Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

July 16, 2013

We the People: We live in the "United" States

By Pat Vaughn
Chronicle contributor

— “Liberals and Progressives” have many detractors, yet both have always worked to make things better for every American! Progressives, especially, should be greatly admired. They plan ahead in an effort to keep America a great country for well into the future. Working together, state by state, is necessary to make this happen.

But, a few states think they need to be “privileged.” They constantly claim “states rights!” Some of their legislators even threaten to secede. These stubborn states are not individual countries. They are united under the Constitution of the “United” States! (A Civil War once settled that question, but some states keep looking back.)

Why these states so often fail to fully participate in our progress is beyond comprehension. Is it pride, ego, ignorance or poor leadership? No governor or other leaders of these particular states should insist their people remain behind the rest of the country. Their refusal to cooperate means losses in education, health care, fewer jobs offering good wages and, therefore, a lower standard of living. It seems, however, that the very comfortable and wealthy in those “states rights” states want their people to stay simple, naive, easily manipulated, controllable and poor!

The leaders in many of these “poorer” states have no objections to accepting charity from the rest of the “United” States. They accept more tax funds back from Washington than they pay. Tennessee gets $1.27 back for every $1 paid, for example. Yet, many people in those states look down on individuals that need help in their own state as “free loaders and moochers.” Money may not be everything, but that mantra has often been cynically used by wealthy state “leaders” to keep the poor under control so the rich could gorge.

Most folks with extreme wealth never seem to have enough and are always looking for more. Many of these same people have bought (bribed) most of Washington and are responsible for a huge waste of our tax dollars! After the economic collapse of 1929, the United States was making great strides toward fairness, toward sharing the benefits and advantages of our country among all states and citizens.

Then came the Reagan Administration. It dismantled working class improvements. It attacked labor unions and began the downward spiral of voting rights that continues, today. What is wrong with a more equal “sharing” of America’s wealth, including passive, inherited wealth? This country is based upon a united front! Where are the jobs corporations and the wealthy are supposed to provide? Where are the needed infrastructure improvements? Where is the affordable health care? Better yet, where is “single payer or Medicare for all”?

Workers, including the military, contributed to the wealth existing today in the United States. The poor, receiving food stamps, welfare checks and Medicaid, pay many local taxes with their limited income. Higher tax rates should be due from the individuals and corporations that can afford it and so what? Who in our life has benefited more from America?

The Supreme Court has judged corporations a “person” and we know they are the richest “citizens” of all. It is only fair to the entire country that they pay their share of “dues.” Today, they are the ones who can afford it!

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This column represents alternative thoughts to other published columns in the Crossville Chronicle. “We the People” is published each Wednesday. Opinions expressed in “We the People” columns are not necessarily those of the Crossville Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. For more information, contact John Wund, editor, at