To the Editor:

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the letters FTB. Libertarian weirdos like to use the phrase “free the beast” a lot to argue their pet idea that, somehow, everyone will start following the rules if you...take away all the rules. Apparently, if you just let everybody do whatever, in their strange little worldview that will lead to everything just working out peachy keen. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to remember two guys named Reagan and Clinton who cut all sorts of regulations, and, well... it only lead to economic crashes because some people can’t be trusted to behave without someone reminding them to have basic human dignity. And, wouldn’t you know it, those same people keep hopping up and down and whooping that we need to “free the beast” so they can grow their stock portfolio by investing in child labor and asbestos.

But when I hear “free the beast” I don’t think of loosing the power of rich people to have less rules on them doing awful things to get even richer. We’ve had 40 years of that and, I think it’s safe to say, things seemed a little better for the average working person back in ‘81 than today. Heck, recent information suggests that the richest among us have literally stolen trillions from all of us because wages haven’t gone up or matched productivity or profits for almost 60 years now. Long story short: you’re working harder, and doing better work, but still earning less than you would have when Kennedy took office. When I think of “free the beast,” I think of getting your money back.

Just imagine: estimates are coming in that some of you have been cheated out of $17 an hour for 60 years, an estimated 60 TRILLION DOLLARS. That’s sixty thousand billion dollars. If wages had kept pace with productivity (in other words, if you had actually gotten paid what you put into your job) the minimum wage would be $24 an hour. That’s how good Americans are at getting work done! We do so much good work, creating so much, and yet we’re supposed to let those chumps at the top walk off with money we put our blood, sweat and tears into creating? Sorry, I don’t buy it. I can’t, really, because I’m supposed to be making $24 an hour and after bills I really don’t have the cash to buy such a line of horse baloney.

That’s your money. You deserve to have it back. Some of you folks reading this are owed literally decades of back pay, and that is unacceptable, especially in a time like this. With pandemic wave after wave crashing over the country, there’s more than enough money sitting in the rich people’s pockets to give everyone masks, food, shelter, and most importantly healthcare. Heck, just the money the billionaires have have gotten just during the pandemic ALONE (5.5 Trillion according to Inequality.org) is enough to give every citizen of the United States $1000 a month for an entire year, with plenty left over. We are talking about absolutely disgusting levels of wealth on these chuckleheads that they do not need, will never be able to use, and did not earn because they spent their time stealing your money instead of paying you properly for the work you did.

So let’s really “free the beast” and give folks their money back: new houses, new cars, new coats of paint, new doctors appointments, new trips to the grocery store, new pairs of socks, new water systems for their towns, new textbooks for their schools, new bridges, new buildings, new renewable energy, and a whole new beginning for the great American worker. All you have to do is demand that the money you earned, but never got, is finally given back to you. It’s time for you to start demanding to FTB, and working FTB, For That Bread, and not just for your boss to get richer and richer.

Oh, and if any of you think my use of FTB is a call for billionaires to do something to themselves, well...that just says more about you than it does about me.

Eric Leitzen

Hokah, Minn.

 

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