As things change, the more they remain the same. This is evident in the succession from President-select George W. Bush to President-elect Barack Hussein Obama. The rich were doing just fine under Bush 43. The white middle class seems to expect a great future under Obama.

There is something wrong with this picture, however. The missing element became an eyesore in New Orleans in August 2005. Hurricane Katrina exposed the plight of poor Blacks in America, but no group is completely immune from poverty in the wealthiest nation in the world.

Nearly five years later, it is now apparent that this country intends to treat poor Blacks as obsolete assets. Poor Blacks have been written off. Dr. Martin L. King Jr. must be turning over in his grave. He spent his last years fighting racism, poverty and militarism.

Poor Blacks obviously lack meaningful employment or they have no employment at all. They live from hand to mouth. Discretionary income is out of the question. It is a struggle to obtain basic food, clothing and shelter. These are basic necessities. Healthcare and educational plans for children are pipe dreams.

The fundamental problem with the economic system in this county is its imbalance in the distribution of its wealth. A small percentage of Americans are in possession of most of the wealth. This condition has all of the earmarks of feudalism.

From the outset, this country was ergophobic. This means that persons who employ others enjoy more governmental breaks than those persons who work for others. This country respects economic vultures like Bernard Madoff.

Slavery became the greatest obstacle to the creation of a middle class in this country. Guaranteed employment for Blacks became a serious economic problem for poor whites who had an economic motive for ending slavery.

Economic prosperity for whites would hinge on putting Blacks on employment lines. By the 1840s, immigration had put Blacks out of work in New York. Immigration policies today are creating new economic frictions. Illegal immigrants are being employed as lightning rods.

This country has a serious economic problem, but the $787 billion stimulus package is only a political solution. It is a safety net for the laid-off workers. For example, laid-off workers will receive approximately $80 billion while the perennially, hardcore unemployed will receive zero. This spending on the middle class constitutes political patronage.

If the rationale for a stimulus package is to get the most bang for the buck, the beneficiaries of a stimulus package would have to be the needy rather than the greedy. When you live from hand to mouth, money is spent before you receive it. Payments to the poor would directly and immediately stimulate the economy.

Poor people have a drawback, however. This group is unable or unwilling to exercise First Amendment rights. Poor people are thoroughly disorganized and they have a protracted record of not participating in politics. Political parties are not charitable. Political parties also seek to invest in groups that will also give them the most bang for their bucks. Democrats are seeking to replace poor Blacks with conservative whites. Follow Mr. Obama’s footsteps. Where is the Congressional Black Caucus when you need it?

History is about to repeat itself. Blacks are in a game of musical chairs. After Reconstruction, whites lured Blacks into the Republican Party by claiming that President Abraham Lincoln had freed the slaves. He actually sponsored a “Back to Africa” campaign. On the other hand, Democrats cited President Theodore Roosevelt for hosting Booker T. Washington at the White House, and afterwards, passing the baton to FDR. LBJ seized the baton in 1964 and the rest is history. President Bill Clinton was the icing on the cake.

In this context, it is meaningful that the first Black president of the United States is Barack Hussein Obama, while the first Black chairperson of the Republican National Committee is Michael Steele. This is the beginning of a political tug-of-war. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. It is like distinguishing a terrorist from a freedom fighter. Blacks are clueless that they hold the balance of political power. Parenthetically, Walt Whitman described Lincoln as having a “dark brown face.” History is repeating itself.

Recession also means that everyone is in recess. The fate of every group will depend on either their work or play during recess. Financial institutions and big business are already engaged in economic reorganization. Banks are being nationalized. Similarly, political parties are engaged in political realignments. Trade groups are debating free trade versus protectionism. Labor unions are lobbying for fewer legal restraints to organizing. The central theme is self-preservation.

During recess, Blacks must decide if they are going to be pawns or players. As the nation discusses a “Buy American” campaign, Blacks must debate the propriety of advocating a “Buy Black” campaign. Blacks export more then 95 cents out of every dollar to other communities. This is “free trade.”

Tariffs were a cause of the Civil War. The absence of tariffs is consistent with free labor. The Union advocated protectionism. Blacks are trading themselves freely back into slavery. How we frame the money trail will determine our fate.

Unless a group has a political party, it is politically voiceless and lacks the ability to exercise political rights. So far, we are only exercising voting rights. This has been the predicament of Blacks since 1870.It has been a game of musical chairs. Initially, Blacks were enrolled en masse in the

Republican Party. Today, Blacks are enrolled en masse in the Democratic Party. Under this circumscribed, monopolistic arrangement, political leverage is impossible. Like credit is the lifeline for free enterprise, political leverage is the lifeline for politics. Bush 43 was able to get his way regardless of which political party controlled Congress. He was able to go to war in Iraq without cause and shove the Patriot Act down our throats under a Republican Congress. His ally was fear.

With a Democratic Congress, Bush 43 was able to shove the Troubled Asset Relief Program down our throats despite its lack of transparency and the lack of any review of the actions of former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. Overnight, Goldman Sachs became a bank holding company. This means that it is holding the loot.

President Obama, on the other hand, was unable to pass the $787 billion stimulus package without the support of three centrist Republicans in the Senate even though Congress is under the control of Democrats. These Republicans were able to rewrite Obama’s stimulus package to their liking. Centrist policies will be in full effect until at least 2010, even though Mr. Obama promised change. This sounds like a bait-and-switch scam. Machiavellianism will be in full blossom in spring 2009. Watch out for manmade hurricanes.

Blacks built this economy, and we are the only ones who can stimulate it. It was our labor and Indian land that became the foundation for a rich nation. Thus, Blacks and Indians are co-owners of this real estate. Whites are not entitled to ill-gotten gains. Both groups should stop behaving like peasants and start behaving like owners. Thanks to Curtis Mayfield (“This is My Country”). I need your support and letters for filing a petition for writ of certiorari in Maddox v. Prudenti et al in the U.S. Supreme Court on the questions of two-tone justice in the United States and denial of free speech for Blacks. Send letters and support to Alton Maddox, 16 Court Street, Ste.1901, Brooklyn, N.Y.11241.

Feb. 25–UAM Weekly Forum at the Elks Plaza,1068 Harriet Tubman (Fulton Street) near Classon Avenue in Brooklyn at 7:30 p.m. Dr. Arthur Lewis will discuss “Heart Disease, Hypertension and Diabetes in the Black Community.” There will also be an award ceremony and raffle drawing for Freedom Retreat for Boys and Girls. Alton and Leola Maddox will make presentations of the awards. Take the “C” train to Franklin Avenue. Three blocks to Elks Plaza. Admission is free. See:www.reinstatealtonmaddox.net for “Solving the Riddle of Freedom and Emancipation” and “Requiem for Black Activism.”