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The question arose earlier today, “What belief have you changed, because you got more information?” Things like your attitude toward gays, lesbians, transgender, or vaccinating your kids, or changing religion, or an opinion about global warming, or what hit me most, the belief that our government was trying to help the majority of the people live better lives.

I think I went through college and my years in the military believing the American government, and the state governments, and the more local governing bodies were basically honest and trying to make our country a wonderful place for everyone. Of course there were some greedy people who were trying to use the system to scrape off as much money and other privileges for themselves as they could, but I believed they were rare, and that the other members of those governing bodies kept them in check. It doesn’t seem that way nowadays, and it becomes more apparent that I was living in a fantasy world to ever believe that it was ever thus.

I believed that our American government was as Lincoln said in his concluding line of the Gettysburg Address, “A government of the people, by the people, and for the people, that shall not perish from the Earth,” but it has become apparent in recent years that the definition of who the people actually are has changed. Or perhaps it hasn’t changed, and it was always the rich, white men who were the people. I grew up thinking the “people” were the voters who represented the majority, and who placed the politicians in office. That no longer seems accurate, because it has become obvious that money buys votes in a variety of ways. Money buys advertising, money buys influence with politicians, and money buys the rights to write the legislation that gets rubber stamped into law. And, now that corporations are people they can put any amount of money into the political process, and now that there are super-funds with unknown money sources there are no longer any controls on who or what is buying the legislation. The common person’s votes are controlled by invisible secret money.

It appears the super-rich people, whoever they really are, are creating a clear-cut underclass, and it has become strikingly obvious the middle class has become slaves because of the way the new college loans are being manipulated. Fifty years ago the government was essentially paying any promising youth to go to college, because their new talents would be helpful to society. The tuition was low, and it was possible to work one’s way through college while in school and graduate debt-free. It took a chunk out of one’s time and energy for study, but it was easily done. I know for sure that it was possible because I did it. But now it appears that working one’s way through college is impossible, and the government is now forcing a middle-class kid to graduate with a huge student-loan debt, and it’s a debt they will have great difficulty in ever paying off. The loans are intentionally expensive, and the one making money off of the students is the government itself. What they have intentionally created is a slave state of indentured servants.

The update on Lincoln’s famous words would be –

A government of the entrenched  rich, by the entrenched  rich, and for the entrenched rich that shall never ever perish from the earth.