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Voice of the Voter - This Week's Articles

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Site updates each Wednesday | Read comments from our readers on our new Letters to the Editor page. | Send us your thoughts with a single click below.

The Revolution Starts at the Checkout Counter

For the millions of Americans that think they are powerless to change the system, I would like to offer some thoughts for you to mull over.

Letís start with the basic question of who is the source of our collective issues with the system? The obvious answer is the politicians but they are only there because we voted for them. A bigger question is why did we vote for them? Did we watch their ads on TV and decide that they looked like the best candidate? Most of us did just that. How did they get on TV for us to see them and decide they were the best person for the job? They bought advertising. Who paid for it? Lots of people paid for it. Some little donors like you and me paid $100-$200 here and there and that was probably good for an ad or two but where did they get the millions of dollars for the hundreds of ads they ran? Where did the real money come from? That money came from fewer ďnot-so-averageĒ Americans with deep pockets and a strong interest in keeping those pockets deep. Where did the rich folks get the money? Some got it from oil, some got it from consumer goods, some got it from acting, etc. There are many ways in which they got their money but all of them have one thing in common for the most part. What is that common factor? We are. We spent our money on their products or services and made a conscious choice to do it in many cases. Why did we spend it on their products? In some cases, they were cheaper or easier to buy. In other cases there was prestige attached to buying that brand. Who decided there was prestige in buying that brand? Some person we will never know and who would not give us the time of day more than likely was the one we saw with the item we simply had to have.

So having established all of this, what is my point? Well, the first point would be simply that we are being duped every day by the people that profit the most from our blind buying into thinking that we need to buy their products. We donít really need to have the latest cars or shoes or stylish clothes. They are expensive and we spend so much time working to afford them that we donít really get to enjoy them much. We also spend so much time working that we donít have the time to pay attention to what our leaders are doing with our money until it gets so screwed up that we all have to stop and pay attention for a minute. We donít need all the crap we buy. We donít need 10,000 DVDís or CDís and we donít need to have a $50,000 car when we barely make that in a year. We donít need the super-size bucket of chicken for the family of three. We have become so obsessed with having more that we donít stop and think about where that money goes and what is being done with it. Taxes are nothing compared to what we are willingly parting with on a daily basis to keep the rich, rich.

I want to challenge you to help the people of America take our power back. Iím asking you to help me to drain the pockets of the wealthy by shopping with the little guy. When you can go to the Farmerís Market instead of the big chain grocery store, you are supporting small local business and taking money out of the pockets of the rich people that own the big store. When you do that, they have less money to spend on corrupting our politicians. We can also take it a step further. How about we support American workers? If it says ďMade in ChinaĒ put it back on the shelf once in a while. The same should go for ďHecho en MexicoĒ. Look for the ďMade in AmericaĒ labels that mean you are supporting some other working Joe that needs to feed his family. If the Ford was made in China or Mexico and the Toyota was made in America, buy the Toyota. So what if the rich folks who sent our jobs to China and Mexico have to worry about their trust funds shrinking. To heck with them! They sold us out when they sent our jobs overseas. Why should we buy anything from them if they want to sell us out?

We have the power in our wallets to sap the lifeís blood from greed and corruption and all it takes is making different choices in how we spend our money. The oil companies make more profit if you buy gas at their brand stations than if you buy their gas from independent dealers so buy from independents. Itís the same gas but the corporations make less money on it and a local little guy makes a little more. If the gas is even $.10 more per gallon and you put 10 gallons in, thatís a whopping dollar to you. Itís not much but when itís added to millions of other Americansí single dollars it adds up. It can be the difference between the oil companies spending those millions on lobbyists to keep laws from passing that would outmode gasoline and make our air cleaner or being forced to cut back on lobbying because they canít afford it.. We can force change but it will take a lot of little efforts and thoughtfulness about how we choose to spend our money. Robin Hood found justice for the poor by stealing from the rich who oppressed them. We could use some Robin Hood type justice today. Let the Robin Hood Revolution begin!
Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this article.

The Global Rally Against Global Warming

This past Sunday , people got together on every continent on Earth to raise awareness of global warming and the dangers facing the Earth's environment. Not since Live Aid in 1985 have we seen an event coming close to the magnitude of the 24 hour live music event. Performers from around the world came together to support the cause of former Vice President Al Gore. It is estimated that 2,000,000,000 people took part in the festivities whether in person or by some remote viewing or listening technology.

This unprecedented turnout for an environmental concert is encouraging and shows that some people are beginning to pay attention to the global climatic shift issue. Towards the end of the event Mr. Gore asked people to make a pledge to do their part to combat global warming. Two forms of the pledge are now online and Reform America is encouraging our visitors to commit to them as well. The website addresses are: http://liveearthpledge.org/msn.php & http://www.algore.com/pledge/ You can do your part to help turn our planet around.

Global warming is not a partisan issue. Reform America does not endorse any party or any candidate but we do support Mr. Gore's efforts to improve the climate for all of the people living on Earth. We believe that we can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines and wait for someone else to do something about the environment. The polar ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising and there are many battles to be fought and won before we can even begin to hope that we can reverse the damage before the human race faces extinction.

Whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent, this issue impacts you. We all need air to breath and food to eat. There is no time left to say we'll deal with this tomorrow. Tomorrow is here and the time has run out for procrastination. No matter what you choose to do this will impact you. When droughts come to America because of climatic shifts, you will pay higher prices for food. Both the farming and ranching industries that feed us are dependent on rain. When the climate shifts due to ocean temperature changes, rain will not follow the same patterns it currently follows. There will be drought and there will be more severe Katrina type storms that come off the ocean. The impact of the weather changes will be felt by all people. Even the richest person cannot live solely on the money they have. If there is no food or drinkable water, money will mean nothing.

Virtually every credible environmental scientist agrees that we are facing a crisis of global proportions and that if we don't make major changes soon we may not be able to stop the Earth from becoming uninhabitable for humans. Now is the time and if we don't act we may not get another chance. Join us in supporting the efforts of Live Earth and environmentally conscious people around the globe by taking the pledge today and doing your part to help us make Earth a greener planet. Our children and those who are yet to come are counting on us to make sure they have an Earth to call home.
Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this article.

Read Alex Williams' New York Times article Buying Into the Green Movement for a fascinating look at "green consumerism".



Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to: stories@reform-america.net



Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to stories@reform-america.net

 

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