“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, search engine Google changed their homepage doodle to pay homage to the Civil Rights leader who was slain on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. After failing to pass Congress in 1979, a national petition, which garnered 6,000,000 signatures, served as the impetus which led to President Ronald Reagan establishing the holiday in 1983.
This is not Google’s first time recognizing Dr. King. In 2012, the search engine changed their doodle to the following illustration of his famous “I Have A Dream” speech.
The advent of President Obama’s second term marks a new era in American power politics. Whereas the old left-wing definition of “who rules” focused on large corporations, banks, energy companies and agribusinesses, the Obama-era power structure represents a major transformation.
This shift stems, in large part, from the movement from a predominately resource and tangible goods-based economy to an information-based one. In the past, political struggles were largely fought over how to divide up the spoils generated by the basic productive economy; labor, investors and management all shared a belief in the ethos of economic growth, manufacturing and resource extraction.
Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft are far from “the workers of the world,” but closer to modern-day robber barons. Through their own ingenuity, access to capital and often oligopolistic hold on lucrative markets, they have enjoyed one of the greatest accumulations of wealth in recent economic history, even amidst generally declining earnings, rising poverty and inequality among their fellow Americans.
Last year the tech oligarchs emerged as major political players. Microsoft, Google and their employees were the largest private-sector donors to the president.
So who loses in the new order? Certainly unfashionable companies – oil firms, agribusiness concerns, suburban homebuilders — face tougher times from regulators and the mainstream media . But the biggest losers likely will be the small business-oriented middle class. Not surprisingly Main Street, harbors the gravest pessimism about the president’s second term.
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States with the most MLK Streets: