THE BLOG
07/07/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

How to Derail Our Economic and Political System in 4 Easy Steps

Corporate, anti-worker, and anti-immigrant interests have developed the perfect system to cripple our democracy and hold our economy hostage.

1. Pick an issue. Wall Street reform, our broken immigration system, our jobs crisis, or climate change.

2. Use distortions and blatant lies to distract, scare and divide the American people. Deploy Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Frank Luntz and other anti-worker and anti-immigrant henchmen to make the American people believe up is down, black is white, and the government is out to get us.

The more outrageous the lie the better--they tell us Wall Street reform will lead to never ending bank bailouts, immigrant workers put the rest of us out of work, steal our services, and raise our taxes, and snowfall disproves climate change.

3. Use corporate wealth and power to buy politicians and create gridlock in Washington. After pitting worker against worker and neighbor against neighbor, spend millions of dollars on well-connected lobbyists. And funnel campaign contributions to key lawmakers who will do everything to stall and kill pro-worker reforms. This will make the American people believe their lawmakers are incapable of governing.

Wall Street CEO's are spending more than $1.4 million a day on an army of lobbyists working day and night to kill reforms that would rein in the reckless policies of the big banks. And they've spent millions so far this year attempting to buy the votes of politicians through massive campaign contributions.

And companies like Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) that profit off our broken immigration system are hiring the same lobbyists doing the dirty work of the big banks to push their anti-immigrant agenda. CCA is a private prison company that makes much of its money from the immigrant detention business. Last year alone the company generated $155 million in profits. And they've spent nearly $10 million on lobbying over the past five years to ensure our immigration policies produce a steady flow of detainees for their prisons.

4. Repeat.

Anti-worker and anti-immigrant interests have used this poisonous formula for decades. It's what allowed Wall Street to crash the economy. It's why the middle class and the America Dream are at risk of being lost forever. It's why we've seen a rise in anti-immigrant policies like the law recently passed in Arizona. And it's why the American people are so distrusting of our government.

Our families are in big trouble if we let these guys continue to control the shots. We must expose the lies being pushed by anti-worker and anti-immigrant interests and work together to force lawmakers to pass the bold change we need to rebuild our economy.

We know we can't rebuild our economy until we have tough new rules in place to protect consumers and families from the reckless policies of Wall Street and ensure taxpayers never again pay the price for the mistakes of Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein, and the rest of the Wall Street CEOs.

We can't rebuild our economy until we end illegal immigration; and we cannot end illegal immigration until we pass comprehensive reform. Immigration reform will lay the foundation for just, robust and widespread economic growth, and it will help lift wages for all workers by eliminating the underground economy. A path to legalization would provide a $1.5 trillion boost to the American economy over 10 year and raise wages for both native-born and newly legalized immigrant workers.

And we can't put America on the path to sustained economic growth and create millions of good paying jobs until we invest in new green technology and training programs to prepare workers for a 21st century green economy, update our aging infrastructure, and invest in the human service jobs we rely on to teach our children, care for our elderly, and keep our communities healthy.

None of this can happen until we stop letting opponents of change divide us and start uniting to defeat the forces infecting our democracy and economy with greed and gridlock.

Thousands of workers, immigrants, clergy, family farmers, and community allies are converging on Washington, D.C. on May 17th to escalate a campaign to take on the anti-worker and anti-immigrant interests and the politicians doing their dirty work.

Will you join us?