The alarm is ringing and many Americans once too exhausted to face the fact that they were been hoodwinked by 30 years of misinformation and myth into believing the American Dream was within their grasp, have stopped hitting the snooze button. They’re living in the dreams of yesteryear but the reality of today.
It’s all their fault, they’ve been told. If only they work harder, longer hours without ever taking a vacation or day off… they’ll be able to eventually grasp the prosperity those on the upper end of the income ladder have been holding in front of them like a carrot on a stick.
But let’s face it, my fellow Americans. We’ve been are under attack… sometimes stealthily, sometimes overtly… In fact, we are at war. Class War.
Being the aggressors, Republicans know this, so they have tried desperately through their corporate protection racket propaganda outlets to redefine “Class War” to mean that horrible thing that occurs when society dare request that the rich pay their fair share of taxes.
The common retort is that the rich already pay most of the taxes, but Republicans neglect to complete the second half of that statement… which is… that the rich pay more taxes because they control the vast majority of the wealth. Simply put, the rich pay a lot of taxes as a total percentage of taxes collected, but don’t pay a lot of taxes as a percentage of what they can afford to pay- a fact of modern American life that began to come to fruition with the inauguration of Reagan.
During an interview with Ben Stein in 2006, Warren Buffet compiled a data sheet of the men and women who work in his office.
“He had each of them make a fraction; the numerator was how much they paid in federal income tax and in payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare, and the denominator was their taxable income. The people in his office were mostly secretaries and clerks, though not all.
It turned out that Mr. Buffett, with immense income from dividends and capital gains, paid far, far less as a fraction of his income than the secretaries or the clerks or anyone else in his office. Further, in conversation it came up that Mr. Buffett doesn’t use any tax planning at all. He just pays as the Internal Revenue Code requires. “How can this be fair?’ he asked of how little he pays relative to his employees. ‘How can this be right?’
Even though I agreed with him, I warned that whenever someone tried to raise the issue, he or she was accused of fomenting class warfare.
‘There’s class warfare, all right,’ Mr. Buffett said, ‘but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.’”
Justice Louis D. Brandis said, “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”
It is no accident the rise of the über wealthy coincides with the fall of the middle class, which simultaneously commenced with the Reaganomics supply-side policies that – despite utter failure – still infects the Republican psyche and American life.
This is because supply-side economics works – if the goal is to concentrate wealth in a few hands and to turn a working class made “uppity” by their former economic security into compliant serfs.
Rachel Maddow explains the failure of Reaganomics here:
The fact that Americans still have to suffer under an ideology that has never proven successful for 99% of the population, but instead must “compromise” the policies that created the Middle Class in the first place, is a testament to just how corrupted our government is by money, and to the power of propaganda.
As the wealthy Oligarchs reach their hand into our body politic and control it like a puppet, Right Wing corporate protection racket media coats the “public” airwaves with outrageous attacks against teachers making $30,000 a year, hoping to incite the people to fight among themselves, lest they recognize their true opponent.
It’s the age-old rift that American Robber Barron Jay Gould exploited to when he said, “I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.”
Kurt Vonnegut wrote in Slaughterhouse Five,
“America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American humorist Kin Hubbard, ‘It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.’ It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: ‘if you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?’ ….
“Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves.”
Compiled by Alternet, here are 15 shocking poverty statistics that are skyrocketing as the American middle class continues to be slowly wiped out….
#1 Approximately 45 million Americans were living in poverty in 2009.
#2 According to the Associated Press, experts believe that 2009 saw the largest single year increase in the U.S. poverty rate since the U.S. government began calculating poverty figures back in 1959.
#3 The U.S. poverty rate is now the third worst among the developed nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
#4 According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on a year-over-year basis, household participation in the food stamp program has increased 20.28%.
#5 The number of Americans on food stamps surpassed 41 million for the first time ever in June.
#6 As of June, the number of Americans on food stamps had set a new all-time record for 19 consecutive months.
#7 One out of every six Americans is now being served by at least one government anti-poverty program.
#8 More than 50 million Americans are now on Medicaid, the U.S. government health care program designed principally to help the poor.
#9 One out of every seven mortgages in the United States was either delinquent or in foreclosure during the first quarter of 2010.
#10 Nearly 10 million Americans now receive unemployment insurance, which is almost four times as many as were receiving it in 2007.
#11 The number of Americans receiving long-term unemployment benefits has risen over 60 percent in just the past year.
#12 According to one recent survey, 28% of all U.S. households have at least one member that is looking for a full-time job.
#13 Nationwide, bankruptcy filings rose 20 percent in the 12 month period ending June 30th.
#14 More than 25 percent of all Americans now have a credit score below 599.
