The Grand Funk, with NO Railroad

No, this column is not about music, except for the music to the ears of the super rich. From the Wednesday, Sept 11th USA Today “Money” section:

U. S. Income Gap Widens – The wealthiest 1% of Americans earned more than 19 % of the country’s household income last year- their biggest share since 1928, the year before the stock market crash, according to the Associated Press…. In 2012 the incomes of the top 1% rose nearly 20% compared to a 1% increase for the remaining 99%.

My job is to contact and sell Mom and Pop hardware stores, garden centers and cabinet makers for two Northern manufacturers. I do a great deal of my work via the phone to all of our 48 continental states… and have been doing this for over 20 years. Thus, I speak with the owners, managers and employees of small businesses nationwide. Let me assure you that I have never experienced such a funk by my customers. Factor in the fact that, for the past five years, my small business customers have had to drastically cut their labor force, if not go out of business entirely. My sales are down dramatically in concert with their sales. When I attempt to open up new accounts, the level of nastiness and indignation has reached all time highs for this writer. Simply put: The American public is pissed! Many, unfortunately, fall for the propaganda and hype spun by the media that the fault lies in the hands of the Republicans alone or the Democrats alone… yet, never the entire system itself. So, folks will tell me it is the “Right wing Republicans who are destroying our economy with their giveaways to the rich” or it is the “Democrats who want big government and giveaways for the lazy.” You know who laughs all the way to the bank? Those who make up perhaps one fraction of the aforementioned 1%. These are the wizards behind the Oz curtain who control the empire and its 2 Party One Party system.

Small businesses are getting hammered along with the working class. Forget about the con job to make most Americans think they are part of a middle class. Hog wash! If you work for the man, you are working class. If you work for yourself, you are still working class, period! Obviously, I do not mean those who earn millions a year working alone. Let us say that if your wages are controlled by another above you who you must answer to… you are working class. So, the guy or gal who owns and operates a small business that employs a few up to a few dozen is themselves getting screwed by this corporate empire. Thus, the funk. It comes from the realization that our leaders cannot and will not alleviate this pain and suffering. No, on the contrary, our elected officials still believe that the system works and can be reform itself. An oxymoron if there ever was!

Those of us that feel the funk should realize that we need to reject this whole concept of a corporate empire. We need to stop saluting the flag and blindly following our leaders over the cliffs of reason. Methinks this whole Syrian crisis finally woke many of us up. Those among you who either bought into the lies and misinformation of the Bush gang concerning Iraq, or kept your mouths shut during it all, now are speaking up. Finally a beginning! Those who still support either of these two corrupt and hypocritical parties need to say ‘No Mas‘. Get out onto the street corners and town squares where you live and speak out so that your neighbors can hear you. We need to pull back this Military Industrial Empire and use the massive savings to rebuild our own nation, physically and morally!

Philip A Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn, NYC longshoremen. A graduate of Brooklyn College (class of '74 with a BA in Speech & Theater), he is a free lance columnist posted on World News Trust, Nation of Change Blog, Op Ed News,, The Intrepid Report, Information Clearing House, Dandelion Salad, Activist Post, Dissident Voice, Counterpunch and many other sites worldwide. Philip works as an environmental products sales rep and has been a street corner protest activist leader and Green Party member since 2000. In 2010 he became a local spokesperson for the 25% Solution Movement to Save Our Cities by cutting military spending 25%. He can be reached at Read other articles by Philip A..