brave man attempted to remedy the situation by stripping the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the government at interest.

      President John F. Kennedy signed an Executive Order – No. 11110 – that instantly gave the U.S. government the right to issue currency without going through the Federal Reserve.

      This was achieved by granting the Treasury the power ‘to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury.’

      In other words, for every ounce of silver held in the U.S. Treasury’s vault, the government could print a certain, and limited, amount of new money.

      Under Executive Order 11110, Kennedy was responsible for introducing around $4.3 billion of notes into circulation.


      Executive Order 11110 could have been a hugely significant turning point in U.S. history.

      In an instant President Kennedy almost consigned the Federal Reserve Bank to oblivion.

      If  silver certificates had continued to be issued then there would soon have been a total lack of demand for Federal Reserve notes as the former were backed by silver and the latter backed by absolutely nothing at all.

      Executive Order 11110 had the potential to slash national debt as no interest would be payable.

      Eventually the government would have repaid all it owed to the Federal Reserve and at that point the Bank would have ceased to serve any kind of useful function.


      Just 5 months later and President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in what many believe was a grand conspiracy.

      Could Executive Order 11110 have cost Kennedy his life?

      After all, the Executive Order has never repealed by any subsequent U.S. President and could be enacted at any time.

      Why hasn’t any President followed Kennedy’s lead in returning to a monetary system backed by silver?

      Perhaps JFK’s assassination sent out a message that was well understood by his successors?

      Your income is taxed to pay the the Federal Reserve what they charge for printing money that is illegal and unconstitutional in the first place!

      Income taxes are unconstitutional
      Originally income taxes were illegal because the Constitution required all taxes to be apportioned among the states proportional to their populations, not their incomes.
      The 16th Amendment, which permits federal income taxes, was not ratified in the same language by three fourths of the United States as required by Article V of the Constitution and is therefore invalid. The approved wording was different in different states and therefore they ratified different amendments! (“Is Income Tax Un-American and Illegal?”, July and August, 1993, pp. 14-16).
      The courts refuse to cast down the 16th Amendment even though it was not legally ratified.

      The Federal Reserve is also a monopoly-in a country where monopolies are supposed to be illegal.  The IRS deposits people’s income tax checks directly in the Federal Reserve banks-not in the united States Treasury.  Therefore, the IRS, an unconstitutional entity, is merely the collection agency for the international banksters.  Over the years the IRS has become a tool of the elite banking families to financially attack and/or imprison people who expose the Federal Reserve.  It is also a tool used by the D.C. elite to attack people who expose government corruption.

  • rabshakeh

    jack, jack. sounds like you drank the coolade. wake up and smell the tyranny. kiksuya’s reply was ample to set it straight on the constitution. its a document by & for wealthy slaveowners. do you really think the ruling class pays any goddamn attention to that scrap of paper, other than when its convenient for them?? bush junior is on record saying the constitution is just a scrap of paper. he merely got caught saying what they think about it, and any other constraints on their rapacious greed. the wars on the afghans, iraqis, & now packistanis is totally illegal, in violation of the international law that the usa co-wrote after ww2. so yeah, the constitution, the u.n., laws, all that shit is for other people/nations. c’mon man, open your eyes.

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  • Keith

    To the Author: How do we change this? How do we organize? Where does it begin?

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  • Paratrooper80

    Luke 10:18And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
    In ancient Hebrew the word for lightning is barack, the word for heaven or the
    heights is bama and to connect the words either an “a” or an “o” is used.

    2 Thessalonians 2:3 (King James Version)
    3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there
    come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

    Political Correctness a term first seen in Mao’s Little Red Book, a communist engendered abomination that is instituting censorship little by little.

    “If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”- George Washington

    Carl Marx, once wrote that, the goal of the Communists was to quote,. “enter into men’s minds and cast God down from his throne.”

    Matthew 12:31Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.


    In ancient Babylon their economy was based on usury.
    “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest. Exodus 22:25
    Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him. Ezekiel 18:13
    Usury is unlawful; expressly prohibited by GOD!
     Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution clearly states that only the Congress can print and coin money! 

    The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was slipped thru congress during the Christmas break with the majority of it’s members absent. 

    The Federal Reserve is self serving and privately owned in violation to the Constitution, charging interest on illegally printed money. Money printed from nothing!
    In America On June 4, 1963, a virtually unknown Presidential decree, Executive Order 11110, was signed with the authority to basically strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the United States Federal Government at interest. With the stroke of a pen, President Kennedy declared that the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank would soon be out of business. Five months later A UNITED STATES PRESIDENT, PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY was MURDERED BY COMMUNIST!
    “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest. Exodus 22:25
    Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him. Ezekiel 18:13
    Usury is unlawful; expressly prohibited by GOD!
    In ancient Babylon their priest sacrificed babies to their gods baal, and molech.  
    In America the communist under their socialist programs have sacrificed over 50 million American babies to their god satan!
    Leviticus 20:2-5
    2Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel , Whosoever he be of the children of Israel , or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel , that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.
    3And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name.
    4And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not:
    5Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.
    Luke 22:35-36 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered. 36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.
    Jeremiah 50:16Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handleth the SICKLE in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn every one to his people, and they shall flee every one to his own land.
    Jeremiah 50:23How is the HAMMER OF THE WHOLE EARTH CUT ASUNDER AND BROKEN! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!
    Jeremiah 50:14 “ Put yourselves in array against Babylon all around, All you who bend the bow; Shoot at her, spare no arrows, For she has sinned against the LORD.

    All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them. Psalm 118:10


    “The thing that separates the American Christian from every other person on earth is the fact that he would rather die on his feet, than live on his knees!”. George Washington



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