#15 One out of every five children in the United States is now living in poverty.
Being a student of history, it always baffled my mind as to why anyone who worked for a living would vote Republican – especially now in the Republican-induced race to the bottom world we now live in. But, as predicted, the American Dream is crashing headlong into the reality Republicans have created and the Faux News propaganda isn’t loud enough to drown out the abysmal world Republicans have created for many of the “Average Joe” Republicans who are finally waking up to the fact that they’ve been played.
The Working Class is NOT to Blame
“TURNS OUT that the bankers who scored trillions of dollars in government bailout money aren’t responsible for the federal budget deficit in any way.
Neither are the super-rich who will continue to enjoy an immensely lucrative tax breaks enacted during the Bush administration thanks to a bipartisan deal brokered late last year.
And don’t point the finger at the Pentagon. The brass have accepted a $78 billion cut over the next five years–though they still want a budget-blowing $708 billion just next year to fund the endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and maintain a military machine that spends more than all its rivals combined.
No, the cause of the U.S. government’s record budget deficits is that greedy public-sector retiree who pulls in an outrageous $19,000-a-year pension.
That’s what America’s political leaders want you to believe, anyway. Thus, the Republican governor of Indiana calls public-sector employees a “new privileged class,” and his fellow GOP counterpart in New Jersey has been bashing teachers unions for the past year. And the newly elected Republican governors of Wisconsin and Ohio are out to turn those historic labor bastions into “right-to-work” states, with laws restricting or even banning public-sector unions.
It’s not just Republicans, either. Newly elected Democratic governors in New York and California have also targeted the wages and pensions of public-sector workers for further cuts, as a means of balancing the budget. And in Washington, as he was arriving at a deal with Republicans late last year to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, Barack Obama told federal workers they would be the ones to sacrifice–he announced a two-year wage freeze for all nonmilitary personnel.
It’s the kind of bipartisanship only a boss could love.”
Even the whole banking collapse is the fault of working people, according to the GOP.
As explained in the Wall Street Journal:
“When some free-market scheme blows up, one needs only find an institution of government in close proximity to the wreckage and commence accusing.
Thus we hear from some on the right that the disaster on Wall Street was the handiwork not of those with unbridled pecuniary motives but of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were government-sponsored enterprises and therefore partially exempt from market discipline and of theoretical necessity the sole culprits.
There is no doubt that Fannie and Freddie enabled the subprime neurosis, but for certain conservatives they are virtually the only malefactors worth noting. The dirge goes like this: Fannie and Freddie were buying up subprime mortgages, and they were doing it for (liberal) political reasons. Mortgage originators thus had no choice but to hand out mortgages like candy. Had market forces been in charge, loans would, no doubt, have been administered with a rigor and sternness to make John Calvin blanch.
I asked Bill Black, a professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and an authority on the Savings and Loan debacle of the 1980s, what he thought of the latest blame offensive. He pointed out that, for all their failings, Fannie and Freddie didn’t originate any of the bad loans — that disastrous piece of work was done by purely private, largely unregulated companies, which did it for the usual bubble-logic reason: to make a quick buck.
Most of the mistakes for which we are paying now, Mr. Black told me, were actually made “by four entities that under conservative economic theory should have exercised effective market discipline — the appraisers, the originators of the mortgages, the rating agencies, and the investment banking firms that packaged the subprime mortgage-backed securities.” Instead of “disciplining” the markets, these private actors “served as the four horsemen of the financial apocalypse, aiding the accounting fraud and inflating the housing bubble.” It is they, Mr. Black says, who “turned a crisis into a catastrophe.”
Ah, but truth is no ally to a conservative with his back to the wall. So much more helpful are the trusty narratives on which the movement was built. So when we have dispatched this first canard, we learn from other conservatives that it is the sub-prime people who are to blame; that by taking out loans they couldn’t possibly pay off, these undesirable borrowers have ruined us all.
It seems the so-called “Party of Personal Responsibility” only sticks to that motto when trying to deny a child a hot lunch program. When it comes to taking
“personal responsibility” for the disasters their policies create for the majority of society – FORGET IT.
Try as they might to try and blame the inevitable effect of unregulated capitalism on the victims, this ENTIRE economic collapse is a result of a failure of leadership and the capitulation to greed. With Barack Obama “welcoming” the same, failed “Republican ideas” that collapsed the economy twice in a century, unwilling to champion CHANGE adequate enough to cultivate a society that works for everyone – not just the top 1% – unwilling or unable to put any Banksters in jail while the People continue to suffer with the consequences, the only thing left to say is that this nation is in desperate need of a Revolution.
Yes. Revolution. And we’re due for one.
