The Hightower Report
Monsanto's Latest Biotech Miracle; and Spread the Wealth, Rebuild America
Monsanto's Latest Biotech Miracle
Once again, here comes the Monsanto Medicine Show! The corporate flimflammer is hawking yet another brand of pricey biotech snake oil, guaranteed to work miracles.
Monsanto promises that its latest high tech hocus-pocus will allow farmers to grow crops without water. Amazing! Well, at least not much water. "More crop per drop" is the PR slogan, and the corporation is exploiting public fears about global warming and food shortages as its marketing leverage. The white-smock food manipulators in Monsanto's labs claim to have added some powerful mystery genes to the DNA of corn, forcing the plant to reconfigure its makeup so it survives in a drought.
It's a miracle plant, bark the corporate flimflammers – a drought-tolerant crop that even Mama Nature hasn't been able to produce in millions of years of evolution! But – shazaam – we made it in our handy gene-splicing machine in no time at all! It's just what those poor people of Africa need, say the hucksters, so step right up and buy a ton of our magic corn seed!
Not so fast. What are these mystery genes? Monsanto won't say. From what species of plants or animals did you take the genes? Trade secret, says Monsanto. If the pollen of this Frankencorn gets loose in nature, it can have unimaginable negative impacts on our entire food supply, so what are you doing to prevent that? Trust us, says Monsanto. Why not just push for better water-management practices, which is easier, more effective, less costly, and won't endanger our health? We can't profit from that, says Monsanto. Well what about labeling this corn? No way, says Monsanto, because consumers wouldn't buy it if they know it's been genetically altered.
Like other biotech "miracles," this one amounts to a kernel of corporate greed suspended in unexamined dangers, coated with secrecy, and tainted with deceit.
Spread the Wealth, Rebuild America
When Barack Obama said, "I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody," John McCain and his right-wing chorus blew a gasket and threw a hissy fit. He's a socialist, a Marxist, a "redistributionist," they screeched!
Obviously, they were more upset than the electorate was. Indeed, I think your average working stiffs perked up, high-fived one another, and said, "Oh, yeah – it's time to spread the wealth." After all, for the past three decades, Washington has been busily redistributing our wealth upward to the richest 1% of Americans.
Using everything from tax giveaways to trade scams, they've shoved practically all of the economic gains that everyone helped produce up to those at the top. Now, the top-heavy "tinkle-down" economy they created is crashing, bringing down the housing market, Wall Street banks, and a host of industries.
Of course, Washington reacted by rushing to bail out the bankers and the speculators who caused the crash. That hasn't seemed to benefit anyone but – surprise! – the elites. So, yeah, let's spread the wealth into the grassroots economy so ordinary workaday folks can lift our country up.
One way to do this is with a massive, nationwide Rebuild America program, similar to what Obama has proposed, only bigger and bolder. Let's enlist millions of Americans to repair our deteriorating roads, bridges, schools, parks, etc. – while also developing conservation programs, solar and wind power, plug-in hybrid cars, high-speed trains, and other essentials for a new green economy.
Yes, this will be costly, but – unlike the gabillion-dollar giveaway to Wall Street hucksters – this is a sensible investment that will produce tangible results for every American and restore our nation's economic strength. Think about it: Money is like manure – it only works if you spread it around.
For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit www.jimhightower.com. You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.