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OPINION: Let’s talk about who’s in charge

Kevin Holten, executive producer of "Special Cowboy Moments" on RFD-TV, discusses Patrick Henry and the origination of liberty.

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Kevin Holten, pictured above, is the executive producer of "Special Cowboy Moments" on RFD-TV. (Submitted Photo)

Are we losing our individual rights in America? You might say that’s a forgone conclusion.

But do you know who’s actually taking them away? If you’re thinking it’s the government or the coronavirus you are only partially right.

You see, the real culprit is not the U.S. Government. Instead, it is corporate America.

We can all see that our most fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are under assault. And the biggest adversary is big wealth, not big government. The government is just the tool for big business to get the job done.

Meanwhile, digital corporations like Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter are assaulting our privacy.

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And we so often hear that we are becoming a socialist nation. But socialism, which is mostly a facade, is supposedly all about equal distribution of wealth among the masses. Yet, with the changes we are seeing now, it appears that the rich are getting richer and more powerful all the time, which is closer to totalitarianism.

So, although we tend to label the government as a faceless oppressor, it’s really large corporations and ultra-wealthy individuals that are trampling on our individual rights and liberties every day.

For example, think about this: If you have a job, your level of freedom drops as soon as you walk in their door. That’s because, these days, more employees are hired on a part-time basis and then denied normal rights and benefits.

Plus many of your privacy rights are gone because large corporations or other entities are reading your online correspondence and tracking your online and cell phone usage and movements. And you can now even be fired for expressing your political views online, even when you are not at work.

Meanwhile, we’ve long assumed that the key to upward social mobility is education. But that doorway to opportunity has been steadily closing too.

For example, a study from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education showed that, since the mid-1980s, median family income rose by 147 percent. But college tuition and fees rose 439%. That's a tripling of education costs, which is squeezing out those in the lower income brackets.

Thus, we've lost our right to privacy. And as you’ve heard, the CEOs of Facebook and Google have both said that the age of privacy has ended.

Then again, despite the fact that privacy is supposed to be an essential right, we surrender it every day when we get on the internet, simply because internet companies sell our personal data for profit, often by using cookies on our computers to track our activity.

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Corporations have, for a long time, been voluntarily allowing the government to use their technology to spy on citizens, according to one reported case where the government placed a spy server at an ATT location to track the activities of its subscribers. And there's a lot more going on that we don't know.

We were taught that a person' home is his or her castle. But our electronic devices have breached the castle walls, and have placed spies in our living rooms, dens and bedrooms. And so, Americans should be demanding that corporations give us back our privacy rights.

That’s because, as newsman Walter Cronkite once said, “There is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are all free, or you are not free.”

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