Even the rich are getting antsy about the “R” word… as evidenced by MarketWatch’s Paul B. Farrell’s Commentary, “Tax the Super Rich Now or face a Revolution.”
“Yes, tax the Super Rich. Tax them now. Before the other 99% rise up, trigger a new American Revolution, a meltdown and the Great Depression 2.
Revolutions build over long periods — to critical mass, a flash point. Then they ignite suddenly, unpredictably. Like Egypt, started on a young Google executive’s Facebook page. Then it goes viral, raging uncontrollably. Can’t be stopped. Here in America the set-up is our nation’s pervasive “Super-Rich Delusion.”
We know the Super Rich don’t care. Not about you. Nor the American public. They can’t see. Can’t hear. Stay trapped in their Forbes-400 bubble. An echo chamber that isolates them. They see the public as faceless workers, customers, taxpayers. See GOP power on the ascent. Reaganomics is back. Unions on the run. Clueless masses are easily manipulated.
Even Obama is secretly working with the GOP, will never touch his Super Rich donors. Yes, the Super-Rich Delusion is that powerful, infecting all America.
Here’s how one savvy insider who knows described this Super-Rich Delusion: “The top 1% live privileged lives, aren’t worried about much. Families vacation at the best resorts. Their big concerns are finding the best Pilates teacher, best masseuse, best surgeons, best private schools. They aren’t concerned with the underlying deterioration of America or the world, except in the abstract, because they aren’t directly affected by it. That’s not to say they aren’t sympathetic, aware, or don’t talk about the issues you bring up. They are largely concerned with protecting and enhancing their socio-economic positions, ensuring their families live well. And nothing you write about will change things.”
Warning, in 2011 that attitude is delusional, deadly, yet pervasive in America.
… In “Washington’s Suicide Pact,” Newsweek’s Ezra Klein warns: “Congress is careening toward the worst of all worlds: massive job losses and an exploding deficit.” How bad? As many as 700,000 more jobs lost, says Moody’s chief economist, Mark Zandi. What a twist: Remember vice president Dick Cheney said “deficits don’t matter.” Today the GOP is so blinded by its obsession to destroy Obama’s presidency, deficits are now the only thing they say matters.
Wake up folks. The Super-Rich Delusion is destroying the American Dream for the rest of us. The Super Rich don’t care about you. They’re already stockpiling for the economic time bomb dead ahead. Don’t say you weren’t warned. Time for you to plan ahead for the coming revolution, for another depression.”
Read the entire article Tax the Super Rich now or face a revolution here.
The Coming Golden Age
Yes. We live in interesting times. It’s very depressing to watch 99% of the population suffer under economic injustice, the top 1% laugh all the way to the bank while Republicans promise to deliver more of the same- and THEN some… including the destruction of unions, child labor laws and our social safety net.
Given my disposition towards anger and loathing all things Republican, I recently found myself drawn to a book whose title gave me a little bit of hope: The New Golden Age: A Revolution against Political Corruption and Economic Chaos
Here’s an excerpt from Michael Nystrom’s (Bull Not Bull) summary and analysis:
Economist and author Ravi Batra is a cyclical analyst, and bases many of his predictions on what he calls the Law of Social Cycles, which was pioneered by his late teacher P.R. Sarkar. I first encountered this theory about ten years ago when I read The Great Depression of 1990 and it has remained with me as a useful and interesting way of looking at the world. Batra re-introduces the theory in Chapter 4 of his latest work, and it is essential to the understanding of how he believes we will arrive at the New Golden Age.
The Four Types of People
The Law of Social Cycles states that while people in any society are all relatively similar – we all have generally the same goals, desires and ambitions – we differ in the way we go about achieving our goals. An individual’s specific methods for achieving success depend on his physical and psychological makeup. Essentially, there are four different types of people who find basic fulfillment in four different kinds of ways:
1. Warriors – have strong bodies, vigorous physical energy and a sharp intellect. Warriors tend to develop the skills that take advantage of their inherent gifts of stamina, courage and vigor. Their mentality is one that is not averse to taking physical risks. Examples of people in our society with the warrior mentality include: Policemen, firemen, soldiers, professional athletes, skilled carpenters and tradesmen, etc. They all achieve success through their physical skills and a deep understanding of their profession. Michael Jordan is an excellent example of a member of the warrior class.
2. Intellectuals – have a more developed intellect than the warriors, but generally lack the physical strength and vigor. Intellectuals are happiest when they try to achieve success by developing and expressing their intellectual skills and talents. Examples would be: Teachers, writers, professors, scientists, artists, musicians, philosophers, doctors and lawyers, and above all, priests.
