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Demand real change

Posted: March 25, 2010 10:43 p.m.
Updated: March 26, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 
I sincerely accept that Mary Reza is "A realist, not a racist" (The Signal, March 9).

Let's get real. The middle class in this country is shrinking, and the gap between rich and poor is widening at an alarming rate. America's working class is getting squeezed.

Assuming we're fortunate enough to have held onto our jobs, we are working more hours for less pay. Costs of health care and education are skyrocketing. We have every reason to scream from our over-leveraged rooftops that "We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore."

I am convinced that the root of the problem is a political structure that is unresponsive to the needs of the working class. Our elected leaders only serve the interests of the rich and powerful at tremendous cost to society as a whole. Our government can come up with billions in corporate bailouts while funding for our public universities is being slashed.

"As a nation, we have been very generous but we are being taken advantage of. We need to ... take action now," Reza wrote.

Indeed.

I respect Mary Reza's intelligence and deep concern for our country.

We do need immigration reform. However, "looking at the big picture" the costs to our society for our inability to pass immigration reform are a pittance when compared to the costs associated with our inability to pass real campaign finance reform, health care reform and finance reform.

In order to address the issues most crippling to our society, we need a true social justice movement. As we are forced to share an ever-decreasing piece of the pie, we must be very careful to avoid turning on one another. Our elected officials need to get the message from the people they are supposed to be serving, that the days of catering only to the greedy needs of the rich and powerful must end.

In this time of economic crisis, why is illegal immigration the issue that is resonating with so many people? I was saddened to see my Santa Clarita neighbors "rally for some serious change" by taking to the streets demanding that "Mexicans go home."
What is really going on when decent people would even consider the appropriateness of denying medical services to a fellow human being who is dying of a gunshot wound?

When it comes to the voting public, the only thing our elected leaders have proven good at is distracting us from what is ailing our country most. While the thieves blather on about "death panels" and "socialists" we are getting fleeced.

In the big scheme of things, immigration is just another pernicious distraction. We must all stand together and demand real, meaningful change.

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