3. Acquisitors – have a nose for money. If money can be made the acquisitors will find a way to make it. They are not as bright as the intellectuals, nor as strong as the warriors, but they are keen when it comes to making and accumulating money and material possessions. Such people are the traders, businessmen, managers, entrepreneurs, bankers, brokers, and landlords in our society.
4. Laborers – are altogether different from the first three groups. Laborers lack the energy and vigor of the warriors, the keen intellect of the intellectuals, and the ambition and drive of the accumulators. In spite of the fact that their contribution to society is profound – in fact, society could not function without them – the other groups generally look down upon and tend to exploit them. The laborers are the peasants, serfs, clerks, short order cooks, waiters, janitors, doormen, cabdrivers, garbage collectors, truck drivers, night watchmen and factory workers who keep society running smoothly by working diligently and without complaint.
No single class can remain dominant indefinitely, and power passes from class to class in a prescribed order, or cycle. The age of warriors – which bring strict order to society and a return to fundamental values – is followed by an age of intellectuals, which over time merges into an age of acquisitors. Batra describes the progression through the age of acquisitors on page 70:
Once the majority of intellectuals become acquisitive, materialism degenerates into supermaterialism. There are no more religious or ethical restraints on the avarice of the elite, and as the public follows its leaders, everything gets commercialized.
There comes a point when the intellectual acquisitors are virtually unchallenged; that is when the process of wealth concentration runs full throttle, with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer at incredible speeds. The boundless hypocrisy of acquisitive intellectuals ultimately torments the majority of people. Salaries go down, and the bulk of society is forced to devote much of its time to making money. Warriors and intellectuals then have to become laborers and are left with little time for the finer pursuits of life. They have to labor hard to support themselves and their children. The intellectual’s inherent love for art, music, painting and philosophy give way to routine work all day long to provide the means for family survival. The warrior’s innate predilection for adventure and sport is replaced by overtime work to make ends meet. The vast majority of society comes to adopt the laborer’s way of living and thinking.
Only two classes then remain – acquisitors and laborers, or the haves and have-nots. The age of acquisitors eventually turns into the age of laborers, which may now be called the acquisitive-cum-labor age, in which the acquisitive intellectual is dominant.
For a while, people suffer through the deceit and exploitation of the reigning class. They maintain their lifestyle by increasingly getting into debt. Acquisitors now have a field day. They make money left and right. They enrich themselves through their control over businesses, farms, and factories, and through lending money to the other classes.
Rebelling against the elite is not easy; it takes immense courage to oppose a regime and become a revolutionary. So those who muster such courage, no matter what their initial grouping, are the true soldiers who then start another warrior age, which begins with an ascending or magnanimous phase. With the return of the warrior mentality, many features of the first eras of warriors make a comeback, but some novel and progressive institutions also appear because of inevitable social evolution through time. The acquisitors, having lost their credibility, go back to a lower status. The public remembers their acts of oppression and imposes restraints on their acquisitiveness. This way the social cycle goes on and on…”
In other words, if the revolution is led by intellectuals, there is no reason it need be violent. The dissolution the British as well as Soviet Empires were both revolutionary changes that took place with very little bloodshed.
If history repeats itself in cycles, after we make our way through the current political and economic mess, there will be a New Golden Age. The bad news is that before we get there, we will have to go through a lot more pain and economic disparity. This new world will not manifest magically… we will have to create it as a response to the pain and division of unbridled greed.
Read Michael Nystrom’s analysis in it’s entirety here.
Until that day, Batra predicts that “real wages and family income will continue to fall, while poverty will rise. The rich will keep getting richer and the poor getting poorer; similarly, the middle class will continue to shrink.” For you see, like addicts in the grips of their disease, the real motivation for fundamental core changes can only come from “hitting bottom.” We’re on our way.
- White Nationalists Throw Hate “Business Cards” at Black Woman - November 6, 2018
- Supposed Persecuted Trump supporter Scams Cons Out of $150,000 - November 5, 2018
- In 3 A.M. Tweet, Trump Complains he’s the Real Victim of Mail Bombs - October 26, 2018
- Melania Trump Claims She’s ‘The Most Bullied Person in the World’ and the Internet Groans - October 11, 2018
- Right Wingers Help Completely False Kremlin-Made Propaganda Video Go Viral - October 9, 2018
- Historian: Mitch McConnell is the “Gravedigger of American Democracy” - October 5, 2018
- Donald Trump Tried To Trick His Elderly Father Into Changing His Will - October 4, 2018
- Survey: Trump Surpasses ‘Terrorism’ as Germans’ Greatest Fear - September 6, 2018
- Ron DeSantis Moderated Racist Facebook Group That Attacks Minorities, Parkland Survivors - August 30, 2018
- Architect: Betsy DeVos’ Ostentatious McMansion Sucks - August 8, 2018